Friday, 30 March 2012

Being a freelancer

Being a freelancer is not always a barrel of laughs. We’re often expected to negotiate the fragile egg shells which have been scattered liberally by large corporations riddled with codes of conducts, and ways of doing things, which we'll never begin to understand. The weight of a well-ordered chain of command will often drop rather squarely onto the head of the freelancer (or scapegoat) when he is perceived to have stepped out of line. He gets wrapped across the knuckles often before anyone thinks to listen to his or her side of the story. It’s only natural. He’s the outsider. But who listens to the freelancer when he wants to complain about the way he’s been treated? Who does he turn to? Who's meant to explain the rules? Freelancers need to be better protected by the people they work for.

Clashes of personality are funny things, aren’t they? The tiniest little quirk can make you decide you don’t like someone; the way they speak, the way they walk, the way they dress. Maybe they sound too southern. Maybe they’re too flamboyant. Maybe they're just from another world. Perhaps they made you feel undervalued in some way. Sometimes a clash of personalities is something that you just need to move on from. People should acknowledge that two people have simply wound each other up the wrong way, so the best option is for a go-between to step in and take control of the situation, thus allowing the two parties to continue to do the work they’re good at, and continue to be the people they are. Sometimes a little apology helps. Sometimes it adds fire to the flames. Sometimes it can be seen as an acknowledgement of guilt.

So the freelancer continues to swim against the tide, hoping the quality of his work earns him the right to talk with passion when he feels passionate and to hear someone saying “thank you” from time to time. Sometimes I get a very horrible taste in my mouth and it makes me feel sad and a little undervalued.
For Pepys’ Diary – see yesterday’s blog... I wrote after midnight, so skipped a rather boring entry!

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