|Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: How to Negotiate a Pay Raise|
Here is how it goes for a showgirl:
Producer (aka Offeror): Congratulations! We would like to offer you the role of (fill in the blank). It pays (fill in the blank) per week.
Showgirl: That’s not enough to buy myself a coffee. After all these years of training, I end up with this? Well, you can take that offer and (fill in the blank.)
Okay, I have a confession to make. That’s not exactly what the showgirl says. It’s more like:
Showgirl: OMG! Thank you so much. This is my dream job and I’m so excited to be a part of the cast.
A few months roll by and the thrill of being in a glamorous Vegas show wears thin. The showgirl is physically and mentally exhausted and she starts craving those coffees she can’t afford. It’s time to negotiate a pay raise.
Showgirl: I want to thank you for this amazing opportunity to be a part of your show. I have had the time of my life and I was wondering if we could discuss a few things.
Producer: Yes of course. By the way, you have done a fabulous job! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. Are you thinking you want to renew your contract?
Showgirl (to herself): Why are they asking that question? OMG! They told me I’m doing a fabulous job. That’s like the “It’s not you, it’s me” speech from a boyfriend. Why are they thanking me? Is this the goodbye? Am I getting fired?! I can’t get fired! After all my hard work and dedication, they’re going to thank me by firing me?
Showgirl (to Producer): Of course I’m renewing! Where is that contract? Can we do it now? By the way, I’m not sure if you noticed, but I’ve been starving myself a lot lately, hence the reason my costumes are fitting way looser these days. It’s actually been a really great thing that I can’t afford to eat as much. I think it’s doing wonders for my self-esteem and my career. Some other showgirls might not feel that way. You know, like the new ones you might be thinking about auditioning to replace me, but I would just like you to know that it’s fine for me. In fact, I prefer it that way.
Anyway, I’m so glad we had this talk. I’m really looking forward to this next contract … and to seeing how skinny I can get.
Okay, I have another confession to make. She really only says, “Of course, I’m renewing!” But she’s thinking about the rest of it.
Producer: That’s great news! We are so happy to have you! Oh and by the way, we were thinking we should cut back …
His voice trails off, as the showgirl gets lost in the inner dialogue of her mind.
Showgirl (to herself): They have to cut back? Now they’re asking me to take a pay cut? I mean, a minute ago they were firing me, so I should consider myself lucky. I’ll just write my lowest offer. Let them know I’m serious about staying. On second thought, I better go lower to be safe. Fine, this is my absolute lowest number.
Showgirl (blurted out): Alright! Here’s my absolute and final offer!
Producer (finishing his sentence): We were thinking we should cut back on rehearsals since you have all been doing such a fabulous job! What’s all this about an offer?
And that’s how a showgirl negotiates a pay cut.