Fiverr: working for 5$ an hour in our globalized creative industry
You’re like this terrible ex that no one needs
but which keeps on coming back
and I fall
desperately in your arms
and write stupid prose
as if you were
May 2021. I opened my mailbox, there’s an urgent red letter.
I knew, by the color only,
That it is not a celebration.
The Gemeente of Amsterdam
Wants me to pays for water and trash taxes.
I collected those throughout the years.
This accumulation of denials from 2018
Is a spicy bill of approximately a thousand euros.
Graduating in 3 months and without had any chance to find a waitress job,
Led me to figure out another plan.
That’s how I met you, Fiverr.
It took me a little while to understand how you worked, what you were,
Also to believe I could possibly make any benefit from you.
You and your cheap services.
5, 10 to 15$ maximum.
What ethics, what a market.
But I had no option, so I gave you, gave myself a chance.
I had to think :
How will I capitalize on my nationality (French Language, French Accent),
My creative skills?
What are my assets?
In the same manner that I would publish a sexy selfie
I published my gigs.
I waited for a little bit and soon enough,
I could not believe it myself but yes,
I was working for less than 10$ an hour
Fulfilled by it.
After years of art school education
Trained to work for free
Seeing my practice as a hobby
That might never pay my bills
I was happily surprised
When one of my first clients asked to pay for my poems.
60 dollars were delivered to my bank account.
I felt for a moment that I could finally pursue my writing career,
Although not exactly the way I imagined it.
How unused I was to believe that my skills and creativity were to a certain extent, valuable.
The thought that some people appreciated the skills that I possess,
Left me feeling weird, loved.
It is as if I have been so well trained into believing that passions
Won’t pay the bills.
Creativity’s unrecognition within society is
The biggest joke of our contemporary existence.
Fiverr, you prove us right
Not everyone has taste,
Not everyone can write,
Not everyone can create.
People need our skills.
I had made 60$, not a thousand.
Had a long way to go in order to pay the Gementee,
A way to realize that this globalized industry puts every creative into a competition
With prices so close to
An absurd minimum.
It got me… pretty delusional.
But was I getting any better offer?
No, so I kept on working for you, dating you Fiverr.
There’s something terrible, cynical, exciting about your ticking clock’
Always fearing a bad review.
Fiverr, you’re like, a black mirror episode coming to existence,
And I partake in it.
Am I, finally, the main character?
On a Wednesday morning, a stranger contacted me
Begged me to write her final dissertation paper
For her Hebrew bachelor.
For 80$ and three days — I accepted
“It had to be a performance”, I thought.
To pay someone so little
To write about a subject that I have no expertise about
For me to accept, and I did it though.
Strange how I now look at every transaction in an artistic manner
As to excuse the contemporary tone of this poorly paid and digested labor.
I am privileged to accept this condition,
To work in this globalized creative industry that does not pay millions,
Enabling the enrichment of creativity in poorer countries,
where working for 5$ a day is, perhaps, a great deal -
Somewhere else denying the fundamental work, pressure, time, and value
That designers and artists need
I am partaking in this,
As a resulting product of this complex new system creatives found themselves in
A grey landscape where the impossibility to be acknowledged and paid properly
Leads us to accept unethical ideals
All of this for our practice
Our expertise to remain.
You’re this terrible ex no one wants to hear again about,
Still yesterday I accepted to read two sentences of a text
With my best french accent,
It’s so easy to love and hate you, constrained
Leading me to think of new systems
Regulations that will ground our practices
Hoping one day that they can be valued