I had the ultimate contrast this week. As a freelancer I depend on the phone ringing to pay the bills, and it’s a never a casual enquiry, it’s always life and death on the other end of the line. So, I do my best with that.
I did a job a while back and submitted my invoice. Now, it’s rare these days I have to wait more than a week for a regular to pay, but as it was a new client I let it run 28 days. As soon as that was done I sent a wee nudging email, I got a reply to that. Still no money though.
The next couple of emails went unanswered so I made plans to get to a landline with a little time to spare and make my feelings and intentions known over and sandwich and a cuppa.
“In a meeting…”, “not at their desk…”.
I wasn’t going away though and I did eventually get a call back which saved me going to their door after I’d finished that last coffee. Hesitant and a little sheepish was the tone. I do have some sympathy, it’s not always the person you deal with, it’s sometimes a faceless arsehole in accounts that won’t ever have to speak to you. So never lose your temper, just be assertive and plain: here’s what’s happened, and here’s what’s going to happen next depending on whether I get paid or not.
I got paid within an hour of that call. Didn’t have to be so difficult did it? I don’t remember being so angry for a long time as I was that day.
As Jimmy says, I don’t mind working for my money but I don’t want to fight for it.
And the contrast?
“Goannae get your bill in!”
I’ll drop it off
“I’ll get it signed on Sunday, mind and leave it”
I ran out of time and ran over this morning and caught the folks arriving.
I got smiles, hello’s, thank you’s, a cheque, shake of the hand and “We appreciate what you do for us”.
I could have cried or hugged him, both probably.
This is why my beard is a different colour to what it was on the early pages of this place.
But I was reminded today that the bad guys aren’t winning, not just yet.