Monday, December 10, 2007

Writer's strike...

...I'm in the mood to start one of my own.

I have spent some time -- and drove 80 miles today -- to do a story I was really looking forward to doing. It was handed to me by an editor who wanted to do it herself but thought I could do as well/better, or at least could bring a different view to it.

She had it all set up for herself, and when I took it over and talked to the person who was going to make it possible, I was certain he understood what was involved.

Suffice it to say he didn't. He had no clue. And when I finally -- and painfully -- explained what we needed, he said it could not happen until February. That's 2008, in case it wasn't clear.

That means I will probably see a check for it in May or June. Unless something else breaks and puts it off ever farther.

I was steaming by the time I got home from five-plus wasted hours. Where I found, via a Google service that lets me know each time my name appears, that a couple of well-known websites are using some of my past articles for commercial purposes. Someone got paid off -- the company I worked for then still exists, though I no longer write for them -- but not me.

Past research has made it clear that the cost of protecting my copyright would cost far more than I could ever hope to receive. And the mere act of complaining could mark me as having a "bad attitude," and other publishers would not want to deal with me.

Of course I won't go on strike. There's no union for people in my field, and hundreds of eager-beavers out there who, while incapable of doing the kind of work I do, would take my job for pennies, or even free, if they had the chance. Most editors wouldn't know the difference. Writers (and photographers) are primarily there to fill the blank spaces between the ads these days.

It's the glamor, Jim. The high life, the fancy trips.

I'd trade those perks for a steady check, you can bet on that.

Damn. "Angry" doesn't even start to cover my mood right now.

7 comments:

DAL said...

Apparently there is no honor among publishers.

Coyoteluck said...

You're starting to make me not believe in Karma.

MrScribbler said...

Coyote -- I may have to try to find out who I was in a past life to "earn" all the karma discredits.

Birdie said...

I still think that, with your talents, you should be able to get a regular paying job somewhere, like with a local newspaper or something. Or have you ever thought about becoming an announcer at car races or shows? It may not pay much, but it's something!

John said...

It sounds as if you are working with an entire army of G1 clones. No amount of double checking or trying to head the surprise off at the pass is enough.
It's unlikely that they will change.

sugarcane said...

I had a very profound statement written here, but I decided instead that I just need to kick someone's ass for you.

Tell who and where and I'll be there.

Kim said...

Chants: "strike, strike, strike". Maybe you could get onen of those clap-board signs and attach it to you and march down to your employers' officers and demand payment. Exploitation of workers' rights damn it!