"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Kind Of Clients That Disgust Me

Over the weekend I met for a consult with a young woman for the work that I write about here. She was/is looking for a lower fee than the standard and there are a handful of us who will do this. Mostly those that will take a lower fee do so because they are going for certification and aren't sure how else to get experience and frankly they do not realize the costs involved to themselves and just don't have a business-head. I interviewed for this position at a lower fee than the standard but not at a no-fee or just to "cover my expenses" as many people nowadays think is the catch phrase to get someone who does what I do on the cheap.

As I sat there in this huge apartment that was 10 times the size of my own, with new furniture
all around me, a huge flat screen television, in a building on the water with a doorman with a
view of the city and listened to this woman tell me that "that's why she is interviewing people like me who have had one or two jobs ( I have had 5 as of this month mind you) who want the experience, because she just can't see paying the standard fee. Money is tight and even if she had it she wouldn't pay it."

She didn't think twice about saying that to my face. She was asking for a huge price cut in my services that she basically admitted that she didn't see the value me.

This is the kind of potential client that really ticks me off. As I listened to her spout off how she could handle her birth by herself but she felt she would do better with someone who does what I do, with her, I just thought to myself, lady you have NO idea what you are up against. It just ain't that simple. It should be but the reality is different.

Let me explain to all of you just how much rent that chick is probably paying if it is a rental building and not a co-op or condo. At the very least that rent is $3000 a month and quite possibly more. YES THAT IS THE U.N. building you are seeing.

And if people like she have it her way she will keep that kind of place on the backbone of people like myself. No thank you! Not going to happen.

I hope that the women who are training now will start to rethink the kinds of jobs they do and for whom they will do a lower cost job most strongly and stringantly. I hope the trainers will start to teach about this part of the work we do and not just the actual hands-on work because it is just as important.

There are women out there that are truly struggling who need someone like me to come in and work with them at an affordable fee. But that's where that lower fee should end. PERIOD!

The standard cost of living in NYC is extremely high. To fill up my gas tank, my little Nissan Versa is more than $45. The subway is $2 a trip. A cab is more than $2 just to open the door and for what I do often a cab is necessary due to the late night hours and long hours we work straight. If you are lucky you can find a place without needing roommates for $1300 a month but nowadays its at least $1500 and that is way out from the city in a small place. ConEd (electricity) is $50 a month without turning your air-conditioner on. Need I go on and on here?

My training cost me $600 without the books, the association fees plus my time. I hear that other trainers charge much much more.

My experience and knowledge keeps a woman away from c-sections and other unnecessary procedures saving tons of money and giving emotional support. I and my colleagues save women weeks of excrutiating pain and recovery, which translate into money lost at jobs and nowadays insurance companies dropping those who have had c-sections.
No one thinks to make a doctor justify their knowledge, schooling, or fees. I honestly don't understand the ignorance that devalues what I and my colleagues do. When study after study for 30 years show how working with us ends up in a safer better birth.

But she just wouldn't pay it if she had it. OK. Best of luck to you. With the national c-section rate almost 50% I wish you the best of luck.


Babs (Beetle) said...

I'm not sure what, exactly, you do but I wholeheartedly agree with what you say. It's the big man making money off the backs of the smaller man's hard work! In my eyes that makes them cheap! Everybody is worth a fair wage for their work.

leezee52 said...

You need to get paid what your rate is...that's it.

Da Old Man said...

It's a shame that some rich b**** just decides to shop around for price with something so important. I would imagine she would positively explode if anyone ever devalued the work she or her significant other does.
It's kind when you help out someone who is strapped, but hell with anyone who can obviously afford it, and is trying to beat you down on the price.
Try not to be bitter, jerks come in all income brackets.

Lauren said...

Babs, Answered you on your blog about what I do. I agree, I am totally worth a fair wage!

Lee- AGREED! And i won't compromise. Trouble is that many newer trained D's are the sweetest things but business-head STUPID and they screw it up for the rest of us. I wish I could write more but I do have to work in this field.

D.O.M. - It's so gonna be her mistake! And a big one too. I was great on my first job but I also already have a holistic practitioner's background. Many really do not have a good understanding of the actual job until you do about 2-3 and then ther reality kicks in and what you need to offer your clients etc...starts to happen. And because of this it does devalue the service to the rest of us.

I am not bitter. Just know my worth and needed to get it out of me. I can't really discuss to boldly within the community because those that are supposed to be supportive are the same ones who try to make me feel that I somehow don't do this for the love of it by making these statements and of course are usually the ones getting three jobs a month. If I am bitter at someone at all I am bitter at them!

Have to go read your blogs in the next few days. Am working so much this week and on call. Have had my posts set for a week ahead of time and am only spending time on my comments this week. Will visit you soon. Promise!

Bryan said...

then just walk out and don't accept the job. she's entitled to her own opinion even if you think she's wrong. maybe she's staying in someone else's house ... maybe she's overextended and too embarassed to admit .. maybe alot of things but in the end if you won't work for what she was willing to pay, then just move on and let it go.