Just like many, you probably woke up to Fiverr announcing their latest change in the way their herd cattle. Just like many, you probably took to the forums in hope of finding solace and a few answers. Don’t worry, this post won’t be about that. I personally believe that any system which limits a professional’s ability to manage their workload is inherently counterproductive, but that’s as much as I’m willing to say regarding the flashy new feature.
The unveiling didn’t only give us a chance to know what the new year will bring about, though. Most importantly, it shone light on issues that this platform has had for as long as I can remember. A place whose corporate motto is easily paraphrased to “we have people who’d do anything for 5 bucks” doesn’t really sound like a pleasant workspace to begin with, but Fiverr seems to be hell-bent on making their employees’ lives as nightmarish as humanly possible.
The problem isn’t immediately obvious to those who just started out of whose gigs have never been featured before. In fact, I’d hesitate to call it a single problem in the first place. Still, there are several design and management choices that clearly show us how whoever is running this company’s HR department knows bugger all about work-related stress and employee burnout. As my grandma used to say while she taught me how to cook - what? don’t look at me like that! We’re Italians, that’s what we do! - it’s all in the smallest of details. In this case, it’s the underlying passive-aggressiveness sprinkled on top of any interaction between the website owners and sellers.
In layman’s terms: it’s the inability for those they call “doers” to decide which orders to process and which to outright reject; it’s the countdown on express (24 hour) deliveries starting in the middle of the night,; it’s the alleged “buyer’s always right” approach that CS seems to be taking whenever an issue presents itself, the tiny “buyer will be able to cancel unless you deliver quickly” lines that appear on an order when the deadline is less than 24 hours away. It’s many more things that would take too much time to list on a forum post, all while the group pockets 20% of each transaction and tries to sell it as a way to ensure quality and top of the line service.
In the last few months, the feeling wasn’t that of working with a professional company. On the contrary, it felt as if I were being exploited for my skills, forced to lower my hourly rates if I wanted to be competitive, and to prioritize Fiverr above whatever other part of my daily life. Care to guess what all of that did to the quality of my deliveries?
There’s little chance that this post will do anything, but I’d be glad to know I’m not the only one feeling like that. Maybe it’s time to show Fiverr just how dependent on professionals they really are. They might -arguably - be providing us with the infrastructure to get a bit of exposition, but they wouldn’t see a dime if it weren’t for the hard work of the few decent people who still use their site.