I just had one of the most aggravating/amusing “discussions” of my writing career.
Remember the client I fired a few weeks back? Well, I still had some outstanding articles that hadn’t been approved, so I’ve still had to deal with them to a degree.
Today, the last of the articles I wrote went through — for the exception of one. It was returned for an edit with a note:
“Replace all instances of “Republic” with “Democracy”. This is not China. It’s the US.
Now, I could have just made the changes, sent the article back and been done with this client once and for all. That would have been the simple thing to do. The practical thing to do.
I can hear you all laughing now. Yes, but it wouldn’t have been the ME thing to do.
So, I shot back a reply:
Yeah, sorry, but I can’t make those changes. You see, although I am well aware this is not China, that does not change the fact that the United States is not a democracy, but is indeed, a republic. You see, in a democratic society, when you vote, the majority rules. In a republic, a democratic process is used to elect officials to represent everyone.
Does this sound vaguely familiar to you?
So, no, again, I won’t be making those changes. Do with the article what you will.
I figured that would be the end of it. They’d reject the article, I wouldn’t get paid for it, la la la la life goes on.
10 minutes later….I get this reply:
“WE ARE A DEMOCRACY. And I find it extremely UNAMERICAN of you to argue otherwise. You should be ashamed to call yourself an American. We’re rejecting your article, and you will no longer receive any work from us. We prefer to work with those who love their country.”
Wow…just…wow. This company has lied to me, refused to pay me and accused me of stealing. And now I’m unAmerican.
So, you know what happened next…
Dear Sharpie Sniffing, American History Challenged Editor:
I find it amusing that you would dare question my patriotism when you are too ignorant to even know the facts about a country you profess to love so much. You can capitalize democracy as much and as many times as you’d like; it still won’t make the U.S. a democracy. I’m ashamed you call YOURSELF an American, since you put the “Stupid” in the ‘Stupid Americans’ moniker we have around the world.
Do me and other writers with whom you will undoubtedly have this conversation a favor: put down the crayon and pick up a history book. Google it. Go to Wikipedia. Ask your mom. Hell, ask the next person you pass on the street during recess — I don’t care how you find out — but learn some American history. Stop embarrassing yourself. Stop embarrassing me.
Which brings me to this, re: not writing anymore articles for you — let me devolve back to the third grade for a moment. GOOD! I DIDN’T WANT TO WRITE FOR YOUR STINKIN’ COMPANY ANYMORE, ANYWAY, AND I FIRED YOU FIRST!! :PPPPPPPPP
I’m officially done with you. Shred my article, and if I see anything that remotely resembles it on any website for which you provide content, I will come down on you and your company with the sound and fury of God’s thunder. Don’t think I won’t sue you. It’s the DEMOCRATIC way.
Haven’t heard back from them yet. I’ll keep you posted.