Situational Awareness

I'm often baffled by freelance writers who lack normal situational awareness.  Maybe it's my background - or maybe, just maybe, I've got a little common sense.

Let me explain.

Situational awareness is knowing what's going on around you.

If you're on a website, for example, you should be able to grasp what that website is about - right?  After all, you searched for it, didn't you?

Do you EVER jump straight to the contact form and fire off an email asking questions which don't have anything to do with (or are, at best, very loosely related - and by loosely, I mean twelve degrees of separation) the website you're on?

For example, do you get on a commercial builder's website in Los Angeles, click "contact" and proceed to ask where you should buy a toilet in Kennebunkport?

Nope.  I don't think you do.

How can I explain why this happens to me, then? I have people contacting me (not through here - through my site which advertises my services as a writer) and asking me if I they need to submit a resume and writing samples, whether I have a list of articles they can choose from, when they'll get paid, how I pay them and if I'll require them to pay taxes.

My site doesn't say I'm hiring.  It doesn't even look like I'm hiring.  In fact, the contact form says,
Contact Freelance Writer Angie Papple Johnston

If you have questions about my freelance writing services, please don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail at

You can select an option from the drop-down menu below and I'll be happy to send you information.

You may also call me for a customized quote at..."

That's right above the "contact me" box. 

If I was hiring (I occasionally refer work, but I don't "hire"), I wouldn't hire a writer who lacked enough situational awareness to understand that I'm a writer, not a corporation looking for employees.  That just demonstrates the person's missing common sense, and that's not usually a good quality in a writer.

This has happened to me more than a dozen times in three months - I wasn't going to write about it, because I thought my site may somehow be misleading - but it's not.

I always send a polite email saying something to the effect of, "I'm sorry; I'm not hiring anyone at this time.  I suggest trying Demand Studios or scouring the job postings at"  (Freelance Writing Gigs has a lot of pretty cool job postings, actually - you guys should check it out.)

Has this happened to you?

© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on or, it's been hijacked!