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Working for Exposure

Posted: February 22nd, 2021, 1:02 pm
by wirelesstkd
Hey all - I was reminded, today, of a blog post I wrote about a few years ago (a YouTube account that scrapes the internet for weird stories and then reads them aloud found my post and featured it in one of their videos last week, then a viewer sent me an email to tip me off to it). I thought it might make for interesting reading for you all. The "too long, didn't read" is that a big company wanted me to work their event for "exposure," and after a few back and forth emails about how I wouldn't do that, I finally "let her have it," but in a very polite way.

The blog post is here: Working For Exposure

To add an answer to one question I get asked a lot (the video explicitly called me out for it, and then the commenters were having a discussion about it): why did I redact the name of the company? Well, it's true that the company is a Fortune 500 Company, but the person emailing me wasn't an official spokesperson or anything. She was probably just an assistant manager at the local store who thought she had a great idea for getting some free entertainment for her big event. Calling people out on the internet can be dangerous for them. The last thing I wanted was a virtual lynch mob going after her and getting her fired. And if the post had gone viral, the company probably would have done just that in order to make her a scapegoat and deflect their own responsibility in things like this. That wouldn't have been cool. So I redacted the name of the company, but made it clear in the blog post the kind of company we were talking about.

Hope you enjoy - and please share your own stories of being asked to work for free! I know we all get them, all the time. To date, I think this is about the most insulting. Well... I did have one since, during COVID, from someone at a Walmart who was trying to get me to work for free for a coming event. I responded with something, like, "I can barely even pay my mortgage, meanwhile Walmart has seen profits go up during the pandemic, and you want me to work for free?"

But after some back and forth I realized the guy I was talking to wasn't even a manager - just an overzealous hourly employee who was trying to help his manager get something started (they hadn't even gotten approval from corporate to put the event on, according to the guy), so I let that one go.

But please - share your own "won't you work for exposure" stories. They're always fun to hear :)