Dear Delicious and Good-Smelling Readers: Consider this a profanity alert. Things are about to get ugly up ahead.
You’ve been warned …
Hey world: FUCK the fuck off!
That’s right! See me? I’m standing on top of my car, flipping you off
with BOTH hands! A double bird!
Now I’m mooning your ass — with MY ass.
How ya like that?
What’re you lookin’ at?
So what has me feeling all fuck-offery at the world?
I had to plunk down nearly an entire paycheck to pay for car repairs yesterday. It was the kind of car work that needed to be done so the car would pass inspection.
But that problem just brought into even sharper focus another problem that I’ve been having for two years.
Work is yucky
I’m underemployed. And you know what? I’m so tired of applying for ridiculous freelance jobs that don’t pay jack to make up the difference. (My thought of the day yesterday: Can we start calling it PAYlance so companies will get the idea that there should be money involved?)
Applying for freelance writing gigs online is about as ridiculous as online dating. Also, it hasn’t even gotten me laid even once.
There are so many blind job ads. Often you have no idea what company you’re applying to.
Note to companies that do this: I don’t get it. If you want me to apply to your company, I want to put my best foot forward. I want to research your company and target my letter specifically to YOU. I don’t want to give you some lame boilerplate crap. I want to wow you! Telling me who you are would help me to do that.
I applied to a few companies that want writers to blog on their sites.
But really, it’s hard to give a shit after a while.
Here’s what happens:
You write a little audition piece. You sweat over it. You make sure it’s perfect. You send it in.
You get no response.
Are there just THAT MANY writers out there looking for work? Probably. Because in the age of Internet writing, you’re not competing with your local talent base, you’re competing with the PLANET.
I read somewhere that if you don’t apply for something with a few hours of the post going live, you’re lost in a sea of applicants.
After a while, it’s hard to take these things seriously. In fact, every few months I decide to just stay fucking poor and stop doing this altogether.
Just because you can stick things in your ass doesn’t mean you should put your head in there
Damn. That’s a long subhead. So be it.
Let’s look at a case study of a company that I recently applied to.
They wanted people who could write about a variety of things. Hey! I can do that!
They want someone edgy. Sure!
Someone who could write in the style of Cracked.com. Sounds right up my alley!
(Guess what, people who are hiring? Everyone mentions Cracked.com or something similar lately … and my guess is that most of you don’t read those sites.)
The job-post headline was this: Looking for enthusiastic blogger for interesting, stable position.
So I wrote to them. “Dear people who are hiring enthusiastic bloggers…”
They wrote back. The gig was to write three blog posts a day (for somewhat dismal pay) on …
And to get the gig they wanted me to do two things:
1. Pitch them three blog ideas about language translation (as the job would call for THREE POSTS A DAY on this subject).
2. Submit a writing sample on the of topic language translation that would show them how edgy, humorous and “viral” my writing could be.
For fucking real?
Because edgy blog posts about language translation often spark massive Internet virality.
Stick a fork in me — preferably someplace fun
This is not the first clueless job ad I’ve run across.
Here’s the problem: These companies want to pay people to create fake intimacy — fintimacy! — with their target audience. On a topic that probably very few people feel particularly intimate about.
So many companies don’t get social media. They don’t get that people want genuine genuosity. They don’t get that in social media you can totally use a made-up word like genuosity and it’s totally fine. They don’t get that people can see right through a thinly-disguised sales pitch.
So here’s what I may or may not have sent back:
Dear people who work at company whose name I still don’t know:
Thank you for replying to me.
Here are three topics related to language translation that I think could spark viral-ish Internet behavior:
1. Strategies for accidentally insulting someone’s mother while pretending to seriously translate a conversation.
2. Racial stereotypes: They’re funny because they’re true!
3. Admit it. Every language that’s not English totally sucks.
And now, I will lose my shit on you
I am a fucking writer, assholes. If you use words the right way, they can be very powerful.
Saying you want to apply the writing style of Cracked.com to the topic of language translation is like buying a stud horse who has a constant hard-on and then using him for pony rides.
It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t fucking work and it makes everyone look foolish.
That’s not to say that what you do isn’t good and important and worthwhile.
But to you, companies, I say the same thing that I would say to a person:
1. Know thyself. Figure out who you are and what’s valuable about you.
2. Be real. Don’t wear your teenagers’ clothes. Don’t pretend you’re young and hip if you’re not. (Clearly I’m not because I just said the word “hip.”)
3. Play to your strengths. There are probably great things about you. You’re not fully developing those things if you’re busy chasing what you think the rest of the herd is doing. Figure out what makes sense for you.
4. Hang out with people who like you. Is it nice to make new friends? Sure. But don’t bang your head against the wall trying to force yourself down people’s throats. Start with the people who love you and build from there. If you’re constantly trying to infiltrate a clique that doesn’t want you, you’re going to end up getting boogers wiped on your locker door.
And so it ends
With that, I am officially done. No more. I am giving myself permission to stop.
No more freelance job boards. No more craigslist. No more emails.
I’m taking my own advice from those four points. (Yes, I am having a total Field of Dreams moment … “If you write it, they will come…”)
So I ask you this: Did you like this blog post? Are you a regular reader? Did I ever make you laugh, make you think or make you horny? If so, share the love peeps. Tell yo friends about the bloggity.
Thanks, blogmuffins. You know no one loves you like momma does.