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What’s the going rate for that?

March 10th, 2010 . by Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)

I have a particular skill or bit of experience that is neither widely-held nor widely-sought. Before you all start speculating (“It’s that thing he does with his tongue!”), I’m not going to talk about the what. For the sake of argument, let’s just say I knit yak hair into festive tea cozies.

Let’s go further and say that there may be a few dozen people on earth who have as much experience knitting yak-hair cozies as I do.

Approximately 99.98% (±0.02%) of the time this has no bearing on my life.

About two weeks ago, I was contacted out of the blue by a recruiter looking for a yak-hair-cozy-knitter. No foolin’.

The job, in many ways, is the opposite of what I’d want: the position is not local, the job is not guaranteed to be permanent, the housing market sucks, and I haven’t dealt with yak hair in a while.

On the flip side, with enough money a lot of those issues get solved. With a fuck-ton of money the rest don’t matter.

The list of what I won’t do for money is pretty much limited to:

  1. Risk the life or health of myself or my loved-ones.
  2. Behave immorally.

The thing is, I have no idea what people pay for this skill. It doesn’t exactly show up in salary guides. Hell, most people give you a blank stare when you try to explain why someone would want a yak-hair tea cozy.

Compounding this dilemma is the fact that the recruiter is an information gate between me and the people that want the tea cozies, and one that is economically motivated to low-ball me. The more they can get from their client and the less they pay me, the more profit they take in. They want to sell the client a expert who knows yak hair backwards and forwards, but they’ve got good reasons to offer the expert as little as the expert will accept.

Their initial offer would be good money if I wasn’t looking at traveling or relocating my family out of my own pocket. With those caveats, not so much.

It really comes down to Tim’s philosophy as expressed on a past TANcast: if you’re going to give me a million dollars to have your way with me, you pay for my travel.

I think I’m going to ask for a fuck-ton and see what they do.

7 Responses to “What’s the going rate for that?”

  1. Mysterious Matt (TANcast's #1 Mysterious fan) Says:

    Andy, do you make prestige quilts? I hear that they go for obscene amounts.

  2. Geoff Says:

    Dude, go for the big bucks!

  3. Andy Says:

    No, Matt, I make yak-hair tea cozies.

    Geoff, it is done. They upped the “lots” offer by 25% this morning, which gets into “a ton” range. I just asked for 30% more than that (62.5% overall increase over first offer), which, for this middle-class boy at least, officially gets to “fuck-ton”. Now we see if they accept or if this was all just an interesting experiment.

  4. Geoff Says:

    Good luck Andy!

  5. Logan Says:

    Good luck man. Yeah I would have asked for a fuck ton of money if I have to move my family and they came to you with the offer. If your currently working then you have nothing to loose by playing the game.

    Good luck, and hope the best for you.

  6. Andy Says:

    The recruiter emailed me this morning to decline my counter offer…

    … then they called me half an hour later to say they rethought things.

    Now I just have to convince their client they want me, decide I really want to do this, work out the logistics with my wife, …

  7. Dean Says:

    OK, if this works out, it sounds like an interesting blog series from the Mysterious One…

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