I do some freelance work. I have one pretty long-term client who is generally pretty easy to work with but who occasionally asks for some really last minute stuff and pretty much expects me to drop everything I’m doing and take care of his stuff. And most of the time, that’s ok. He’d been saying for several weeks now that he had some money for me and so I wasn’t really sweating some of the stuff that’s looming for me. But when I talked to him today to try and arrange a time to finally get to meet he tells me that since I haven’t done the billing in a while, there’s really no money for him to give me and implies that it’s my fault.
Now, here’s the problem I have with that….
a) One client, whose stuff I spent HOURS on and who I just spent nearly $10 mailing something to via certified mail because she’s been bitching she didn’t get the previous mailings, just dropped a big check about 3 weeks ago.
b) All of the billing there is to do is for clients who have outstanding amounts dating back to 2007 or earlier and who have gotten multiple bills, collection letters, etc. and haven’t responded.
c) The couple of newer clients that haven’t been billed? It’s because I have no record of time spent on their files and therefore have no idea what to bill them for.
This is someone whose whole office we moved on the spur of the moment, without his help, a couple Sundays ago. So, like 4 hours of packing, moving, cleaning, taking shit out to his house after getting a call early on a Sunday morning and there was the expectation that we’d just drop everything and take care of it…
I dunno, I don’t think it’s unreasonable of me to be a tad miffed that 2 weeks ago I was told that there was money for me and now I get asked “Why aren’t you able to pay your bills? You have a job…” Yes, I have a job. And I had 6 months of no work and scraping by on almost nothing that I was getting for unemployment. The tiny bit of savings I had was gone and I was stupidly counting on getting paid for the work I’ve done. Silly me.
So, I’ll be looking for either another freelance gig or a second “real” job here shortly. Sigh. And then deal with the fallout when I am not available to drop everything for this long-term client at the drop of a hat. And probably lose the one really good, shiny, stellar reference that’s even somewhat recent that I’ve got.
Ahhh, freelancing… the best gig in the world. Except when it’s not.