Posted on | February 5, 2012 | 12 Comments
No, that’s not a quote from the memoirs of JFK’s teenage mistress, who performed oral sex on a Secret Service agent at the president’s request. Instead, it’s Little Miss Attila describing her situation:
It looks like I’m in the process of getting completely boned by a well-known right-wing activist organization, which contracted me to work on a project through mid-March, and is now reneging on the agreement. Did I get it in writing? No; I did not.
Now, the project is off, and it looks like I won’t even be going to CPAC (which I was going to self-fund, on the expectation of working with these people through mid-March, at least).
My boss is still insisting that we might go to CPAC after all, but I don’t see how that happens if they aren’t even willing to pay me for the past few weeks’ work. I’m certainly no longer willing to pay out of pocket.
“Getting completely boned” is pretty easy to do, if you’re willing to start doing the work before they actually give you money — working “on spec,” as we call it. And in most cases where somebody gets “boned” on a deal like that, the explanation is simply that the people organizing the project promised more than they could deliver. It just didn’t work out the way they hoped.
They meant well, honestly.
Which is why my practice is (a) to work only with people who have previously demonstrated that they will pay promptly, or (b) to insist on some sort of advance payment before I do a lick a work, and also (c) to make it clear that nobody gets away with f–king me over.
There are publications I won’t write for because I’m aware, from the experience of fellow writers, that when it’s time to get paid, the freelancer has to raise holy hell in order to get a check. Such shoddy practices anger me because I know that the editor, who solicited and/or accepted the freelance piece, she’s getting her paycheck regularly. Why should she force the freelancer to beg to get paid?
Anyway, it’s not too late to send Little Miss Attila to CPAC. She doesn’t have a PayPal button on her personal blog, but there is a PayPal button at The Conservatory — the group blog she co-founded with Dan Collins — and so I just hit the tip jar there, adding instructions in the payment form that the money is intended for Little Miss Attila.