As you may already know, I have been a staff writer for quite a few sites over the last year. I have moved on amicably from some positions and have found new ones that fit. It seems pretty natural. But then I started staff writing for a big site and it was a complete disaster.
The Staff Writing Job
The deal was that I would write 4 posts a week at a set amount per post. I was then told to send in an invoice to the blog manager every 2 weeks and he would forward it on to the company that actually owned the blog. I started writing in mid-July. Well, I received a paycheck for my first couple of weeks, but then I didn’t receive anything after that. When I asked about it when I was a month in, the blog manager started asking for updates. It took another 2 weeks to track down the problem!
Staff Writing Payment Problems
Apparently, the emails from the blog manager with my invoices in them had been going to the company’s spam folder. No problem, right? They could just send me a check? Nope. Despite the fact that they made the mistake, they said it would take the usual Net 30 for me to receive my back pay for 20 posts! That means that it was going to take another month to receive a whole month’s worth of money!
When I hit that 20th post and still hadn’t received any checks, I let the blog manager know that I was pausing my writing until everything was straightened out. It has taken them 4 weeks to send me half of my owed money. I am still waiting for the other half. But here’s the real kicker…
Yesterday I received a letter terminating my employment from the blog manager! He hired another freelance writer. He apologized that it was all due to red tape, but how does that make it any better? It’s their own red tape! I didn’t personally decide to spam my own invoices or wait another month to pay me! They actually expected me to keep working for free on just their word when they hadn’t ever shown me that their word was worth squat!
So yesterday I was fired from a big staff writing position for refusing to work for free. That was fun. The blog manager tried to be very polite and even said he’d keep me in mind for any future positions if they opened up…I have to think he was smoking crack if he ever thinks I’d work for that company again. I don’t even want to work with him again (he manages several projects). I think the entire situation completely sucks and what was pulled on me is just plain wrong. And I am still waiting for my last couple of hundred dollars!!!
I’d love to point out the moral of the story, but I don’t think there is one. I cannot think of how I could have handled the situation better. I communicated very well and frequently, sent all the documentation they needed (over and over), and had given them 20 posts worth of a benefit of a doubt. I guess I learned that I will stick to staff writing for regular bloggers only. If a big company owns a site, it’s more beauracracy than I want to deal with. I wish I had known that the blog manager wasn’t actually the owner in advance…
Have you ever been completed messed over like this? Want to vent?