A Lack of Respect

I never cease to be amazed at the audacity of some people. I am also stunned at people who continue to believe that quality doesn’t matter. Turning a fast buck does. Scamming others does. I am even more confused at the perception some people have that any fool can write.

I was interested in a project of writing an ebook about single mothers (which I have great respect for), and after looking into my schedule, decided I could fit that project in. I emailed the client of the project, asking a few questions to clarify specific needs and goals.

The reply stunned me. “I won’t answer your questions until you tell me whether you can complete my ebook for less than $200. There will be 300 pages. If you can, then I’ll tell you what you want to know and hire you.”

Replies like that leave me with the great urge to write a scathing commentary in an absolutely indignant knee-jerk reaction. Common sense and professionalism tell me to just thank the client, point out that I cannot do what has been requested, and leave it at that.

Here in my blog, though, I can rant. This was the perfect example of someone who doesn’t give a damn about the reader who will be buying the ebook. Price matters, and what goes between the cover and back of the ebook don’t count. Profit is the end goal; who cares about anything else?

This is also the perfect example of someone who shows a complete disrespect for others. I wasn’t even given the respect of a few answers to simple questions. My communication was flat-out ignored. This person doesn’t care whether the 300-page ebook takes an average of 300 hours to complete and that the writer would be working at sweatshop rates of $1 an hour. This person doesn’t care about the responsibility and commitment the writer takes on by agreeing to work on the project. This person doesn’t care about time, involvement, skills, effort, or anything else that goes along with doing a job well.

This person doesn’t give a damn about abusing others to reach his own goals.

Now that I’ve reached the end of my rant, I’ve realized that I’m very thankful that the person showed his or her true colors and prevented me from making the serious mistake of supporting such efforts to abuse others, myself included.

What I find a huge shame, though, is that some poor sod somewhere is going to accept the job at these rates. I wish, sometimes, that people didn’t need to be so desperate for money that they had to step on their own pride and self-esteem just to be able to survive. I guess I’m lucky that I can refuse jobs when the fit isn’t right. Some people can’t.

On the other hand, there are plenty of people (I refuse to call them writers) out there prepared to scam, rip off, steal, plagiarize and do what they can do earn a fast buck. They’ll be a good match for this individual’s project.

Life’s like that.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.