Paying Stupid Tax as a Freelancer

Sometimes…you pay stupid tax, as Dave Ramsey says. I think I just paid some stupid tax.

I’ve been doing freelance for Small Marketing Company (SMC*) for a couple of months. At first, they seemed to really like what I was doing and I was getting everything in on time and so forth. Then I guess the honeymoon period ended. I wrote a piece based on some notes they had given me which were vague, but I’m usually pretty good at sorting out the vague and making something useful. They came back and said, “We can’t use this, it’s not what we wanted.”

I wrote and asked if I could rewrite it. No answer.

Another email requesting that I not post my time for this project as it is “unusable.” As a fellow freelance blogger says, SCREW YOU SMC!

Now, I only spent about 4 hours on it, so in comparison, that’s not as much as it could’ve been. I’m working on another project for them and I have emailed twice only to receive vague replies that don’t really help me much at all.

Now that you have the background, I’m going to start getting a little mad. I don’t care if you can’t use it, you pay me anyway. You don’t go to the doctor and get a shot and say, “That hurts…I’m not paying you.” You don’t go to a restaurant and eat your whole dinner then say, “I don’t like fish, but I ordered fish, and I’m not paying for it.” Regardless, I still worked hard on it and I still produced a quality piece of work. I also asked to revise it, which you refused, which means  you’re probably going to use it anyway.

Here’s the thing people. I’m cheap, okay? I am a cheap writer. And SMC can’t pay me my measly $150?

I’m conflicted. I should have worked this out before. I should have understood how they handle business BEFORE. So I feel like I kind of deserve not to get paid this time. It won’t happen again and I’m composing a list of things I will make sure to ask in the future.


How do you handle drafts that are not “what you were looking for”? Do you disregard them entirely?

What about payment? Do I get paid a portion of my fees if you feel you cannot use the draft?

Do you allow revisions?

How do you sleep at night knowing you screwed people out of money?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s I Don’t Get No Respect.

*Names have been changed to protect ME. This is a small town, people. Burn not thy bridges.


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