When a client stiffs you, especially one you liked and have had forever, unless it’s for a lot of money, there’s not much you can do. But it sure feels bad. It makes you feel like all the effort you put into cultivating a relationship with that client was pointless, worthless. It makes you (even a little) nervous that future efforts to go above and beyond with other clients could be met with the same result. The rapport you thought you had was really just meaningless. You might as well be the plumber. Hell, I bet they pay the plumber.
Having tried to collect this meager balance since January 25, I inquired with several strong-arm collection agencies and anything under $500 doesn’t seem to be worth their time. It’s not really worth my time either, but I was hoping it would quell my desire to light shit on fire whenever I log into my accounting software or see that client prancing about online, smiling on social media, excited about their new business ventures.
It’s not about the money. If they had been honest with me, if they’d said, “I just can’t, I’m so sorry, times are tough.” I’d probably have waived it. I do that kind of thing all the time, to my detriment sometimes. But I take care of my clients and am usually pretty understanding and flexible. Yet, this client ignored me for months, totally flat-out ignored my emails. Their services were completed in January, but it took until I sent a somewhat shame-laden email in late April for them to give me some cockamamie story about how they would pay me at the end of May, which of course, despite my kind reminder emails, they never intended to do.
They could afford to open a new bakery in another country, but couldn’t afford to pay me a few hundred bucks? It costs multiple thousands of dollars to open a brick and mortar business, especially one in food service. In a last ditch effort, I even offered them the chance to pay me the principle, saying I’d waive the couple hundred dollars in late fees they’d racked up if they just would pay me the initial balance. Crickets, of course.
I just wanted to win, honestly. For me, for all of us who have ever been stiffed. It would’ ve been a small victory, but a matter of principle.
If your toilet stops up, you call the plumber and you pay him. If your spleen falls out, you pay the doctor. If you need a haircut, you pay your stylist. What makes people think that they don’t have to pay someone who does work for them? I’m not in the business of working for free. I bet the client expects $5 for that eclair they painstakingly crafted.
And while it happens so rarely, it disappointments me most that I was shafted by someone I thought was a trustworthy person, a long-standing, kind, honest client with whom I’d done a lot of work for almost a decade. If they’d decided to hire someone else, I’d be less offended.
So, consider our bridge burned, dear client. I’m sad to see our long-standing relationship pissed away over $280. I hope your flan gives everyone the runs.
So, our property has this online social network that allows management to alert us to new events on property, announcements, if we have a package in the office and we can submit maintenance requests through it, as well. But each unit has their own profile, and you can add a photo, your birthday, your interests, etc and display your profile in the “My Neighbors” listing, like a phone book.
UH, NO THANKS. It’s apartment living, I’d like some semblance of privacy. I love where we live and I’ll happily smile and nod at a neighbor or wave or coo at their dog, but I don’t need to know that Kenneth and Oliver in Building 5 are wine enthusiasts in matching shirts who indulge in weekend thrifting when they’re not handcrafting leather jewelry (though I’ve probably seen them at Mo’s). I’m glad to see most of my fellow neighbors eschewed profile photos or even listing their profile altogether.
Unless you’re UPS, no one who sees me in my towel turban watering the plants on my patio needs to know my full name.
I’m beginning to think that the appliances in our new place are possessed. What’s funny is that here, I find it kind of quirky and charming (and fixable), yet in our last apartment, the same sounds would have sent me into a rant about how much that building sucks and should be condemned. Funny what a change in venue can do to your perspective.
Anyway, it started with the refrigerator — about a week ago, it started making a loud whirring sound when it ran, much louder than it had previously. It wasn’t every time, but I made a mental note of it. We also have some issue where our ice machine ice all smells like onions, regardless of the presence of an onion in the fridge or freezer, but I think that can be fixed by replacing the water line, not a root vegetable exorcism.
So the fridge started making the sound more frequently, until the heat over the weekend really kicked into overdrive. When it kicks on, it sounds like one of those riding lawnmowers is idling outside the kitchen window. Nothing so loud it’s unbearable, but definitely not a good sound. I assume maintenance will replace the fridge or fix what’s wrong with it. At least it’s not putting off onion-scented exhaust.
We usually keep our windows open. After two years in Las Vegas, where we lived like mole rats with the blinds and windows shut, A/C almost year-round, and after 6 months in dank mausoleum that was our last apartment, we were ready for some fresh air and sunshine. But when the sun went down last night and it was still 82 in our apartment, with every window open, every fan at top speed, we caved in and battened down the hatches for some glorious air conditioning.
I noticed it last night and dismissed it, but today, as I’m alone in the apartment, I really notice that the A/C sounds like people talking. It stops when it goes off, of course, so I assume it’s the sound of the air ducts vibrating or bowing in and out as the air is forced through it. Or perhaps it’s the sound of condensation dripping against the ductwork… or both. But it still is kind of creepy. Amusing, but creepy. It’s like people are talking behind a closed bathroom door, having a conversation, as if it someone is talking about you behind your back.
It also makes a high pitched squeal as it starts up, which reminds me of the timing belt on Judy, my old ’95 Chevy Cavalier, so I’m guessing it’s a motor thing. I’ll report that noise, along with the fridge mower noise and hopefully both can be resolved without having to get that Dead Files chick in here.
If I start tweeting about the end of days, though, you might want to look into it…
Infographics like this irk me. Who made this woman queen of who is and isn’t successful? Yes, many of the traits, characteristics and habits on the opposing sides are obvious — in essence: be positive, share your knowledge, don’t be an asshole and you can be successful. That’s not entirely true — I know some really positive, happy people who do nothing but lift others up, yet they aren’t necessarily successful. Of course, that depends on how you define success. The purpose of this infographic and the cheesy marketing book behind it has to do with becoming financially liberated, so I’m guessing they’re talking career and monetary success.
But also, it states really stupid things. Apparently, in order to be successful, you must “keep a journal”. Really? I’ve blogged on and off for 10 years, but I dislike most forms of journaling. I feel like, for me, it’s too “soft focus” and touchy-feely. I feel like I’m just talking to myself and I can do that without writing it down. And, apparently, unsuccessful people SAY they journal, but don’t. How the hell does she know? Who says they journal but don’t? In that case, they’d be unsuccessful because they’re a liar, not because they don’t journal.
Also, according to this broad, only unsuccessful people watch TV every day. I’m really not a fan of the “I don’t watch TV” attitude that’s arisen in the last decade or so. Like it’s super uncool to watch TV, so therefore, you must be some slovenly, non-intellectual, unsuccessful lump.
Look, I admit, I watch some TV. Some may even say a lot of TV. I watch a couple/few hours every night, often while engaging in other things (like quality bunny time or tidying up or reading feeds or whatever). Sure, some of it is total trash-detachment television: fluff, mindless, ridiculous nothingness. It’s how I unwind. But a lot of it is smart programming: PBS, Science Channel, History (when they’re not showing Swamp People and shows about roadkill truckers or whatever). So the next person who gives me a snide “Oh, we don’t even own a TV” can sit on it, for all I care. Do what you want, don’t own a TV, don’t watch TV, only watch Dr. Who on Netflix, do whatever you want. But don’t condescend to me about it, hipster.
This infographic lady also says that successful people read every day. Mike would probably disagree with this one (he dislikes most leisure reading, it’s just not his bag), but I’m inclined to agree. I think it doesn’t necessarily matter what you read, it’s just important to read — to gain knowledge — and most of us do that every day, be it via blogs or HuffPo or something more high-brow. In the Internet Age, I think people are hard-pressed not to read every day. But her implication is that if you don’t throw your TV out the window and read Chaucer every night, you’re a sad, unsuccessful schmo.
I call bullshit. Besides, how successful can you be if you have time to sit around making infographics all day? Oh yeah, that’s right, I forgot she doesn’t have a TV…
My mantra for today, regardless of what people try to throw at me, is “One thing at a time.” I’d like to say it’s my new mantra for life, but let’s just get through today first, shall we?
Every Sunday, I set a plan for my week and inevitably it gets derailed by someone’s panicked email or something that usually takes 10 minutes will explode and suck the rest of my day into a vortex of cursing and database restoration.
While I am eternally grateful for my business and all the work it provides, I need to stop trying to do 15 things at once. Multitasking is overrated, so I’m also considering hiring some subcontractors (for design, development and/or project management) to alleviate some of the workload. I love what I do — but I also am only one person.
So I’m making an effort to not only delegate, but be more efficient, so I can spend more time pursuing other things I love to do. Like drinking in the afternoon.
I’ve never been good at saying “No”. In fact, I’d suspect many women aren’t skilled at it, either. We’re taught to accommodate, to be quiet, to appease, to nurture — and in my proper “what would people think?” family, even if I was emotionally crumbling or screaming inside, I was taught to be a lady. You didn’t air your “dirty laundry” in public — and “in public” meant ever. Having an opinion wasn’t an option and emotions were things you didn’t express, so you sequestered them to the point you forgot you had them. Like Gretchen Wiener’s hair, our family was full of secrets. Most of them we kept from ourselves.
Now, at almost 40, I’m learning to use the word “No”. Though, thanks to my upbringing, it usually comes out more like, “No, I’m really sorry, please forgive me for not being able to drop everything and come to your aid. I shall flog myself later in repentance. I suck. Oh, please sire, grovel grovel etc.”
Hey, it’s a process.
Someday, I’ll be able to deliver an empowered “No” without fear of sounding like a bitch or being worried they think this or that or some other garbage I’ve conjured in my head when really, they just heard me say “No” and went about their day. They’re not writhing around about it (usually), so why should I? It’s OK to say “No”. There doesn’t always have to be complex layers of feelings and judgement. Sometimes “No” just means “No”.
If you have trouble saying “No” without worrying what people will think, I invite you to join me in my effort to knock that shit off.