Reasonable Consulting Fee? - reply

Robin Leech robinl at NAIT.AB.CA
Sun Dec 1 11:50:42 CST 1996

Dear Taxacomers

I was just rereading the messages to TAXACOM about 6-figure income for ID
work.  Where do you derive this six-figure income?

I have about 20 h/wk of lectures to give.  I also have to prepare and
mark exams.  I also have to attend meetings.  As the student advisor, I
also have to be present to attend student needs (one single mother
attempted suicide last week, and if you do not think that that doesn't
eat away at you, have someone you know try it!).  Somewhere in
between all this, I sleep and eat, do the shopping and do my laundry.

My ID work is done for an hour or so here and there on some evenings,
every once in a while I get a Saturday morning.  Every once in a while I
say to myself, "To hell with it.  Tonight's my night."  So, I sit down and
either do some identifications for someone (usually free, cuz there may
be only one or two spiders), or do something such as my present interest,
spider ballooning.  Under this circumstance, I "pay" for it later when
the students's marked papers are not handed in on time.

Then in the spring, lectures finish at the end of April.  However, not all
is sweetness and light for research and IDs.  I have a one-week field
course to give on limnology and fishery techniques.  For all of May and
June, I am revising and preparing new lectures and labs for the next
winter.  There are also meetings during May and June, and a few
"retreats" that last a few days.  Ugh.

I get 6 weeks off from all duties during July and the first half of
August.  I then have to be back to the Institute by the 3rd week of
August.  Now, where does one generate a six-figure income, even at $50/h,
at this rate?  There is no time to do so.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot to mention.  I am an associate editor for The
Canadian Entomologist, I am the secretary for the Edmonton Nature Centres
Foundation, I was an Akela for the Cubs.  All of these roles are
donations of my time.  There is a lot more.

Even if Diana Horton has fewer hours of actual class time, she still has
herbarium curating to do, lectures to prepare, exams to prepare and mark,
students to attend to, meetings to attend, seminars and symposia to
attend, research papers of her own to prepare, etc.

C'mon guys, get real.

Robin Leech

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