Monday, April 19, 2010

Slave labor in 2010? What gives me the nerve to complain?

I made a decision today. I signed up with a freelance site where you bid for writing jobs that pay embarrassingly (and piss-pottingly) little.

Embarrassing to whom, you might ask. Clearly not to the people who post these jobs and demand that your English is impeccable, that your articles are original, keyword rich and Copyscape-proofed and that you churn out a hundred of these 300-1000 word articles for anywhere from $1 per article to a staggering $3.50.

And that's just what they tell you they want.  Chances are, they want a lot more than they mention and will pick someone who offers a lot more and asks for a lot less. Oh, and you'd better promise to do it quick time too because there's bound to be others who'll bid lower than you and promise to do all this and more in one day and have a portfolio to prove it too.

Yeah, I staggered alright.  At that rate, would I earn enough to pay for a day's internet, electricity, rent and food even if I worked the entire twenty-four hours, give or take an hour for meal, toilet and stretch breaks? Heck, would I be able to buy myself enough coffee to keep me pumpin'?

I don't think I'm being very sensible here, signing up, despite the fact I've already been invited to bid for a job and to get ready to start. I mean I love writing, no doubt about that. But this is where slave labor mocks the fine art and pure joy of writing, surely?

I was and still am embarrassed. by the fact that I've submitted to this exploitation and done so out of desperation.  But why should I be embarrassed?

There really is no justification for any emotion we feel nor is one ever needed.  An explanation, however, may be possible and perhaps even desirable. It might help me understand why I've chosen to do what I've done.

I'm embarrassed because I've resisted doing this for so long, believing that I would make my enviable fortunes (not that I particularly want anyone to envy me) doing what I love doing and being respected and remunerated for the quality of my work of love. And, as is obvious, I have not (yet) succeeded.

In the meantime, this trade of 'goods and services' shows no indication of wanting to either respect or remunerate my work. Nor does it show any desire to value me as a writer offering it the carefully nurtured fruits of her love.

"Get real" I hear you say. "If you can't hack it, go try your luck elsewhere. In the meantime, quit whining.  There are people who are prepared to do much more for much less.  Consider yourself fortunate and if you can't, go nurse your ego elsewhere".

This persuades me to draw one of two conclusions:

Conclusion One:
I should be grateful. I should quit playing le petite violin and get on with it. Or I should get a 'real' job commensurate with my qualifications and 'real work' (corporate) experience of several years.

Conclusion Two:
I should do something about a system that allows one person/party in a transaction to get what they're satisfied with and that enables them to easily build on what they have while the other person/party neither gets what they want nor is able to easily provide for what they need, never mind build on anything.

So, what can I do?

I suppose you're wondering how I got to this dire state in the first place where I've had to resort to extreme measures. Yeah, well, that's a long story and not one that I care to relate, at least not today.

Something tells me I need to be in a system in order to change it.  And according to Buckminster Fuller, the way to overcome a bad system is not by fighting it but by building a better model that makes the other one obsolete.  I just love that idea.  I wish I could design a better model.

OK, perhaps it's a Law of Attraction moment. I should imagine a better system and feel how good that would be.  Then, start allowing my intuition to guide me while I do some research and allow myself to be propelled in the manifesting momentum of the Law.

But more important that any of that, I must want it enough.

Well, do I? And if I don't, why not? Because it would be too hard?

I mustn't let that kind of thinking detract from a truly beautiful vision. I realize that if I didn't believe or think how difficult it might be, I'd really want to do this.

Well, good people, I'm going to let this feeling take me on a new adventure.  Would any of you like to join me?

Your Perfect Job: A Guide to Discovering Your Gifts, Following Your Passions, and Loving Your Work for the Rest of Your Life  I Will Get Through  The Angel Inside: Michelangelo's Secrets For Following Your Passion and Finding the Work You Love 

True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do  Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love  The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love


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