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Thank you, Vocal Media employees, past and present.

I was wrong about you—and I have a message for your “Head of Creator Experience.”

By TrizenicPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

Dear you—the you that is somewhere in Fort Lee, New Jersey, possibly reading this letter right now. You work in a small office with big problems. An alarming number of reviews, from those of you who have since moved on, report working unpaid overtime without breaks, or benefits.

Many of us, on the other side of the screen, noticed the incredible volume of stories—thousands within days—going through review into publishing during the Little Black Book challenge. I have to admit that I’d pictured you as being well-off and cavalier, simply not having to care about our submissions.

After doing research for my review of Vocal Media, I know that I was wrong about you. The volume of work that you do comes with great sacrifice, all so I can share my stories with the world, through your website.

I wanted you to know that the work you’ve done, and the work you’re doing now, is not in vain. Because of the artistic outlet you’ve given me, I’ve abandoned the years I spent as an internet recluse. I’ve become excited about writing every day.

I sought community with fellow authors, and today find myself in the company of real creatures of writing, who, with decades more experience than I, breathe and live as one with the art of it, yet bear the generosity to let me journey alongside of them.

The sheer diversity of writing that you review and publish has been inspiring to me, as well. You accepted my story about pet clowns into the PetLife community, gave my weird Horror story a home; motivated me to share my travels in the Wander community, and helped me delight Facebook group members with my Poets community song lyrics about technical difficulties with our engagement statistics—of which I now suspect that the dysfunctionality and lack of communication was caused by upper management, not by you.

Many of us are now realizing the implications of supporting the toxic environment that you work in—the predation and emotional vampirism. The unlawfulness.

From what I’ve read, you and your co-workers are charismatic and charming, and enjoy each other’s company. It seems that we have great communities on both sides of the screen. I’d really like for these aspects surrounding Vocal Media to continue.

Out here, you’ve become like celebrities to us. Some of us watched the RexFinance interview, and found our attention fully drawn to the left side of the screen.

Is that them?! Is that where my stories are reviewed?

I really can’t be sure, but you should know that we’re thinking about you.

And that’s why I’m calling on your “Head of Creator Experience,” Jessica Wharton, to fulfill your platform’s responsibility to act with purpose in this situation. Jessica made a highly relevant observation in her story on acting with purpose:

But for my team, it’s important that that level of empathy extends broader than the physical journey of the user, to thinking about questions like, if I was a creator, what would I admire about a product? What would it take for me to believe in and trust a platform?

Jessica—I’m a creator, and I can tell you right now what it’s going to take for me for believe in and trust your platform:

  1. All Vocal Media employees receive their full, uninterrupted breaks and meal times, in complete compliance with the law—and you ensure that your CEO and other managers do not threaten, demonstrate, or even vaguely imply adverse consequences in response.
  2. Vocal Media employees that work overtime receive every cent of the overtime pay they are due—and you make sure that former employees who were denied their overtime pay now receive it.
  3. Send your CEO elsewhere, or otherwise provide a safe, non-abusive work environment for all Vocal Media employees. Make it so that if creators were watching, they wouldn’t have to be apalled at what they’d see.
  4. Publish a “quality of life” report on Vocal Media, for creators to read, addressing and resolving the issues above.

The workplace culture of a company is a reflection of its sustainability. What we’re seeing happen in your company, as creators, makes it very difficult to trust your platform and its viability in the future. You have the power to change this—and we want to help you. What will it take for this to happen?

Back to you: thank you for all that you do. I truly appreciate you and what you go through, and this is my way of “leaving you a tip.” Thank you, Vocal Media employees.

Fellow Creators:

You have my explicit permission to copy the above section, addressed to Jessica Wharton, for use in your own letters.


About the Creator


Twitter: @Trizenic

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