One of the greatest opportunities of being a freelancer is the chance to meet different people. As a Filipino freelancer you won't probably see them personally but virtually you'll learn a good lot from them. I've had the chance to work with great people from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, and Israel. So far, it has been all good and the experience is something that keeps me really loving this online job compared to my previous work. But as they say, there's always a first or even second time where you'll encounter something different, something not so good.
I had my first taste of this different kind of attitude when I was asked to provide my service. And here's what happened during our Skype conversation.
Please note: I am divulging this not to put Canadians or anybody in a bad light. I have worked with a lot of Canadian clients and they're great people. My purpose for bringing this out is to let everyone learn from this, whether you're a client or a Filipino freelancer. I think we all can learn something out of this experience. I know my answers were not the best answers and I'm open to learn from those who can better handle such cases. And as I said in my previous post in the The Freelance Channel Facebook page, this is part of freelancing.
Client: Ok so how much is your bid and how long would it take you?
ME: For 23 videos, i'll get all those converted to audio, have it loaded on your site ready for download and submitted to iTunes, $150
Client: hmm way too much for me
Client: i can pay $2/video. you could probably do a few videos in an hour, its just mainly waiting for download and upload
ME: thanks for the offer but, that's my last price.
Client: ok no thanks then
Client: i have a VA in phillipines that works for $2/hour that can easily do it with some training
ME: i'm sorry but i'm not your VA, we don't have the same experience and skillset.
Client: it doesn't require a skillset to do this job
ME: i'm not here to debate whether it requires a skillset or not. But just for fairness, i'm sure not everyone in Canada receives the same pay. The same thing goes here in the Philippines. If you can find someone for $2 per hour, good foryou. But it doesn't mean you can asked everyone to work for you for the same amount simply because they're from the same place.
Client: that's why us people in North America use odesk and find people from the phillipines, because people will do that kind of work for that price
Client: $150 is more than what anyone would even charge in Canada
ME: i'm not forcing you to accept my proposal. you are at liberty to choose whichever you think is most favorable to you. but to generalize things based on location is just unacceptable.
I understand this is not a case that only Filipino freelancers experience. I believe our counterparts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh may also have their own stories to tell about employers who act this way.