0119 - Worth. - 2020.01.13



What is time with you worth?

It's an important question, one that separates professionals from amateurs. Ask any lawyer, any CEO, or any escort, and they'll be sure to tell you not what a service is worth, but what their time is worth.

Economists would use the term "opportunity cost". If I come to your house to help you retile your basement, yes, the crude labour I do might not even be worth minimum wage, but, if while I'm at your place, I miss out on a million dollar opportunity, then helping you align your ceramic squares has effectively cost me a million dollars.

You might not want to cuddle, or suck dick, or lay tile for any amount of money at all. Most people don't. But if someone said that you should take that time out of an otherwise productive day, time when you could just as easily be earning income to pay your bills and support your family, you'd be justified in expecting compensation.

Of course, that reality of your time being worth money then runs up against the basic rules of supply and demand. If I came to your home and spent eight hours laying tile, but the job I did was shoddy and would need to be redone, you likely wouldn't pay me at all, regardless of how hard I worked and what other opportunities I missed out on. You don't care if I spent eight hours or eight minutes or eight nanoseconds - what you care about is whether or not the tiling is done correctly. If it is, you'd pay me one tile-job's worth of money. If it isn't, you won't.

All business, then, is about the intersection of those two "worth"s. I want to get paid for what my time is worth, you want to pay me for what the service is worth. Doing a better job in a lesser amount of time is the definition of excelling at my craft.

And none of that is factoring into Lee's emotions right now.

Lots of people don't want to "pay for it". To be sure, many of these are assholes who simply don't want to pay money to a professional for a professional job because they're cheap and disrespectful and slimy. They probably don't tip at restaurants either.

But many more don't want to pay for the physical act because what they really want is affection. They want love and attention and attraction and validation and adoration and to be valued, all of which (they feel) is nullified as soon as money changes hands.

But, of course, we pay for emotions all the time. We pay to exchange gifts. We pay to go to the movies. We pay to spend time with each other - even if all we're paying is the time itself.

Lee doesn't not value Zoa. Lee values Zoa very much. And certainly, Zoa values Lee, if only because Lee is indirectly allowing Zoa to siphon power and wifi and ESA money from the Canadian government.

Lee is just (once again) following their emotions and running up against a rule they don't understand, like an enemy in a poorly-programmed video game sprinting with their face pressed up against a wall.

What is time with you worth?

What is the time of those around you worth?

Do you value that time like you should?


0119 - 2167/07/06/13:06 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, Lee's bedroom.
LC: Okay. Two hours. G'night.
Zoa: Sleep well.
LC: Sure.
LC: ......Hey, Zoa?
Zoa: Yeah?
LC: Will you... do you want to cuddle with me?
Zoa: Thought you didn't like robots next to you while you sleep.
LC: ...S'different.
Zoa: Well, yeah. Yeah. Hell yeah, I'll cuddle with you. Five creds.
LC: Five creds?
Zoa: Yeah. One two hour cuddle session, five credits. Pretty reasonable, I'd say. Heck, your bank account will probably be topped back up by the time we're done, you literally won't have lost anything.
LC: I can't believe you're trying to charge me for cuddling!
Zoa: Selling physical acts of simulated affection is literally my whole business model, Lee, I don't know why you're surprised now.
LC: It's just... it's cuddling! Five creds just for lying down next to me!
Zoa: Yeah, and if I didn't spend two hours doing it, I could pop out, try to chase down some dick, make thirty creds, and be back here before you wake up. Frankly, you should feel special that I'm even extending the option.
Zoa: I'm a rental appliance, remember? Even lying down motionless, time with me is worth money.
LC: Well, that must be nice.
Zoa: Two point five creds an hour is nice, to you?
LC: ...S'more than I'm worth.