Hey everyone…I am in dire need of some business advice. Especially from the professionals out there!
As most of you know, I’m freelancing a lot right now for a few different magazines. One particularly has very odd rules which have been accumulating since the day I signed my contract. I want to know how people think I should handle this:
-They require me to come into the office once a week for eight hours….and not get paid for those hours. (I was ok with this thinking it would be a temporary thing…like, until they got used to me and knew I was doing my job and doing it well. Well, it’s not temporary in their minds. They want me to continue coming in for the rest of my life and then sign my first born over to the company.)
-So, while I’m at the office, not getting paid for hours I’m working, (not only writing but doing other random odd jobs that a freelancer shouldn’t be doing for a company. In my mind at least) they dictate that I’m not allowed to eat or drink at my laptop which I bring into the office with me every week. I would understand if it was their equipment…but this is my computer. Not to mention, writing is creative process. I NEED MY COFFEE TO BE CREATIVE. In all honesty, I could be around the corner writing and getting MORE work done with a venti caramel frap.
-Also, while at the office, working hours which I am not being paid for, the editor has mandated that everyone MUST take lunch between the hours of 12:30 and 1:30. If you don’t leave the office during this time, then you DON’T LEAVE AT ALL. IE - If you don’t eat lunch at 12:30, you go hungry. Now…I am turning 25 in a couple of weeks. I really don’t need someone telling me when to eat. I am a professional and I should be allowed to eat when hungry. If I have a doctor’s appointment, I should be able to go to that without being chastised by a boss who doesn’t pay me for the hours I work within the office. Outside of working in the food industry and retail, I never thought it wouldn’t matter WHEN I ate my lunch within an office environment. Plus…do I need to remind everyone, yet again, that I’m not being paid for these hours? How in the world can you justify telling people when they can leave when you’re not paying them?
-And lastly, the editor sent notice to the writers that there were too many grammatical errors in this issue. And that in the next round of articles, we will be docked $25 per mistake. PER. MISTAKE. I only get paid $100 per article. So, you’re telling me that if I make 4 mistakes, you will pay me nothing? And, I’m sorry, I was under the impression that it was an editor’s job to, oh I don’t know…EDIT!
Now, I know I sound like a whiny child here, and if I had a ton of really stupid grammatical errors within my articles, then I would understand an editor coming to me and saying, “Look, Colleen, you really need to check over your articles before sending them in.” It’s just the way we’re all being treated that irks me so much. But all this being said, I revise and edit my articles A LOT. Not to mention none of the editors at the three other magazines I write for have ever had a problem with me or my grammar.
So, all this being said…please enlighten me. Perhaps this IS how the industry works and I am just inexperienced? How should I handle this? Should I terminate my contract? I am seriously stressed out about it…any insight would be SO appreciated.