Friday, April 16, 2010

On Assignment

A week or so ago, I responded to a listing on seeking free-lance writers.

I was required to submit a writing sample which, according to the listing, would be reviewed by the editors. I would be contacted if I was accepted. Despite the fact that I submitted one of these essays, I was hired.

I was sent to a web site where I was required to provide bio info, etc., and instructed that I should browse through the thousands of assignments available, claim the ones in which I was interested, begin writing and commence raking in the bucks.

The client list on the site included some well-known and heavily trafficked web sites. The downside is my new employer pays a whopping $7.50-$15 per article. Undeterred by this paltry pay, I decided the best strategy was to plow through the assignment list and select topics that I could write about without wasting a lot of not-so-precious time on research.

I have now struggled through 38 pages of assignments and learned that, despite being a resident alien on this planet for 65 years, I know nothing about anything.

I didn’t know where to begin with “What is a Flaring Block for Through Hall Transducers?”

The only thing I could contribute to “How to Open a Snowball Business” was to suggest refrigerated delivery trucks.

I spent and hour with scissors and paper trying to figure out “How to make a 3D Paper Reindeer” only to come a cropper on the goddamned antlers every time.

If I could write a learned essay on “How to Get Rich in the Stock Market”, would I really need the $7.50?

I will venture a guess on “What is a Crotch Cricket”: A rare sex disorder that causes your sex organ to chirp when you rub your legs together?

Do I really want to go down in history as the author of “The History of the Wrestling Mat?

It’s a sobering thought that much of the “content” that we all depend on when we Google some important question in our lives is written by desperate, under-paid writers trying to research and crank out three articles an hour so they can earn the same hourly wage as plumber’s assistant.

Oh, boy. At last one I can handle: “How do Bread Boards Work?”

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