Aside from being a part-time educator, I juggle a third job. I work as a freelance research consultant and statistician. My years in the research department and my degree in Economics opened this world for me. I assist students who are having difficulties in finishing their masteral thesis. Make it simpler, I’m a technical writer in the academe. Aside from writing, my background in the quantitative sciences earned me to be adept with different statistical techniques. In my previous job, I used to breath and eat numbers. I tell stories and weave words from numbers.
Research is what makes my heart beat apart from teaching. Unfortunately, some unexpected circumstances took away this passion. Changes were implemented in the organization. It’s a long story that can form another blog to relate the details. In the end, I decided that I’ll be better off if I leave my research post and transfer to another office.
Relating stories from numbers form one of my passions, I secretly prayed that I’ll be given related opportunities. Since I was able to establish myself, freelance works started to came in. My freelance career started with a client I never met. I survived with the marketing principle of referral or word of mouth.
My clients serve as my gateway to another client. Hence, I really ensure that I’ll do my best to serve each of them. I wanted my freelance work to grow. With my limited means, I know that there’s no other way for me to increase my network but to do my job well. This system paid off because I’m able to gain clients every year. The minimal income I receive then was used to repaint the house, purchase a few home appliances, finance my past trips, and as always, to settle the debts.
I was doing fine with my freelance works not until two colleagues ruined everything. They aren’t my friends but of all people, why do I need to suffer from them?
Most of my past freelance clients were total strangers. I never knew them at all. They were simply referred. In fact I had one client I never met. We were working things through email, text messages and phone calls. I was surprised that we finished everything. My other clients, I only meet them once or twice. We make things happen through email.
The situation was different with my two colleagues. I regularly see them everyday so there was more interaction with the work. I thought everything will emerge better. Turns out, they were one of the worst clients I’ve ever encountered.
They always caught me with the constraint of time. They left everything on me. I embraced tasks which are beyond my responsibility.
I wouldn’t really mind if they demanded a lot more. I did my job in the hope that they will do their own part. The least I wanted them to do is to settle my professional fee.
I hate to admit it but this appears to be another money issue. It is. But for me, it’s more than another deprived income.
As it appears to me, my two colleagues didn’t recognize and respect me enough as a freelancer.
They didn’t value my hard-earned skills. They never realized that it took me years to be in this profession.
They don’t see my services in the professional category. Oh well, I admit that I cannot equate to lawyers and doctors. At this point, it appears to me that the only professional services they recognize are those that are granted with licensure examinations. Since I’m not one of those with alphabets to extend my name, I can practice my profession but I don’t have the right to get paid.
I felt belittled. It didn’t took me a snap to finish their paper. It took me sleepless nights to make things happen. While they have been having the most comfortable sleep, I deprived myself of sleeping hours to beat their impossible deadline.
They made me feel useless and worthless. Sometimes I envy those service workers in the informal sector. Some of them are offering illegal services but how come they get paid? I equally abuse my body and place my health to risk because of the prolonged working hours. All I was asking was my modest professional fee that can’t even afford a chemotherapy or a dialysis session. When their paper gets recognition, I don’t ever remember receiving additional income or even some pat on the back. I don’t demand one either. My only wish is for them to settle my modest professional fee. Why did they choose to deprive me?
I can always provide extension and prolong my patience. In fact, I never asked for down payment or due dates. I just tell them to pay me once my work is done. If they cannot afford the full amount, I even told them that they can pay me in terms. A year after they received their diploma and promotion, I haven’t heard anything from them. Whenever I would encounter them on institutional events, they would simply ignore and avoid me. How disrespectful. Considering that we are all educated individuals, they only prove that education doesn’t buy values.
The last thing I want to happen is to kneel down and beg for my professional fee. It looks harsh and degrading but figuratively, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been discretely communicating with my two colleagues. What ironically hurts is that I seem to carry the burden of everything.