My Boss of 4 Years Ghosted Me When I Told Him I Had to Quit My Job

Sometimes the gig economy looks a lot like online dating.

Shannon Ashley
Mar 9, 2019 · 13 min read

Businesses are using contract workers however it suits them.

I should have been wary about the self-employed nature of the job from the start. Under the gig economy, an increasing number of businesses are relying upon “independent contractors.”

Content mills take advantage of creators hoping to earn a real living.

When I first began the job, our pay seemed pretty straightforward. Some of it was quite low, but I didn’t know any better. So I went along with it.

I never thought my Christian friends would run a content mill, until I actually worked for them.

To put the pay into perspective, a client with a “full package” was paying about $850 a month (plus a $700 setup fee) for daily posts on a few platforms, and two monthly blog posts. I received about $120 of that per month. And as time went on, most clients had smaller packages between $250 and $650 per month. Writers received a fraction of that pay despite doing the bulk of the actual day-to-day work.

Independent contractors may suffer if they talk to startups about their pay.

While I stayed with the company for close to four years, this last year was particularly disconcerting. It all started when I dared to approach management about the fact that our compensation for a blog was cut from $25 down to $10.

None of this would have gone over well with a real HR department.

According to the owner, I was performing just fine. He said my manager would have told him otherwise.

When you’re an independent contractor, they don’t have to give you a reason for giving you less work.

None of my efforts to resolve the situation helped. The owner ended our call by promising to talk to my manager and getting me new clients.

Nobody deserves a toxic workplace.

Businesses within the big economy often forget that work culture matters even when it’s online. My old company became terribly toxic, and I wasn’t the only one to notice.

Were they trying to get me to quit? That was a common question asked by friends within and outside of the startup.

Within a year of bringing up the blog pay, I hated working there. It was miserable. I felt like I was on constant eggshells, and in a last ditch effort, I tried to talk to another owner. The first owner’s wife, and someone who was once my best friend in town. Or so I thought.

So I finally decided to call it quits.

The more I began to write here for myself, the more I knew I wanted to leave my social media marketing days behind.

Nothing says “thank you for your service” like the silent treatment.

To be fair, of the two managers I emailed, the newest one responded to ask if I would be willing to stay on in a lesser capacity. I declined. She was “nicer” than expected given her previous correspondence over the past year.

Is it really so hard to wish someone well after four years of service?

He never once acknowledged my email. Never said thank you for my service, never wished me well… despite the fact that I thanked him and wished him well. And honestly? That stung enough for me to help affirm that the discord was never all in my head.

Perhaps I’m just one more millennial expecting to be coddled, huh?

At any rate, I’ve learned to value my skills and not settle for peanuts when it comes to my writing goals. Plus, I can thank that experience in the gig economy for leading me to finally select a job that pays per reader engagement. I know, I know. Perhaps I’m just one more millennial expecting to be coddled, huh? Though technically I’m a “Zennial,” we might still be presumed an overly-entitled bunch.

Awkwardly Honest

A home for some of my most cringe-worthy tales that have been well-received on Medium.

Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, fulltime writer, exvangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer.

Awkwardly Honest

A home for some of my most cringe-worthy tales that have been well-received on Medium.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade