So about this new job, I love it.
My boss is smart and brave, not a micromanager, excited about social media, and has commitment to community involvement that pulses throughout her every corporate move.
But I’d love it more if those first paychecks were already direct-deposited. I’m confident, sort of, payday is imminent, that there’s must be glitch in the paperwork, or delay in direct deposit, or a pile of checks waiting for me at HR.
It’ll happen. But I can’t help but be cynical.
Once burned, twice shy really doesn’t cut it for freelancers. We get burned again and again and again. It’s the nature of the business, regardless if you provide copywriting services, electrical contract work, financial consulting, or marriage counseling.
Pay for hire often translates to pay when we’re good and ready, if ever.
Too often, we do the work and wait for the pay.
And often it comes. And sometimes it does not.
I’ve been working a regular gig for over a year now, and was equally scared with this job started because while the content flowed, the cash did not.
But he came through and I got paid, and continue to get paid with checks that clear. Albeit, the pay period has left that
30 60 day window in the dust, but the checks eventually do trickle in and clear.
Once, circa 199something, I did some writing for a colleague, a printer I used all the time. The contact was the husband of my attorney at the time.
Did the work, met the deadlines, and submitted the bill. And waited. And waited. And resubmitted and called. And stalked. And called. And visited. Then threatened to pull all printing jobs from other clients.
With that, he returned my call and said,
“Look, you’ve got to stop harassing me. I’ve got a family to feed. I’m not out buying shoes and getting my nails done. This is my work.”
He owed me $750 and was 6 months past due.
This is the type of story I expected to hear from grandmothers and old aunts sitting around the kitchen table remembering when.
I hope my girls hear this and consider it a dinosaur story, and old-wives tale, and not something that could ever happen to them in their lifetimes. I hope they think I’m making it all up. But I’m not.