Sunday, March 21, 2010
One-Upped By the Lawnmower Repairman
When I took my lawnmower to be repaired I noticed a big orange sign on the wall by the front counter at the lawnmower repair shop. It informed me that effective immediately the lawnmower repairman had raised his hourly rates. I was shocked to realize that this man, who is incapable of speaking a single grammatical sentence, incapable of spelling (“efective immediatly”), incapable of wearing a belt to keep his pants up, and incapable of tying his shoes is now earning more per hour than I, with my hoity-toity master’s degree and fifteen years of experience in my chosen field. Yet I am dependent on his mechanical wizardry, and he is thoroughly magic when it comes to repairing a lawnmower, which I need to mow the little bit of grass I have permitted to participate in my yard. He’s also a decent and friendly man, so shame on me for dissing him. But what is wrong with this picture? Why did I labor in college all those years; why do I work so hard, literally wracking my brains every week, to barely earn enough to pay my bills; when this man, who didn’t even finish high school, is earning more than I am for an hour’s work banging around with metal parts and oil? And I have had prospective clients pass on hiring me because they say they can’t afford my rates. Which are reasonable and match the market rate. Crazy. Too bad I have no interest in repairing lawnmowers. I bet those prospective clients who turn away from me are still getting their lawnmowers repaired.