I have been wondering whether or not I should write this post but now that the question is burning a hole in my mind, how can I not? At least let me rant a bit.
Anyway, some time ago, mom told me this fact about another guy working for the same company we are currently working for. This guy gets paid $0.70 per word translated into Russian. Yet, we are only getting paid $0.05 per word we translate into Chinese. How is that even fair? Chinese is as tough of a language as Russian, how come we are getting paid so much less? Is it competition? Or is the company underpaying us?
Mom often says that it’s because Chinese work ethics. They are often willing to work for lower wages if it meant they have the job. Still, though, this is not China. Doesn’t that mean that we should get paid fairly?
Oh, I almost forgot another thing. A few weeks ago, I agreed to a last minute live interpretation assignment. The company agreed to pay me 10 hours no matter how many hours I worked. When they found out I only did 8 hours, they immediately slashed 2 hours! I was speechless at that point. Inside, I was thinking like but you told me the terms! How can you change it now?!
It made me very angry and frustrated but apparently I wasn’t the only one. Two weeks ago, the company sent mom a quick translation assignment (a death certificate) which mom thought she’d earn some extra quick bucks translating it into Chinese. Here were their email dialogues:
The company: Can you do it in 5 hours?
Mom: 5 hours? That’s $75, reasonable. What about the words?
The company: $0.05
15 minutes later
The company: Can you do it in 2 hours? We’re in a hurry.
You see what I mean? They changes mind faster than even mom! Unbelievable, right?
That’s not all. I’ve saved the best for last. Mom once told me that the people sitting in the office ordering us around, earns $70,000 to $80,000 a year. Doing WHAT? That was my initial reaction. They are just sitting around looking at the computer while we are hard working at home day and night, sometimes even go overtime. How much do we earn? $15 an hour, minus taxes, about $11 or $12 an hour.
I’ve got to admit, it’s still more than minimum wage. I’ll tell you that and the fact that my hours are flexible and I don’t need to drive around. But still, we are both doing the same thing, how come they get paid so much more than us?
(**sigh**) At least it’s better than nothing. At least, it gives me the ability to afford something on my own like getting my own groceries and getting my control over something like the internet. I guess I shouldn’t rant so much about being underpaid. Maybe I should be thankful? Hmm.
Thanks for listening.