The Snoozeletter @

Facebook is down?! 

Mark Zuckerberg (in The Social Network): "Let me tell you the difference between Facebook and everybody else: WE DON’T CRASH EVER!"

Or only 3 times in 11 days.

Somebody said it's due to Mercury being retrograde (September 17 – October 9).
Labor Day. 

Today is Labor Day in the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor claims the holiday is: "...a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

PBS says America's Labor Day is " attempt to appease the nation's workers..."

Most countries in Europe observe Labor Day on May 1, to commemorate the American martyrs to the labor movement.
Thank you, George W. Bush. 

The U.S. was attacked in 2001 by a group organized by Osama bin Laden.
So you, Dubya, inexplicably decided to attack Saddam Hussein, using the infamous Sixteen Words as justification.
When Hussein fell, his well-trained Sunni army went looking for trouble.
They helped form ISIS, which scared the hell out of people in the region.
Now those people are seeking refuge in European countries.
So in addition to (1) bankrupting the U.S. economy and (2) destabilizing the Middle East, (3) you precipitated a humanitarian crisis in Europe.
Well done, Dubya. You must be very proud.
Freelancers Beware: Phoenix New Times. 

Two weeks ago, I took a script-analysis gig for $100/hr, and I didn't trust the guy at all. Payment up front, etc. He turned out to be totally trustworthy. Not much of a writer, but honest. Last week, I was approached to do a freelance job by the Managing Editor of Phoenix New Times, a local weekly newspaper. Amy Silverman nearly hired me as a staff proofreader several years ago, and she's been on my Facebook Friends list ever since. She works for a big company (The Village Voice in NYC is the owner), so I figured they would treat me in a reasonably straightforward and reliable way. Boy, was I wrong. [My private comments are in square brackets.]

>>Monday 8/24 4:55p, Amy Silverman wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
Hey Alan- Any interest in a freelance proofreading project? -Amy

>>Monday 8/24 8:29p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
You betcha!

>>Monday 8/24 9:06p, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
Awesome! What's your email address?

>>Monday 8/24 9:10p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:

>>Tuesday 8/25 10:19a, Amy emailed to Alan:
The proofing gig is for the Best of Phoenix issue, we have a LOT of copy that needs to be proofread in pretty short order. I can pay $20 an hour. If that sounds doable I'll put you in touch with our copy editor and he can give you the rest of the particulars.

>>Tuesday 8/25 1:49p, Alan emailed to Amy:
Sounds good! [Sounds like a sh*tty rate to me, but it'll keep me out of trouble for the weekend.]

>>Tuesday 8/25, 10:57a, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
emailed you! hoping to square this away asap. :-)

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:05p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
I just replied, Amy. Sorry, sleeping from the night shift.

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:05p, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
All good!

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:05p, Amy emailed to Jay Bennett and Alan:
Hey Jay -- Alan is on board to proofread a couple chapters. I'll let you two discuss logistics.

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:12p, Alan emailed to Jay and Amy:
Looking forward to it!

>>Wednesday 8/26 1:52p, Jay emailed to Alan:
I should have some chapters for you by the end of the week. What's the best way to get them to you? [This is the crucial message - if Jay had been honest, and told me upfront that he wanted me to make two 52-mile roundtrips, to pick up and drop off a stack of paper, I would have bailed immediately. The mileage costs would've eaten up most of my earnings. But instead, Jay asked me to advise him on the best way to get the material to me. I, of course, assumed he was being courteous and asking me about the file format I preferred for emailing.]

>>Wednesday 8/26 2:13p, Alan emailed to Jay:
If we use Word .doc files, I can turn on Track Changes so you can see my edits. But whatever works for you is fine with me.

>>Thursday 8/27 12:54p, Jay emailed to Alan:
We'd prefer to use regular ol' paper and pen. I'll have a stack of 11x17 galley proofs. [Paper? Really?! Jay, you've heard about computers, pdf's and the internet machine, right? Notice that Jay continued misleading me, by avoiding the issue of who's going to be the delivery boy. I assumed he planned to abuse one of the company's unpaid interns, so I cleared my weekend schedule and passed on a $400 script-analysis gig.]

>>Thursday 8/27 2:13p, Alan emailed to Jay:
OK, sounds good! Here's my physical address: xxx. The gate is on Xxx Street. Let me know when to expect the delivery. [Notice that Thursday's close of business is about three hours away. Jay's reply was sent near the close of business on Friday, 26 hours later.]

>>Friday 8/28 8:02a, Alan emailed to Jay:
I've left a pass at the gate for either today or tomorrow. Here's my phone number and directions inside the gate: xxx. [When Jay didn't reply on Thursday afternoon, I was puzzled. I thought he was in a hurry - re: Amy's "pretty short order" comment above - so I sent more details in case the intern got lost.]

>>Friday 8/28 4:27p, Jay emailed to Alan:
Thanks for the making the time to leave the pass, etc. I'm not sure this setup is going to work, unfortunately. Driving out to your location to drop off/pick up proofs is unfeasible for me, and I certainly can't imagine asking you to do the same, in terms of driving into downtown. [I suspect Jay was trying to be sarcastic here, thinking I would drop to my knees and grovel. Jay needs to take a writing class. Or three.]

>>Friday 8/28 5:45p, Alan emailed to Jay:
OK. Good luck with your project, Jay. [Jay, you f*cking d*ckwad. I canceled my weekend plans, blew off a $400 script-analysis fee and let you jerk my chain, for the dangled carrot of TWENTY MEASLY BUCKS AN HOUR?!]

>>Friday 8/28 5:57p, Alan emailed to Amy:
Sorry this didn't work out. When Jay wrote - "What's the best way to get them to you?" - I assumed he was actually going to try to get the proofs to me. Imagine my surprise. [Forwarded copy of Jay/Alan correspondence.]

>>Friday 8/28 6:40p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
Jay pulled the plug unexpectedly. Forwarded the details to your email.

>>Friday 8/28 6:42p, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
I would not call that pulling the plug.

>>Friday 8/28 9:00p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
Leading me on for several days, and pulling the rug out from under me at the last minute is not my idea of ethical behavior. And frankly, it shocks me that you would defend it. [What kind of snakepit are you running down there, Amy?! Your moral compass needs a tuneup.]

>>Friday 8/28 9:06p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
Wow Alan, you really must be a mind reader because this is exactly what I was hoping for after work on a Friday night. If you weren't so rude I'd give you an explanation but instead I'll just tell you to never contact me again. Good job burning a bridge. ["If you weren't so rude I'd give you an explanation" - Wow Amy, I've talked with six-year-olds who were more mature. And your bridge was beginning to look like Galloping Gertie anyway.]

[I've never exchanged so many messages on a freelance project in my life. I can see now that Jay's strategy was to keep me in the dark for as long as he could, then drop the bomb at the last possible moment. Let's hope karma bites these two in the a**.]