Jan 25, 2013 05:22:56 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:42 PMbyCate B
[quote=Irina I.]why don't you report the jobs?
You can report those jobs all you want to. oDesk is not going to do a damn thing about it.
If you don't want to take a bottom-feeder job, then don't bid on it. I can guarantee you that 100 other poor fish will.
Jan 25, 2013 07:11:22 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:43 PMbyKirsten H
There's a woman who is employed by my building to take care of the gardens. I could realistically estimate that she gets paid about $1 an hour. Minimum wage in my country for manual labour positions is little more than that. I certainly choose to pay my own domestic worker a whole lot more but I don't bother myself about the woman who works in the garden. The clothing industry, as you well know, commonly uses sweat shop workers who earn about 8 cents an hour in countries all over the globe. I choose to support only the boutiques that I know use local CMTs that pay well but, to be honest, I don't bother myself about the sweatshop workers in India. There is a man who does the cleaning at a coffee shop I frequent. I know that he is paid less than $20 a day because I have spoken to his employer. I give him excellent tips every time I go there but I don't spend my time complaining about his wages. That those jobs are on offer at those rates is none of my concern unless I choose to take on that work, which I don't because I don't want to earn those wages or do that kind of work. There is absolutely no point in complaining about wages that have no impact on my life. This is precisely how it is on Odesk. $1 rates? So what? I don't want the work or those rates so it doesn't affect me.
There are 80 percent more workers in the world earning below minimum wages than there are workers earning above them. Again, I actively support where I can but I don't spend my time complaining about those below the poverty belt. Odesk is only a tiny section of the global marketplace. There will be low paying clients, mid level clients and high paying clients. The low paying clients are none of my business. I see their ads and move along, as I do in the brick and mortar world. There is no international minimum wage, so there will probably never be a minimum wage on this global platform.
As a person who grew up in the apartheid regime, I have watched friends who grew up in poverty, could not afford an education and received substandard schooling. I have watched them seek out and get university scholarships, learn to excel at their crafts and become great successes in their careers. I have seen this happen several times over. Before they received their scholarships, they were skilled enough only to earn $1 wages. They chose not to complain but rather to do something different to improve their earning potential. There are still people living in the townships who are unwilling to get an education and who earn $1 wages. Does that affect my friend from Lesotho who became an international crime lawyer? No. Nor does it affect my friend from the Eastern Cape shanty towns, who went on to become a brand manager for SA's biggest brewery.
If you're going to complain about Odesk rates, you need, in principle, to complain about sweatshop rates and gardening rates and the rates paid to farm labourers in India. Their wages have as much impact on your earning potential as those $1 Odesk rates do.
Jan 25, 2013 07:43:42 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:45 PMbyKirsten H
When I was 20 and didn't know how to use a mouse, I took a vague interest in Photoshop. I spent some spare time learning a few of the tools, which are fun to use today when I feel like changing my desktop image. I have absolutely no talent as a designer and I am by no means an expert in Photoshop. Let's say I wanted to become a professional freelance designer. I would first do a course to learn all I needed to know about Photoshop and what ever other programs I needed to offer a comprehensive design service. I would then get myself a mentor or an internship to work on faking the talent I don't have. Only once I had learned to produce satisfactory results comparable to the above average workers in the industry worldwide would I attempt to market myself as a freelancer on a global platform.
Let's say I decided to do that entirely backwards: Let's say I came to Odesk first. I would only be able to charge $1 rates because, frankly, I know nothing and have no talent whatsoever. Few would want my work and the few who decided to hire me would be unhappy with what they received.
An existing client I write for once asked me if I'd be able to create a newsletter design for them. My ancient Photoshop version, desktop and laptop cost a lot more than $1 but I could not ethically charge her for design work because that is simply not a skill I have. I would not have taken the job even if she lowered the rate to $1 an hour. In my market landscape, that would be immoral of me. If you'd like to see my Photoshop skills, look at the background of my profile pic: I did that. Some of the posts written by artical writters complaining about $1 rates write almost as poorly as I Photoshopped that background. Just saying.
Do I make a clear point?
Jan 25, 2013 08:54:25 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:47 PMbyRobin C
[quote=Kirsten Holmes]Do I make a clear point?[/quote]
I think that you are trying to express how the differing levels of skills represented here deserve different rates of pay and that there is no reason to complain about that. I completely agree with that.
I look at oDesk like a restaurant district in a city. McDonald's and Toco Bell are next to Applebees, but very few patrons that venture to the restaurant district for Applebees are tempted by McDonald's. Even fewer of those who are there to enjoy an evening of fine dining even bat an eye at the fast food joints as they enter the upscale restaurants that the Applebees dinners are only occasionally tempted into. Each patron to the restaurant district knows what they venture there for and know what to expect from each eatery.
On oDesk, there are contractors who want to market fast food to clients who they assume are looking for such. How does such business even affect the business of those offering fine dining to clients in the market for that. The problem with oDesk is that there are no flashing neon signs. Every eatery declares themselves to be a fine establishment.
I think that is what you are trying to say. I don't really care for your examples in your first post. I could get deep into why some of it represents a certain mindset, but I will stick with stating that I really do not care for you seeming to say, "I will give a little to help where I can but wont really be bothered by the harm being done elsewhere." I do not think that was what you were trying to relate, but that is what came through.
Jan 25, 2013 09:09:05 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:48 PMbyKirsten H
Robin, this is not really the forum to discuss the causes I do choose to support strongly, which is why I didn't mention them. I do try to make a difference in the areas that I feel are most pertinent. I was not trying to say we should not try to affect change at all. I just think that is an issue for another website. Odesk rates and SA minimum wages are dwarfed by the other fatal and tortuous problems that present themselves hourly in my home town.
Jan 25, 2013 09:52:02 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:50 PMbyRobin C
I honestly don't think it is the place for that type of info either. I would not have discussed it, personally, if I were you. Why is it anyone's business where you help and who you feel is deserving unless you want to make that info public. I do not think it really relates to the statement that you are trying to make. It reveals too much and does not help your argument (although, it is rather eloquently put together).
I personally believe that we have similar views on the topic, although you didn't acknowledge that, so perhaps we don't.
The argument is here, deserving to be or not. You just made a long, drawn out post discussing it. Now, it is suddenly an issue for another website and dwarfed by other fatal and tortuous problems. Of course it is, but I am responding to your post here, on this topic, and contrary to what you clearly think, I have no beef with you. You asked if your point was clear. Well, no, to me it said far too much about unrelated issues, and that muddled and confused the point you were trying to make. Unless, of course, you were trying to make the point that I assumed you were not?
Jan 25, 2013 10:13:31 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:52 PMbyKirsten H
Let's say I took on the Odesk problem we are speaking about as my personal cause. I would not introduce minimum rates. I think that would be a grave error that would hurt those who have earned them. What I believe needs to change is the way freelancing is approached. With this little dot com universe, people are coming in thinking that they can realistically earn in an industry they know nothing about.
What they need are some marketing and business management skills. They need to find out what their passions, talents and skills actually are. They then need to hone those skills over months or years before trying to compete at higher rates. Then it will be time for them to put their marketing skills into practice by approaching the entire World Wide Web and not this one lousy platform. We are all online here at Odesk, so we have a world of information at our fingertips. Educating ourselves is far simpler today than it has ever been before.
Now I never received any of the above elements freely or easily myself. I applied for a marketing scholarship I had little chance of winning, and when I got it I put everything into earning my distinctions. I could not get a university education so I introduced myself and my work to a successful writer who had several doctorates in literature. In exchange for my doing odd jobs for him over the years, he taught me, studied with me and mentored me through my first manuscripts. I cut out articles, filed papers and updated websites in exchange for my seven year education.
Today when I find writers I believe have the ability to grow, I support them in their endeavors. I have worked on a number of manuscripts over years at no charge because these people had real potential. I have watched a writer develop from backyard scribbling to the publication of a successful book, several short stories and more articles than I could count. She recently won a second prize in a short story competition, which put tens of thousands in her bank account for less than a day's work. I am currently helping another writer to develop his thesis into a publishable collection, and offering support with the publicity he needs to gain before he attempts submission.
I would not offer such support to most who are asking for minimum rates here because the bulk of the posts are coming from people seeking a position in the writing industry who can't speak English properly in two lines of forum posts. Worse: they have no idea that there's a thing wrong with their use of the language and they tend to insist repetitively that their 'engrish is perfekt.' For most of these contractors, learning the language and then learning to write competently would take many years of great effort (as it did for me,) which is the only way they are likely to earn the rates they desire.
In a word, my solution to the Odesk rates problem is 'self empowerment.' I simply don't believe there is an easy way.
Jan 25, 2013 06:43:57 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:57 PMbyKirsten H
Robin we do have similar views on the topic. I also haven't stated anything in this thread that I haven't said in others. This topic frustrates me and I'm tired of it. Responding to the issue is clearly not going to have any impact so I'll stand down.
Jan 25, 2013 05:28:06 AMEditedOct 30, 2014 03:10:40 PMbyPetra R
[quote=Irina I.]why don't you report the jobs?
i can't wait to repair my computer - to be read as getting windows on it again - so that i can take hourly jobs and report those insulting our skills and abilities.[/quote]
That's ridiculous. Reporting jobs for low budget is totally counter productive. It wastes everyone's time which could be spent on more urgent or profitable things, achieves absolutely nothing and takes support time away from real issues.
If you don't like a client's budget simply move on!
Irina, it's total hypocrisy when you talk about reporting clients for low budgets when you, yourself, take on a 10 000 word translation for $ 20 - even split between 4 translators! Frankly that is an insult to every professional translator out there! In fact it is an insult to most slaves!
If you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.