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Archive for September 20th, 2007

Putting pay in perspective

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

So, a superintendent and I were talking this afternoon, and he joked that with the money a new proposal would save, maybe he could convince the board to reallocate more money to his salary. He joked that he and I could split the $100K. Which, I of course replied was tempting, but — knowing his salary — I told him he didn’t really need a salary hike. He has a pretty good gig.

He joked that maybe he should just get a job as a part-time reporter to supplement his income. I told him it wasn’t nearly lucrative enough to be worth it for him. Hard work, crappy hours, crabby sources. ;) lol.

This led to a discussion at which he made the comment that, “I bet on a per-hour basis, you (as in me, Meranda) probably make more than me.” I almost died of laughter, and informed him I really don’t think he knows how poorly journalism pays, especially the newbies.

But he challenged me to calculate it. So I did.

Using his salary and my standard per-hour wage — if I worked only 40 hours a week, which I almost never do, it’s probably closer to 50 on average so it’s actually less — I determined that he would have to work 187+ hours each week to make the same rate.

There are only 168 hours in an entire week.

At his salary, it is physically impossible for him to make as little as me. And he’s not even one of the best compensated ones in this area. Plus this says nothing of his vacation, retirement and other perks. Granted he has a Ph.D. and way more experience and licenses than I do or even than I ever aspire to, but still. Puts things in perspective.

I wasn’t surprised by the finding, and it doesn’t change my commitment to journalism. I just thought it was really funny. He severely underestimates both the amount of work I put in each week and how much I’m actually compensated for it. So I think it put it in perspective for him, too.