Monday, January 23, 2012

Adopt a freelancer

Like everyone, I used to shun freelancers.

They are the nervous pale kid in glasses in the playground. If you talk to him, he’ll think he’s your friend and follow you around.

They are spirit beings. They walk among you but they are not one of you. Like Patrick Swayze in Ghost.

They are mercenaries. Every penny they get would have gone towards your bonus or Christmas party or a new Maserati for the boss.

I was the same. ‘What’s the point in learning a freelancer’s name?’ I reasoned. ‘In a week, or a month, or a few months, they’ll be gone and you’ll have used up that part of your brain unnecessarily.'

But, having freelanced for over a year now, I’ve realised something. Freelancers are humans too.

So today I’m starting a new campaign: Adopt a freelancer.

Given the success of my previous campaigns to Make planning history and Stop hiring art directors FULL STOP, I'm confident this will also capture the imagination of the industry and usher in a watershed of wholesale changes.

Think about it. In the history of humanity, has there ever been a more terribly oppressed people group than freelance creatives? (Other than fans of The Cure and they kind of deserve it.)

Freelancers are never offered a cup of tea. Never invited to the pub. They’re forced to use whatever broken furniture/computer equipment has been discarded by others.

And yet do you find freelancers writing long, whiney, self-obsessed blog posts about how terribly hard it is? Not a bit of it. They soldier on, courageously accepting their inflated pay each week.

Do you have any idea, dear reader, of the difference it could make to a freelancer if you said "Hello"? If you nodded at them in the corridor or even, dare I suggest, smiled? Once I sneezed and the person next to me said “Bless you” and I was so pitifully grateful I almost wept.

So please, for 2012, join my campaign and Adopt a freelancer. Because, remember, one day you could be a freelancer too.



  2. To be fair, people here do regularly invite freelancers to the pub, and we even include them in tea runs.
    Maybe we are rare...

    1. You're very rare Rob, rare and special. To be fair, I'm not sure what I'd do if I was invited to the pub. That'd really panic me.

  3. you are right. but we get paid a premium to put up with all of that, and that's more than compensation.

    Imagine being a permy *shudder*. Imagine being in that situation where you are worried about what some twit writes about you in your appraisal. And worried that your compensation depends on the approval of some idiot who doesn't know if it's day or night.

    Corporate recognition? PAH!!! I laugh in it's face.

    And so should you.