My husband and I have owned a janitorial service for the past twenty years. We are part of the larger picture called the service industry, which includes many kinds of businesses.
Here is my concern.
Like other service businesses, we put in long hours and work very hard. Clients expect a lot out of us and we are happy to give them 110%. Occasionally, I get frustrated when a prospective client (usually a financially successful one) expects us to work for much less than what we ask for in our contract. I feel like the person does not place much value on what we do. Sometimes we choose to walk away from a potential account rather than compromise the quality of our work or decrease our employee’s salaries. Our staff deserves livable wages!
A while back, one of my relatives went to a dentist for a check up. She was informed that she had a cavity (her first ever). She mentioned to the dentist that she had just lost her job and couldn’t afford to have the cavity filled at the prices he was charging. She asked if he knew of a clinic in the area that would offer a sliding scale fee. The dentist went ballistic on her and lectured her about why he was not going to reduce his charges. He humiliated her in front of his staff.
My question is….
Why are we (in the service industry) expected to negotiate our prices when most doctors, dentists, lawyers and other so-called professionals wouldn’t think of giving a patient or client a price break. Most dentists and doctors now require payment in full (or insurance co-pay) before the services are even rendered.
Isn’t it time to treat all professions with the same respect?
What are your thoughts?