The Angry, Angry Author

Today has been a major “angry author” day.  I’m not kidding, from the time I woke up this morning, all I’ve had is interaction after interaction that makes me incredibly angry.  Maybe it’s the planets in the wrong alignment that have me reacting this way, because I feel like I’m overreacting by being angry (and my poor husband seems to be very very sure I’m overreacting).  Then I realized – hey!  I have a blog!  I can go vent about it!

First thing I woke up to this morning was a note that if I want to be paid for my blog entries, I need to have three more in today for the current month.  Buh?  It’s only the 17th, how can that be?  Well, see when Mahalo says “month” they mean “four random weeks that have nothing to do with a calendar month”.  Only, they don’t actually TELL you that.  Yesterday ended week 28 of the Mahalo “year”, and apparently was the last day of a Mahalo “month” as well.  It makes me kind of feel like I’m living in an alternate universe with a different way of spinning around the sun. This probably wouldn’t have bothered me if someone had maybe told me ahead of time.  But then again, maybe that’s asking for a little too much.  I mean really, I’m sure “psychic” is a requirement of all writing jobs, no?

So okay, whatever, I can deal with randomly numbered months.  But then I learn that the work that I did during the hourly paid IRC shifts has to be finished on our own time.  For free.  Going in, I was told to get three done an hour, which was pretty much impossible because they were all a wreck, but I was told time was the most important factor.  So, okay, I did what I could to update the pages in twenty minutes each.

Turns out, the goal is actually to bring the page up to current Mahalo gold standards.  It would have been really helpful to be told this beforehand.  It also would have been helpful to be told that any further edits would have to be done for free, which I’m pretty sure is illegal.  The parts I’m told that I have to edit are the parts that the original author of the page completed rather than my own work, so it’s not as though my updates are a problem, it’s that they want me to work as an editor.  Without getting paid.  All told, it’s going to take me a minimum of four hours (probably more like six) to do these edits.  And I have to make all my other minimums this week, but I cannot take any more IRC shifts until I finish all the edits on my previous shift work.  I’m not sure how I’m going to manage this without becoming bitter and resentful.  Oh, wait!  I’m already bitter and resentful so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Third, someone with access to my spreadsheet deleted one of the pages I did this week.  Why?  I have no clue.  But today was the deadline for payday.  When I alerted the management to the issue, I was told to replace it, and since my page scores were high, I’d be paid through for it as it would surely be fine as it was.  That I appreciated, and it definitely made me feel (slightly) better, but I’m curious as to why someone would delete the page.  It seems really weird.  It made me wonder if they do that regularly and writers don’t catch it, and then just don’t get paid for all their pages.  Suspicions, I have them.

Next, two of my DMS articles came back for rewrites today.  One, I was pretty sure would come back.  So why did I submit it?  Cause I got too close to the deadline and didn’t have a choice – it was submit it, and get it sent back, or let it expire and waste the work I put into it.  So, I’m not upset about that one.  I’m upset about the one that was rejected by someone who obviously shouldn’t have chosen the article to copy edit.

The article title was “How to make a Beaded Choker Necklace” and that’s what I wrote.  I got back edit requests, including asking me to explain what a choker necklace was and what made it different from long necklaces (really?  REALLY?), what memory wire is (okay, maybe not everyone knows that), to put in every step that it was a choker necklace I was making (uh, really NO WAY, I’m not going to say “Open the jump ring with your flat nose pliers.  To make your choker necklace. Slide the pendant onto the jump ring, and close the ring with the pliers.  To make your choker necklace.  NO WAY).  Lastly, they asked me not to use references that led to commercial, bead selling websites.  BUH?  My resources were three books.  No websites.  I don’t know if the copy editor was just having a bad day or is just not very bright, but they peppered their notes to me with their own grammatical errors which made that inner editor in me snicker madly.

I may finally have my first article to sell on Constant Content!  I don’t think there is any way to write an article that satisfies what this copy editor wants without writing an article I’d be severely embarrassed to have my name associated with.

What’s an angry writer to do?