August 26, 2016
A while back, before I became a proper programmer, I thought freelance writing was my calling. And with freelance websites teeming with jobs, how could I fail?
All sorts of ways, it turned out!
First of all, I had to bid on the jobs. These were mostly content creation gigs -- churning out articles based around a given keyphrase to boost the website's SEO. The active bids were pretty depressing. At the high end, I could make about a cent a word, and most of them were closer to a half-cent. When I finally was selected for one, I wrote about 21,000 words and made $168.
But I kept at it. I did some reviews of guitar software which I happened to own, and those paid comparatively better. But one job in particular, for a men's fashion and lifestyle company, was to write 100 tweets for something like a dollar each about style and online dating.
No one is more stylish than me. I should make that clear right now. At clubs, which I frequent, this is my reputation. But to apply for the gig, I had to send in a bunch of sample tweets anwyay.
Long story short, I did not get the job. I'm sure they just used all the best ones from the samples they got and never paid anyone, but I don't hold a grudge.
Here were my submissions, and some commentary, with a few years' perspective:
I still think this is pretty good men's advice. Plan a good stubble! Doesn't cost you anything.
Probably didn't fit into the consumerist agenda the company was trying to push, but I stand by this menswear advice.
Probably should have told the reader to buy a blazer in every colour or something, but I'm still running off blazer knowledge from five years ago, and I'm doing fine. Blazers don't change that much.
These next few veer into heteronormative dating advice. Is it skeezy to engineer a date, or is it 'romantic'? Don't form an opinion just yet; we have yet to fully explore the topic.
This one would be pretty hard to pull off but I think it'd be a date this nameless female love interest would tell her friends about.
Why do people insist on talking about their phones? I don't care what plan you're on or how much you're spending every month. Do other people? Maybe if people had more caramel hearts on their drinks they'd actually try to connect on a personal level.
You're going to spend your whole relationship picking apart each others' flaws anyway, so why not start now? #mensfashion
Getting passed over for that job wasn't the end of the world, but it still makes me wonder: could I have transformed the world of men's fashion and dating culture? I guess we'll never know. Until then: don't wear cologne. Everybody'll hate you.
August 4, 2014
I think we should all try just a little bit harder to be better consumers.
Do you have money? Don't tell anyone if you do — a friend might ask you to have some, and you'll have to think of an excuse not to give them any. No, if you have money, the best thing to do is buy more things and raise your standard of living. You've earned it! The only time it's acceptable to tell someone how much money you have in your bank account is if it's so little, you know the number to the cent. "I've only got three dollars and twenty-seven cents in my savings account," you can say with a laugh. Others might laugh too, but wait for the eerie silence as each person thinks of a way to change the subject. They definitely have more money than you, and they don't want to even the score. They have couches to buy.
You might be talking to someone who has upwards of twenty thousand dollars to their name — but you'd never know! Not until they buy that car, anyway. "I had twenty thousand dollars," the new driver chuckles, "but I'm pretty broke now!" Don't worry too much, though, and don't offer them any of your money. There are things you haven't bought yet. Have you seen stores? You can pick up anything you want, within reason, and leave the store with it, after parting with the dollar amount listed on its tag. Notice that good feeling in the pit of your stomach as you make off with your new purchase? You can have that any time you want. There's probably a store really close to you right now.
I mean, what do you think you're doing? Every time you're not adding a new physical object to your personal inventory, you are insulting everyone involved with it. Someone had to design it — possibly even an entire team of people. Someone had to build the machinery to manufacture it, and people are employed full-time to keep those machines running at maximum efficiency, 24/7. They're so smart! Are you calling them chumps? Another person, a creative genius, did the typography for the packaging. Look at the letters! You don't want to own that box for a few hours before you put it in the recycling? I mean garbage. You can put it in the garbage.
That product on the shelf you haven't bought yet — an inspector personally made sure that it was safe for you to have in your home. A supply chain manager, who went to school to learn the art of international commercial transportation, succeeded in bringing it a great distance so that you could see it, and hold it in your hands. Smell the product! Did you see the TV commercial for it? That thirty-second ad cost far more than twenty thousand dollars to make. Someone could have bought a vehicle for that kind of money, but they didn't. That's a sacrifice that was made for you. And you aren't even grateful. Do you feel good about yourself? Because you'd be wrong. The customer is always right, and I don't hear a receipt getting printed, you dirtbag.
You are fat, and cheap, and classless, and you smell, and you're ugly, and none of the colours in your living room go well together. And you still have money? What are you even planning to do with it? No — don't tell me.
Buy something today. The cashier will thank you.