Why on earth is asking people for money so difficult?
The one part I’m hating about being self-employed above all others is chasing up unpaid invoices. There have been a few teething problems for me. People have made mistakes when setting me up as a new vender within colleges or just never had to deal with an interpreter before so had no idea what to so with me or how it worked.
All but one has now been cleared up after much back and forward. The one college that hasn’t yet paid me for any of the work I’ve done is also the college that has now got access to their other interpreter on my day so has told me I’m no longer required. (Don’t worry Mad Men fans, I didn’t lose Lucky Strike…)
What I have been finding so difficult is sending the words “this is not acceptable”.
It is not acceptable to me!
Now, that wasn’t so hard. But I’m so determined to not sour the relationship there, I enjoyed working in that college, that I’ve said everything but those words. I’ve been firm yes, but not direct.
I now know why. I’ve made a school boy error. In my head (and on paper somewhere or other) I have my terms and conditions. I’ve even had training on it. It was one of the first things I chose to have training on. Terms and conditions for interpreters. Seems so simple! So why didn’t I go through the procedure of when I accepted that job not first sending my terms and conditions to my clients? Why did I not protect myself in that way? More to the point why did I not think I’d need to??
Too trusting? Maybe. Naive? Definitely!
Lesson learned. Terms and conditions give you the power to stand up and say what is acceptable.
In my head mine including “if you haven’t paid me within x amount of time I’m adding 10% to the bill”. In my head is no good to anyone. It was a rookie mistake. Lesson learned.
Anyone else out there made a classic rookie mistake we could all do well to avoid? Please share it in the comments.