I was thrilled, at first, when HSN offered to pay me $50/hr. That was at least $15-20/hr more than most of my gigs for the twelve years.
It was sold to me as:
- 20 hours worth of work
- Four weeks to complete the work
- Content finalized and available–design work only
- No required “office hours” (totally flexible schedule)
I had just enough room in my schedule to spread out that twenty hours over four weeks at which time I’d be finishing an obnoxiously rebellious project for Verizon under deadline then start a new, full-time permanent gig. At least two weeks flew by like a rapid page-a-day calendar animation stressing me out.
I completed the project on time and it was crunch time for Verizon but HSN requested out-of-scope content changes. I was, it’s worth noting, in the interview process at HSN and considering choosing them over my current employer should they be interested so I agreed with a smile. And, you know, it was $50/hr which I thought compensated me for working severe overtime (after long, frustrating days for Verizon).
Then more changes–I said if I had time between Verizon and the next job. And more–this time I said no.
Being in a position to reject and/or fire clients is a nice place to be. Especially if they’re well-paying clients. Some jobs aren’t worth $50. It should be noted I’ve worked under far worse conditions for far less money during desperate times. And, yes, in those times I’m grateful to be working at all.
But what battles am I willing to fight? What stands am I willing to take? Once upon a time, I wrote anything for anyone at any price–until I could be more selective.
Writing and training jobs seem to be a thing in my past. Flash and quality eLearning are in everyone’s past. So, I’m building a new portfolio (Yeah, I know. Shut up.) with new skills built on the solid foundation of my existing skills. This means begging for spec work and volunteer opportunities. I wrote, relatively recently, about the beautifully designed apps I want to make, but, to get there, I have to do quality work that includes Responsive Design. I find this distracting–I think creating two separate sites is better and easier than one site that’s supposed to be pretty and friendly in any environment. While that’s in the back of my mind when working on my two current “escape pod” projects, I see these on DevHumor.com:
That’s even better (more realistic and accurate) than the first, more “artistic” one:
It’s not a stand I’m going to take because I am going to create my own library and/or standards for Responsive Design in sites I create. Nothing automatic like what WordPress or Bootstrap does. That’s my battle: manual, hand-crafted, artisan responsive design.
Bootstrap is, however, really educational and invaluable when it comes to learning what we can now do with CSS. Bootstrap, like Virgil in Dante’s Divine Comedy, held my hand and led me out of a dark wood that looked like this:
I know you’re laughing just like I did because it’s so true for newbies.