12 July 2012

If a Prostitute can make a living then why can't I as a genealogist

I hate it when I get online for a quick read and before you know it I've got 50 pages up of a hot subject. Today was one of those day. It started with find a link on my facebook Looking for Ancestor's post To Pay or Not to Pay? The Cost of Genealogy which just sent me on a wild chase of all the others who have weighed in on this topic. First stop Genealogy – What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? A 2012 Update and then on to the various links through. In this post I especially like the part "I Don’t Live In Beverly Hills Because I Can’t Afford It" Amen to that. I'm the same way. I don't buy things I can't afford, and though I may complain to my family that I can't afford something I really like, I don't complain to the person providing the product/service because I know what it takes to get there and why they charge what they do. I am also quit creative and in many ways can find away to do or make it myself if need be ;-) Then when I ended up here: What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? and started to rant on that post I decided I best move my comment here.

From personal experience I can say that it does no one justice to undervalue your product/services. I did and as a result I ended up with pain in the butt customers (a few of them anyway, others were great) that in return undervalued all the hard work I put into their research especially when I didn't find what they wanted me to find, even though what I found was the reality and not the fantasy they want......oh Lord here I go again. I digress.

I also volunteer my time when I can spare it. It's always been my way of paying it forward. But nothing gets under my skin more than to see my hard word (when my name is attached ie: my blog) stolen and reposted elsewhere with out any credit. Though I must add that I actually get a really good laugh when I see a mistake I've made that resulted in the connection to a wrong family run like wild fire on the Internet and my name (though I was the original idiot) isn't attached LOL ;-) There is always a silver lining I guess.

But I agree with all of you that somehow we need to put our heads together to change this awful perception that everything in genealogy should be free (or at very little cost). It's time to educate the public when is really involved in what we do. I've actually walked away from a lot of what I did because it irritated my husband that I spent so much time in the genealogy helping others and in the end (considering the time I'd spent on a project) I'd make nearly nothing, compared to working full time and bringing home a paycheck. I'd love to do genealogy professionally, but I'd need to make a REAL LIVING to do it and support my family of three kids. Many of us that are wanting to make a living at this are not granny's looking for a hobby to fill our time (sorry ladies, I love many of you and many of you are the reason I volunteer) but busy mothers and fathers who need to support our families. Think of that the next time you think you deserve our hard work for free. Money doesn't grow on trees and it's getting hard to come by these days, partially because of the availability of "free" information, but with enough creativity and collaboration in the right direction we may get there.

I've come to see it this way: If a Prostitute can make a living then why can't I as a genealogist. Not everyone is willing to pay for a prostitute and some find creative ways around it, though not recommended. So if you are unwilling to pay then I agree with the best of them, find a way to be creative. If you're willing to pay then someone else can do the hard work and you can reap the benefits. Dear Lord here I go again with my ranting and imagination getting the better of me.

I've abandoned my services of research for others. I'm working on another avenue and I hope this one pans out. I just got tired of the complainers and those that wanted something, including my help, for nothing, family/cousins excluded.

Okay I'm done ranting


Sheri Fenley said...

Oh Amy, Amy Amy! All I can say is Amen Sista, Amen!

Unknown said...

Great article and even better title!