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Believe me, my clothes are well pressed from the irony.
It seems that in this day and age when we can-and pretty much do-communicate with one another ad nausea, we seem to be doing so ever more ardently over the mundane then over that which is important. It’s a hard lesson I have come to learn that ever better facility seems to breed laziness; our smartphones are not making us smarter, social media isn’t making us any more social and people are doing business in ways that seem completely counter-productive.
Or is it just me?
I make my meagre living as a professional freelance writer, sometime musician. Un-agented as most of my work comes to me, I have to go out and find my gigs. A good percentage of my day is spent on scoring new clients, looking at job postings, sending out resumes and the occasional sample. I can do the schmooze in person as good as the next guy but across the net, all that is left to me really is email and the occasional Skype call. The problem is, it’s hard to network, even begin working for someone who has indeed hired you, when the person or persons you are attempting to communicate with doesn’t communicate back.
Yes, everybody is busy (actually nobody is as busy as they claim to be, but I’ll go along with the charade if you want me to). Yes, we all get way too many texts, emails, Facebook prompts clogging up our day. But if you are conducting business with me (and I you) then bloody well conduct it, man! Reply to my email as I have replied to yours, send me what I am asking for (and you have agreed to send me) so I can complete the work you have hired (and in some cases) paid me for already.
*As an aside, but another irony I feel worth mentioning…it’s been my experience that I don’t come to chase employers down all that much for money, most of my clients pay up and pay up when they say they will. I just seem to be chasing them for their time. Go figure*
I’m a big boy. If you do not want me for the project, just tell me…don’t leave the question of possible employment open-ended so I email or call you again and again (when you tell me to keep doing so.) I am a freelancer, after all, my first order of business is to always be going after the potential job. In the end, usually, this is about how best I can help your business, write that web copy, deliver that blog; if you don’t communicate with me or get me stuff late, it only hurts the work I am doing for you.
Yes, I hear people say all the time that this is the new way of doing business. That the younger generation is less proactive in the way my generation is, or the generation of my father’s time was (in my dad’s day, he wouldn’t dare attend a business meeting in anything less than a suit and tie and he hated to use voice mail). That the seeming mind-candy clutch of constant social media-ing is currently the way to better business in the 21st century, I will concede this paradigm shift (especially when I neither condone nor understand it). But at the very least, if you are online all the time anyway, have your Dick Tracy-like Apple Watch forever ready on your wrist like some skin scratching familiar, are a’twittering and a’twattering 24/7, can you at least shoot me back an email or text to tell me that I’m simply not cool enough for your job, or that the couple of hundred you just sent across PayPal is for a project work you’ll get back to me about in the next couple of weeks.
Really, you might be surprised to hear, but I got stuff to get to in the meantime.