Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Cost of Doing Business

About a year ago, the company that I had been working as an independent contractor for four years, picked up and moved offices from 1/2 mile from me to 60 miles away. This was supposed to be a central location for all of us who worked for the company from all over the Bay Area, but it just ended up being far away from everybody rather than just a few of us.

To add insult to injury, at the beginning of the year I was told that in order to continue to work with the company I had to hire on at an hourly rate that was a full $10.50 lower than my former rate. Dedicated employees were expected to make somewhat regular visits to the office (ie. at least once a week), oh and there will be no guarantee of regular hours because salaried employees get first crack.

Enter skyrocketing gas prices and you get the following sickening scenario:

Volvo XC90 (yup, probably should have gone with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid): 17 mpg average
Trip to the office: 121 miles round trip
Price of Gas: We'll go with about $4.60/gallon
Two Hours of unpaid time: 'bout $75

121 miles/17 mpg is about 7 gallons of gas. Factor in a gas price of $4.60 and I've spent about $35 in gas. Add on the $75 of unproductive time and it has now cost me a cool $100 to $110 to get to and from the office.

Now let's look at how much I make while I work. Typically I work from 7:30 until 1:30 to ensure that I miss traffic and get back in time to pick Garrett up by 3:00. At the end of the day I take home a mere $182.50. Subtract the worse case scenario of $110 in cost to me? $72.50. And that is before taxes. After I figure in taxes and wear and tear on my car, poof! I just paid money to walk out the door and have a shitty, stressful day in the office.

Will I be driving up to the office anymore? I'm gonna have to say a big "HELL NO" on that one.

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