Tuesday, July 18, 2006

And a Response to a Greedy, Money Hungry Writer

I couldn't resist sending a message to the job lister who wanted writers to work for free for one month. My message was simple - "Could you explain, exactly, how working for free for one month is high paying? You should be posting in the low-paying to no-paying category."

I received this response from one Tim Allen of Supercritics.com:

"Even the most money hungry writer knows that sometimes there will be periods
of famine before the feast. After the one month is over, the pay rate will
increase to an amount worthy of the term high-paying. If you feel that you
can put your greed aside for a moment, and would like to submit a resume
and/or a writing sample, my team and I will surely look it over.
If not, the best of luck to you."

Well, there you have it. My greed has gotten the better of me.


Anonymous Tim Allen said...

I realize that you are probably just picking a fight with me so that you'll have something to write about on your blog--why else would anyone waste their time debating such a minute detail--and I should probably just let this go. But alas, its people like you who are giving journalism a bad name by blowing things completely out of proportion and ignoring the real issue.

I've never asked anyone to work for free (and my ad never said anything about interviewing celebrities. It is a critic site--we review movies, music, books and TV shows). Every writer who is hired by SuperCritics will have their expenses paid from the very first day, and after one month, once we've assessed what we can pay, we will put those writers on a salary PLUS award them any back pay they should have received during that month.

Check your facts before you start throwing around accusations and labeling people. I was wrong to call you money-hungry. It looks like you're money-hungry and controversy-hungry.

Have a nice day.

Tim Allen
Managing Editor

6:16 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's so sad is that people will actually fall for this scam...when I show up to work I want to be guaranteed I can pay my bills not if or when the company has "assessed what we can pay". Oh Brother!

11:38 AM CDT  
Blogger Kristen King said...

Kerri, I'm so glad I found your blog. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of time here--especially if you keep on "picking fights" with people over the "minute detail" of whether they'll be paying you for work.

Speaking of which, Mr. Allen, I'm still not entirely sure what the "real issue" is here, and I don't know how asking a simple, and justified, question constitutes giving journalism a bad name (or, for that matter, picking a fight). In fact, I would argue that making personal attacks and sending knee-jerk responses to the questioner--along with suggesting that writers should accept deliberate and calculated "famine" and those who find that unacceptable are "money hungry" and "greed[y]"--does more to besmirch journalism's good name than does asking for information about a job listing and suggesting a more appropriate placement for said listing based on the information contained therein. I would also posit that doing it publicly on a well-read blog for writers is a bad idea, as these are the types of posts we money-hungry writers tend to share with one another because they're (a) funny and (b) cautionary.

So to return to my original point, what exactly is the real issue? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Kristen King

1:51 PM CDT  
Anonymous Ariel Taylor said...

Anyone who thinks getting paid is "such a minute detail" and who thinks journalism gets its bad name by blowing issues out of proportion knows nothing of journalism or working with writers. And newsflash for Mr. Allen -- trying to insult a journalist by calling her "controversy-hungry" is akin to calling the sky blue, the Pope Catholic, ad nauseam.

Caveat emptor, folks.

3:46 PM CDT  
Anonymous Greg said...

I don't see what the big deal is. If he's givving them back pay they don't work for free. Get a life.

11:51 PM CDT  
Blogger Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

Greg, For the record, he did not state in his ad that he was giving back pay. Continued correspondence with this "editor" suggests that he still doesn't have any idea what that pay would be, even if he is able to pay it after one month. Would your doctor, lawyer, utility company or any other professional you hire allow you to pay them whatever you decided you could pay after working a month for nothing? I think not, that is, if you're old enough even to have bills. But if they do, this sounds like the perfect arrangement for you! You should apply.

9:29 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So far the SuperCritics.com web site is just ads. I would be wary of taking a job with a start-up site that has nothing but promises to offer.

11:43 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...this must be the most traffic your website has gotten in a long time. Mission accomplished, eh?

1:49 PM CDT  
Blogger Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

Uh, yes, Tim, or Greg, or whoever your are today. And as you can see by my long list of paid clips, I do this just for the "exposure." I'm just glad other professional writers, as well as new writers, are finding value to it.

2:35 PM CDT  
Blogger InvisaWriterGirl said...

Bravo, Kerri, for taking these clowns to task!

5:06 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Color me greedy, since I expect to be paid for my work--from the first day, at a rate specified in advance, as opposed to hoping that after a month, I'll receive a check for an unknown amount, with no contract to fall back on in the event that a start-up doesn't pay its bills. Attention to such "minute details" may explain why I've been a successful freelancer for more than 20 years.

9:36 AM CDT  
Anonymous Convoluted Muse said...

What a slimeball! The sad part is somebody will do it. Great article/post!


11:13 AM CDT  

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