The Human Freelancer

Happy and honest self-employment for conscientious newcomers

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Once you’ve put your muddy little footprint on the web, and people know what you do – prepare for the warm brown tsunami of shit-kicking, piss-whacking time-wasters, who trawl the internet for the cheapest prices they can find.

You’ll find this an problem if you offer a commoditised service, like event photography in my case. Although a thinner strand of what I do for a living, it’s still a neat, pick-up-and-put-down service that people ‘get’ – with ample competition, supply and demand.

And that attracts time-wasters like rats to a used fruit condom.

They waste time because every enquiry solicits thought and a considered reply. Considerate freelancers like us put our hearts into every job – we don’t bang out pro-forma one-size-fits-all responses.

So here’s some vitriol to help you when this happens. Below are three of my favourite replies from unscrupulous shit-kickers, when you chase up your thoughtful quote. They usually follow a period of complete silence without so much as a thank you or decision either way.

‘We got someone for less money’

Did you? You didn’t mention the lowest price was your only deciding factor when hiring talented creative people. Or were you worried that makes you sound like the grasping shit-siphon you really are?

Your curt response also tells me you have very little appreciation of the value in art. Good quality comes at a fair price, bozo. And pinching pennies just passes your ignorance and ineptitude at running a business onto vulnerable, kind-hearted people.

Know what? I hope the poor unfortunate wretch you beat down on price realises what an empty, spiritless cunt you are, and bums you out at the last minute (which, let’s face it, is highly likely if you hire cheap amateur enthusiasts). When you’re let down, please do come crawling back to ask if I’m available at a cheaper price (this actually happens). In that instance you’ll get courteous decline, because I’ll be busy doing precisely fuck-all while you languish between the slimy sheets you shat upon.

By the way, have you heard of the modern slavery act?

‘We chose someone cheaper who we used last year’

‘Used’ – superb choice of words, fuck-face. How lucky this other freelancer must be, to have a partner so invested in the fruitful relationship that you’re willing to approach complete strangers, and ask if they’ll do them out of a living, for less.

I wonder, have you ever asked your present freelancer if you can work out a better deal together, consensually?

Probably not, you’re too busy stealing food out the mouths of their children. Though with a bit of luck your unwittingly exploited partner of choice will realise that their livelihood hangs by a thread, and see you for the shameless taskmaster you really are.

P.S. Thanks for passing the burden of market research onto generous freelancers. We love writing considerate free quotes for twats like you, striving to squeeze the maximum amount of blood and toil out of their present serfs.

‘They did us a deal’

Wow! You managed to get them to do more work, for less money? You truly are a celestial defender of workers rights. Are you pro-Brexit by any chance?

I’m joking. No one is that stupid.

Maybe there’s just been a simple misunderstanding. So, when you said you wanted a quote for all this hard work, what you meant was you’d like me to cheat myself out of a fair living, all because you want to keep more money for yourself? If only you’d said – I usually LOVE doing that for total strangers! Sorry – I must have missed this subtle nuance when I was busy selecting the words to express what a superlative bat-wanker you are.

‘Deal’? DEAL? I’m an independent artisan not a fucking used-car showroom. That price I quoted isn’t arbitrary. It’s a delicate balance of the value my expertise brings to your business and the quality of my work. It’s the difference between some amateur enthusiast who turns up late then gets in the way, and a freelancer like me who looks you in the eye and asks ‘how can we make this even better?’

Plus, that figure accounts for all the time I spend replying to lazy anal truffle-hounds like you. Go fuck yourself and your boring brief.

Believe it or not, when this first happened, I took it really personally

It hurts when someone exploits your goodwill, and reduces your art and experience to a blunt cash figure. ‘Yeah but the free market is our greatest source of innovation.’ Is it? Or does the cess pool simply palm off problems to those lower down the chain who are in it for love not money? And at what cost?

These days I’m more sanguine (as my placid reactions above prove). I often feel a pang of sadness the moment a thoughtful quote gets rejected, then I realise I’ve had a lucky escape. Who wants to work for pustules like these anyway? More opportunities will come along.

Frustration at injustice like this is always short-lived. Especially when you remember you’re good at what you do and care deeply about it. That’s really where the hurt comes from. Let’s not let them undermine your resolve.

People like us are only really at our best when we work with the right kind of clients anyway – likeminded folk who are open, trusting and truly understand what value really means.

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