By Bryan Gray
This week’s column is a public service for the working stiffs. Hopefully, it will help you negotiate a good deal with your employer, boss or manager.
The idea came to me after reading of a new contract between a baseball pitcher and the owner of his team.
For those who don’t follow baseball, Tim Lincecum was a shaggy-haired pitching phenom who twice has won the Cy Young award as best pitcher in the National League. He has since cut his mangy locks and, though he now looks more like an LDS missionary, his pitching has sadly eroded in the past two years.
Despite his recent struggles, he did throw a no-hitter in the past season so the San Francisco Giants agreed to extend his contract. He signed a $35 million deal for two years. But it wasn’t the money that drew my attention; the contract includes a variety of performance clauses.
What if you and I could bargain for similar clauses? To test the waters and provide some guidance for you, I (hypothetically) approached the publisher of this newspaper.
HIM: “What are you disturbing me for this time, Cyclops?”
ME: “Oh, I just thought we could tailor my contract with this newspaper in a similar fashion as Tim Lincecum’s deal with the Giants.”
HIM: “No way. Lincecum is talented. You are not!”
ME: “Just hear me out. Lincecum’s contract includes a no-trade clause. How about agreeing not to force me to write some shoddy piece for the National Enquirer?”
HIM: “Sure, I agree. No national publication would want you.”
ME: “Good. See how easy this is? Now Lincecum can also earn an additional $250,000 if he pitches a few more innings than normal. How about you paying me an additional $50 a month if I poke my head in the office a few less times every month?”
HIM: “Maybe. The idea that you wouldn’t bother me is appealing. I’ll think about it.”
ME: “We’re making real headway here. Under the contract, Tim Lincecum can earn $500,000 more if he wins a third Cy Young award, and he can get anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 if he finishes near the top in the voting. So how about you agree to pay me $1,500 if I win a Utah Press Association Award?”
HIM: “That’s crazy.”
ME: “Let’s set our sights a little lower then. How about you pay me an extra $50 if the third-graders at an elementary school vote me as their favorite columnist?”
HIM: “I’m safe on that. Children are too smart to even want to read your column.”
ME: “Okay, think seriously about this next one. Lincecum gets a hotel suite when he is on the road working for the team. So I was thinking I could get you to foot the bill if I go to Paris or Rome this year to brag about the newspaper.”
HIM: “The only way I would agree is if that meant you were deported. That way I could justify coughing up one night’s lodging Р but only if you promise not to sneak back into the country.”
ME: “Well, maybe Paris and Rome are a stretch. But how about if I went to Las Vegas and...”
He cut me off and walked out of his office. But hey, he did agree to a few of my requests so maybe there is hope for you. Walk into the H.R. department next week and use the Tim Lincecum model to increase your pay or job satisfaction. If you don’t get fired immediately, let me know how it went.