November 23, 2003


An Open Letter From The Contractor to The Client Who Doesn't Pay

Dear Client:

Remember when you called and pleaded for my help on this project and that project and this project and that project? Quick turnaround, you said. Tight deadline, you apologized. We have everything you need--we'll send it right away. I say okay. You sounded so sincere. So I put another project aside for you, which I've done before, to bust my ass turning around your project in two days. You loved it. You always do. You seemed so very happy.

So when Net 30 turns to 45 turns to 60, and my COBRA insurance is riding on thousands of dollars your enterprise has failed to pay me--when my kid could lose medical insurance because of your sloppy accounting processes--how do you think that makes me feel?

It makes me want to go postal. That's how it makes me feel.

But I don't go postal. Instead I decide this: I won't be working with you anymore. Don't call me again. I have clients who pay me well and on time. Like you, they like my work. But unlike you, they understand that the fast, quality service you get from a small business comes with one extra little pricetag. No, it's not extra money. It's TIMELINESS OF PAYMENT. It's NOT playing the float with my business, and my life. It's delivering to me like I deliver to you. If you're not nimble enough to deliver, I don't need to work with you.

I have a solution for the thousands of dollars you owe me right now. Why don't you and my creditors talk directly. Wouldn't that be a great timesaver for all involved? Yes, I will simply hook my creditors up with you, and you two can arrange for you to cut checks to them directly whenever it might please you. My creditors have all the time in the world, andn they'll only charge you 600% interest if you're late.

Take me out of the middle. See? I can be more productive and happier not dealing with either of you, and you each get what you want. No intermediary needed. Call it an exchange, a marketplace, a hub. I don't care, but I don't want the job of explaining anymore why I haven't given YOUR money to THEM.

I hope this arrangement suits you. I know it makes me happy.

P.S., I hope you get laid off with six kids at home.


Your Contractor