Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dear Avery Cardoza: Please Pay Me

Dear Avery,

Hello there, my name is TAN, you might know me better as [redacted]. We never met in person, but I wrote a few columns for your magazine, Avery Cardoza’s Player.

I have a lot of love for you, Avery, after all you gave me my entry into glossy magazines, with an actual “column” no less. It was called The Devil’s Publicist, maybe you've read it? It's an amazing premise, I know, I thought of it myself. Surely if we had a wee bit better distribution we would have reversed the earth's rotation with the mind-altering notion of THE DEVIL having a PUBLICIST writing for a MAGAZINE.


Ok, it’s gone now.

And now I feel I must confess. See, I’m probably putting a little extra effort into this letter, so that maybe, just maybe, you can use it as content. It'd be cool to occasionally run a letter from one of your writers every now and then, don't you think? Did I mention how being able to call myself a "columnist" helped me with the ladies? I think I might have doubled, or even tripled the time it takes for girls to reject me. It's been friggin' awesome getting to bask in the glow of romantic possibility for upwards of ten-to-fifteen minutes. Though I can't say the job title has helped with my landlord nearly as much. Anywavery, yeah, I was trying to add a little spice here and there, so that maybe this would become print worthy. Lord knows anything can be published on the internet these days.

My hope is that you using this as content would make you feel extra satisfied that you got every last penny's worth of effort from me, I wouldn't want you to feel like I cheated you as a writer. Like I just took your money and ran.

Of course, a prescient individual such as yourself no doubt already knows, it'd be impossible for me to take the money and run because, well, BECAUSE I HAVEN'T BEEN PAID YET (there goes that caps lock tornado again), and ultimately that is the reason why I'm writing you today.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean to suggest you've NEVER-EVER paid me, and my heavens those first checks I received from you were wonderful. They afforded me the ability to eat and use electricity at the same time for, I don't know, almost a month maybe. But then I kept writing, and the checks stopped. And then I contacted Beth, and she told me at one point the check was "in the mail." And I was so excited, because surely you and your magazine wouldn't fall victim to using a cliche like "the check is in the mail" without actually meaning it. But lo and behold my mailbox has continued to receive the usual bills and death threats, but alas, no check from Avery.

Now I've heard this is common in "the game," some might say, "hey, just be glad you got a check at some point, and that you don't work for Radar." And it might be a stretch to say my words are worth as much as the glossy paper it's printed on, let alone more. But don’t you think it’s time someone took a stand for integrity? What does a magazine have to go on without its reputation, and the relationships with its writers?

Here’s the thing, and to be honest, I really didn’t want to get this personal, but you were my glossy-break, and kind of like a mentor to me, so if I can't seek out your counsel, then who? Gawker??? God no.

The thing is, I really need the $1500 for my sick grandmother. She's dying, and the doctor said he could save her for $1500. Which, just so happens to be the same amount you owe me. How lucky for all of us ... if, you know, you can pay me sometime soon. Preferably in time to save her life. She basically raised me when my mother abandoned me, and sent me off in a cab by myself, and it would mean a lot if I could repay her. But I'm a a lowly freelancer, (hence your snubbing of me I presume, if I was Snoop Dogg you'd probably pay me right? I understand, I'd pay Snoop also) and I get paid pennies for 100-hour work weeks. I mean I have the blog, and um, well you know, the blog can get pretty intense, you may have noticed I've been actually responding to comments in the past few weeks. Comments take time Mr. President, of Player Magazine.

About a month ago, after another ineffective bout of privately asking for payment, I contacted Al Sharpton, who I keep on speed dial for when I feel the walls of injustice closing in around me. I asked him if he thought there might be racism involved, he said, "Oh yes, most definitely," but he also said he couldn't help me until I acquired a little more fame and notoriety and/or I was lynched or otherwise murdered in egregiously racist fashion. So maybe if the charming and conciliatory elements of this letter don't persuade you to send money, perhaps the smug sarcastic side will inspire you to come kill me instead?

But this isn't about race. It's about a new year, and a fresh start. A fresh start for the conscience of Avery Cardoza's Player Magazine, a fresh start for me, a fresh start for my poor grandma. It's a chance to kick off 2007 and make a statement that says "we're no longer going to tread upon the dreams of the little guy, and black people, we here at Player Magazine believe everyone should be paid for their hard work, even if it's in an incredibly untimely fashion, months and months and months later. Let auld acqaintances be forgotten, or something like that. And to commemorate this, I will hereby send TAN, the check we owe him maybe even with a little extra for his trouble, and his grandma.

Don't you want to make that statement with me Mr. Cardoza? Let's do it together.

I have the same mailing and e-mail address. Feel free to be in touch. I sent you a Christmas card, I don't know if you received it. It had me and my grandma in my apartment with empty plates and no electricity on it. We were just about to kill the cat so we could eat something for Xmas. Nevertheless, we were happy. We are happy. Cause we know there's justice in this world, and we know you and Player Magazine believe in that justice, and thus I will be receiving my monies soon.

Much obliged. So a very Happy New year to you and yours Mr. C, and all good wishes for the magazine in '07, and again, feel free to run this letter in the magazine, free of charge (like my last column, HA!), I bet your readers would enjoy the little look behind the scenes. And play on, Player.


TAN & His Loving Grandma.

Send Email Reminder About Justice and Integrity to Player Magazine

UPDATE: took down the email link, possible resolution pending. will update later.


  1. nice letter TAN (though the stuff with grandma is a joke right? don't want to mess up your karma for a laugh).

    Here's hoping the check is really in the mail this time.

  2. Welcome to the freelance world. Ugh. Guess this means beers on me next time.

  3. Anonymous1/02/2007

    Writers are always getting taken for granted. Hope you get your $$ TAN. I will be sure to pass over Player Magazine on the stands until I hear good news (possibly even longer).

  4. Well, this is sounding familiar. I need a drink; if only I could afford something stronger than tea...

    Hope his favorite niece/nephew reads this and pesters him in adorably undeniable fashion until you get paid. Maybe they'll make a holiday special out of it someday. Hold on to the rights.

  5. with mind on my money, and money on my mind.

  6. referring to yourself as a "columnist" thing totally works, the chick just has to be a little skii'd...which reminds me i need to get my vibrator back from [Redacted] over at [Redacted].

  7. My sympathies. Bob Guccione Jr. & Spin magazine stiffed me for considerably more than $1500 back in 2002. There are remedies: a freelancer whose name escapes me once pitched a tent on Spin's front steps to get his money, and he got it.

    There are lots of incredibly dirty tricks available to the freelancer who's been stiffed, many involving credit cards and mail drops. Think about it.

  8. Anonymous1/03/2007

    Booooo Player Magazine, BOOOOOOOOO!!!

  9. carl - yeah, maybe its a joke. that's where my whole being "clinical" comes into play.

    chris - man, i think its gonna be beers on you for a while.

    anon1 - thx. i'll keep the story updated

    rain - yeah, it would be cool if some relatives read TAN and spread the word ...

    choatey - i wish i could lay back ...

    jipper - its been hit or miss for me. but that's funny.

    alan - i'll mull on that

    anon2 - ha. now louder!

  10. You should put a contact up, maybe people will heckle? Can't be certain it will help, but obviously you've taken this first step, might as well go the mile.

  11. j - good idea. just did it, thx. keep hope alive. I'll get you a drink if it comes through.

  12. Anonymous1/03/2007

    Nice you have all these people hoping for stuff for you. Have any of them sent an email to Player using the link in your piece?
    I did!
    Good luck!

  13. It was Guccione & GEAR magazine that stiffed me.

    Had a senior moment there, sorry.

  14. very funny and very clever.

    i think you should sell that letter to other freelancers so we can all use it as a form letter.

    jack e. jett

  15. Anonymous3/08/2007

    Have you been paid yet?


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