Lessons Learned

Freelance writing has given me plenty of opportunities to learn. Did you know there’s a thing in olive oil called oleocanthal that helps fight cancer? Me neither. Not even right now. Anyways, I recently had the opportunity to learn that people are (big surprise) kinda shitty sometimes.

I applied for, and was awarded, a gig through a well known freelance job board that sounded like a dream. Write about dogs and get paid for it? Yes, please. My first task was to write about beagles and I couldn’t have been happier. I placed a glass of kombucha on the side table, tightened the belt on my robe, and sat down in my favorite (semi-broken) chair to get to work. Bing bang boom a couple hours later I had an article on my hands.

I sent it to my contact at the dog blog, she gave me a couple edits, and it got approved. We started tossing around ideas for the next article, I sent her my paypal link, and there you have it. Now when I say “there you have it,” it should mean that’s the end of the transaction and everything came out the way it was supposed to because there are natural laws governing how individuals should interact with each other in a just and sensical society. But it doesn’t. It means that was the end of our interactions. I proceeded to send e-mails requesting payment and expressing my enthusiasm to continue doing this work, but I was shouting into a void. An interaction requires participation from a second party, and I was essentially talking to myself.

“Come on, me. Why would she just ghost a fellow freelancer? After all, we’re in this together, aren’t we?”

No Josh, apparently not. It’s been over a month since I’ve heard from this individual. I began to suspect that maybe the person I had been trading e-mails with wasn’t actually the person they claimed to be, so I sent her an e-mail at an alternate address (the one listed on her website). However, that address was a void equally bereft of reciprocation.

So I said “fuck it” and went to reddit.

I’ve been following the freelance writers sub-reddit (essentially a message board, for you non-redditors) for a while and I enlisted their help. I laid out my story and was pretty much blasted for being an idiot. The basic response was, “Give up. They never intended to pay you. Request payment up front or send a contract, dummy.”

Okay. Lesson learned.

I knew this beforehand, but I thought someone running a fucking dog blog would be decent enough to at least respect an agreed upon rate for a couple hours of my time. Turns out, nope. So now I have an article about beagles lying around and you know what? I’ll publish it my damn self even if it’s written in a semi-boring tone. At least I can use it as an example that I can put together a coherent string of ideas to future clients that could possibly stiff me. Also, if these other jerks eventually post the article there will be evidence that it appeared elsewhere on the internet first and possibly allude to the fact that they are fuckers.

So here it is. Failed dog blog. At least it has some beautiful pictures of Al.