Freelance Compensation

Once, when I worked in a cubicle farm, the editorial staff all went out to lunch. The waiter came up and we were all set to order, except for ManEd (the managing editor, and the only male on editorial row).

“ManEd! Stop copyediting the menu and order!” someone said. He looked up with an incredibly sheepish expression on his face.

I was out with a friend this weekend who was  part of the same editorial staff. We were chatting about the menu, what we would order, what we would drink, whether we’d share the world’s best nachos, etc., when I said, “oops, there’s a typo.”

“Oh you saw it?” she asked.

“Yeah, the roasted tomato one?” It was spelled raosted. “I think I should get a free drink for every typo I find.

Unfortunately this is not how the freelance world works. For my friends I do edit for alcohol, or dinner, or cookies, or for someone to read my manuscript. But in the real world I only get compensated for the work I am contracted to do.

What do you think you should be compensated for?

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7 responses to “Freelance Compensation

  1. I’ve worked a lot of places that forced me to wear a garishly colored vest or apron with the name of the business emblazoned on it. I would like retroactive compensation for every time a customer came up to me and ask if I worked there—and double if I was actively engaged in something that only an employee would do, like ringing up customers or unpacking a big box of stock.

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