Posted by: steveonfilm | February 20, 2012

What You’re Worth

“Now you’re being paid what you’re worth.”

It was an odd phrase to hear.

On the one hand I understand the sentiment intended by the comment. We got lucky with you. We got far more out of you than the salary we offered for your technical job description. We’re now paying you what you should be earning so you don’t leave and go somewhere else. Welcome to the club of important people.

On the other hand it’s odd that there is a numerical value associated with who I am. That my skills can be boiled down to a spreadsheet, each with their own fiscal value. That my talents equate to a specific monetary amount. That I have a “worth.”

I’m happy about the hard work I’ve done at my job. I’m satisfied with what I’ve been able to accomplish. I’m secure with the financial position it’s allowed me to be in. But it’s still a reminder that employees are still considered a cost. That everyone has some sort of “worth.”

I wonder if professional screenwriters feel the same way. Do they base their “worth” on how much they’re paid? How much box office they pull in? Is there a difference between a pro that writes a small budget horror film and a big budget tent pole? Is there a difference other than the number on the check they receive? I’m sure the answer to those questions is… yes.

It’s a weird world that we live in. Most of the time I’m completely oblivious to that fact. But sometimes all it takes is seven little worlds to crash that wall of security I’ve got wrapped around myself.

Keep writing,
-Steve

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