Wednesday, January 12, 2005

DuToit's Dilemmna (and a little advice)

Kim posted a link today that had nothing to do with guns, but which with I could completely understand.

His point was that he has a major client for which he ignored lesser ones. As time has passed, he believes these people really like him and will continue doing business with him, but there is an accounting SNAFU or whatever.

I read this post this morning and it got me to thinking about a company that fucked me over several years ago. Almost exact same situation: I'd worked for them for years on a contract basis, I knew them and their wives, and always asked how their golf stroke was, even though I couldn't pinch a small turd about the answer. Then they decided that I was too detail oriented and took too much time. Consequently, they told me to ship all of their shit in and that I was done.

Fine. Whatever. The fact that these people were a large portion of my business stung a bit financially, but what pissed me off the most was that these desk-jockies had no problem making the most ludicrous demand upon me and my time. And when I did what they asked, it was endless beaurucratic bullshit. I put up with it because it was a buttload of receivables. What ended up happening was too many eggs in a basket that got dropped out of an airplane, stomped on by roving Wilderbeasts, and runover by the guy who's banging my former...whatever.

Strangely enough, about an hour and a half after I read Kim's post, this self-same company called me up and told me I was the only decent contractor in the whole fucking state. This is a lucrative account and I had to bite my tongue while the words "No Habla Ingles" were welling up in my throat.

I accepted in the end; but with certain understandings. "I am but a humble boy but my story's sad and true," I have traded my pride for more receivables. BUT, and that is a big BUT, I will no longer trust these people, listen to their golf "adventures", or really give a crap about them. When you think about it, my work product will never be as good as it was when I felt some loyalty to them.

So, as far as unsolicited advice, if a company knows they are a contractor's only or biggest client, they will fuck them. Maybe sooner, maybe later, but one ought to watch one's ass. Laissez-Fair economics are what I believe in, but that also means you need the ability to look out for your own ass, because no one else is going to help you in that department.

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