The Worst Company I Ever Worked For

Life at a content farm

Emma Siemasko
May 30, 2013 · 3 min read

I’m a writer. My first job out of college was teaching English in South Korea. That was a difficult job, and most nights I cried myself to sleep out of homesickness and cultural confusion. My next job was much worse. I came back to the U.S. and began work at a content farm. We wrote 4,000 words per day for less than 30k in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

It was a pretty ridiculous place to work, but what was crazier was that people seemed to tolerate it. The economy was bad and writers were desperate (I was), and the company took advantage of us. Or, just didn’t care. Or knew they could do it.

Instead of being taught that our skills could be used in marketing departments and for purposes of communication and user experience, we created spammy content written for robots.

You know when you reach a page with crappy links and you’re not sure if it’s an article or a home page or an advertisement? That was us.

Each day I worked there, I dreamed about writing an expose, but by the time I got to my new job it seemed trivial and petty. Why did I need to slam the place when I’d gotten out of there?

An expose still feels like a longshot, a waste of energy that could be better spent on my new job or completing a novel.

Here’s the magic: If you treat writers poorly, neglect to pay them, and devalue their art, they will shit on you on the internet. That’s why you should read Glassdoor reviews from my old company. They really tell an amazing story of what an evil corporation can do to writers.

The memories of terror are (somehow) fond.


“It cost more to have my tax return completed for this position than I made in the entire four weeks I tolerated working there.” -News and Content Writer

“Management: Mostly ‘The Last Man Standing.’ Poorly trained people who’ve stuck around long enough to get ‘Manager’ in their title. Rarely are things adequately organized/accounted for and everything is in flux.” -Anonymous

“People often quit with nothing lined up because they can’t handle it. 4,000 words per day. It was once described to me as ‘every day, a sprint. every month, a marathon’ Not sustainable. Come back to me when YOU can run a marathon in a sprint” -News and Content Writer

“Read before accepting a job. You’d be better off working in an iPhone factory.” - News and Content Writer

“Please Don’t” - Anonymous Employee

“I would not recommend this job to my worst enemy. Just because the job market is tough, don’t sell yourself short by working for this company. They undervalue their employees, as this is reflected in nearly every other review on Glassdoor. If this review doesn’t make you think twice, take an extra 10 minutes out of your day and read what others have to say.” - News and Content Writer

“THE PAY IS AWFUL. Four dollars an article? Are you joking? When you’re writing content for sectors you have no prior knowledge of (or if you’re writing for obsolete sectors like those who sell check processing machines) it takes a very long time to source something that you’re not even sure is factually accurate. I once wrote only two articles in a day. I came away with $8 for a 9 hour day. ” - News and Content Writer

“You’ll work long hours, do things that rarely make sense and often be stressed and irritated. Benefits package is dismal, too. I very seriously wouldn’t recommend working here unless you have literally (I MEAN IT) exhausted every other option.” -Anonymous Employee

“This is without question the worst work environment I have ever observed. The operating model is to source kids fresh out of college with little to no work experience so that they have no idea to what degree they are being abused.” -Anonymous Employee

This Happened to Me

Life is made of stories.

    Emma Siemasko

    Written by

    writer, storyteller

    This Happened to Me

    Life is made of stories.

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