Becky Says...

June 2002

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June 29

Here's a hint to anyone seeking freelance work from me: DO NOT come knocking on my apartment door on a Saturday or Sunday asking me to do your work.

Since I've gone back to work at the law firm, I have relaxed the rule about never working on weekends, in terms of finishing up freelance things (business or craft) that I have started during the week. But I have utterly not started taking on new work on those two days. I reserve the right to do my errands and chores and have some fun without obligation to anyone on those days.

What has this on my mind is that an occasional word-processing client of mine wanted a letter typed. Apparently he didn't realize this before today, which is indeed Saturday. He tried to call a couple of times and got a busy signal (Yes, I was on my own phone on a day off. Scandal!), after which he decided that driving over to see me was his best bet.

I said no when he asked if I could type the letter, and told him he had been unable to reach me because I was busy. I was more polite than that, which is how I usually respond when I really want to scream but think screaming might be a bad thing to do.

Then he tried getting pushy. He didn't need it "right now," and couldn't I "do it by Monday?" No, I couldn't. I did tell him that if it could wait till next week, he was welcome to leave it. No, he needed it by Monday, and did I know anyone else who could type it for him? No, I don't know other people who do this sort of work, at the moment. I do know several who have quit!

I know I should have told him flatly that I am not not available for work on weekends. But the audacity of his coming over here caught me off guard, and that's another of those times I try to let polite take over.

I'm beginning to think I need to write a list of when I am available for work requests, with it clearly stated that weekends are off limits to people who have not submitted requests during the week. I also need to make it painfully clear that since no one pays me a retainer, work is done on a first-come, first-served basis, but that's a rant for another day.

Perhaps if I keep that near the phone and the door, I can remember to share it with the audacious.

Text © copyright 2000-2002 Becky