By compguy - 25/02/2010 15:39 - United States

Today, I applied and was accepted for a part-time network engineering position. Being contract work they asked me what I charge. I replied, "$12 an hour." After a look of surprise they accepted me for the position and said, "Our last guy charged $200 an hour, you're a bargain." FML
I agree, your life sucks 17 618
You deserved it 34 894

Same thing different taste

Top comments

How do you be in a position like that and not know how much your competitors are charging?

what the hell do you do that $200/hour is an acceptable pay rate? I need to get into that field


Yeah, so? You charge $12 and they're happy to pay it. Jeeze.

Today, I got what I asked for at my new job. FML.

... the problem here is that he could have multiplied what he may be getting now, and raised it to 100 or 150 dollars. If you don't realize this... then FYL for being so ignorant.

forget that job, chalk it up to a lesson learned and look for another gig. otherwise if you stay there, you'll never hear the end of snickering behind your back and you'll never have any true friends there b/c everyone will know what a dumbass you are for undercutting yourself

You made the mistake of speaking before you knew what the market price was. When they ask what you charge, ALWAYS ask what they think is fair. That gives you a base to negotiate from. Do yourself a favor. Never buy a new car. You'll end up posting another FML.

I have to agree with 49. Great advice. I couldn't live on $12 an hour anyway, especially part-time. Tell them that's your probationary price and if they like your work, ask for $100. Still a bargain for them and a big raise for you.

Atleast you know you are only worth 12 bucks

TempestJones 0

So OP is obviously new to self contract work... OP when your an independent contractor, always have an idea of what others in your field and area are charging so you don't sell yourself short. If that is not possible, and a potential employer asks you what you charge, just reply with something along the lines of "I charge a fair price, but I'd like to know what you have paid others in the past first and we can negotiate a price we can both agree upon." Then things like that wouldn't happen.

49's right; if you had no idea about the going rate then it's your fault and YDI... That's like paying £40 for a game when you could have picked it up in a bargain bin for £5

this fml is fake. anyone that is a networking engineer is well aware of company standard wages. One would not pay 30 grand(bare minimum) for a college education, and get out expecting a wage you can get with a GED.

First rule of negotiation: never be the first to use a number. And salary is almost always a negotiation.

xHabsfanx 0

#70 is dead on. I am a network engineer and believe me, EVERYONE training for this position knows what they make. That's why people choose this line of work. I'm not a self-contractor, but there's no way anyone is going to pay $200/hr for a Network Engineer's services around here (and I live in the Silicon Valley). Our engineers are salaried

malafacaeous 0

Thankyou relyo those were my thoughts exactly!!!

malafacaeous 0

Oh and just so were clear it was your own fault and maybe you should take a class on common sense an then go to another state and look for a job there isn't any in that one that will hire you for less than 12 now!! FYL

Asking what they think is fair is an invitation to be undercut, especially in I.T. I learned this the hard way in a client meeting where I backed myself into a corner by saying "whatever your last company was charging we try to either match it or beat it". You can guess what happened next. So what did your last company charge you for I.T./database development work? I asked. "$25 an hour" was the response I got. The moral of the story is this. You need to learn the market value and the only way to learn it is by learning the hard way. I learned it the hard way and most other people do too. This is the best thing that could have happened to him.

Kockdiesel 0

you could have been gettin PAID! you that don't understand why he felt this is a FML are morons.

tweetbaby14 18

how is this a fml? you asked for $12 an hour that's what your getting boohoo

cucuto89 0

I call bull

Reyo 2

It always helps to know the market bro.

It says on the comment rules: " Please don't post any comments which question the validity of an FML (accusing the original poster of submitting a fake story, or arguing that an anecdote is "not FML worthy" or "even "not an FML" based solely on your own personal intuition or opinion isn't very fair. Furthermore, it ruins the other users' reading experience)."

The amount of work he is putting in is worth more than the rate he is charging. He is losing money...

It sucks, but everyone qualified for this position knows we make a hell of a lot more than $12 an hour, so he deserves it.

what are you an illegal alien contract worker ? if so ydi for not having papers. identity theft is easy dude.

blakesinthelake 11

Say I left out a 0, I meant $120

evolutionsfox 0

ouch, 12 an hour isn't bad though. could have been alot worse

A lot worse? Surely it's hardly above minimum wage? Over here it's something like £6.50 an hour, which is around $10.

hoolie06 0

Minimum wage in Michigan is $7.40/hr.

the minimum wage isn't £6.50 an hour. If you're 16-17 it's £3.50 or something and over 21 is about £5.20

tell them 150$ or you won't do it. your worth 200$ to them so 150$ would still be good

He will lose the job, period. He negotiated the price, now he is stuck with it if he has already signed the contract. Any attempt to raise it now will probably just get ignored.. you are under contract after all. Simple tips on applying for a job.... 1. Know the market and what it pays for your experience. Example.. The CCIE WAN/LAN guy with 10 - 20 years experience may make 120k a year, but you aren't going to with your CCNA and 6 months on the job. You put out a number without doing your research... that is your bad. It sucks, but it's still on you for not doing your homework. 200 an hour is 384k a year.... I will bet my left ventricle that there are less than 2% of NE's out there making that salary that aren't in management positions. Temp work, could be temp for hire work in this case, is NOT management. 2. Salary/Hourly wages are always negotiable. When you put a number out there first, you will most likely be offered exactly that or LESS, because they know what you will work for. When they offer first, they are usually expecting you to negotiate higher. 3. Benefits can often be sacrificed for more pay. Depends on the company, but many will work with you if they are small. 4. Contract work? Is the a NE position that is mostly cabling and termination of CAT V, CAT VI, and Fiber plus a bunch of patching? NE positions run from cable dog to infrastructure design and implementation to network security. This is a short term contract.. I bet you are being hired on to do patch panel work during an upgrade. Going rate around here for that work is about 25 an hour. Once you get into support and maintenance of the infrastructure, you start taking 40+ around here. You have a job... You won't get large raises there if they do keep you unless they are a very rare type of company. To get away from that you are going to have to move out to move up... Don't know if your next company can ask your prior salary anymore... That could come back to bite you if they can.

This is why you aim higher then bargin it down. I always put a higher amount that I want but $200 sounds pretty high.

what the hell do you do that $200/hour is an acceptable pay rate? I need to get into that field

i said "what do you do," not "what is your career?"

xHabsfanx 0

He's a male stripper duh. Didn't you read the fml?

flurffmeister 0

so, Enoch, that works out to what? $5? 

#8 - it's not all that excessive in a job where you're a trained professional providing specialist service on contract (I'm not up on the detail of what Network Engineers do, I'm just speaking generally). Think of it this way. If you do a job where you're not needed for long periods, and work in small bursts, then your rate for the time you work has to be enough to cover the downtime. In a way the client is paying for you to be available on call as much as they are for the time you're there. Also, most people working like this are self-employed, so they have to pay for all the costs a regular worker doesn't. That said, you do this sort of thing so you can have a better life than if you worked a normal job. I'm not saying if you subtract the expenses and divide up the income it should come out to minimum wage. If it did, there'd be no point in all the training and risk. If someone does well out of it, good luck to them for stepping up.

My company ****** me out for a lot more than $200 / hour. When I'm on an assignment at a client site, if I can get my stuff done in 40 hours or less, they charge $250 / hour. If I have to go over 40, then it increases from there. (And yes, I'm a network engineer.) Now, of course, the part of that which I take home.... not even close.

about 1/3 right?? Most companies that are doing contracting do about that. 1/3 to cover the wages, 1/3 to cover overhead (non contract employees like secretaries, etc.) 1/3 to cover benefits.

BaDumTsss_fml 23

200 dollars an hour? thts freaking ridiculous for have a job in trades

Obviously you have no clue how much a contract Network Engineer charges. At $12/hour, I would not let you near any of my equipment.

NiceGuysDoWin 21

Agreed. If a network engineer was applying for a position with my company, and asked $12 per hour, I wouldn't trust him to know what he was doing.