Monday, September 23, 2013

What is your hourly rate to stay away?

A friend was complaining about a few of his customers, who are real pains.  Nasty, impolite, grumpy, certain they have been cheated, or are about to be.  He was wondering if he could inquire about paying them not to do business with him. "What is your hourly rate?", he planned to ask.  How much do you need to take your business somewhere else?

There was an interesting article the other day on the Wired magazine web site.  Basically, it is about the comments section of web sites, the feedback attempts, being broken.  A common term these days for someone who has only nasty comments is "troll".  There are those who are handicapped by gender, personality or upbringing to be afraid of being anything but negative.  Being negative usually means a minimum of vulnerability.  Being open often feels like more of an invitation to be ridiculed or dismissed.

The idea of having a payroll to meet of those who have qualified for pay to stay away reminds me of 10th grade Latin class where we read Caesar's Gallic Wars.  We learned that Roman legions with experienced soldiers would show up at a Gallic village and informed the inhabitants that the chief of the village's children were to be taken off to Rome as hostages for the next year, at which time, a stated amount of crops or other goods would be due in Rome.  That is more or less what one might call a "protection" racket.  It is more or less a deal whereby we promise not to push your face in if you pay.

There has been some thinking that robots will replace all jobs and that there will be nothing left for people to do.  On the way to that situation, there may be a time when I agree not to gripe or complain or utter profanities on your website in exchange for a small monthly fee.

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