Hourly rate

I’ve been on salaries most of my life. It’s only in the last three years I’ve been on an hourly rate of pay. It changes how you look at things.

With a salary, some months are hard work, some months are plain sailing, some months you’re on holiday. The end of month income is the same. So you look at things in shops and think ‘Do I have the money? Yes? I’ll buy it.’

With an hourly rate of pay it’s different. I now think ‘Would I work an hour for a pack of cigarettes? Would I work 3-4 hours if all that was on offer was a good bottle of posh whisky?’ The latter answer is a definite yes. The former is a meh, if it’s not too hard work, maybe.

There was a gadget shop in town having a sale. A vast TV that would, in my little flat, be impossible to see all at once was on ‘special offer’ for £800. I thought, I’ll have to work about 120 hours to pay for it. I don’t want it that much. I don’t want it at all.

Actually I haven’t watched live TV for about 20 years. I might get one for  the news one day but really it’s not something I care about. I do get a nice feeling from dropping TV licensing notes unopened into recycling and ignoring them when they call. They have apparently started an investigation into me. Have fun with that, guys. I have no TV and don’t give a shit. I’ll let you know if I start to care.

The hourly rate really does put money into perspective though. It makes you relate purchases to hours spent doing work in a way that a fixed salary doesn’t. It’s a good way of thinking, I believe. It’s still with me even though I have the pension money now and it will stay with me even if I do get back to a salary job. It transcends simple money. It’s a thought process that says ‘How long do I have to work to pay for this thing, and do I want it enough to work that hard?’

Look at it that way and most of the things on sale really aren’t worth your effort.



22 thoughts on “Hourly rate

  1. If you have a device capable of receiving bbc iPlayer live streams…and you do. You need to be careful, some of the investigators have been known to lie about things they saw/heard. I know, right!

    I’m not saying pay al ja-beeb-a for a license, just that not having a tv is not sufficient to avoid claims that you don’t need a license.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh they lie. That’s why I ignore them. The law says you need a licence to watch live TV. You can have t5he top of the range TV and only use it to watch DVDs and you don’t need a licence but they will claim your smartphone needs a licence because it could potentially pick up transmissions. They are demanding money with menaces using fraud, and any police they bring with them are accessories to that criminal act. I’m not going to play the ‘freeman on the land’ card, I’ll rip their arses out with statute law.

      And if they think their bosses will admit they told them to lie, hahahaha!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. “Actually I haven’t watched live TV for about 20 years”

    I did that from around the point when I started seriously writing “Brains” in 2003 through the publication of “TobakkoNacht” in 2013 when my brother got me a 42″ flatscreen Vizio.

    I signed up for NetFlix when I got the TV, at $8/month, and I have to admit that I’ve spent a lot of enjoyable relaxation time watching entire multi-year series in concurrent episodes, taking a couple (or more) weeks per series to watch them start to finish. TV is different now than it used to be back in the horse ‘n buggy days when you could just turn on any individual episode and enjoy the little “short story” you were presented with. Today’s series, to differing extents, are often a form of “SuperMovie” — a single huge plot with complex and developing characters and situations all forming a single THING that is anywhere from 50 to 150 hours in length. I’ve actually gotten somewhat turned off to simply watching a regular movie: most of them just seem so shallow since they have so little time in which to develop and finish off a real plot… much less provide any sort of feeling of reality or connection to the characters.

    Watching the shows back to back like that from the comfort of my living room also encouraged me to keep at least a casual tally of Stanton Glantz’s bugaboo (“smoking on TV”) and a comparative tally for drinking and sometimes drug use. Quite revealing! While there have been a few Pay TV (i.e. Showtime, Netflix, AMC, Cinemax etc) series that have shown normal — or even *above* normal in two or three cases — of smoking, the comparison to most shows originally aired on Network (general free broadcast ABC, CBS, NBC etc) shows is amazing.

    “BONES” — a very popular medical murder mystery type series — has aired 220 episodes. Roughly 1,500 instances of alcohol consumption, but just FIVE instances of tobacco consumption… with one of them resulting in the culprit blowing himself up in the decomposing-body-methane-filled outhouse where he lit up and another showing some of the regular cast members walking by outdoor smokers while coughing and fanning themselves for air.

    Hannibal, who regularly chops up and cooks up his victims according to recipes taken from fine French cuisine before serving the repasts to happy guests who gush complements about the delicious meats, is completely child-safe for viewing: not even the merest whisper of smoke polluting its happy and carefree air. Dexter, a somewhat similar show although with a much higher body count and far more interesting gore splattered around, allowed a cute female cop to take a few puffs during its first three seasons, but went into atonement mode thereafter, having her quit her nasty habit and only allowing two characters (a nasty hoarse voiced sleazo motel operator and a child molester who lived under a bridge in a colony of pedophiles) to be shown smoking.

    Leg, while I hesitate to suggest ANYTHING that might distract you from writing more of your delectable stories, you might want to consider looking at 30 to 40″ flatscreens: they’re quite cheap nowadays since the yuppies are all flocking to 50 to 75 inchers with 4K resolution (which is quite pretty eye candy, but totally wasted on anything 40″ or less.) Do you get streaming services like Netflix as cheaply over there? $8 a month for unlimited viewing of just about anything you can imagine is a pretty decent deal. (Well, maybe not ANYthing you can imagine, but probably at least half of just about anything ever produced that you might really WANT to watch.)

    – MJM

    Liked by 2 people

    • Big screens are also brilliant for games play, too.

      Gamers seem to be a lot more resilient to Righteous demands than other groups.

      ‘True Detective’ is proper adult telly. Phenomenal amount of smoking.

      The second season even discusses e-cigarettes


      • And it’s on HBO. It *is* quite odd how the pay services have so largely managed to stand firm against the Antis’ pressure.

        The problem we’re going to see more and more of in the future, now that Glantz has succeeded in cracking the barn door, is rule by blackmail in this whole general smoking-eradication area. People/places/institutions that would never ban it on their own, and even resist political pressures to ban it, will find that they simply can’t stand against threatened lawsuits by mega-million-dollar antismoking “corporations.” In the past a lot of the blather about such suits was purely imaginary (Oh! Your employees are all going to get lung cancer and sue you for forcing them to work for you in smoke!) but when you’ve got hundreds of millions of dollars a year to burn and your scare-research just isn’t having the intimidating effect it used to … the legal arsenal beckons.

        I wonder if there’s a way to pre-emptively defend against that sort of thing? Pre-emption or protection from intimidation or penalties for frivolous lawsuits that only become non-frivolous because the victims of the suit can’t match the treasuries of the suers?


        Liked by 1 person

    • Likewise, I haven’t had TV for well over a decade. I download torrents for all my series, documentaries and movies, and store them on my hard discs – 1TB internal, and 2TB external. I’m reaching the point where I need to get another external HDD I’ve got so much stuff. It’s great to watch some of the classics like Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett), Morse, Poirot etc. I’ve got a 42″ smart TV which I use as a monitor, so all my viewing is done from my computer, even live football (which my wife likes – she’s a Man U supporter :-0) and the Formula 1, both of which I stream from the net.

      As far as salary vs hourly rate is concerned, I’ve had neither since the early 80s, which is when I decided I didn’t like having a boss and struck out on my own. Since then, my income has been variable, to say the least. In terms of buying stuff, if I have the money and I want it, I buy it and hope that I’ll earn some more money next week / month. It’s a somewhat precarious existence, but I’m used to it, and I enjoy the freedom I have. I’ve done ok, really. Despite not being rich, I’m quite comfortable.

      Liked by 1 person

    • They are actually Capita employees on a poorish basic and a fantastic bonus for scaring the hell out of women at home during the day mainly.
      Ignorance even if you open the door inadvertently to one of these odious creatures is the best policy no doubt about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They haven’t found me at home yet – I’m not here much in the daytime. They are now ‘investigating’ me according to their most recent letter.

        Investigate away, lads. Waste your time.

        The thing is, as soon as they lie to me (if you have anything capable of picking up a live transmission you need a licence is their favourite lie) then they are demanding money with menaces and using deception, both of which are illegal.

        Any police they bring with them will be accessories to their criminal actions, which I would take great delight in pointing out repeatedly.

        I won’t use ‘freeman’ tactics. They are breaking statute laws, and that’s what I’d use.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s another aspect of hourly rates – what about travel time and costs? If I had a minimum wage job a 5-10 minute walk away I wouldn’t be bothered. But supposing I was considering a new position 20 miles distant, involving a 35-45 minute drive each way? My 8 hour day suddenly becomes 9½ hours away from home, and I need to drive 200 miles a week. How many people really think about this when they’re job hunting? It might be a “better” job, but does the extra expense and stress really make it worthwhile?

    Liked by 1 person

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