*All names of persons and business have been changed to protect the identity of those involved, and pretty much so I don’t get sued*
Life as a freelance writer can be either really exciting or extremely boring. You won’t become a millionaire and sometimes jobs are few and far between. This is a tale of the time I worked for a gossip site and had the worst job experience of my adult life.
Between the end of September and the beginning of October of 2014, I received an email from the head of, well I will call it, Bant.com. I was asked to come on as an entertainment writer, so I did my research and checked fully into the site and it’s staff before I signed the contract. Everything checked out and I had heard of this site before, so after carefully reading over the contract for a couple of times, I signed on.
We could come up with our own topics, but they sent us a “topic list” to choose from. Because these were “hot topics”, we had a deadline to have them turned in. If we missed 2 deadlines or more, we would forfeit our pay for that month. I guess I should explain the pay. Payment was once a month and you would get paid based on the number of views and engagements on your posts.
Anyone that has ever worked for another entertainment outlet knows that once you finish an article, you have to submit it for a final edit before it is published adding to the time it takes to get your article in. Anyway, I followed all of their guidelines and had everything turned in on time. There were 2 different editors I dealt with, I will call them “Editor A” and “Editor B”. Editor A was fantastic and would give great critics and was 100% professional, but Editor B was a massive asshole and had a big problem with female writers. I dealt mostly with Editor A, I would turn my pieces in on time and he would go over them and post them to the site.
Editor B was in something like 3 times a week. Editor B would take down my posts that Editor A had published and send them back to me with the nastiest remarks on them. This would make my article late and cause a “strike” against me. Because of this jerk, I ended up with a ton of strikes against me. I covered the premier of season 7 of Sons of Anarchy, and this piece became their top read for the month, but because of what Editor B did, I received no compensation for it.
I was pretty pissed off to say the least, but I liked the site and I got along great with everyone else that worked there. I continued working for them until 2 things happened that month. The first thing that kind of got to me was the “topic list” for that month. On this list, there were several article topics that were meant to tear down other entertainment sites (the main target was Buzzfeed.com). I understand competition, but slander is not something I am OK with. I chose topics with an actual entertainment based theme. Here is were stupid thing number 2 happened.
Once again, I had my work turned in on time and Editor A had published it to the site. Well, the very next morning, Editor B had removed the pieces and sent them back to me with yet again, more asshole remarks splashed all over them. I fixed what he claimed was wrong and sent them back. Editor A received them and put them back up. That didn’t last long, Editor B was back at it. He took them down and this time was even meaner in the things that he said. Not only did he pull my work down, he sent me a very nasty email. In this email he pretty much told me that I am a terrible writer and I should go live in a whole and never attempt anything creative ever again. That’s fine, don’t like me or my work, cool, but what really pissed me off about this email in particular was his closing line.
“This isn’t a job or environment for a female.”
Um… OK. Editor B had finally crossed the line. He not only tore me and my work down, but he pretty much attacked my whole gender and basically made the assumption that none of us have talent and that we shouldn’t be allowed in the writing world.
Needless to say, I was as polite as possible when I emailed him back telling him that I was fed up with his bullying and constant harassment and that I quit. I worked for Bant.com for about a month and a half.
That was my story about the time that I was hired to work for an entertainment site that turned out to be a trashy gossip site and the harassment I endured.
Until next time,