Posts Tagged ‘freelancing’
As much as I would like to address this to those publishers that are a problem, such things fall on deaf ears. So instead I want to address this to a certain subset of freelancers: those who don’t need the money.
I know quite a few freelancers who just enjoy doing work in a field, and have a great day job or spouse or both, and don’t care about the money they’re getting from some project they’re on. As a result, they don’t put effort into making sure things like contracts are delivered or payment is even relatively prompt.
But from the perspective of publishers who are forming how they’re doing business, what you’re doing hurts your colleagues who do depend on this for money, as there’s no difference to them between freelancers who need the money and freelancers who don’t. Those who do, those who have to struggle to invoke Fuck You, Pay Me, we looks like chumps because we’re sitting alongside you, who isn’t asking for that.
So if you want to help your fellow freelancers, chase after contracts and payment. Help us out by being a constant reminder of that, and of helping us being a unified force — one that doesn’t create incentives to continue hiring people who don’t need the money, and force unscrupulous publishers to shape up or dry up.
(There’s a related post somewhere in me about those freelancers who need the money but are timid about it.)
A rather ranty letter from me to past-Ryan Macklin:
You’re a fucking moron.
Thanks to your actions, I have four companies* that aren’t paying me for work we’ve done. I have a few thousand dollars in outstanding payments, emails to these people go into the ether, and I’m wasting a lot of spoons having to chase payments instead of, you know, be awesome.
And as much as I blame them, I also blame you. Let’s go through what was going on in your mind…
I’ll Get One Soon
Sure you will. Did you already start working?
Bam! Lost your leverage on getting a contract, buddy! *sigh*
But They’ve Got A Tight Schedule
Oh, I’ve heard that before! (Since, you know, I’m you.)
So you’ve been pressured to start working before getting a contract because of their schedule? Do they have a contract ready for you? No? Then how the hell should you expect them to have other things they need ready for you in order to keep to that schedule?
You can’t. Being pressured to work without a contract is a company’s way of saying two things: one, don’t expect that schedule to be held, because it’s too unrealistic for them; two, they don’t respect you.
And if they don’t respect you enough to give you a contract prior to starting work, they don’t respect you enough to be paid.
I’m Doing This For The Exposure
If I could go back in time to do any one thing, it would be to punch you-me in the mouth for saying that.
You’re saying that you’re okay with being taken advantage of “for the exposure”? See if you still feel like that now? No, you don’t. Why?
Because people who don’t give contracts tend to be people who don’t run their business well. And those people don’t actually finish making products that you’ve worked on. So that thing you did in order to “get exposure”? Dead project. You worked many hours for piss all. You can’t get exposure if no one sees it.
I’m Afraid If I Ask, They’ll Can Me
Then you’re doing yourself a favor by asking. Work with no one who will treat you like you’re an asshole for asking for a very basic thing.
You’re Being Unfair
I am? Okay, yeah, maybe a bit. I’m pretty angry.
No one I’ve worked with intended on screwing me over. But the lack of contract is an indicator that I’m working with a company that will disregard me and fail at their job of being a business. There are several opportunities I passed up because I was busy on one gig or another that to this day hasn’t paid. And I continually feel both the sting of non-payment and the sting of opportunities passed by.Sincerely,
The person who is dealing today with your naïveté
This is what it’s like to be a freelancer in this hobby, in software development, everywhere.
*To be fair, most of them aren’t in the RPG world. I’m also a freelance software developer. Still, with the situations I’ve dealt with in RPG-land, the lessons apply.
(Yes, this isn’t the post some of you were expecting. That post is in the works, and will be a much shinier, happier one.)