One Misadventure of a Freelancer

Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 by Rom in Labels: , , , ,

I’ve been freelancing for about a decade now, working primarily as an artist in various animation studios here in Manila. Freelancing gave me freedom that I much desire while earning a living. Its fun working at home I know most of you guys will disagree with me, no I’m not an anti-social person—I’m just a father who got fed up of the hustle and bustle of the corporate world and the maddening sight and sounds of traffic in a busy Manila street.

When the animation industry went into slump, workflow suddenly appears like rain in the dessert--bad news. I found myself pounding the keyboard on my computer finishing up a deadline for an article; writing became my bread and butter. Not much to put food on the table but at least I got a job aside from the millions of unemployed squabbling for left over food under the rich man’s table. Writing breathes a new life on me, for some reason it gave new meaning (and excuses) for my talent—as if I have one. But it also opens new doors and provide fresh glimpse of the whole new world outside my window. Just like many new discoveries frustrations, hopes and errors abound.

I recently had an overwhelming experience in writing for an outsourcing agency based here in Manila. One thing with this kind of job, communication and the failure of it spells doom for both the agent and the writer. After finishing merely 8 articles of different topics for almost a week’s work, I would readily assume that I can have (finally) my salary at the end of the month—unfortunately not.

Having been duped in the past by some unscrupulous outsourcing agent which is sad to say, my fellow Filipinos I fervidly pursued the idea of calling and sending SMS to follow up for the payment. For some peculiar reasons, communication between agent) and this writer went haywire. I was so stupid and paranoid enough to email the other writers on the roster inquiring about if they have the same problem as mine, and if ever take “some necessary actions” if things get worst.

I hit the “wrong (?) Nerve” so to speak I acted as the rubble rouser to the other writers who have the same (or almost) predicament as mine. One schmuck writer tipped off the ongoing email conversations to the Writers@Work owner, and a heated phone argument followed. Almost 30 minutes of grueling reasoning from both sides took place. In the end? Whoa! Payment for my hard work, good enough for my hand-to-mouth survival.

Why does it have to be that people act only and cry only if their interest were being stepped upon? In my case I act and cry as my payment got in dire straits, it’s the food on the table for my children at stake here and I would do anything to keep away somebody from stealing/delaying it. For it’s their reputation as a subcontractor at risk for the whole wide web world to see. Now, do you think I did the right thing shaking the apple tree? Tell me.

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