I have a client. In fact, my first client, and he’s somewhat tardy about paying his account.
The current account in question is for his site hosting and it was getting more and more overdue.. Six weeks in fact!
I have taken to calling him but every time I do I get responses like “F*^$ me, I totally forgot” followed by promises to put the cheque in the mail that day.
I finally decided that enough was enough and on Thursday, one week after I had made the last phone call to him, I suspended his account taking his website off line and more importantly his email service.
I was half expecting a phone call from him asking what had happened to his email but it never arrived.
Friday morning the cheque was in my PO box!
I was still feeling elated about that 20 minutes later when my phone rang and it was the office wanting to ask me a question about a misplaced bag.
I pick up some internal mail bags at the airport for a couple of different companies and take them out to our depot and sort them out. Unfortunately when I was picking up the bags for one company, I ended up with just one from the other and it got delivered to the wrong place.
100% my fault and I accepted that and apologised for it.
“Oh Ok, no problem but you do need to be more careful when sorting out the mail” was the reply
Sure, I accept that and I really don’t make big mistakes at work, but I am not perfect and sometimes these things happen. I mentioned that I was careful and it was just one of those things and they were happy with that..
Then they kindly let me know that they wouldn’t charge me for the mistake.
I guess it’s kind of like waving a red flag at a bull because I pounced on it. I politely reminded them that I don’t get paid for either of the customers that were concerned. You could almost hear him choke on his words!
“What do you mean you don’t get paid” he asked, giving me the perfect opportunity to make a point.
It was one of those things that was piggybacked onto a different run on the basis that I “go there anyway” so it would not be any problem.
I took that chance to make further criticisms about the situation with unpaid work which thoroughly brightened my morning.