I genuinely didn’t want to start off my blogging year with a post where I publicly rant about the only client that gives me a hard time when it comes to issuing payments and settling invoices, but they left me with no choice!
I found myself having to make a New Year’s resolution that I really didn’t want to make: no longer accepting any projects from this client.
Don’t get me wrong. I am flexible, so very much. I do understand when some clients want their work done the soonest possible but cannot pay as soon as the invoice is issued or they have corporate payment policies such as paying 3 months after delivery. What really gets on my nerves, however, is when this particular client keeps on calling me, emailing me and sending me messages begging me to finish the translation in the shortest deadline one can ever imagine, and then, when I do, I simply don’t hear back from them! How unethical is that?
This is not a one-time situation. The same client did the same thing over 3 times. I always blame myself for accepting new projects from their end. I even worked on a very small project for them completely free of charge a few months ago because I really didn’t want all the headache that would come along with issuing an invoice for this job; it just wasn’t even worth it. Now I really regret doing that.
It took guts for me to write this post. I pride myself in being an utter professional. Again, it’s not their fault. It’s my fault for accepting yet another job from them. I should have known better.
If you think I’m only ranting because it’s been a week that they didn’t pay, rest assured. I really, I mean really waited before I literally felt like I’ve had enough. The job I’m talking about dates back to November 2013. The most annoying thing is that they kept promising to send the payment very soon. It’s been 2 months now, and I’m ashamed to state that the amount is just slightly over 50 bucks! I would really understand had they replied to my emails stating that they would make the payment after 3 months, let’s say; but to not answer the email at all or answer after 20 days and tell me that they will transfer the payment within a few days, which they obviously didn’t do, that’s what actually made me lose it!
The whole idea of this post is not the 50+ US Dollars that they owe me. I’m not even going to play the naming and shaming game. I just want to talk about principles and business ethics. Why don’t some clients keep their side of the bargain?
I don’t know what other freelance translators would do if they walked in my shoes, but I will no longer send them any reminder emails. It’s both time-consuming and nerve-racking. On the other hand, I learned my lesson: I just hope this client simply pays their dues and refrains from sending me any future jobs, because then I will really give them my 2 cents (professionally and politely, that is) and, of course, reject the job.
To look at the bright side, I’m glad I took this decision. I honestly feel like I’ve matured professionally. I’m happy I met such a client that made me learn such a valuable lesson and helped me gain experience. Now if I ever encounter such situations in the future, I know exactly how to handle them!