237 
at night. Write first thing in the morning. Make tea or a small mocha the rest of the
day.
I comment, “That’s harsh.” He responds as only jimi can, “There’s some PhD’s working
there right now that are really happy.” jimi is confident of his own self-mastery gained
through years of experience and having a track record as a creative writer, cultural critic
and producer of articles, blogs, and books. He carefully warns young people entering the
business to consider the safety net of working a salaried job to stabilize while nostalgically
referencing the iconic mailroom or janitorial position as a reminder of an economy that once
provided stability.
The challenges and adaptations that they participants mentioned still allow them to work in
the business but the one thing that none of them were quite prepared for was the extended
time it takes to get paid.
Checks Flying Somewhere: The Precarious Waiting Game 
 
Although the time required to complete the work is compressed, the one thing extended is
the time it takes to get paid. Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, discusses in a TED
Talk that we need to rethink
20th
century thinking of reward and punishment at work as
being outmoded. Pink stresses that workers want “autonomy, mastery, and purpose” and
this is way to motivate workers as expressed in the following TED video
(http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html).
For many freelancers engaged with this project they already have the work trifecta of
autonomy, master, and purpose but what they were not prepared to encounter since
September 11th is the delayed movement of freelance payments from one month to six
months. These freelancers are fortunate to have strong professional portfolios and
creative work they enjoy. For them, the carrot of getting paid on time is critical to their
survival. The secondary concern of course is that the wages have substantially been
reduced or stayed the same when the cost of living has dramatically increased.
jimi izrael, a freelance writer and cultural critic, with a show on National Public Radio, The
Barbershop and a recently published book garnering lots of buzz notes some of the
challenges of freelance and that includes “waiting for checks flying through the mail.” I ask
if they’re really flying? He describes the waiting game:
Previous Page Next Page