Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Privilege of Doing It

A scientist comes up to me after I discuss how writers never get paid very much because, it's said, just being published is pay enough, and it's a privilege to be a writer and I should be satisfied with that. . .She said to me, "I was a researcher and never got paid very much -- because just getting to do my research was, they thought, compensation enough. . ."

Surprised, I told her I thought all science people really raked in the cash with those grants.

Oh, no, she said. Post-docs, researchers, all sorts of people, they aren't paid very much.

I said, They also exploit young people. Because they're young, employers think they don't have to pay much.

She said, They do it to journalists, too. I said Yes, I know; I worked at a newspaper where goodies like circus tickets were supposed to compensate for pathetic paychecks.

Now I wonder: In how many professions are skilled and dedicated workers being b.s.'ed that they shouldn't be well paid because they have "the privilege of doing it." And like fools we believe and profess and accept that! What a wonderful scam!

(Winner of the June 2008 Artificial Difficulty Award!)

1 comment:

  1. So true. But as long as young people are dying for real-world experience and an opportunity to make a name for themselves in fields that they love, it will always be this way.

    There will always be young, hungry, talented interns who don't need much to survive. What is to become of the rest of us?