What would you do with a smart guy that will work for $3/hour?

I’ve been working with a designer for about 4 years now. At times I would give him say a 3-4 hour job, and pay him $60, because I generally pay at least $15/hour for design work.

As I have gotten to know him, I’ve learned more about his life, and it really is quite miraculous what he has done with such little means. Having known him for a few years, I don’t believe he has ever been dishonest with me, and have even spoken with people from his area, and feel what he says is true.

He lives in Bangladesh, has a wife and a daughter, and is 31 years old. Recently, India has been limiting the flow of water through a dam meaning that often electricity to his area is cut off, often as much as 10 hours per day. He is hoping to get a power backup so he can work even when the electricity is cut off.

On a good month he makes $400-500, and on an average month he makes $200-300. He spends at least 10 hours per day in front of the computer, 7 days per week, except for on religious holidays. If he were to consistently make $500/month, he would be very happy with that.

He speaks good English, has done several designs for me on phpLD, and even “template upgrades” which means he went in and edited a fair amount of code (but following some instructions). He is a little rough around the edges. For example, I often have to explain things a couple of times, but actually he has gotten a lot better in this area.

So if he worked 50 hours per week as $3/hour, that would be around $600/month, which is more than he is making now. I’ve got some ideas myself, but I would love to help put him to work (whether that be for me, or helping him to find work from others).

What are some tasks you would give a competent individual to do for $3/hour that would yield a return on investment?
(couldn’t be that hard!)

Please… where would the great economies of the world be without the capacity and wherewithal to take advantage of the poorest and least capable in society.

This is capitalism in action - a micro example of how America was made.

Now, if I can just get myself another gun, build another wall, create a larger police force, increase the prison population (so that the people I’ve screwed over can’t access me or my family) everything will be grand !!!

And I’ll even get the chance to send my children to Harvard or Yale for a grad school education so that me and mine can talk ad infinitum about our outstanding achievements and struggle to make it !!!

Pass me a bucket !

God bless…

One’s wages and pay is only relative to where one lives. If he lived in Europe/America, he would have been demanding more. Having said that, I think many people here would consider hiring him at a rate better than what you described, had you showed sample of his work and that work warrented the pay.

So simple put up his portfolio link at your signiture or somewhere and we will see.

I’d keep that information confidential! If you have a great resource at a great price, keep it to yourself. Poachers abound on this forum, trust me.

Pay him well, treat him well, and retain him.

The sad truth is that this happens the world over. And you may be cold-hearted about it and say that hey, you’re giving him money as it is… but it still makes you feel guilty that he’s doing top-notch work and getting less than minimum wage.

I suggest you start helping him out by giving him work with your most trusted friends. This goes well on two accounts: 1. You can recommend him to people who actually pay and 2. You can “keep” him for extra work that you may have in the future. I agree that there are a lot of poachers here and some of them are not too trustworthy, but that is no reason to deny the person any help you can extend to him.

The guy isn’t a charity case who needs your help or pity, he justs lives in a poor country with a very low cost of living. Keep him busy, and keep him happy, because there are a lot of people who would love to have access to a person like that. I have a hard time finding competent workers at $10+ per hour, and I have enough work that I could keep your guy and his entire village busy if they do a good job at that rate.

No, he is not a charity case, and is always very fair with me. Many times I have had a conversation in which he lowered the “reported” hours because he wanted to make sure I was getting the best deal possible. He never begs for work, but just shows his appreciation for the work.

My first thought is just to find some tasks he can do that are profitable, which should be easy at that rate.

I am also going to help him put together some information about himself, so he can find some work easier. I don’t mind sharing him with people that would treat him fairly. :slight_smile: (ex. give him at least $7-8/hour!)

Honestly, I think you’re a jerk if you only pay him $3/hr, regardless of where he lives. What’s $10, or $15/hr (consistently) for a good worker? Yes, of course people outsource to foreign countries because the work is cheap, but 3 BUCKS?? Come on man, don’t you have a soul?!?!?! (Edit: this is meant tongue-in-cheek, but only sort of. 3 bucks?!?!?)

Why not pay him $5 - $10/hr to do ANYTHING that you don’t want to do. It’s probably worth your time in the end. Look into the book 4-hour Work Week for ideas on what else you can outsource.

Oh, definitely! Like I said, he is a little wet behind the ears still, but with some guidance, he is worth at least $10/hour. But part of the problem now is want to set a realistic goal to get him (at least) $500 in one month. He will be happy with that. Then we can ramp up from there.

So that does mean he might need to work for LESS than $10 hour as he is moving toward his goal, and he has no problem doing that. I have no desire to keep him insulated from others. I want to see him get somewhere.

I pay my regular designers $18/hour or more (full timers). He is not quite there yet, but certainly no beginner. I don’t have enough work for him to do 40 hours at this point in design.

But he is willing to do data entry or seo or other tasks (even if boring work). I just want to help him get to that $500/month, and I think I can.

I am facing a similar problem albeit sitting on the other side of the fence. I mean we do provide outsourcing services but many time I don’t have projects/work on hands for few of my team members (@Benitez Sorry for shameless plug but I would be happy if you (or anybody else here) would like to try my team) and then I wonder how to keep them busy. I generally ask them to create stuff which we can use for our own portfolios but that is kind of waste of time as it can be spent for doing productive work (Even at slightly lower hourly rates).

Hmmm, I think I figured out why clients are now asking that I do work for bugger all money.

Maybe I should move to Bangladesh so I can afford to live on $3ph.

‘For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.’

I think you’re right in wanting to help him out. I agree with SageWing,
‘Pay him well, treat him well, and retain him.’

Guys like him are the reason I haven’t won one single bid during the last 3 weeks on Elance, so I’m not worried for him; I’m more concerned about how I’m going to pay my rent next month! :frowning:

So are we in a race to the bottom where the guy who can live on the least amount of money wins?

A Smart guy wouldn’t only hire himself out for $3/hr, he would better spend his free time, creating something which would make people hire him for more.

i have felt it since i was just kid-there is something seriously wrong with humanity. the sad thing is, if the poorer countries could exploit the rich ones, they would too. not a specific country that is at fault here, but humanity as a whole has epically failed miserably.

Hmmm, I think I figured out why clients are now asking that I do work for bugger all money.

Guys like him are the reason I haven’t won one single bid during the last 3 weeks on Elance, so I’m not worried for him; I’m more concerned about how I’m going to pay my rent next month!

So are we in a race to the bottom where the guy who can live on the least amount of money wins?

You’re looking at it the wrong way, The OP is recognising that his work is worth more so he wants to pay him more. Your work should be recognised by the same merit.

Yikes!, the whole of humanity has failed because dvd wants to pay someone more because he values his work :slight_smile:

Don’t forget that $600 in Bangladesh is not $600 in the US. That’s why tons of people in India work for even less than $3/hour and do quality coding…

Okay, so I’ve wandered a little way off topic. But the point I’m trying to make is that it’s hard to get work when the value of that work is compared with someone who can do it for a fraction of the amount that I need to keep a roof over my head.

Look, I have nothing against the fella in Bangladesh who can work for $3ph and still feed his family, I’m sure in a comparison of lifestyles I wouldn’t be too keen to swap.

But what we have here is the beginning of an information drain out of the first world countries and into the third world. When people like me find we can’t make a living doing what we do now we’ll go do something else, and eventually any knowledge we had will disappear or become redundant.

There will come a time when if you need a website or programming work done you will have to go to India, or Bangladesh, because it won’t be available locally.

There’s a lot of laid of factory workers who know what I’m talking about here, they saw their jobs shipped overseas when their companies either realised there was greater profits to be made by manufacturing in China, or they had to go offshore because their competitors had already done it and were squeezing them out of the market.

I would like to believe that my work is worth a certain amount that lets me live a comfortable lifestyle (by comfortable I mean not have to worry how to pay the rent or keep the lights on), but it would be naive to believe that clients will happily fork over so much extra money just so they can work with me, when there is someone that can do a similar job for a lot less.

The world is changing, quality isn’t where it’s at any more, quantity is becoming more important.