Maybe its me, maybe its the times, maybe its the city I live in, and maybe it is some combination of all of the above. But today I feel like everyone is just wasting my time. I feel like I am wasting my time. I work my ass off for people who don’t seem to be half as excited about paying me as I am about doing the work for them. I feel like I have to fight for every fucking dollar I earn, long after I’ve earned it! People make plans and they flake. It’s disappointing. sometimes the reasons are sound. I’ve done it. So now I tell people that I cannot commit to anything until I confirm with my wife and in two other places (my calendar and my billing schedule) that I have not already committed that time to someone or some project. Today it feels like I am Tarzan of the project jungle. I swing from one project to the next and then find myself on a Friday night, instead of going out with friends, which is what I think I should be doing I am looking at my accounts receivable balances at all the people who are past due and shaking my head while playing “E-mail for dollars”. Well, if I pay everyone on time, and I do. Then if my customers make me wait to get paid what happens? Big drain on my cash flow. And I’ve just had to pay income taxes and property taxes. April is always the WORST fucking month financially if you own a home. Meanwhile this week I have had every asshole work me from every angle to get their work done but of course no one is going to pay me on time. I have to wait to get paid. What’s wrong with this picture!? I think I am going to follow the advice of someone I read tonight on LinkedIn. By May 1 a letter will go out via E-mail and snail mail to all of my clients explaining that I am changing my billing policy. Each client will get a set retainer amount based on their typical monthly billing and that amount plus any past due balances will be paid if we are to do any work beyond May 1. That retainer will need to be paid up each month and any differences between that and actual hours billed will be reconciled each month so that wither the retainer is adjusted or the extra money is due with that month’s retainer. Something like that. I like that concept. If you want me to do the work right away, you should be prepared to pay me right away. If I have to wait, so do you! Simple. Also anytime someone requests a flat rate quote, I need to go back to my old rule of taking what I think and multiplying it by 3. So a $500 estimate becomes $1,500. Don’t like it? Go away! Simple.
I wonder? Do I have any actual friends or is everyone just someone I do business with or help in some way and I think of them as friends because I spend some real time, not ever “with” them, but just working on their stuff. Am I a boring guy in the end? Is business the only thing I have to talk about? That’s what I love. That, music, and a good conversation with any form of intelligent life – the discussion of ideas – the highest form of conversation. Discussion of other people and events really just bores the shit out of me. My wife loves to talk to me about other people and the people she either reads about on People.com or the people on these stupid fucking reality shows that I cannot believe other people give the time of day to!! What the fuck is wrong with people?! You have nothing interesting going on in your own life so you watch this fake shit about other people – anything BUT reality about people who could care less if you can’t pay our bills this month! As long as you keep watching and caring about their fake lives, they will have no trouble paying theirs. Then again considering the personality types they might but not for lack of earnings, only for sheer stupidity because they won’t stop and think, “uuuuhh…. maybe I should like manage this money I am making now because the likelihood is that on the timeline of the universe this will last the equivalent of about 2 seconds and then where will I be? I’m too fucking stupid to earn a living based on having any semblance of an intelligence factor so I need to find a way to make money by gaining the interest of other mindless people who are too stupid to realize what a waste of time I am!”
Is this enough or am I on a roll. YES! This is how I really feel!
I still have that fantasy I have written about before. That I just get up one day and walk away from the computer like nothing is wrong. Just another day. I tell my wife I am going to check the UPS store to see what checks we got, and I do go there and I do deposit any checks but then I shift gears. I empty the bank accounts, get in my car and drive. I end up somewhere like Portland or Seattle and take a job at some coffee shop and live real simple. New life, new identity and a completely fresh start. With all of the time I spend at the computer and as little as I seem to socialize in a normal traditional way it feels sometimes like I might as well be in the witness protection program. In my fantasy I leave everything behind to go somewhere where I can be a complete unknown. People wonder who I am and where I came from but no one knows and no one dares to ask. I’m just a quiet mild mannered guy earning a modest, humble living and spending much of my time doing what I now seem incapable of doing. Relaxing. Yeah I could never do it, but it’s fun to think about.
OK. I think I am ready for some TV now. But no reality shows! I like forensics. Give me Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, or Without A Trace please! Without A Trace seems sort of appropriate here!