Thursday, December 16, 2010

Freelancers often must beg for pay

"I’m in the professional equivalent of an abusive relationship,” said Ben Ryan, a low-income freelancer writer who says his former employer owes him $12,925. “I would describe an overriding, constant sense of anxiety. Of course, that’s what the freelancer experience is.”

An opaque terminology accompanies these delays. There are “checks” versus “processed invoices,” “mailed checks” versus “cut checks,” “payments processed” versus “payments in the system.” It was always unclear to me whether any of these terms described real occurrences, actual actions taken, or whether they were merely meaningless placeholders for an action that never took place. There is always something that holds up the payment — a lost invoice to be pursued, a person who went on vacation who is suddenly being replaced by someone else, a contract that wasn’t signed, somebody to follow-up with in another, buried department, until you get to that individual who may have actually laid on eyes on your check.
hat tip to Elizabeth Dwoskin for telling how freelancers face excruciating and humiliating experiences chasing up owed wages.Even at the NY Times?

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