“I Want My Two Dollars!”

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

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.

Categories: Work

Breathing Into a Paper Bag, Just a Little.

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Remember two years ago when I said I was going to move to Vegas and I was like, Little Mary Sunshine about it? Defending my actions? Looking at the bright side, et al?

Yeah, I was an idiot.

We’re moving home in October — home being back to San Diego. And I’ll tell you what, I cannot wait. We’d have moved home sooner if we hadn’t signed a two-year lease (remember, we were being optimistic).

I love my city.

I won’t rehash all of the crap I’ve complained about over the last 22 months. In fact, I have to thank you, my dear friends, bloggers, followers, the planet Earth, for listening to me bitch and moan about having to lie in the bed I chose to make. Or something. Anyway, you’ve been awesome and not one of you ponied up an “I told you so”, so thanks for that.

Anyway, we’re getting the hell out of Dodge. We’re over it. And the two friends I’d made in this city, J and Z, they’re leaving, too — just a month ahead of us, so it’s time to go. I’ll miss our sushi times together, though and that sushi place. Lemon roll forever!

There’s a lot of work right now, which is going to make the transition a bit more harried. I tried to not overbook myself, but I just have this gift for spinning plates. So, while I’m carrying about 6-10 active projects, of varying size, I also need to travel to San Diego for 4 days in September to find a place to live, then within a month, pack the entire house and move back, taking another week off. So that’s going to be interesting.

Good Morning, San Diego

My friend Eric has been kind enough to offer to fly out here from L.A. and drive our UHaul to San Diego for us. We’ve got movers on either end, but Mike and I need to both be in my car — one to drive, one to sit in back with Lulu. And then once we arrive in San Diego, Eric will take the train home and within a few days/weeks, Mike will fly back to Vegas to pick up his car (which we’ll park at his friend’s house) and drive it home.

Speaking of which, his car is not registered right now — we opted not to register it here in Vegas and just drive one car — so it’s been parked in the garage all this time. But we still need to drive it home without getting ticketed. Anyone done that before? We heard there’s “temporary registration”, but we’re unclear if we’re supposed to do it here in Nevada or in California or what. Ideally, I’d like to just take his plates and register the car in in California, let him fly up, put on the new stickers and drive it back. But it may need a smog check before they’re register it in California, so of course, the car would need to be there for that.

What I’d really like to do is leave it in the desert for the buzzards. But that’s not practical. Nor am I even sure if we have buzzards in the Mojave.

I priced movers — moving companies, moving van lines, shared moves, PODS and the assorted PODS-alternatives — it’s all crazy expensive. I got quotes from $1500-$3800 for our minimal amount of stuff.  But, much like when we moved here, we can rent a UHaul, pay for gas, pay for movers on both ends (with tip), buy our friend a plane ticket and a train ticket and dinner and still be under $800.  So we’re going that route, as convoluted as it may seem.

Coming off my trip a week or so ago to New York City for BlogHer 12, this is kind of a lot to do in a short period of time, but I think that may just be my mind making mountains out of molehills. Everything will get done, clients will understand, I may lose my shit from time to time, but ultimately, we’ll be home, which is my main goal at this point. Get home.

Off of Crystal Pier

I’ll Tumble For Ya. Or Not.

Monday, May 21st, 2012

So, Tumblr‘s been around for a while now and while I am an “early adopter” and “social media geek” and a professional web designer, I still do not understand the thrill of Tumblr. Perhaps you can convince me why I should like it. I do know of friends who use it — and I have my own (unused) account as well, just to see.  There are sites I like that use it (Clients from Hell, specifically), so I don’t hate it, I just don’t “get it”. Why not just use a regular blog?

My issues with Tumblr:

You can’t like it or share it unless you’re on Tumblr.

I find this totally frustrating. I see something interesting on Tumblr and there is no “Share to Facebook” or “Tweet this” or any other built-in feature like this. If I want to share it with someone else, I seem to be only able to share it with other Tumblr users via my own Tumblr account. I can’t even “like” it.  The only default way to share it is to copy the link and share it that way, which I’ve done, but it seems silly to not have that built-in.

I have seen a few Tumblrs customized to include these features, but few… very few.

Micro-Blogging vagueness

Microblogging makes me crazy. I realize that Twitter is technically microblogging, but at least there’s usually context and the links go to the original source. When I go to someone’s primary website and all I see are vague images with unspecific or no titles, an occasional quote or some out-of-context screenshot, I go away. I click off. I find a happy place somewhere else where people use their words.

Link It, Bitches

No one seems to know how to link to anything on Tumblr. When I go to Pinterest, I see a zillion cool posts, but when I click the photo and can’t find what I’m looking for 99.9% of the time it’s because they found it on Tumblr. Now, I realize some onus is on the Pinterest pinner to link appropriately, but if it’s not obvious how to get a permalink or permalinks aren’t a regular part of the user interface, I can’t blame the pinner entirely.

Hey, That’s My Post!

I know a few quality posters on Tumblr. My friend Will posts really thoughtful full-text posts on Tumblr in A Year of Billy Joel, which is awesome if you’re not reading it.  This I can abide.

However, if it were me, I wouldn’t want someone to be able to simply click “tumble it” or whatever and have my entire, well-thought-out, well-written post suddenly appearing on someone else’s Tumblr account. People don’t always link to the original source, so it’s too easy to claim the work as your own. AND, if anyone is looking for your post or do any Google searches, it’s possible that they’ll end up at Joe Schmo’s Tumblr where once upon a time they tumbled one of your blog posts and now they’re there instead of at your post, where they should be. It just seems to dilute your content and spread it a little thin, in my opinion.

I’ve heard arguments that you can do the same thing with Facebook, with Twitter and you can, to an extent. But when I share a post on Twitter, it goes to the original link. When I share a post on Facebook, the links go to the original article. They don’t go to Joe Bob’s Tumblr where I see that he shared it from Tim Bob who shared it from Bob Bob and maybe someday, I’ll find the original article.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

If you use Tumblr as your primary blog, your domain, your one-stop shop to find all things you, fine. Go to town. But most people don’t. They have a website which may or may not have a blog (but usually does), they’ll have Twitter and Facebook and then also a Tumblr.  I have good friends who do this, so I’m not bashing them, I just don’t get it.   Why do I want to read your Tumblr when I could just read your blog? Why not just pull your Tumblr into your blog? Or just skip the Tumblr entirely and post it on your blog. Isn’t that what it’s for?

But hey, maybe I’m just an old school blogger fart who doesn’t get it. Maybe I’m unaware of Tumblr features that allow/prevent the things I’m bitching about. I’ll be happy to claim ignorance and am totally open to being educated otherwise. But for now, I just don’t get it.

Hit me with your best shot. Convert me, Tumblrites.

Categories: Life, Work

Yeah, You Know Me

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Last night, I made a Pinterest board called “OPP” because I sometimes have things I want to pin specifically for other people. Stuff I wouldn’t necessarily re-pin for myself, but things that I know someone else would love. Hence, OPP — Other People’s Pins.

While discussing this with Kathy this morning, we started discussing what O.P.P. stands for.  I had a similar conversation with coworkers in a bar in 2000, but can’t recall what the consensus was.

read more >

Categories: snippets

Rich in Proteins and Emollients

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

So this conversation just happened.

Kathy: How am I supposed to take a product seriously if they claim it contains ” summer snowflake bulb extract”? Was it harvested by nymphs on the Isles de Harmony?

Me: “It contains the tears of rare pink-tailed unicorns and the crystaline ballsweat of the enchanted forest imp.”

Kathy: Certified Organic ballsweat of the enchanted forest imp…
Kathy: this is another ingredient, and they’re totally serious
Kathy: Monk’s Pepper Berry Extract

Me: Ingredients: twigs, leaves, tibetan monk balls, water, fairy dander, pegasus dandelion ear wax and natural fragrances.

Kathy: tibetan monk ball extract.
Kathy: I dont pay 30 bucks for monk ball extract

Me: Warning: Processed in a facility that also processes pixie farts.

Categories: snippets, Work