Permalink: Ethics of Free Work


Hi, let me introduce myself: my name is Wilmer Edricson, and I’ll be taking over this website. I saw my opportunity after the departure of Kotow Shergar, who was short-sighted to give up a job working for free.

Working for free is often more lucrative than working for pay, since it gives you a chance to sue your employer for unpaid wages.


Here are a few reasons suing is better than working for a straight paycheck:

1) You Can Get More Work. before hiring you for a job Employers usually consider factors like how much money they can afford to pay you, or what your work is worth to them. If it’s not worth it, they won’t hire you. Don’t give them that option. Work, ostensibly for free, and then demand payment later. Don’t forget that…

2) You Can Name Your Own Wages. Come into the lawsuit with an idea of how much your work is worth, that may not be based at all on market forces. Just make a website or a flier that says something like

Wilmer Edricson

  1. High-Quality Writing and Composition
  2. $1.00 Per Word

and use it as evidence that that is what you “normally charge.”

3) You Can Scare Them. Whether or not your case has any merit, it makes your employer look bad. They might pay you off to prevent it from going to court and ruining their name. They can’t counter-threaten you with ruining your own good name because…

4) What You’re Doing Is Ethical. Which brings us to the topic of this article: Ethics. What are they? What can you use an ethic for? I didn’t bother to find out. What I do know is there are two important questions in any ethical dilemma: what you can get away with, and whether it’s worth it.


  1. Can you get away with it?
  2. Is there any profit in it?

Example: You catch your wife in bed with another man. Is it ethical to kill him and her? Well, you probably couldn’t get away with it, and there’s no profit in it. So to murder them would be unethical.

In the world of business, you may come across some innovative way to make more money, and wonder, “is it ethical?” Assuming it’s a good (profitable) idea, all you need to do is figure out how to get away with it. Do this first by covering it up, and then by aggressively defending it once your cover is blown.

To convince others that what you’re doing is okay, you must first convince yourself. Here’s what to keep in mind:

A) Everybody’s doing it. Everyone cheats. Or at least they could. And if they could, why wouldn’t they? You would, so they probably would. The assholes. Why should you have to play by any different rules than them? Beat them at their own game.

B) You’re standing up for your rights. You have the right to do what you want to do. If you were to do anything different, it would be impinging on this right.

Keep to this plan, and you should be able to make any idea ethical. If you can’t think of your own, try to find someone else’s “unethical” idea, and make it ethical by doing it for yourself. If someone else is doing it, it’s a bad thing. If you’re doing it, you’re just playing the game.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you can put this advice to good use, because if so, I’ll be coming for my percentage. That’s six hundred twenty five dollars worth of advice you just read for free.


Permalink: Good Bye to Kotow Shergar


From: Len Bakerloo

To: Kotow Shergar

Kotow Dearest,

I’m pissed at you, so don’t think I am using “dearest” in any way other than that intended by Christina Crawford when referring to her mother, Joan, in her memoir, Mommy Dearest. (Never mind that Christina’s younger sister, Cindy, said the memoir was a fabrication… that is beside the point.)

How dare you leave us just because someone is willing to “pay” you “money.” Have you no principles? Don’t you see this for what it is, a bribe, pure and simple?

Have you done any research on this new “employer” of yours? They claim to be “America’s finest news source” but the quality of their “reporting” is abysmal. Those who take them seriously end up with egg on their faces. Consider when the Beijing Evening News picked up on the report that Congress threatened to leave Washington D. C. unless a new Capitol was built for them. Or when a Danish TV station used their story that Sean Penn demanded to know “What asshole took” And then there was the time MSNBC re-ran the “news” that 58 percent of all the exercise perfomed in the U. S. A. is televised.

These guys seem to just sit around making stuff up. Actually, now that I think about it, this might be the perfect job for you. It isn’t clear you did the slightest bit of research when you “worked” here.

If you ever decide to write a story for us again, Kotow, you’d better plan on filing it under an assumed name because you’re personal non grata here – you traitor.

You should know that we are henceforth announcing our CAMPAIGN TO REPLACE YOU.

Any readers out there interested in Kotow’s Job? We didn’t pay Kotow anything, but we clearly paid him more than he was worth. We can offer you the same terms.


You’ll probably be glad you did.

See, Kotow, you’re good as gone and almost as good as replaced.

Yours truly, with utmost low regard,

Len Bakerloo

PS. Why do you look so happy in this new picture of yours?

Permalink: Perfect Cover Letter


by Kotow Shergar

In my last article, I wrote about how to craft the perfect resume to land any job. Achieving this level of perfection will not guarantee you will get a job, but it will make you the ideal candidate and ensure that your failure to be employed is the fault of someone or something else.

Is spelling really that important on a cover letter?
To understand why you might need a cover letter, consider the following three scenari*:

I) A potential employer is considering several candidates with powerful resumes. Let’s say that you have a 3.82 GPA from Harvard, but the other has a 3.86 from Princeton. You have worked for the #11 and #17 ranked companies in Fortune, but the other has worked for #8 and #20. How does an employer decide?

II) A writing sample is required for the job, but you don’t have one and do not wish to create one. What can you give them to demonstrate your writing ability that does not require you to know anything about the job?

III) You try to pass your resume to a manager, but the manager will not read it without an introductory letter. How do you overcome the requirement?

A cover letter is the solution to all these scenarios. There are two ingredients Continue reading “Permalink: Perfect Cover Letter”

Permalink: Interviewing



I’m going to write briefly on an article I found on No Shortage of Work, which has no shortage of terrible advice on job-searching. Case in point is this article on How to Interview in which No Shortage of Work Grand Swindler Brooke Allen argues that you should “interview like a reporter.”

I’m not sure what you are supposed to gain by emulating low-level employees in a profession that never made much money to begin with and has been in a steady decline over the last two decades, but it sure ain’t a high-paying job.

Here’s what else Allen said: “When you interview someone, your goal is to learn something.

Not me.

My goal is to get a job. The only thing I’m interested in learning is learning that I got the job. Or how much it pays.

He says, “It is important that you take notes.”

I took enough notes at school to get a 3.83 at Princeton (or a 3.94 at Harvard, I’m now telling people). I think I know a thing or two about note-taking, and what I know is that if I’m not being tested on it, I’m not doing it.

And, “Take some time and write up your notes in more formal prose.”

I used to pay a kid to do this for my notes in college. Or my parents paid him, if you want to look at it that way. Either way, I’m not doing any secretary labor like that.

“Everything is interesting when viewed from the right angle.”

Sure. Find an angle to get something out of this person. I agree with this.

“Make the conversation be about the WORK.”

This is a classic mistake. The interviewer knows more about the work than you do, so there’s no chance to impress them with your superiority in this field. Steer the conversation to your accomplishments – if they’re real, you experienced them firsthand, and if they’re fake then only you can possibly know the details.

“Look for every opportunity to interview people, and there is a good chance you’ll get job offers without needing to answer ads or go on “job” interviews.”

What’s wrong with answering ads or going on job interviews? Those are conversations specifically designed to lead to jobs. Anything else is just a waste of your time.

That’s all there is to say about that. I’d like to interview with this Brooke Allen and show him a thing or two about how it’s really done, but he wouldn’t give me a real job offer so I’m not wasting my time.

The Graduate-Proof Recession


Charlie Hoehn wrote an e-book called “The Recession-Proof Graduate” that he published online for free. He claims to explain how a recent college graduate can become recession-proof and get a job even in tough economic times.  I didn’t read it, and neither should you. It’s bullshit.

Working for Free Leads to a Job? Good luck with that!

It’s hard to get a job in this recession – that’s why you’re on this site. Millions of people are out of jobs, and you’re one of them. Even if you’re a graduate of one of the top schools in the country, you could still be out of a job. If an expensive education does not guarantee success, this is proof that things suck and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I assume Hoehn says that there is something you can do about your situation. But, in fact, there is not, so don’t read what he has to say.

You are deeply screwed, and blaming yourself cannot help you out of it. Whatever his argument, it probably relies on the idea of you helping yourself. It is therefore impossible and not worth trying.

Based on what I have read about what he has written, Hoehn goes on to advise people to work for free, which is foolish at any time, but especially during a recession when there is less money to go around. The surest way to get money is to demand it. When money is scarce, only those who ask for it will receive it. By not asking for money for his own book, Hoehn demonstrates his ignorance of this basic law of economics.

Again, I’ve never read a page of “The Recession-Proof Graduate.” That’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I hope you can make that decision too. The best that can be said for this book is that it’s free, so it’s not a waste of your money. It is, however, a waste of your time, which could be better spent telling people what to do with their time.