If you've ever worked freelance — even for a day — you know exactly how cheap clients can be. They'll try to stiff you for the most trivial things, to the point where it's almost like they don't realize you need to pay your rent and eat food in order to be able to produce good work. For them.
And if, God forbid, your career relates to art in any way — whether you're an illustrator, painter, graphic designer, or writer, even — well then, you've really got the worst end of the stick. I'm not sure if people think that all artists are rich and don't have anything better to do with their time than make free designs and logos for clients, but that's certainly how it's come to seem.
It's a really gross practice that has metastasized over the past few years with freelancing becoming more commonplace as a part of the rise of the gig economy. It's become such an issue that New York City had to put a "Freelance Isn't Free" law on the books last year to protect independent contractors.
Getting financially cheated after putting in time and labor isn't funny, but when there's nothing concrete you can do to help your cause, laughter can be the best medicine.
Below are some of the most miserly cheapskates everyone needs to avoid at all costs. And we're sure the freelancers among us can relate.
1. Avoid this person if you're trying to rent out a room in your house.
What a generous offer of $150 a month for TWO people, since "significant others are allowed to live rent-free," after making ludicrous demands of your roommates. I don't know where this person is, but as a New York native, I can guarantee this wouldn't fly in any of the five boroughs.
2. If you're looking to re-home your pup, it might be a good idea to avoid this family.
Like, how are they going to pay for dog food? Vets? As a proud dog owner, it really irks me when people think that caring for a dog costs no money.
3. Avoid this company if you've got a Bachelor's degree and two years of production experience under your belt.
Now, I'm used to getting low-balled. But being offered $0 upfront is like... You just have to laugh. Especially when they're requiring a college diploma and two years of [presumably paid] work. For a showbiz-type job that seems to require specialized skills!
4. Avoid letting this person crash at your place. Probably.
I've dealt with my fair share of friend-gaslighting, and let me just say it's not cute. Just a guess here, but it sounds like if this person was a friendly individual, they might not even have to offer a measly $3.50 for a place to lay their heads.
5. If you're getting rid of your old TV, don't give it to this guy.
Call me old-school, but I would prefer to give my old TV to someone without so many stipulations.
6. Avoid selling nice furniture to people who would rather shop at discount stores.
No offense to Walmart, but come on. You can't go on eBay trying to bid for a Prada bag and say that you saw a similar one at Forever21 when your offer is declined.
7. Avoid this kind of demanding "friend."
You're KIDDING me, right? These two clearly haven't spoken in a while, one of them has the gall to ask for a free ROUND-TRIP airplane ticket, the other one is delusional enough to ACCEPT, but that's clearly still not enough.
I'm not tripping, you're tripping.
8. Artists, beware!
Oh the old, "my child could make that modern art piece." Except he didn't! An artist did, and they should be compensated for their work. Or if you think you're so gifted, stretch your own canvas and go for it. Jeez.
9. Tattoo artists, avoid conceited and mediocre clients.
Oh, you wanted a piece until you learned that tattoos cost money? Then you call the artist conceited and mediocre? Boy, bye.
10. Avoid babysitting for this woman's kids.
A babysitter you don't have to pay is called a literal parent. Grandparent if you're lucky. You must be kidding if you think someone will change diapers and risk getting thrown up on for free.
11. Avoid this non-job, even if you are a pious developer.
Admittedly not a job, but for a non-paying assignment, this person sure has some high standards of the person they want to
12. Avoid living here unless you're a true masochist.
$200 for rent seems like a steal. Until you actually read the post and realize you're being asked to babysit a child for eight hours a day, while living in a basement without a kitchen. Oh, and YOU have to be the one to pay. What?!
13. Unless you're a coder who wants to work six months for free, avoid this gig.
Or take the gig and hope that it's a success. "Probibly will be."
14. Even if you do have a bus you're willing to loan 20 people for free, I'd probably stay away from this group.
What's with the aggressive "NEXT's"? Someone needs to take fifty chill pills and MASSIVELY calm down. Or maybe they just "require intoxication." A lot of it.
15. If you're feeling altruistic, maybe avoid giving your change to this guy.
Not like he'd take change anyway! This guy's time can't be wasted for anything less than a $20. Anyone got a six figure salary they can send my way before I waste any more of my time? God bless!
16. Next time you're thinking about helping a friend get home to see their sick relatives, make sure it's not this one.
These people who want literally free rides are making me absolutely cringe. I'd be so embarrassed to ask anyone other than a significant other to help me pay my way to see family, but then to turn a generous offer down is just... for shame.
17. I know people often give away mattresses when they're moving, just don't give it to this person.
"Oh I wasn't intending on paying for it... If I wanted one for money, I'd go out and buy it."
So nonchalant and totally unbothered!
18. I had to do a double-take here.
Web designers and developers work for free because the websites they make are FREE TO VISIT! Makes total sense. And I am hallucinating at the jab this client makes after the guy used "words like rates and estimate."
I don't know whether to laugh or cry here.
19. Avoid lending money to the friend who hasn't talked to you in ages.
Sorry, did I say lend? I meant GIVE, obviously. I have to hand it to this guy though, "I know you have some more cash at the moment so I was wondering if you could GIVE ME SOME." I don't even think that's how kids talk to their parents when they're asking for lunch money!
20. If you see this woman on your next flight, AVOID! Or, pull this move.
Take notes on how to perfectly handle a lousy cheapskate. Seriously, though. Round of applause.
21. Avoid working for companies that think they're doing YOU a favor.
Can I believe that a company actually sent this to a graphic designer? Five years ago, I would have said no, but even I've gotten this kind of offer where a brand thinks you should be honored and grateful that they would even condescend to work with you. Big NOPE!
22. Writers, run fast!
I'm no mathematician, but this comes out to ONE DOLLAR for every 45,454 words. For reference, a really long editorial profile could be something like 8,000 to 10,000 words. So, this beauty company wants one HUNDRED of those. In one piece.
23. Reasonable copywriters, avoid from this kind of boss.
Plus, a yearly rate increase isn't some insane, unheard-of thing.
24. Artists, run don't walk away from this guy!
"If they live with parents, they don't need money. End of story."
25. If this ain't every graphic designer, tho.
This meme really sums up the struggle quite elegantly. Wouldn't you say?