"Do you guys even CARE what I write? Does it make any difference if it’s good or bad?" AOL Television writer Oliver Miller asked his editor in an IM exchange.
"Not really," was the reply.
In a first-hand account for The Faster Times about his time as an "AOL content slave," Miller claims that what seemed like a dream job for a young writer turned out to be a nightmare filled with subpar writing fueled by unrealistic deadlines, insane working hours with demanding unpaid overtime, and countless pantless Lady Gaga stories.
“One night, I awoke out of a dead sleep, and jumped to my computer, and instantly began typing up an article about David Letterman. I kept going for ten minutes, until I realized I had dreamed it all,” Miller writes.
Miller’s experience at AOL ended when he was fired for what he says was angering Hollywood celebrity and AOL spokesman Alec Baldwin, and, he adds, for complaining about grammatical errors that he says were inserted into his stories by editors. Since being let go five months ago, Miller says he remains unemployed and blames AOL for his inability to collect unemployment, despite working 8-hour shifts for the company, because of its policy of employing writers as independent contractors rather than taking them on as full-time staffers.