In 1971 I was working for a small (12 employees) R&D firm. I was their technical illustrator and I was making $3.60 per hour. (That was a decent salary then) One day I discovered that the part-time typist they had earned $3.75 per hour. First I was surprised, then hurt, then angry. I went to the manager and told him what I had discovered and asked that my salary be raised to equal the pt typist. He said he couldn't do that. I asked why and he told me because she had a college degree and I only had an AS degree. I commented that her degree was in Romantic Languages and had nothing to do with water resources and he said it didn't matter, it was a degree. So I issued my first ever ultimatum and said if I couldn't get the raise I'd have to leave. He said okay so I turned in my notice. Neither of us were going to back down on the subject so two weeks later I was gone. The week after that I began doing contract work rather than directly employment. I started out at $5 per hour. The company I had worked for called me and asked if I would mind coming in and giving their new illustrator a hand. I agreed and told them my pay rate would be $5 per hour. They agreed. When I got to the office I met the new illustrator, a man, and he had no problem telling me he was hired at $4.25 per hour. I changed my mind about helping them and left. I did contract work for the next 20 years and wasn't without a job more than a couple of days at a time.
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