Topic Author
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Germany - A Country With High Wage Costs? Pah!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:35 pm

*rant modus on*

As some of you may know, I have worked as a freelance multimedia producer, college lecturer and author for the last six or seven years. It worked quite well so far (and still does) but I had some negotiations or talks with potential clients on the phone lately that really cracked me up.

Case 1: A big player among German telephone/ISP companies:
Caller: "We want you to design a number of Flash online games for our new portal ..."
Me: "Great, thank you ... appreciated."
Caller: "It's very important that the games attract pupils aged 11 - 14, that they are truly unique and have more than only one level."
Me: "Uh ... ok ..."
Caller: "However, we dont want to buy the games but merely want to rent them."
Me: "That's how other companies do it, too. And big companies usually already have a detailled idea on how much they want to pay."
Caller: "Right. That would be EUR 100.- per month and game we actually use."
Me: "Errr ... and how long do you plan to use each game ... if you are going to use it?"
Caller: "Well, one month."
Me: "Sorry, no deal."

// ------------------------

Case 2: A privately held college wanted me as a fulltime college lecturer for one month. Payment: EUR 2,400 plus VAT. Again: No deal.

// ------------------------

Case 3: Another privately held college asked me to write a concept and the instruction material for a specific course.
According to the contract they wanted me to sign, the college would be the owner of the copyright and entitled to make as many copies of the instruction material without paying royalties. The college would try to sell my work to other colleges and if they succeed, they would pay me 8% of their proceeds. Changes they make, no matter how small, would further reduce my royalties. With the third change my right to receive royalties would expire.
I said, if I understood him correctly, he basically wants a free concept and free instruction material for his college, and if he actually manages to sell some copies, he may pay me some cents - as long as he didn't do some minor modifikations before.

*rant modus off*

Now please tell me: Am I crazy or or are they? If you are self-employeed: did you have similar experiences? I know, unemployment is high here, but still ... peanuts are for monkeys, not professionals.

[Edited 2005-01-20 14:40:15]

[Edited 2005-01-20 14:41:32]
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RE: Germany - A Country With High Wage Costs? Pah!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:57 pm

I used to own a school that trained Aircraft Dispatchers. Here in the US that is a license very much like the Airline Transport Pilot license, only you don't actually have to know how to fly the plane. FAA course length minimum 198 hours, mine came in at 216 hours because it had a reality upgrade above the FAA mandate.

One college wanted to build an Aviation department and asked me if I would sell them my course, either as a franchise or merely sell them the shell. I put together a proposal for them that was adequate for me, as I'd already done the work, and was making a profit from it, but it was a very good deal for them.

I proposed to put my entire course, the FAA-accepted outline, the syllabus, lesson plans, student handbooks, book and accesory list, written tests, the integrated sample flight plan and weather packages, everything on their letterhead. I would fly to their state and walk the entire package through acceptance with their FAA office, and I would stay a week to train the trainers. All of this for $6000 US. As I said, most of the work had been done on my part. They declined.

If the professor I talked was the person in charge of getting the course up and running did the work himself, it would have consumed more than that in his wages alone, and during that time he would not have been able to do the work for which he was actually employed.

If they actually wanted the course, I think they were foolish in not accepting my proposal. I do not work that cheap anymore.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
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RE: Germany - A Country With High Wage Costs? Pah!

Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:02 am

What´s wrong with deal #2? Good advertising and guaranteed income for a month?
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
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RE: Germany - A Country With High Wage Costs? Pah!

Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:20 am

Three words (that piss me off) for you:


(it's the slogan of the single most idiotic ad campaign I've ever seen: "Stinginess is wicked!!!")

It's a shame this ever got to be a business model, more and more people want quality but don't think they have to pay for it. I hope it's going to stop before everyone is so "wicked" they just start stealing.

Although they probably are already, in the sense of stealing the quality of life from thousands of sweat-shop workers all around the globe.
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RE: Germany - A Country With High Wage Costs? Pah!

Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:29 am


The problem is the same I would have as a freelance aircraft maintenace contractor: That I would have to pay income taxes on it (which would be up to 50%) and that I would have to earn enough to put some aside in case I can´t find a job for a while. Also, I wouldhave to pay ALL insurances (pension, health= out of it myself, without an employer chipping in.
Don´t expect those Euro 2400,- to be take home money.

Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
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RE: Germany - A Country With High Wage Costs? Pah!

Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:39 am

I do salaries for +100 people here so I know how the "add ons" works, still don´t think this deal
stinks so much, one month is a short period and for a longer contract the sum
should get up (note the word advertising).
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
Topic Author
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RE: Germany - A Country With High Wage Costs? Pah!

Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:41 pm

Alessandro, I have been a freelance college lecturer for the last 5 or 6 years and usually earned twice as much or more.
As for advertising: That's what my books are for.  Smile
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