Unfortunately, I learned in May, and not for the first time either, that some clients show no respect for me at all. After chasing payment from a direct client for three months and listening patiently to their promises and excuses, I decided to send them another invoice detailing the late interest* now due. This is the second time I’ve had to reissue an invoice and demonstrate to a direct client that I mean business. But it’s also the second time that interest has not been paid.
Although in both cases the new invoice met with an immediate response (agreed new payment date one week later that was met, and same-day payment), I’m rather dismayed that the interest I added (which, let’s face it, is a paltry sum) was totally ignored. Besides complete non-payment and ignoring reminder emails, nothing else feels like such a slap in the face.
Unpleasant situations like these are the main reasons why I have now decided to charge certain direct clients (individuals and small companies) upfront in future, as I explained last month. In some ways, it’s a regrettable decision, based on my experience of the appalling behaviour of a minority, as it would be so much better to trust. But I take the attitude that I am searchable across the Internet and a member of professional organisations, so clients could easily find me and/or complain if I don’t deliver or don’t give them a partial refund if they are not entirely happy.
During the month, I came across this article on the BBC website about the imposter syndrome and one phrase, that we “compare our insides with other people’s outsides” really struck a chord. As the article explains, this is all too true on social media, especially Facebook I find, where the picture some colleagues paint of their working and sometimes also their private lives is of such an utterly rosy utopia that I feel like shutting down my computer, throwing my hands up in the air in desperation and crumpling into a heap of despair because I feel woefully inadequate by comparison and unable to compete.
Perhaps some find such situations goad them on to achieve even greater things. But I don’t. In fact, bizarrely, I’m beginning to wonder whether I was not happier and more successful in my life and at my job before taking the leap into the cut-throat world of the online translation community where critical daggers lurk in the shadows waiting to take you down at the earliest opportunity.
With this in mind and after a not particularly good April, I finally decided to stop putting up with situations that irk me, be true to my gut feelings and leave some FB groups. And I have to say that I don’t dread opening up the site any more. Now that my feed is no longer flooded by the same old, same old going on endlessly about every minor achievement in their lives, I’ve been able to enjoy posts that seem more human, more real and certainly more honest published by people who had been drowned out by all the “look at me, aren’t I wonderful” noise.
On that note, I’ll leave you with a link to this great video on building self-esteem.
*This is the text I added to the reissued invoice:
Interest is charged under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts [Interest] Act 1998 as amended and supplemented by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002 at the rate of 8.5% (this is the current rate in the UK) from (date payment due) to (new invoice/agreed payment date) in the sum of (total interest amount) at the daily rate of (daily interest rate).
P.S. Thank you for all your best wishes for my greyhound Lara. I’m pleased to report that she’s much better and we now just need to help her build up her strength and find a way of making her more mobile.
P.P.S. I’ve chosen a bear calendar for this month in honour of one of Animal Asia’s most famous bears, Jasper, who sadly recently died.
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