Monday, December 1, 2008
A Lesson in Salary Negotiation
Only my son has an allowance so far, and it is a pittance. He manages his money and keeps it safely and he thinks about what it might be used for. My daughter is still at the stage where money is good for pretending things--she doesn't care that it's real.
I realize that my kids don't have a lot of opportunities for earning money. There are no house sitting jobs yet, or babysitting, or lawn mowing or paper delivering. But, it is snowy here. So, I thought about it and decided to offer them a job, with the absolutely explicit understanding that sometimes we ask them to do stuff to help out around here and it's not necessarily an earning opportunity for them--they're just to help as an active member of this group--our family. That's crystal clear and I have no expectation of this blowing up in my face in the future. I am being positive, and perhaps a little naive.
In any case, the kids and I entered into a negotiation about pay. How much to shovel both the driveway and the sidewalks? I made the most generous offer of 2 bucks each. My son countered, explaining that it's a big job, with 3 bucks each. I couldn't argue his reasonableness. I will pay them each $3 upon completion.
So, they are now shoveling out front after making snow angels and stomping around the yard for the last hour. In a little bit, they'll come in all rosy cheeked and fresh and proud of their good job and their ability to earn some money.
I wonder how much a load of laundry would cost me...