Complaints about jury duty aftermath and stupid employers

By Katharine Swan On Friday, January 05, 2007 At 12:58 PM


If you would have asked me a week ago, "How do I get out of jury duty?" I probably would have told you not to, because it's a worthwhile experience. Right now I'm thinking of changing my tune.

I got a call Wednesday from the Colorado Judicial Department. Apparently a business here in Denver (whose name I won't name) has the same EIN as my SSN. I called the IRS and verified that it is possible and legal for the numbers to match, since my personal information was in a laptop stolen from Metropolitan State College of Denver a little over a year ago, and identity theft is always a possibility. Of course, although the numbers being the same doesn't mean that they did steal my number, the fact that it's legal for the numbers to match doesn't mean that they didn't.

And I've got another problem, one that is more immediate - and one that reflects more on the Colorado jury duty system. The reason I found out about this coincidence is because the CJD sent my check to the wrong place. When they put my SSN into the computer, this business popped up, so they sent it there - without stopping to find out why the name and address on the check didn't match that on my form! Idiots! So now they've told me that I need to wait another couple of weeks while they try to get the check back from the business, before they can issue me a new check. I'm furious - it's hardly my fault that they didn't have the wherewithall to notice that the information on my form didn't match the information in the computer.

Right on the tails of that experience, I get a response from a job ad I had replied to, and it turns out they don't pay up front - they pay their writers per hit on their page. That policy of "paying" writers really angers me, because it does not at all reflect the amount of work that a writer puts into an article or - in this case - an ongoing blog. (Ad revenue sharing instead of straightforward payment pisses me off too - if I wanted to get paid like that, I'd put ads on my own website and blogs!)

So, me being in a bad mood, this guy got a response that was slightly less polite than my norm:

Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, as a full-time freelancer I am dependent on my writing as my sole source of income, and as such, I do not take jobs that do not pay me for the work (whereas you are offering to pay me for the traffic). In my opinion, paying writers per hit is like paying your plumber for each time you flush your toilet after he fixes it.

I hope all my readers understand that getting paid per hit or via an ad revenue sharing plan is not sufficient pay for a writer!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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