I was planning on publishing another comic related blog. That’ll come later this week. But I got to get this off my chest.
I had a family member come at me this Sunday talking about how I should do volunteer work. Let me explain to you why I don’t work for free.
Way back in 2000 when I was working at STRIVE I got burnt badly on that deal. I put in WORK at that company. Learned the business of job readiness, managed their clothing closet, learned about fund development, got along with co-workers and was a well-liked employee. Praised by the Vice President in a meeting for stepping up as co-workers were bolting for the doors. Rumors went around that I would be considered for a job.
Around August, I set up a meeting with the Vice President of STRIVE to discuss my future at the organization. I go to lunch with him and what did he tell me? He had no place for me in their organization. Then around January, this Ivy League son of a bitch goes out and hires his friend for the job I had practically LEARNED for an entire year. This dude had next to NO EXPERIENCE, did not know the company and had been traveling around Spain for the last two years.
A motherfucker who had been traveling around God Damn Spain for two motherfuckin’ years he puts in a job, but the brotha who had been putting in WORK for over a year and had LEARNED the job he tells he has no place for.
Basically this Nigger told me to go fuck myself. Put a middle finger in my face. nfortunately because I was tied up in an Americorps*VISTA contract I couldn’t leave. So I literally watched a company fall apart right before my very eyes under the leadership of this Ivy League dumbass.
In 2001, I left STRIVE with no references, at all. The company was crumbling around me and 90 percent of the employees were heading for the door. U
The only thing I learned from that experience is not to fuck with nonprofits. The only thing anyone will get dealing with a nonprofit is SCREWED.
What people don’t tell you about nonprofits are is that they have a notoriously high turnover rates. When it comes to employees there’s a revolving door. People come, they go, and the people who work under them like volunteers get FUCKED OVER.
Need a reference? Not gonna get it. Need a letter of recommendation? Not gonna get it. Again, the place is a revolving door. People quit these jobs in six months to a year and stay for two years max.
So when you go to put in an application someplace else, you’re pretty much stuck with the same amount of NOTHING you came in with.
Now I went to volunteer at another nonprofit in 2002. To do officework and submit articles to their paper. Again, the same problem. Revolving door employees, no real direction and, again, no references For my work. Did they ever publish those articles I submitted? I still don’t know to this day.
On top of it when I went to employers with my volunteer experience to get a salary job they didn’t value it. One greasy talking interviewer gave me a snotty attitude and minimized my work there by saying “was this a paying job?”
Like there’s a difference? Work is work.
The only thing I learned from doing volunteer work is The old adage “why pay for the cow when you’re getting the milk for free” applies to jobs too. If employers are getting work for FREE then they aren’t going to PAY for it.
Nor will they value it. Anything people get for FREE they DO NOT appreciate. It’s only when people have to PAY for something that they see how valuable it is.
Here’s the deal: My time is valuable. And I don’t have time for bullshit.
The Mexican who picks fruit has a value for their labor. The Dominican who works at the sweat shop sewing up bootleg clothes has a value for their labor. The Chinese person who works at the Chinese restaurant has a value for their labor. Even the dope man who people buy their weed from has a value for their labor. If they can get paid for their WORK, then why can’t this Black man? Isn’t my work just as valuable as those individuals?
People always come at me wanting to get something for nothing. I’m sorry, but my work is TOO valuable for you to get it for FREE. Don’t come at me with that volunteer, “you’ll get experience” BULLSHIT. You know what experience I want?
The experience of getting PAID for my work.
That same money you put on that Mexican, Dominican, and Chinese person’s table, to pay them with you can pay me with. That same money people can get for the weed man they can get for me. People got money with every other nationality out here, but when a Black man with MORE education and experience comes looking for a job and brings something to the table, they want to come at him sideways looking to get something for nothing.
FUCK THAT SHIT.
I get tired of people trying to run these sideways games on me. Volunteer someplace and you’ll get experience-What a bunch of bullshit. I give you work for free, and then the manager heads for the door leaving me with JACK SHIT.
Then while I’m working there they have these snotty ass co-workers coming at me sideways talking greasy talking about how they’re looking for someone with a different background to do the work I’m doing? Well, Negro, if you can get someone better, would they be here now? And would they be working their asses off for you for nothing?
No, they’d charge your ass FULL PRICE.
And people would accept the fact that they’d have to PAY full price. Or get no one to work for them.
People come at me talking about how I need to volunteer. Give them something for nothing. How it’ll get me a job someplace else. Then they want to talk about how my five years where I been putting in work has no value?
Motherfucker, I been putting in work. I’ve been working at my own publishing business for five God Damn years. I’ve produced over 30 plus books in the last five years, 13 titles alone last year. I’ve done commission work for multiple clients. I have a proven track record of royalty sales at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. And you want me to work for you for free? To prove to you that I’m “employable” by your ridiculous standard?
Man, get the fuck out of here. I’m not playing that game anymore.
I played that volunteer game 14 years ago. Busted my ass, brought shit to the table, and then watched as some friend of a friend who spent two years goofing off in Spain was given the spot I worked for. From there on in I knew it wasn’t about education, experience or whatever bullshit standards people made about jobs. Employers talk a lot of shit, give their friends and their side piece salary jobs, and while they trick their money off paying them, try to run games on people like me to get real awork for free. No. If I put in WORK for someone, then I deserve to be paid for it. The same money you got to trick for them with you better have to pay me with for services rendered.