Saturday, July 17, 2004
Service: * * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * * * 1/2
Babe Count: * * * *
I've just met S., the third babe from the internet dating service I'm on. She's a babe. Matches her photos nicely. "I don't really like photos," she says. "I don't like sitting over photo albums and reminding myself of the past. Boring."
We're at Paputzi's in Linden, and we're out in the garden during lunchtime. While it's not exactly freezing -- the winter sun is shining -- it's also not entirely sitting-outside weather. So we're both bundled up.
S. is very cute, and has a young teenage daughter, and seems to have her head screwed on right. She's done a copywriting course, and is busy working out how to use that to move to a new level of income.
She asks me how to become a freelance copywriter, seeing as that's what I did for a good portion of my life. I tell her the basics. "First, work out how much money you think you need a month. Then divide that amount by roughly 22 working days. Then divide that by 8 hours per day. That gives you a rough hourly rate to base your charging estimates on." I whip out my palmtop computer, and I do the maths.
"How much do you charge per hour now?" I ask.
"Well... it's not for copywriting work. It's more for admin stuff. If it's for a friend, I'll charge R60 per hour. And if they're horrible, I'll charge R120."
"Hmmmm," I say. "How much do you think your hourly rate is if you want to make R30 grand a month, working eight hours a day, five days a week?"
"Probably a lot!" she says, shying away from the number.
"Nah... it's only R170 per hour. That's just fifty bucks more than your highest rate. I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and start charging R220 per hour."
"Nobody will pay me that!!!" she says. "And I need the income!"
"Yeah, but what are you earning now? Is it enough to give you and your daughter the life you need?"
She ponders. "No," she says. "I'd like more."
"What'll you spend R30 grand a month on?" I ask, helping her make it concrete.
"Well, a better school, for one." And her list grows.
"Okay," I say. "Can you see that you're cheating yourself AND your daughter out of these things by charging so little? You're effectively keeping yourself in a low earning bracket. And you've GOT to revisit this idea of charging friends less. You need to charge your worth. That's why the challenge!"
"I'm not ready to start charging R220 per hour. But I'll think about it."
I go to the toilet. It's incredibly twee. The male side is labelled "Pa". And the female side is "Putzi's". Paputzi's, gettit??? Sheesh. No little diagram of a man under "Pa", though. And anyway, the door's locked. Someone's hogging the pissoir. So after a minute or so of obeying the rules, I think, "Gah! I'm going into the women's side! So I do. And it's very quaint.
When I come back, I notice that S. is wearing some exceedingly slinky looking panties. The hem has ridden out of her jeans. It's one of those black mesh see-through numbers, almost a g-string, but not quite. Very enticing.
It's very clear that this woman isn't just the sensible head-screwed-on-right-responsible-mother she likes to show the world.
But by the time one o'clock comes round, we haven't really talked about each other much at all, and she has to go and give her daughter a lift. We'll definitely need another date. I want to find out about her taste for gothic and heavy metal music. And explore her taste in underwear.