Proposed Additions To The Freelancer Lexicon

Freeloader (n.): Freelancer who does most of their work at coffee shops and places with free WiFi with purchase of food or beverage (see: office). Freeloader is often plagued by worries s/he is overstaying their welcome at office, the severity of which will be indicated by nonverbal cues from office employees (see below) and employee music choice.

Ex: Feel like I’m going to start expensing my Americanos. Think it’s obvious by now I’m a total freeloader.

Office (n.): Business that’s unwittingly become popular place for freeloaders. Most often a coffee shop.

Ex: Welcome to my office. Did you want anything to drink?

Ride Dirty (v.): To meet a freeloader at an office to freelance together.

Ex: James and I are ridin’ dirty at Victrola tomorrow. Wanna join?

Berserk mode (n.): A state of near-mania characterized by extremely loud typing, audible mumbling, uncontrollable laughing while Gmail chatting, frantic, cyclical clicking of open windows and browser tabs, and a general state of hyper-non-productivity while maintaining the belief that one is being totally productive. Usually induced by caffeine; typically occurs around the hours of 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Ex: Alice? I wouldn’t bother her right now. She’s in berserk mode.

Research (n.): A logically unsound excuse for why a freelancer’s current behavior constitutes billable hours. Typical research takes the form of drinking at a bar with one’s coworker, reading blog articles in an aimless manner, reading books for pleasure, watching conspiracy videos on YouTube, and cleaning out one’s email account.

Ex: I mean, reading gadget blogs isn’t like, literally written in the contract. But like, it’s research. They’re really informative, I learn a lot of stuff reading them…

Get effed in the A (v.): To sign a typical freelance work agreement.

Ex: Got effed in the A last week. At least it’s a two-month contract… I’m happy just to have work.

Livin’ the dream (v.): To exist in a general state of unstructured disarray, usually caused by freelancing hard and/ or excessive working from home (see below). Characteristics of livin’ the dream include not showering until 4 p.m., working from bed, having breakfast at 2 p.m., overconsumption of wine, and overused water glasses.

Ex: Oh man. You need to clean up around here. What’s up? You livin’ the dream?

Freelancing hard (v.): To exist in a high-productivity state while maintaining a Zen-like demeanor for at least seven days.

Ex: I haven’t seen Ina in like two weeks. Heard she was freelancing super hard. Hope everything’s going ok.

Work from home (v.): To bill freelance hours for no more than 50% productivity. Typically includes taking a walk (see below), internet tunnels, remaining in bed the entire day, and behaviors similar to those who are livin’ the dream (see above). Typically justified by the fact that one is getting effed in the A (see above).

Ex: [In email] Working from home today. Will be available by email ONLY.

Golden throne (n.): An office with a well-ventilated, excessively maintained, key-accessible, highly comfortable, single bathroom, situated well-away from main freeloading area.

Ex: The Stumptown on Pike’s got a golden throne. Just sayin’ — pretty good place to freelance.

Mecca (n.): An office that maintains conditions thought to be perfect for freelancing hard. Conditions include unintrusive music, friendly employees, high functioning WiFi, and at least two golden thrones.

Ex: Have you been to that place on 15th? Oh man. The bathrooms. I think I’ve found Mecca…

Harsh one’s mellow (v.): To be excessively loud around a freeloader who’s freelancing hard at an office, to sit inappropriately close to a freeloader who’s freelancing hard at an office — when there are a multitude of open tables available — and proceed to enter berserk mode, have phone conversations, clear one’s throat excessively, or listen to headphones at a volume forbidden by the unspoken rules (see below), to have distracting arguments with a significant other in the presence of a freeloader who’s freelancing hard at an office, or — as an office employee — play highly distracting, bad music over the office stereo system.

Ex: [In Gchat] Ugh some rando just sat next to me. he’s f-cking harshing my mellow.

Rando (n.): One who harshes another’s mellow.

Ex: See ex. for “Harshing one’s mellow.”?

Defense mode (n.): Behavior used to prevent or mitigate a harshed mellow. Typically includes wearing headphones, moving to another location in the office, and excessive non-verbal, passive aggressive language meant to influence the offending rando(s) to cease harshing the freeloader’s mellow.

Ex: Damn it. Her again. I can’t believe she chose this seat out of all the available seats in the office. Going into defense mode — just Gchat me if you need anything.

Ggossip (v.): While ridin’ dirty, to use Gchat to sh-t talk a freeloader or rando within earshot who’s violating the unspoken rules and harshing one’s mellow.

Ex: Whenever he’s at the office we Ggossip about him. He’s just obtuse.

Unspoken rules (n.): Set of rules most freeloaders abide by which govern appropriate office behavior, including but limited to: One enjoying media shall always use headphones; one enjoying conversation should be considerate of those around him/ her; one should never be loudly over-enthusiastic or gregarious; one should keep his or her typing volume to a minimum.

Ex: Oh that’s the girl that notoriously violates the unspoken rules. My advice is to move as far away from her in the office as is physically possible.

Take a walk (or: get some fresh air): To masturbate while working from home.

Ex: [via email or Gchat, to one’s boss] I just sent you over the second round of edits on the latest deck you wanted scrubbed. Gonna take a walk real quick then get on that sales presentation we were talking about earlier.

Bad vibes (n.): An office-related concept including but not limited to: intermittent functioning WiFi, employees unwilling to repair intermittent functioning WiFi, ambiguous office employee body language in regards to acceptable freeloading duration (re: time), and offices that turn off their WiFi between certain hours.

Ex: Oh, no dude. I wouldn’t go there. That place has bad vibes.

Perfect storm (n.): An event that takes place in an office with bad vibes when a cluster of individuals simultaneously harsh a freeloader’s mellow and violate unspoken rules, while the harshed freeloader experiences intestinal distress or some other vaguely annoying physical ailment causes the freeloader to leave his or her office prematurely, in an exasperated manner, and work from home the rest of the day.

Ex: I just had to get out. It was a perfect storm in there today. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Yutaka Tsutano

I am the co-publisher of Thought Catalog. Follow me on Twitter. I also use a pen name called Holden Desalles.

Keep up with Brandon on Twitter

More From Thought Catalog