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what the--?? freelance hell
Old 08-22-2006, 04:05 PM   #1
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what the--?? freelance hell

This is such a big part of why I can't wait to stop working. At one point I had a fantasy about what life would be like after chucking my corporate job (it's only part-time, but it's still a pain). I had this idea to do freelance voice work (I'm in radio). Sounded good to me--I could call the shots, take or reject clients as I liked, work on my own time, not have to work in an office or deal with people, etc.

But I got a taste of how even something like this can go wrong. Recently a former co-worker who has an on-hold message company tapped me for some work. The mechanics were easy--get the script, read and record the messages, convert them to mp3 and email them to the guy. For months it was great--a real gravy train for me at about $200 a project and four or five projects a month (especially compared with my $12/hour* part-time job at the station.)

But the company owner suddenly started paying me more and more slowly. His demand for my services didn't decrease, however. I said whoa, what's going on, and he just gave me a bunch of promises and then emailed me another script. He rejected a contract I sent him (my mistake was in not getting the contract first, I see that now), and it was so nuts I had to get out of the situation.

So the other day at work, yet another guy stops me and wants to know if I want to do some on-hold stuff for his roommate, who is starting an on-hold messaging company. I like this guy, Mike, so I said sure, I'd email him my rates...and added that if we agree to this, I'd be getting him a basic contract.

So it's been days and I haven't heard back. But I think Mike got in touch with the other guy, who probably said something negative about me. So all this negative stuff is swirling around me all over again. And I'm not even the one who initiated this stuff to begin with! I feel humiliated. Now I'm afraid of running into Mike. I'm wondering what excuse he'll give me for changing his mind about me. There's a bad taste in the mouth with all of this. Right now I'm feeling like people are crappy to work with no matter what the situation.

I'm asking for advice here: do you think I should contact Mike again and ask him why he hasn't communicated since his initial offer?

Should I attempt to tell my side of the story with the other guy? I'm wondering what he might be saying about me to others...the voice work thing is so tight in this town, I'm afraid I've been put on some sort of black list. But I didn't do anything wrong.

Should I just write this guy off and move on?

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Re: what the--?? freelance hell
Old 08-22-2006, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: what the--?? freelance hell

Hi tikitoast,

Sounds like a great job if it wasn't for the payment issue.

But I think Mike got in touch with the other guy, who probably said something negative about me.
It sounds like your assuming that something negative might have been said about you, but you don't know for sure.*I would first call Mike up see if he had spoken to his roommate. You don't know what's happening on the other end, the guy could be out of town, there could be a number of reasons you haven't heard back.

You said you haven't done anything wrong, I would not write the guy off.

This is all part of being self employed. IMHO there are more benefits to being self employed then working for someone else, but theres also more responsiblity.


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Re: what the--?? freelance hell
Old 08-22-2006, 04:42 PM   #3
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Re: what the--?? freelance hell

Of course you should call or better yet see Mike. Just ask nicely what is up. Probably got sidetracked. Or maybe he found someone else. Or your rates are too high. No big deal. Just bidness. it's only been days.

If you are going to be in bizness you have to sell. Sell yourself!

and don't worry about the station owner paying slow. Well maybe you should worry until you get the check. But after that don't worry. Just get a contract with late payment terms. I know this might be a shock to you but sometimes big companies will slow pay small timers. Especially if they don't have late payment terms in thier contract
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Re: what the--?? freelance hell
Old 08-22-2006, 04:57 PM   #4
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Re: what the--?? freelance hell

Maybe this is a Mars-Venus issue straight out of a Dave Barry column:

You're wonderig why you haven't heard back from Mike, and now you're beginning to have self-doubts.

Meanwhile Mike is busy working on other things-- or just spending a lot of time tweaking his fantasy football account-- or maybe he's written off the whole project-- and it never occurred to him to keep in touch with you.

Sometimes no one is thinking about you but you.* Sometimes it's not your fault.* It's good to run into Mike and get an update, but it's probably not the crisis it could appear to be.*

I definitely would not discuss the other client with Mike-- he doesn't need to know the information and he could end up using it to leverage against you in negotiating a payment deal.

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Re: what the--?? freelance hell
Old 08-22-2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: what the--?? freelance hell

Oh, good suggestions. Thank you all for those replies--you guys always make me feel better.*
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