Charging about $2000

For several years before it was placed on the internet, I processed the Virignia state education directory of schools. Didn't take much time. I knew it was worth more than I was charging. But I didn't want to hassle with bidding over $2000 because then it would require delays and other bids. In the education department, project managers could avoid a minimum of three bids if the the project cost was less than $2000. If bidded, it would have cost $3000 to $5000. I considered the below market bid a contribution to the education budget.

So, in 1987, I charged $1987. In 1988, I charged $1988. Each year, the project manager would call and ask if I wanted to do it. Sure. "What year is it?" I would ask. "That's my bid". If I didn't do that job, I'd probably have lost track of what year it was.

Then it happened. The project manager called to say she had been grilled by the state auditor about the oddity of the bids matching the year's date. Said I would not get the job if I didn't bid something else beside the year of the bid.