Thursday, May 27, 2010

Being a freelancer sucks when you um, aren't FREE

I cannot tell you how much it pains me to tell someone NO when I'm called for a job. After all, I'm the YES girl remember? When I was at jury duty the other week, I had to turn down a reporting gig for a website I would loooove to work for. I was super-bummed, but I have a pal at the company, so when they told me "Don't worry, we'll call you again," I believed it. 

But yesterday as I was walking to the park to lay out (I know, you hate me), I got a call from a 323 number. Who do I know in California? Worried it might be a salesperson from my gym calling me yet again from a different phone number, I let it go to voicemail. Then I listened to the message:

Hi Ellen, this is Steve. I'm a producer at A&E (Ok ok, interesting...) and I'm calling you about a new show we're working on (Right right...). You were very highly recommended to us (Umm, obvi), and I was wondering if you could assist our wardrobe stylist with an upcoming taping. (Please please PLEASE don't be this weekend!) So if you're free this Friday through Sunday, give me a call and...I didn't hear anything after that. 

(Ok, so this pic is random, but I totally think people should start paying their freelancers with Starbucks gift cards!) If you recall from this post, I'm going to be in Southampton over the weekend. If I could afford to lose that $300 deposit, I might have considered canceling (Oh ok, no I wouldn't have), but it just wasn't realistic at such short notice. Plus, this trip is like five years overdue! But seriously, how much does that SUCK?! I was especially excited for the opportunity because I didn't have any connections at this company, which showed me that somehow my name is floating around the big bad city, and that's pretty awesome. I called Steve back to thank him and to tell him to please keep me in mind for future jobs. (I'm positive I came across waaay too eager...and desperate.) He said he'd "keep me on file." (On file? Really?) FAIL. 

Freelancing is the best thing in the world when: 1.) You're getting called regularly for jobs. 2.) You're available to do those jobs. I can't help but to think that by saying "no," I will lose a potential employer forever. It's so frustrating! 

Tell me: What's the thing you like the least about your job? And does anyone have any exciting work-related news to share? I promise I won't get jealous! ;)


  1. Uh! That totally sucks, gf. Other things will come up. I know you're sick of this tune, but everything really does happen for a reason!

  2. Awww, that sucks!! I tend to view things as "nothing is a coincidence" so I'm sure after your trip something even better will come your way :)

  3. Oh no! I'm sorry it didn't quite work out.
    I've heard a TON of "keep you on file promises". I got into acting as a young teen and heard it all the time. It has happened a lot with just regular jobs I've applied for. Not cool!

  4. That Sucks !
    What I hated worst about my last job is that the owner of the company couldn't pay his bills so we were getting calls from bill collectors instead of customers and eviction notices over the fax. Everyone at this job was miserable too. No one said good morning, nothing. They acted like half-dead zombies !

  5. DAMN Ellen, that SUCKS! i'm upset for you. Like DAMN DAMN DAMN! I've reached my bitching about my job quota for the month, so i'm not even going to go there. At least you'll be in the hamptons, HAVE FUN girl!

  6. Thanks, Ketchup Diaries, I believe that too! It's still hard tho!

    I hope you're right, Diana! That's a great way to look at things :)

    Yup, LMP, I think everyone can relate to the dreaded "we'll keep you on file" spiel. It suuucks!

    Whoa MEK, that's sounds MISERABLE! How long did you work there??

    Aww, Nadette, that's so sweet that you're genuinely upset for me. It really was a shitty feeling to say NO. Well, hopefully that means more jobs are around the corner!