The Hanging Games

The roller coaster ride that is freelancing would be so much fun if it weren't for those hanging games. You know that? The roller coaster is moving at the speed of light threatening to zap the life out of you when suddenly… it stops! Right on top of the loop. Upside down. Lights out.
So now you feel the blood going up your brain and your limbs are going numb. And this gets you wondering… "Will I ever live through this?"

Same thing with the freelancer roller coaster ride. You don't mind the vomit-inducing loop d' loops, the  neck-breaking slaloms, and the death-defying drops. You're used to those kinds of things. As long as they're done fast and virtually painless. But some people aren't that giddy to give you that satisfaction. Some people you work with have a thing for those hanging games --especially when you're at the receiving end. On top of the loop. Upside down. Lights out.

So what do you do? Not stick around moping, that's for sure.

Hanging Scenario 1:
YOU: "I would like to get feedback on the cost estimate I sent."
THEM: "Client is still reviewing it. We'll get back to you."
This sounds like a 50/50. Even if the project feels like a big one, better not put all your eggs in this single basket. If it's just the CE you've dropped, that's no skin off your back. So just go off and look for other projects to fill in the gap. Even if they already gave you a timetable, you're not to take that to heart unless the CE is signed. No CE, no work, no commitment.

Hanging Scenario 2:
YOU: "I would like to get an update on the project…"
THEM: "It's postponed."
HEARTBREAKER! You've already done so much!
When the initial emotional meltdown has died down, time to review your contract. Are you up for a Discontinuance Fee? We're you smart enough to get a downpayment before you started working? Time to be vigilant in earning your output. Time to be steadfast in protecting your shared ideas, too. Your client should be aware that they cannot use a smidgen of your semi-killed thoughts.
A postponement also means it's just a pause. The project can play again. So make sure you follow up every now and then.

Hanging Scenario 3:
YOU: "I would like to follow up on my cheque."
THEM: "Uhm… it's not ready yet."
Now THIS is serious. The worst of all hanging games --planned or unplanned-- happen at collection time. Your client suddenly goes out of the country. Your cheque is missing signatories. There's a bizarre need to re-negotiate your cost right after the project is done. Stand firm, Freelancer. Hold on to your signed contract like your life depended on it --because it does. And follow up like you mean business --because you do. Remember though to be persistent but not prissy. Be polite. Stay polite. You're not getting anything out of a pissed client. Especially when the delay isn't his fault. Well, not entirely, that is.

The hanging game isn't the norm. More often than not, the freelancing ride is pretty smooth with all the tosses and turns you've learned to live with and love. But when you do come to a stop, don't just hang in there and pray that things work out. Do something. Anything stuck can be moved with a little bolt-loosening and push.
So much like a roller coaster.


Popular Posts