Most self-employed dream of turning up at an office and putting a jacket over a chair, knowing that jacket will be picking up a tidy sum just by saying that you’re there.

Nice bit of projection there.

I assume that’s why The Guardian has so many staffers and so few freelances then?

19 thoughts on “They do?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    They are comparing the self-employed with luvvies in the Theatre? Come on. Not many groupies for plumbers.

    How many people would want to be the next Doctor Who if open auditions were held? How many people want to be utterly humiliated on the X Factor?

    They dream of being paid to go to meetings, fiddle with the printer and tweet pictures of cats.

    So is this the Guardian finally admitting that Civil Servants are under-worked and over-staffed?

  2. If all the Guardian’s “writers” put their jacket on the back of their chair and then left the jacket to write the article it would be a better newspaper.

  3. Fuck me… “Most self-employed dream of turning up at an office and putting a jacket over a chair, knowing that jacket will be picking up a tidy sum just by saying that you’re there. They dream of being paid to go to meetings, fiddle with the printer and tweet pictures of cats.”

    If I did that I’d be out of a job. If my whole office did that the company would go under in a month. The Guardian staff really haven’t got a fucking clue have they?

  4. They might be referring to an oil company. In which case, they’re absolutely right. Except the self-employed contractors in the oil business don’t wish they had full-time contracts because it would mean taking a hefty pay cut in return for having your “career” “managed” by somebody who doesn’t know you.

  5. Maybe in the dreams of advertisers and the Grauniad, but as an “overpaid contractor”, I can assure you that if I didn’t deliver on my contractual commitments then my contract would be terminated pretty damned swiftly. This is one of the points of hiring contractors in the first place.

    Most of the time I’m in there first and out last to make sure that we’re on target, even though I only ever bill clients for an 8-hour “professional day”.

    This idea of present-ism, i.e. the desire to seem to be present when you are not is a something which is more prevalent in permanent staff who are subject to performance reviews, pay rises and grade rises.

    As a contractor, I don’t give a shit about that. Don’t like my work? Don’t renew my contract (typically an initial 3-months, then month-to-month), I make it quiet clear to clients that if their circumstances change we can simply call it a day with no notice – as that’s the sort of flexibility they are paying £500+ a day for. I still beat out consultancy rates from most of the competing majors who are charging £2,000+ a day for staff with less experience.

    In short, whichever idiot wrote all of this has no idea of the reality of freelancing in the real world, any experience they have must be in some cushy number like PR for an NHS Health Authority, jobs which are not gained on merit.

  6. >This idea of present-ism, i.e. the desire to seem to be present when you are not is a something which is more prevalent in permanent staff who are subject to performance reviews, pay rises and grade rises.

    She was talking crap, yes, but if you actually read the article you’ll see she’s saying pretty much the opposite of what you’ve assumed.

  7. “Most of the self-employed work in building and construction. After that it’s cab drivers, and after that chippies and the “skilled trade”. Most women who are self-employed are cleaners, carers or hairdressers. Does the chancellor really imagine that workers like these are raking it in?”

    When were these jobs not self-employed? OK, some hairdressers are employees but a lot of them are renting a chair in a salon.

    And the problem with the Graun (and many people who look at trends) is that they assume it’s all about politics. There is one political thing: cutting the amount of employee protection and rights, but that’s anti-Graun. Beyond that it’s about technology – the internet, cellphones and good transportation means the 1970s aren’t coming back.

  8. The argument is mixing up terms, the difference is between people who deliver work for a fixed price, versus those who turn up to work for a fixed income, Osbourne is clearly addressing the former, the latter can be a self-employed contractor but they are just the same as waged/salaried but can be sacked easier.

    Most self-employed are happy to be able to be paid an agreed price for a job. The bloke who decorated my bedroom charged me a pre-quoted price, no matter how long he took to do it, this worked fine for me as I wanted him to finish the job quickly and it also suited him for the same reason, because he could get on to another job and earn more.

    Self-employed journalism normally pays a fixed price for work, you can knock up a shoddy sixth-form political essay like this one in half an hour, finish it off with a bit of a quote that proves you’ve paid a little attention to Ed and the Reds on their fun day out, flog it to a lefty rag for a few thousand, rinse and repeat, beats turning up for real work.

  9. “flog it to a lefty rag for a few thousand,”

    Christ, I wish. CiF pays £85 for 800 words. Telegraph comment piece £250. Thunderer at Times £300, full comment piece there £600. Mail is £1,200 for 1,200 words, Express is 50 pence a word.

    Sure, all good money as a writer, none of them will take more than 3 hours to write. But this is what is on offer to the top 0.1% of the profession. Monbiot, for example, is one of the tippy toppy comment piece writers of our times. Not to all our taste, to be sure, but he’s on a £40k a year contract with the G. Owen Jones is on £30k or so.

    It’s great when you look at the per piece rate. Lousy when you look at he job rate.

  10. Monbiot reveals his interests on his website, it’s a bit more than £40k/year.

    And as an example of the reconstituted drivel dressed up with graphics this BBC piece cost the telly taxpayers £3k, he must have spent a good 30 minutes on it, probably on the toilet, between wiping his bottom.

  11. Reading Monbiot’s register of interests it seems he earned around 100k in 2013/14 but paid tax on only 60k. Why is TJN not on to him? I’m sure he likes to quote turnover when discussing other peoples’ taxes.

  12. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘But this is what is on offer to the top 0.1% of the profession. Monbiot, for example, is one of the tippy toppy comment piece writers of our times. Not to all our taste, to be sure, but he’s on a £40k a year contract with the G. Owen Jones is on £30k or so’.

    So in other words, if you’re one of the select in the King’s Place Hub (and I would say that this applies to Toynbee too), you basically have a sinecure for turning out utter shit. Meanwhile, the hoi polloi have to make do with peanuts for whatever pieces they churn out for CIF.

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