So long, Examiner.com

First off, according to the Constitution of the United States, I have freedom of speech, which my blog entitles me to.  This translates that I have the right to say whatever I want on it.  Second of all, I have been told by numerous people, authors included, that the way you run the Examiner is outrageous and your payment system is illegal, not to mention highly suspect.  Payment?  $30 per month is your idea of PAYMENT?  Even beggars earn more.  Stating the truth on my blog is nothing in comparison to what you and your staff have done.  Still, I was never disrespectful with the Examiner staff and always handled my complaints in a professional manner despite hostility I met on your end for requesting issues to be fixed. If it is in my power to take this up on a legal level, I definitely will.  Third of all, contrary to your accusation, I’ve noticed that I’ve brought 1500 views a month to a site that receives only 30 views in comparison.  So my Examiner reports state.  I’ve brought famous authors, writers, and a vast literary audience to the Examiner, for which I’ve received no support, appreciation, or correct compensation from the Examiner.  I had no idea you and the Examiner staff were censoring me for the financial scraps you’ve been throwing at me for hours and hours of hard work.  It is I and hundreds of other Examiners who are disgusted with the outright robbery and extortion the Examiner is getting away with.

Behold my official reply to Examiner.com.  Okay, you’re confused with where this is coming from?  Let’s backtrack to yesterday.

It seems my post, Is this goodbye?, reached the ears of the Examiner.  (On a side note, since when have they been reading my blog or care about my opinion?  They keep on underpaying their writers without a second thought and they have some really pathetic writers on the site…does the word “discrimination” ring a bell, anyone?) 

And…you guessed correctly!  They couldn’t handle the truth being slapped right in front of their faces.  So this was their response: good-bye.  Oh no, they didn’t deny my denouncements or prove I was wrong.  They had the nerve to claim that they had paid me fairly (?) and that I was the one being a nuisance.  They also had the nerve to say that my content was of little value to the site and that I had brought nothing to the site.  All those viewers, authors, friends, colleagues…I had 1500 view per month for both of my titles, for crying out loud!  The Fresno branch of the Examiner, for example, was only getting on average 30 views per day.  Hah.  I worked fricking hard for them and they dare to tell me now that I did nothing?  I’ll be seeing them again, they can bet on that.  One day… 

Oh, and by the way, oh mighty Examiner?  Stop telling all those poor prospective writers that you pay the Examiners!  Because you pay next-to-nothing, basically.  It’s a lousy pretense, this lie about payment.

Ahem.  The gist of the matter is that I’m no longer writing for Examiner.com.  Period.  And to be honest, I had already decided to quit before they threw all this in my face, so…what do I care?  They can go to hell.  Where they rightly belong.  They just threw the gauntlet at me when I’d already left the room.  They just made complete fools of themselves.  My content, my reviews, they all still belong to me.  I care less about those pageviews they cheated me of.  And that meager beggar’s pay they claim is legitimate.  Guess what, Examiner.com?  Since I was an independent contractor and not your employee, you legally cannot fire me!  I already resigned before you emailed me.  And I’m proud of that blog entry you hate.  It’s the truth, launched right at a bunch of liars and thieves.  So there.  The Examiner will get what’s coming to it.  Sooner or later.

Natalie Gorna

The day before Labor Day

So…I’ve been circling around the topic of “what’s going on with me” during my last several blog entries.  Why, you may ask?  Is this not a personal blog?  I have a choice between two replies.  Surreal reply#1 is: the publication meeting I just had with myself, my blog, and the writer spirit in me established that the less I focus on myself, the better it is for the site’s overall stats and general enjoyment.  Realistic reply#2 is: I simply don’t want to write too often about my life, my problems, and my self-pity.  However, today is the day before Labor Day, a “holiday” in America where every working person is allowed to contemplate on the mundane quality of life and empathize with the horrors of work.  So shall I.  And by the way…I pick reply#2.  😉

First off, the Examiner is as annoying an “employer” as ever.  Recently I had an unresolved issue with them about payment, and they kindly reminded me that I am not an employee but merely an “independent contractor” who is not entitled to certain rights concerning payment.  Also, they are constantly changing and updating the site.  Which is vexing.  I know I’m a freelance writer and tutor, which means I belong to the ranks of the self-employed.  This isn’t a bad circumstance; it just is an unlucky one, translating into less pay and a harder time seeking employment.  On an unrelated side note, my total review quota has reached 145 movie reviews and 264 book reviews.  I’ll be celebrating writing statistics another time, though.

In reference to my employment troubles: during the month of August, I regained the status of being a working tutor again, gaining a couple of clients.  Now, at the beginning of September, I am down to one client, because my other one decided to “quit” in no uncertain terms and with very selfish reasons.  Then again, I am at the “beck and call” of the populace, to serve their educational needs.  So who am I to judge about selfishness?  I am just a tutor.  Who needs more work and more clients.  Another suitable pre-Labor Day meditative thought.  People always say that things will get better.  They are only fooling themselves when they reiterate that line to us cynics.

Hmmm…let’s see what else I haven’t covered.  Labor Day is a semi-vacation from the hustle and bustle of Internet life, because all libraries are closed on that day (that means no Internet access for me).  So I’ll be reading A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell and Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (author of Sisters Red)…or writing up MORE reviews.  Did I mention that I reviewed Red Riding Hood last week, a movie I’ve waited to see for 5 months?  Or that Jane Eyre, a movie I’ve waited equally long to watch, will be reviewed this week by moi.  Wait, did I just write all of that down?  I’m supposed to be forcing you, my readers, to put out some effort and click on the links to my Goodreads and Examiner pages.  😛 

But, oh well.  It doesn’t matter if you look at my sites or not, does it?  Unless you care about what I’m writing?  Anyway, in the words of the technologically savvy, “TTYL”.  I will write again soon.  Hopefully, about something non-personal. 😉

Natalie Gorna

Life is a park

A park in Wroclaw, Poland
A park in Wroclaw, Poland

Lovely, isn’t it?  A pleasant panorama to gaze at while you do a little walking and meditating.  The above photo isn’t mine, for sure, but I still do like to nostalgically look at something I’ve seen and experienced before.  🙂

Aside from that, my life is going downhill again.  As of the beginning of this month, the Examiner has withdrawn a crucial program from which I derived most payment for my articles.  So now I’m down to the horrible pay-per-view…and I’m being cheated on even more than before.  Moreover, no one wants to explain anything about this.  This is not the only thing, though.  The Examiner still is making changes to the site constantly and featuring ads in the middle of my articles/reviews.  It seems that paying me less as a writer doesn’t stop them from posting advertisements to the maximum on the site itself.  Therefore, in view of all my life’s current miseries (all of which I am not listing here), I have determined to post a metaphor…or an analogy.  I never did figure out all those literary terms…allegory…metaphor…analogy…simile. 

Anyway, life is exactly like a park.  Let’s call it “the park,” since we’re all in the same world at the same time, interacting with each other.  You enter the park the moment you’re born, and the exit is…the exit from this physical life we all have to take sometime.  The park is huge, leafy, green, forest-like.  There is beautiful scenery, diverse surroundings…you get it.  Lots of hills, natural problems.  And trails.  Considering that we do not choose the circumstances of our births, your personal trail is already set for you…you cannot take another trail, but you do have forks in the road, so to speak.  You have choices along your journey.  You also have a “guidebook” to the park…morality and your own conscience, more or less, to help you make those right choices.

Despite that, there are many ups and downs.  You know how people say that overcoming an obstacle is like climbing a mountain, and that reaching the destination (the pinnacle) is the high point of your life, besides everything you learn along the way?  I think it’s the opposite for a life crisis.  You can be at the high point of your life, the top of the hill, and then life creeps downhill, like mine.  Going downhill is traveling from reasonable existence into hell, with pain and aches during the entire time.  It’s more than unfair, because not only do you descend to somewhere you don’t want to be at, it hurts to get there.  The bottom is…unbearable. 

Everyone who has ridden a bicycle at least once in his/her life has to agree that riding downhill is easier than going uphill.  Even I agree with that.  However, figuratively, it’s different.  When you’re ascending through your life, you have a goal, something to reach toward.  When you descend, you are racing toward an unpleasant abyss, a result that is dark and the unknown.  Most of the time.  Basically, you are leaving the safety of your achievement, or your ordinary existence, to something that will terrify you, test you, and maybe destroy your soul permanently.  This applies to me.  I disagree that “you grow from these negative experiences, you learn, you become stronger as a person.”  From the moment I entered the park, I have been going downhill, pushed into certain forks in the road, and only seeing the aesthetic side of life but not really…knowing it for myself.  Happiness is when you actually get to be a part of those wonderful landscapes in the park.  Seeing them for a second is not the same.  I have been damaged by whatever I’ve gone through, and I’ve come out for the worse, not the better.  I love nature, but nature is neither good nor bad.  And this park is the toughest place on earth…to survive, you have to endure it all.  But I’m not sure that I have what it takes.

Natalie Gorna