I’ve always been the fly-by-the-Seat-of-the-pants-type of person, which I now realise has its flaws because with my imagination, I’m now imagining flying by the seat of my pants, and it’s an interesting cartoony hedge backwards sort of thing. But I digress…
A few years ago I worked for Latin Post. In the last couple of months of that, it was a bit of a struggle getting them to actually pay. Can’t deny it, though, it was quite entertaining to see my boss going to war on my behalf, something I’ll always be grateful for.
The CEO was a robot named Dilbert*. I saw him once during a meeting and can attest to the fact that his designers did one hell of a good job making him look real. However, it would seem there was a dark hand looming over it.
*Name changed to protect the clueless
Dilbert claimed he went to Olivet University. I’m not sure about this; I don’t think robots, even realistic ones, have those sorts of rights just yet.
For those wondering why Olivet is an important piece of my tale, it’s because it’s owned by one David Jang. The illustrious Jang is said to have once been part of the Unification Church (read as: Moonies, cult fodder). Of course, he set out on his own and these days calls himself Christian. Some have referred to him as the second coming of Christ. I personally refer to him as world class con artist.
Jang makes his money from “news” sites. These include Latin Post, Christian Today, Music Times, and the arguably propagandist Christian Post, which seems to be to Jang what the NRA is to Donald Trump: Insult our leader and we shall smite thee! Also on the list is International Business Times (the CEOs of which have previously denied this link but they seem to have relaxed their status since realising the public aren’t all the fools they’re taken for) which in recent years acquired the reasonably decent Newsweek, which has rapidly gone downhill since its acquisition.
The main issue with his sites is that they’re out for hits. The writers weren’t the best, although some did enjoy throwing journalism credentials in editors’ faces, the writers and editors were between them to deal with the SEO in summaries and keywords, and hits were at the forefront of it all; it wasn’t unheard of for some to insert “xxx” and “porn” into the keywords to help with this.
Luckily though, this sect – sorry, this business has Christianity at its core so they in no way would ever wish to hire people with the intention of shafting them, and they’re huge fans of the Ten Commandments.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
You start with a contract. The contract says you’ll be paid. Realistically, though, what they’ve just hired is at least a month’s free labour.
Their current game is telling people that the sites are under new management and that a plan is being put in place with monthly payments to be made from January, only you email after January and you’ll be met with silence; they have no intention of paying.
Thou shalt not steal
It’s all very much covered above; they know what problems they have financially, however they’re still hiring. Why? They’re currently in the process of demonstrating that they can’t afford to pay people, so why recruit for paid positions? Surely at this point you should be advertising internships only?
“I am the Lord thy god, thou shalt not have any strange god before me”
Well, Jangalangs, you’ve screwed up with this one, haven’t you.
In their bid to protect their leader, Olivet students created a website much along the same lines as Jang’s other websites, but with one huge difference: His other websites tend to lay down the law to their writers, leading to their contributions being fair and balanced (unless a celebrity fluff piece, in which case they’re mindless, simpering, dribbling, pro-celeb sycophants).
This Olivet-founded site has been known to smear anyone who dares to write anything negative about Jang, twisting small things into lies. How do we know it’s Jang-related? Simple: negative piece goes up, smear article is usually written within the week. So no link there at all, hey.
These founding students of the “Community” have obviously swallowed the swill fed to them to such a degree they’re willing to defame anyone who was smart enough to not become one of the brainwashed minions. Now, now, kids, that’s not very Christian of you, now, is it?
But off those commandments now – they only break the ones which make them money.
The money they make from these websites goes, so I gather, straight to Olivet to cover their overheads before any of the staff gets paid. From what I’ve seen, the hierarchy is the Higher-UPS get paid first; if there’s anything left from there, the permanent staff gets a slice, and then maybe the freelancers will get a look-in.
I stayed at Music Times for a grand total of perhaps six or seven months. I was determined to get the copy-editing experience in for any future opportunities which might present themselves at a later date, however to date I have been paid for around a month and a half of my time there. I seem to have started at a time when they were going from paying to not paying as a month after I started, the following email was received:
It has come to our attention that many did not realize our 30 net policy is based on business days from approval of invoice and processing by our outside accounting firm and does not include weekends or holidays. Whenever the company can turn around payment sooner, we have always tried to do that.
We apologize for any misunderstanding and hope it is clear moving forward. And as always, we appreciate all of your hard work!
This email made me laugh for a couple of reasons.
First, 30 net (or Net 30 for those who know) and “business days” do not go together in this instance. Legally, we’re talking about calendar days, not business days.
Second, the above being the case, how can it be clear going forward when you’re upside down and inside out to begin with?
Rolling Stone jumped on board the Olivet train back in February, and in their usual clever way – Olivet has many awesome methods at their disposal – the “University” told them it is:
affiliated with a group of evangelical Christians. Like millions of other Evangelical Christians worldwide, Olivet is associated with and shares the beliefs of Evangelical Christians. Recent media reports which attempt to portray a business as a religious business due to the beliefs of their owners is a practice which is plainly discriminatory.
Guys, calm the fuck down, IBT’s been previously named as one of Olivet’s approved “ministries”!
Let’s get this clear now: CEOs: Olivet graduate (in some shape or form). Finance department: Some poor overworked students at Olivet. Technical department: More poor overworked students at Olivet. The writers aren’t affiliated. Oh no, they still live in the hope that they’ll get paid.
Newsweek, in the meantime, actually got rid of some of its staff following the Manhattan DA raid back in January; it turns out the show doesn’t mind running with fabricated news, but dare to write an unbiased article about the company getting raided and you’re out. It’s a shame – it’s probably the first exclusive news piece Newsweek’s managed to get since its IBT takeover.
In the meantime, it’s great to see #Boycottnewsweek is still going strong on Twitter.