The other day I got my hair cut. I had been to this girl, before, and knew that she was skilled. I had confidence in her abilities. I contacted her about arranging an appointment, got directions to her house and proceeded to enjoy the service.
All, in all, it took about forty minutes for the wash, cut, dry. She asked if I wanted to leave my hair curly. Never. I hate accentuating the natural curl factor. I prefer my hair straightened.
I couldn't remember exactly what she charged and when she said, $50, I was a little taken aback. Mostly, since she was working out of her house. I drove there and everything went directly to her. Plus, I tipped, too. Of course, I did. It is a service and I enjoyed it.
I called Jan and mentioned that I was uncertain about if I felt she was worth her rate. As I was trying to explain it, my phone broke up and the conversation ended. When we reconnected, I had already reconsidered my thoughts on the matter. This woman knew her worth and should charge $50. I am happy with the cut and in the future if I do not want to pay that amount, I have the option of finding a new stylist. That opens an entirely different set of problems and possibilities. I am finicky when it comes to my hair. I will stick with Jill and her rate. I trust her and that is what is important to me. And, again, she knows her worth.
Ironically, I was given the opportunity to assess my worth two days later. There was a wedding in Mexico and they needed a bartender. They contacted my friends who thought of me and gave me the woman's contact information. I e-mailed her after trying to figure out what I should charge for my services. I didn't know how long the event was which was an issue for me. Working five hours for x amount of dollars is different than working ten hours. I figured the reception would be around six hours. I factored in the set up/take down of event and the reception itself. I am confident that I would be able to provide an excellent experience with little assistance from the wedding party.
My friends said, just charge $100. That would barely cover the cost of gas. Of course the beach is enticing, but for once, logic prevailed. I am not going to put myself in a position to sell myself for free. Especially for people that I do not know or have any association with.
I sought out the opinions of others in the service industry that I value. They all suggested that my time was money and so that I should consider that before deciding on a rate.
I composed an e-mail detailing my experience with caterings and the service industry. I told her what my rate would be and that if it was agreeable to please let me know so that I could make arrangements to drive down. I mentioned attire and closed with looking forward to meeting her and being part of the celebration.
I waited to hear back. Eventually, I had errands to run and a yoga class. Later, my friend called me and said, yea, I don't think she is going to hire you. She called Derek and asked about someone that would be more affordable.
Keep in mind...the wedding is Saturday. She waited until Tuesday to figure out a bartender for the reception. She e-mailed my friends hoping they would lend her one of their employees for cheap. I don't know anyone that would sacrifice guaranteed money to work a wedding party or any event for that matter for less than what they typically earn on a Saturday night. She was hoping to not have to value this service in the financial sense.
Ultimately, you get what you pay for. I am disappointed that it didn't happen, but, realistically, this woman does not sound like someone that I would want to work for. She re-involved my friends after I had contacted her directly. They didn't want to be the go-between which is why they gave me her information. That, alone, is lame and unprofessional.
I value myself and my abilities. The lesson of the hair cut came back to slap me in the face, really. Of course, Jill has worth which is what I grasped onto myself. Unwilling to settle for the $100 to make someone get off easy. Yes, you do get what you pay for.....