The fact that life is tough for IT contractors at the moment is not news anymore because it has been the norm for two or three years now. Having said that, ARN did hear a story recently that indicates just how bad it has become.
The heroine of our tale is a 30-year-old IT service consultant with an eight-year resume filled with successfully completed management projects for multinational organisations such as car giants Nissan and Renault and insurance firm AXA.
Last week, after six months of living off the savings she had amassed, she finally bit the bullet and took a job serving coffee and lunchtime snacks to the clientele of a central Sydney café. She had to invent a resume detailing her hospitality experience to land the job and worked two days without pay while she received ‘on-the-job’ coffee-making training.
Having graduated to the $10/hour ranks of the skilled workforce – a bit of a backward step from the $300/hour it cost to take up her time during her last role — she was told she would only be needed for three hours a day. This meant her wages would cover her train tickets to the city but definitely not her rent, food or shoe fettish.
Losing patience, our heroine made a stand and complained to her boss that she was not earning enough money to live on. Her employer considered this and decided our plucky consultant-cum-waitress could work seven-hour days in future but would have her wages dropped to the princely sum of $9 per hour because her coffee-brewing skills were not up to the required standard.
And the moral of the story is? Next time you are in a café and your cappuccino seems to take forever to arrive, be gracious, because one day it could be you on the other side of the counter. That is how much your skills are valued!n