The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘It Looks Like I’m in the Process
of Getting Completely Boned’

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.

Please go hit the tip jar at The Conservatory now.

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Update: She’s going, but her tip-jar ain’t getting tired yet, hit it some more and maybe she’ll buy Stacy a beer.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    And there is a donate button on her site.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

     In this day and age, there are almost certainly some emails or tweets back and forth that would be confirming of a contract’s existence, or if they actually used any of her work product.

    You put the best possible spin on it – “promised more than they could deliver” – but even that is dishonest, as soon as they realized they couldn’t pay her, they should have told her.  But just because people are conservative doesn’t make them honest, and it is always a mistake to assume they are.  Duke Cunningham was a war hero, but turned out to be on the take.

    And “activists” generally deserve extra scrutiny because many of them believe their cause is worth it, especially when it is someone else’s money or livelihood at stake.

  • http://www.granitegrok.com Mike Rogers

    Good to know. Chipped in anyway.

  • http://conservativecommune.com Joy W. McCann

    The update is that it looks like they are going to pay, but I had to borrow from family in order to buy my plane ticket, since they have been so lackadaisical about this (and unclear on how long it takes for a check to get to the West Coast).

    And, yes–I do have an individual tip jar on my site, and it’s reproduced in the blegging posts under “Editor’s Pick” at The Conservatory (the “Commune”).

    And I’m in the process of drawing up contracts–in the past the client has always provided those . . . and those that weren’t followed through with their commitments.

  • Guest

    > JFK’s teenage mistress

    Dayum, that man had good taste. 

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Stacy’s a, b, and c advice above are spot-on, but there should have been a ‘d': always get it in writing and, if possible, contract form.

    Glad to hear you’re going, Joy.

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  • http://twitter.com/vermontaigne Dan Collins

    Thanks, Stacy, for being such a mensch, and to all of you who hit Joy’s tip jar . . . and also for those who woulda, if’n they coulda.

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

     Yep, and it works. I was able to pay forward a little bit of the kindness that the Dextrosphere has bestowed upon me. I hope she gets to go to CPAC!

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

     That’s great news, Joy, good luck! Hopefully people hitting your tip jar helps to bridge any money gap you may need to cover while you wait for your payment.

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