Part 3 is here.
Nuances are hard for people. We all prefer clear heroes and villains. The important questions, though, arise from the in-between places. Here are the points I want to make... you can draw your own conclusions.
-- I don't think Leapforce is the devil. I was, as I said, desperately grateful to be able to work for them. Leapforce work supported me through a financial desert that I honestly don't know how I would otherwise have crossed.
-- The desperate need I felt for an income made me willing to put up with just about any employment policy. I think that's true for a lot of people who make ends meet through online work in this economy.
-- Leapforce is a product of this era. I don't think it's worse than the average online employer, though my personal experience is limited. But Leapforce (and the Client-who-shall-not-be-named, otherwise known as Google) benefit from the fact that there are thousands of us out here in cyber-land, isolated, willing to take almost any job, completely replaceable and expendable. Crowd-sourced employment is worth taking a good look at, because it so easily enables employers to deny the humanity of workers.
-- I quit working for Leapforce because I knew there had to be some other way to earn a living that didn't place 100% of the power in the hands of the employer. I was (and still am, as of this morning) in good standing there, with access to all tasks and channels.
-- I still work online, I'm still somewhat expendable -- but at least online writing is straightforward. Success is clear, clients are happy, finicky guidelines are minimal. But online writing is no panacea; it's harder than Leapforce work to get started with, and you work for pennies while you learn the ropes. Maybe you have to love writing to do it profitably, but in any case it works well for me.
Leapforce Chat is, as I said, a crucial element of the job. It functions as an ongoing training resource and news conduit, water-cooler and source of random personal expression. The majority of Chat is occupied by news about who's got access to what sorts of tasks, and how everyone's work is going, and various practical details. When I refer to oppression, however, I mean the ongoing evidence of anxiety represented by such chat messages as these, pulled from a random hour:
- If I just got a "there will be no work for you today" message that would be great. Sitting around "hoping" is frustrating.
- I understand when there is a lack of tasks but when you read that some are getting 10-12 hours a day and you are getting zero it is confusing.
- Have you emailed support?
- Many times but I never get a response to my emails. I think they must go into someone's spam folder or something.
- I thought even being capped I would get some tasks now and then...
- Okay email sent. seems odd after my last review my task load is down. And the fact that all the (--) and (--) tasks disappeared....well that's weird.
- Just asked him. he says yeah he was removed from (---) project, but he wasn't sure what that meant. he says that he can't access any other projects, any chat channels, or anything.
One bit of nuts and bolts info for workers
Sometimes people worry about being terminated if they complete less than 200 tasks in a month. I'm only one individual, but my experience is that, after billing for 3 hours for December and zero hours for January, I'm still able to log in to tasks and I'm still getting Leapforce email bulletins about guidelines, tasks, etc.
Undoubtedly my access will be terminated soon. I suspect these blog posts will bring that day sooner rather than later. But if you're worried about a slow month, and you haven't gotten 200 tasks done, it's probably going to be OK. Leapforce will probably still love you.