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So many things go into what really matters, namely your - paycheck at the end of the period...

Posted: Jan 13th, 2018 - 8:04 am In Reply to: Does anyone have any tips to calculate who is actually paying the most? - Looking for Work

Start with what defines "a line" (or "a page" etc in some cases). There are about four different definitions floating around out there, and variations on those. One of the myriad ways that AHDI has proven utterly worthless to MTs is enforcing any kind of standard on what defines the unit of production.

Then, there's work availability. What you make is the PRODUCT of line rate and lines produced. If you're not working, the second item in the equation is zero, and as we remember from grade school math, anything times zero is zero. They could pay you a million dollars per line, and you still make $zero when you're out of work.

Then, there are other elements that impact productivity (the second item in that equation mentioned above), from the type of work to the percentage of rotten dictators to the "nonproduction work" you have to do in a report, and even the platform itself, as well as whether you do or do not get reports that involve importing normals (assuming you're paid for them).

To say nothing of conference calls, emails you're supposed to keep up with, printing out the flood of "revised" client requirements, etc.

...and I haven't even mentioned convoluted "production/quality bonus" programs that wind up paying almost no one anything, the differences in benefits packages, or the differences in the way that PTO is calculated.

I've frequently advised people to try to distill all the variables that directly impact a paycheck (as opposed to benefits, etc.) down into a SINGLE SIMPLE QUESTION they should ask each prospective employer:

"Considering just your experienced full-time people, how much do they typically earn per pay period?" (If you're PT, you can break this down into an average hourly wage, but you want the FT earnings which accounts for out-of-work situations as well.)

It seems like such a simple question. It would certainly be one that I would know if I ran a transcription company (and made it my business to know when I managed a transcription company's local office).


The last time I was looking for work, I interviewed with, if I remember, 4 companies. I'd passed their tests, they'd looked at my qualifications and references, and we were down to the final interview, discussing their employment offer.

I asked my question, of course. Not one of them could answer it, and in fact a couple seemed put off or nonplussed, even irritated, that I asked it.

I explained that this is the ONE number that distills all of the many variables in their job down to what a person could reasonably expect to make with their company once they've got their feet under them, but they STILL seemed to think that the question was odd, or perhaps even inappropriate. It was pretty obvious they'd never been asked the question before.

You run a company, you make out the paychecks, but you don't know what, on average, your production people are earning per hour. I bet you could tell me what your clerical staff, technical people, and other wage/salaried employees are making!

So is it that they really don't know, or that they don't want to know...or do they know and don't care to say because they're afraid you won't want to work for them?

I don't know. Maybe some of "all the above."

Bottom line - trying to figure out what you're actually likely to make actually working with one company versus another in this business has become a fool's errand. A mug's game. You're just chasing smoke in the wind.

Alternatively, write the names of the companies you're considering on a piece of paper and put it in the bottom of your parrot's cage. Last name to survive the parrot bombs gets your vote. And if they all get hit with one great splat, well...that's kind of a metaphor for how it is in this game anymore. These companies are all crap.

(Eenie-meenie is always a last resort, and about as good as anything else.)

Good luck!


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