People are Funny About Money, Honey
I received an e-mail a few weeks back that I put in my "I'll deal with this later" file.
Usually that means it will stay in my Inbox until I do some feng shui deleting. Or I'll do it never. It's 50-50.
Anyway, I found it. It was from someone who works at Toronto Life magazine.
"Rebecca," it began. "We're conducting a salary survey of prominent and interesting Torontonians. The results will be published in our next issue and blah, blah, blah..We wondered if you would be willing to tell us how much you earned in 2005 blah blah blah Please let me know if you're interested in participating."
My first thought was, "Hey, thanks for thinking I'm such a prominent and interesting Torontonian, even though I don't really consider myself a Torontonian anymore."
A few years back, Toronto Life asked me the same question. A few years back, I was kind of incredibly stupid and gave them an answer. I thought, "Well, I'm a journalist and always asking people intimate details of their personal life, and I expect them to answer. So I should."
Well, the shit hit the proverbial fan. Actually, the shit hit the fan at the newspaper where I used to work. Apparently, after I disclosed how much I was making, the poor higher ups were accosted by other staff asking to be paid more.
Was I being paid too much? Absolutely....not. Why would anyone ever think they were being paid too much?
Only journalists (and teachers and nurses - who I do believe are paid way too little) would ever think I was being paid too much. I can tell you most lawyers, basketball players, rock stars, Simon Cowell, the cast of Friends, would have looked at what I was being paid and thought I was close to being on welfare.
Like every one else in the world, I always think I'm being paid too little. Even the cast of Friends thought they were being too little. Do I think journalists are paid too little? Maybe. For example, the freelance rate has remained the same - $1 a word - since, I think, the 1800s.
Anyway, I thought about sending Toronto Life back an answer this time: "I made $500,000 in 2005, give or take."
Ha ha! I can't believe you actually thought that was true! I'm a writer, in Canada, for goodness sake!
The truth is, it would be very hard to tell anyone how much I made in 2005. I was making a salary, I also had a few book deals, which pay out in installments, and Knocked Up, my first book, sold in a couple more countries, and some of those deals came in, I think, and you know, I do some freelance work, but that depends on month to month.
All I know is that I do believe I work quite hard. I mean, it's hard work making it seem like what I do is not hard work. If you know what I mean.
All I know is that if I wanted to, I could have bought that Coach purse, and probably not thought twice about it. And, no, this has nada to do with The Fiance. I'm talking about my money, honey, the money that I've made.
And since it's a few years later, and I'm not as incredibly stupid as a few years abck, I would never have answered.
Who the heck is stupid enough to answer such a personal question? I guess I'll find out next month. I can hardly wait.