Two minutes stories about straight up odd and sometimes questionable things people have done for some cash.
Amaka* is a 26-year-old freelance business writer living in Lagos, Nigeria. A typical writing gig for her involves press releases, business profiles and whitepapers. Nothing prepared her for being paid to write a client’s dating profile.
This was Amaka’s weirdest gig.
As a writer who’s seen crazy in the hands of Nigerian business owners (read as: having done multiple underpaid jobs and never getting paid on time, if at all), I was more than ready to leave the Nigerian business space for a long time.
So, when I learnt about this site that’d allow me to get foreign clients in 2019, I jumped at it.
It went pretty well in the first year. I got the odd $20 jobs here and there, but 2020 was when I really blew. I’d established myself as a business writer and got a few repeat clients. But that’s where the story gets weird.
Upwork has agencies, which are basically like a group of freelancers that work directly with clients, and there was this one I regularly worked with. Even though it’s against Upwork’s regulations to communicate with clients off the platform before an official contract is in place, I got direct access to this guy and he’d regularly give me jobs off the platform.
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In June 2020, he reached out to me and said he had an urgent task for me. Of course, I’m always ready for dollars, so I just told him to send it. Imagine my shock when the brief turned out to be his Tinder dating profile. According to him, I had a great way with words, and he’d been stuck on what to do. He offered me $15 to write the profile, help select a picture and even come up with a banging one-liner in case he matched with someone.
I’m still shocked to this day why he even thought of contracting out such a thing, but hey, I’m not an Igbo girl for nothing. I didn’t bother to ask long questions — I just did it and got my money. Easiest 20 minutes of my life.
Looking back now, I should have declined because that business relationship scattered within a month. Apparently, seeing that I was open to helping him do that gave him the morale to offer me money for nude pictures. I couldn’t report to Upwork because we already broke a rule by contacting each other off the platform.
I marked his email address as spam and moved on with my life. I like money, but I don’t like it that much.
*Subject’s name has been changed to protect her identity.
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