Why You Don’t Discuss Salary with Your Friends (But You Should)

After the last post about why assistants don’t negotiate their salaries, I’ve had a lot more conversations with assistants.

We talked about how they approached the raise conversation…

Different positioning tactics…

And where they ultimately in salary.

As we talked, I started noticing a strange feeling in my gut. It came up each time we discussed real numbers, when the assistant told me how much they made.

I’ll come back to this feeling, but first, let me tell you a story…

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Why Don’t Hollywood Assistants Negotiate Salary?

Why don’t more Hollywood assistants negotiate salary?

Why don’t Mom n’ Pop Chinese restaurants think about the customer experience?

The answers are connected. And it took a trip to Dublin, Ireland, for me to put them together.

But let’s go back to the Chinese restaurants.

Why Chinese Restaurants Don’t Care About Customer Experience

The thing about Mom n’ Pop Chinese restaurants (one topic I feel qualified to discuss) is they’re a one-trick pony: (most) only compete on price.

They slash prices by dollars and sometimes cents, like a Wal-Mart, hoping to choke out competition while earning smaller and smaller margins. Meanwhile, ignoring many factors more important than price… [click to continue…]

How to Negotiate Airfare (Plus: Frameworks for Negotiating with Anyone)

I was set to fly to Albany on Saturday, for the opening of my father’s restaurant.

A week before, I got a text message from my mother, telling me my grandmother passed in her sleep. The funeral was being held Saturday morning, so I needed to move my flight up a day.

I checked online, found a new flight, and called Delta. They quoted me a price of $180 and told me if I came back to them with the funeral home information, they could waive the change-of-flight fee.

Great. We hung up, I got the information, then called back. It’s a different representative on the phone.

“The difference in flight fares,” this representative told me, “is $290. Did you want to pay now?”

Negotiating with an Airline

“That’s weird. I’m showing a flight difference of $180. I also just called in, and that’s what the representative quoted me as well. Can you double-check?” I asked.

We spent another 10 minutes trying to figure out the discrepancy between the difference in fares, but at the end of the call, she said, “There’s nothing I can do, because that’s what my computer is telling me.”

“I’m not trying to be difficult,” I replied. “I appreciate your help and understand that’s what you see on the computer. What I want to do is get clarity on why your computer is showing something different than mine. Can we go over the legs again? On Delta Flight 008, flying out of LAX at…”

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