Work For Hire
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Like so many deities, I'm underemployed. Not under-worked, underemployed. There's a difference.
No matter when you were born, chances are you were on the forefront of some social movement (for better or worse). I have been on the forefront of two.
The first was computer use. When I was a salaried employee at a publishing house back in the mid-1980s, I remember the day when they rolled in the very first word processor. I was the first one to sit down and use it. For a long time it was mine all mine.
The second social change that has influenced my life was the push toward using contract employees instead of salaried workers. I've been an independent contractor since 1987. This was only possible because my husband is a salaried employee at a struggling, but still viable, firm.
If you've never been a contract employee, you probably have great knees. Why? Because contract employees always have to get down on their knees and beg for the check for services rendered.
If I had all the time back that I've spent trying to chase down paychecks, I would have me one hell of a free weekend. Especially in freelance writing, your editor wants the copy on deadline, but he's coldly indifferent to your need for timely compensation.
I worked as an independent contractor for ESPN for two years. And every time I mention it, people say, "Why did you ever leave? Wasn't it a great job?"
Hell no. It was a crappy job. Ridiculous deadlines, keeping me up until 2:00 a.m., 14-hour days five days in a row ... and then ... the check didn't come. Months would pass, and no payment. The payroll guy would never pick up his phone, and if he did he would say, "I never got the invoice." Then he would dodge further phone calls.
This is no way to live. Just ask any bored god who used to get nice fatted calves or whatever, and who now lives on the few and far-between coins tossed in a sacred spring.
The primary reason I sought employment outside the writing world was that I wanted reliable checks that came on the 15th and 30th of the month. So now I'm with the federal government, and guess what? No checkee. I'm now re-engaging the bended knee to a new payroll clerk.
If you get a regular payroll check, I want you to take the next one you get and kiss the print off it. And if you get direct deposit, kiss the bank machine that reveals your paycheck-enhanced balance. Trust me, it's tough as all get-out to run a family budget when the check is always in the mail and never in the mailbox.
I'm Anne Johnson, and I approved this rant.