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Freelance Chopshop

A horror story from the pits of freelancer-hell. Dedicated to those that, like I, must learn these lessons. May you adopt these (incredibly obvious) truths and become empowered.


It had only been a month, but that was enough. I had actively been working when they wrote that they were fooling with my money. That was the brick to the face that made me realize any money lost was worth it to be rid of these people.


For the scanners who don’t care about the story…

  • You accept work. My client assigned pieces. They (and myself) never asked if I wanted to, or even could, accept the work.
  • Rush jobs cost more. My client would assign pieces with next-day or same-day deadlines with no change in price.
  • If the payment is wrong all work stops. There is no excuse for the payment to be wrong. If it is continuing on “in good faith” means they are taking advantage of you.
  • Attitude counts for a lot. My client had an attitude. Rude. Uncooperative. Clearly disorganized. Plus one completely inappropriate dick joke when I asked about a hard deadline.

You Accept Work. It Is Not Assumed.

The online messaging system was, seemingly, always abuzz. I frequently woke up with a new article assignments due the next day. Soon, that increased into two assigned articles with no change in deadline.

Rush Jobs Cost Extra

From that point on next-day or same-day deadlines were assigned in the middle of the night (including one assignment I received at noon on New Years Eve that was due that night.)

The Almighty Dollar

The first payment was wrong. I couldn’t reconcile the total. I went back and asked for clarification. I was told that they had lowered client prices, and therefore freelancer prices.

Read The Room

If your client’s disregard for your time, your pay, or your agreement isn’t enough to convince you this relationship is not in your best interest, then consider this: what is their attitude?

It’s You, Not Me.

The midnight assignment sprees; the doubling up on assignments; and the lack of response when asking for guidance all pointed to a problematic client. No matter how much you may need the money, these types of clients will never make it worth your while.



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