Friday, April 13, 2018Subscriber update

Building a Consensual Work Culture

One of the most difficult things for me to handle about having to sell my labor to employers is the regular reminders that I’m disposable. As a “human resource,” it’s never far from my mind that I serve an instrumental role and I’m easily replaced, no matter how well I perform. I’m a freelance writer, so I can work whatever hours I choose as long as I deliver the finished work by the deadline. However, the terms of my independent contractor agreement state that the company that gives me the majority of my paid work can choose to withhold that work from me anytime they please, for any reason, leaving me with no recourse. If they did this, I’d be left scrambling to find new clients so I could pay my bills. The company holds all the power. I’ve received excellent feedback on my assignments, but nonetheless, I write “only” 3000 words a week for them, and that level of output wouldn’t be difficult for the company to replace. So, like most of us, I live every day with the knowledge that at any time I could be unceremoniously cut from my source of sustenance, with no cushion.