November 9, 2009
Yes; like Las Vegas, my friendly neighbourhood freelancers “job board” is there to be left, and for many of the same reasons (though no one’s going to get rich on P*****PerH***.com). (And I have no plans to drink myself to death over a job board.) I wrote about this strange copywriting underworld about a month ago, and I learned a lot from the comments.
Unlike Las Vegas, which probably wouldn’t care, the underworld job board didn’t want me to leave. On the “deactivate my account” page I was first asked to jump over several FAQ-style, radio-buttoned troubleshooting tips – as if my whole problem was that I can’t figure out how to “get less email” or stay out of the search engines. (Well: would you want to be seen hanging around there?) But further down there is a box for writing in, below a drop-down list called “Other.” This list persists in its little fantasy that you are leaving because you are slightly dim, haven’t got the hang of it, can’t cope with the attention – but there is a glimmer of hope at the end of the list:
- I receive too many emails
- Fees too high
- I don’t understand how to use the site
- My work situation has changed
- My profile appears in the search engines
Hurrah! As it happens, my situation has changed; I have taken on a full-time contract on what looks like a very interesting project, at a decent rate of pay, doing the kind of stuff I know how to do well. And I am hoping that, paradoxically, being back among my own kind will mean that the Text Pixie will visit more often – and you will have more to read here. And it’ll be more interesting. It’s hard to write a professional blog with much conviction if all you’re really doing is scrabbling around looking for work.
So here is what I put in the little box:
I don’t like the site. The advertisers seem dodgy and the rates offered are far below a decent standard. It seems at best semi-professional. Which is to say, not professional. In fact, it’s insulting as a highly qualified professional writer and editor to be patronised by a load of illiterate shysters who can barely write the brief, and are offering to pay £1.50 for “15 minutes work.” One of them actually instructed all bidders to bid a sum that was less than your minimum commission fee! You’d have had to pay £5 to work for the guy. I don’t need to get involved with people like that. It’s a joke.
On the other hand it has been a real education. It’s shown me the alarming, ad-click-generated underside of how the web treats, conceives of, and devalues, information – and how people think they can get rich on nothing.
So, thank you. But get me the hell out of here.