Monday, May 21, 2012

My Cup Runneth Overeth

I have two job offers, as of right now.

One job is with the retail fabric/decor store with which I interviewed twice. Apparently, my second interview was a success. They offered me $X/hour to come work for them, plus the possibility of getting a year-end bonus based on my sales.

Another job was offered to me as I sat during the course of my 90 minute interview this morning (I didn't actually speak much). It's a position as a part-time retail clerk/sales gal at a custom window covering store. It's offering me $(X - 3) less per hour than the retail fabric store. BUT I get commission for every appointment I book, and for every sale I make.

I then decided to go ahead and interview with a third company, this afternoon. It's doing architectural drawings for a sort of "drawing shop." They do drawings for other firms, essentially. (Sometimes architects have other people do their construction drawings.)

So, I hopped into my trusty Honda Civic and headed to his office building, which is... creepy. He offices on one of those "park below, work above" two-story jobbies, and... At first, I drove by it, convinced that that could NOT be the place where he officed. Eventually, I checked my map and discovered to my horror that it IS his office building. So I parked in the poorly lit garage and went into the downstairs lobby (there's no elevator). The flooring was old and stained, the grippy-strips at the edge of the risers were wearing off, and half of the skylights were covered over with debris.

I wandered up the steps - they're a 1960s fantasia of modernist purity... but with more dirt - and found his office at the top of the stairs. All 180 sf of his office.

Seriously, my cubicle working with Oldsmobile was bigger than this guy's entire office.

I sat down, and he proceeded to tell me all about what he does. He brought out bunches of drawings, and noted that - since I'd worked on residential projects - my drawings sets were probably smaller than what he was used to.


I looked at one of the residential sets he's producing, and calmly informed him that his whole set was about the size of the interior elevations sheets I produced. That surprised him. I smiled and told him that the houses I'd worked on had been on the order of $300+ per square foot, construction cost-wise, so there was extensive detailing. He agreed that one of the CAD drawings I'd sent him (an example of previous work) did seem to have a lot of details for just a house.

We sat and chatted a bit about my experience, and then we got down to brass tacks: money, honey.

The guy offered me $(X - 5) dollars: much less than the retail fabric company. He said he could bump it up to $(X-4)/hour if I proved to be a hard worker.

I was tempted to get up and walk out, right then. I haven't worked for that little money since I was 21 and working for the summer at a huge firm, when I had zero experience. I'm not about to settle for that now.

Awkwardly enough, we were also having the job interview in his one-room office while his other employee (and some random girl from down the hall who was using his internet?) listened in. I think he was surprised when, after he asked if everything sounded good, I informed him that the one thing that didn't sound good was the hourly pay.

Note to my readers: I have never spoken up and demanded more money in my life. Ever.

He asked me for a number I could live with, and I told him what my base would be. It is $(X-2)/hour.

He then went into a spiel about how he didn't know anything about my work habits, etc. and he was reluctant to pay me higher based on that.

I could get him recommendations, I replied. Multiple recommendations.

So now, we've each retreated to our little corners and are considering things (his corner is his office... and it's literally a corner. My corner is my apartment). He asked me if I'd be content with working for his lower offer for a couple of weeks, and then he'd raise my pay.

I initially said I would, but here's the problem: if I do that, I risk him deciding in two weeks that he won't pay me the higher wage, and by then, I'd have refused the other two jobs (I only have a couple of days to decide this). He could decide that I'm not producing enough work, or come back and tell me that he's just run the numbers and he simply can't afford to increase my pay.

And then, I'm stuck with him.

So, right now, I'm tempted to just accept the job for $X and make a lot more money working part time than I would be working for the architectural drawing guy. Plus, I'd be in a more vibrant atmosphere, doing something I love: playing with fabric samples.


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