Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Be Your Own Boss!!!

You've seen the ads: click on our website and, for a modest fee, we will help you start your own business! Get rich working at home! Stop worrying about corporate downsizing and HR departments!

Hah. Hah. And hah.

I'm a freelance writer who has been working for myself for 20 years. And I'm here to tell you that being self-employed is not the Paradise it's cracked up to be.

Never mind, for the moment, the venal publishers who try to chisel you down to the smallest possible fee, "forget" to pay or pull similar stunts. Never mind the editors who butcher copy, use your ideas without paying for them, or change allegiance when a new flavor-of-the-month comes along.

Let me tell you what this morning has been like in the wonderful world of be-your-own-bossism:

Email from client who buys on article each month: Have you started on the **** story yet? The publisher wants something else.

Reply to email: I sent you the **** piece on March 18th. What does the publisher want?

Reply to reply: no reply.

And then there was this phone conversation with another client who has ordered six articles:

Client: Where are my stories?

Me: They're done and I'm about to send them.

Client: By the way, I'm not sure about the subject matter of the **** story, and may change it. And the ---- story should be half the length I told you, so just cut it.

Me: (stunned silence)

And this is shaping up to be an easy day....

The only way I know of to "be your own boss" is to start a gardening service and get yourself to hire you as sole provider of yard-work.

Paying yourself might be a problem, though.

There's always the lottery....


Class factotum said...

If you do figure out how to get paid for gardening, let me know. If you figure out how to win the Yard of the Month award, I really want to know! I need some income and I want the recognition that I deserve, dammit!

MrScribbler said...

Wish I could, Mme. Factotum! I hereby award you the MrScribbler Yard Of The Month Award, which may not be redeemed for cash or merchandise....