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Last week I did something I probably shouldn't have done. I pride myself on making the absolute best decisions. I research every option. I think about all of the outcomes, the repercussions, and the feelings. At the end of the following day, if I still feel "good" about the choice, then I know I made the best choice for me. This is how I usually make all my decisions. A little bit of heart. A little bit of mind. Sounds balanced, right?
Ahhh...the life of a consultant. It's usually very fun and convenient. As most of you know, it can be feast or famine. When it's feast, life is marvelous. When it's famine, it's not so nice - traveling is scarce, dinners are cheap, and life is definitively less free.
What happened? Seven months is a long time to be constantly waiting for payment, but that was my situation.
For seven months, I had been waiting for payments from this one company I chose to contract with from late August through late December. Just to give you an idea, I waited fifty (50) days for my first payment. Every two weeks thereafter, it was a constant battle to get money and, supposedly, I was making some good money with them. However, I wouldn't have known, because they were basically paying me a week's worth of wages every two weeks, which always kept me in the red. Not fun. Scarcity was my life and I felt trapped.
With regard to this situation, I did seek advice from friends and family members. They all said basically the same thing: 1) Stop working for them until they pay you; 2) Get another job; and 3) You're never going to get your money!
Understood. But, I had hope. I knew this Company would one day step up and do the right thing. I knew they wanted to pay me, they just never had the funds to do so. I mostly wanted to keep working for them because one of their clients was fabulous and, at some point in the future, there might have been a great full time flexible potential with said client. So, I stayed through the first of this year.
Around that same time, they sent me a check for a substantial amount of money but requested that I not cash it until they gave me the green light. Two weeks later, I thought I received the go ahead to deposit. Turns out, there was a little miscommunication and, as a result, they needed me to deposit some of that money back into THEIR account. I was beyond irritated, but I figured since they still owed me a significant amount of money, it would show some good faith and understanding toward their situation. (At that point, I believe I should have taken the money and ran!)
I spoke to my father about the above-mentioned situation and he was very pleased with how I handled that situation. He thought that my long-term strategy/foresight was in-tact and that I had made an adult decision. Woohoo! I always LOVE to hear that my parents are proud of my decisions.
This time around, however, not so much.
Approximately four weeks ago, they mailed me my final check for the outstanding amount of money, once again, with the understanding that they would give me the green light to deposit the check. They trusted me. It was torture holding onto that check for those couple of weeks. Again, I sought advice from friends and family. The consensus being go to the bank, and, if the funds are available in the account, deposit the check, once and for all, and be done with it.
BTW, they weren't giving me any updates until I started texting/emailing them every other day. When they finally got the hint, unfortunately, it was empty words after empty promises after empty emails after empty texts. "We're getting money in any day now!" or "We're just waiting on a couple more checks." I wanted with all of my heart to believe them. I imagine they wanted to be as done with me as I wanted to be with them.
I was fed up. I had had it. I therefore visited the bank a few times over the past week, and finally, last Tuesday, the bank advised that there were enough funds in their account to cover the check. In a moment of complete desperation and vindication (or so I thought), I deposited the check. It felt weird. Though I felt strongly that I had finally made a stand for myself, simultaneously, I also felt kind of icky. This was a little out of character for me. I was angry. I was at my wits end!
I kinda wish that I could have stepped back from the situation and asked myself what would Jesus do or what would Buddha do? Yo, I consider myself to be a very spiritual person, but sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do, right?
The next day, the Company, clearly, was not very happy with me. A surprise to me, they advised that they had gone negative in their account. They wrote some not-so-nice words to me, attacking my character and my professionalism. I found this incredibly ironic given my past seven months basically begging for money over and over. What was I thinking working for them for so long?
It was later that day when I spoke to my parents on the phone. They both listened to my story. My mother was happy that the situation was now done and suggested I start to put this horrid incident behind me. My father, on the other hand, was silent. Uh oh. I knew what that meant. Having been down this same road various times himself, he was not overly thrilled with my moment of desperation and thought I could have handled the situation better. It was clear when he said, let me know if the check clears, that this certainly was not his first time at the rodeo. He knew better and he expected me to know better.
Long story short. The check bounced. I accrued more fees. My dad was right! Oh what fun! Apparently, they needed to cover other expenses instead of me. No comment.
The point here is...perhaps when we are feeling extra desperate, we could all take an extra moment to consider what will make our father/mother/nephew proud. That just might save you the hassle. It just might save you some fees and it just might save you their disappointment.
I really do believe I am a good person. Hell, I think I'm a fantastic person. I am kind to others, honest, sincere, and genuine. I guess this week's lesson to myself is that I am human too. We all make mistakes. I probably should have waited one or two more weeks. Oh well, right? We live and learn.
When I'm at the gates of heaven (or whatever you like to call it), something tells me I am not going to be thinking of this Company and my moment of desperation. Call it a hunch!
1) Re: Malaysia Flight 370. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. I'm just curious, however, why hasn't a famous medium come to the scene and offered their services? Perhaps I'm a little partial, but still, they could definitely help out!
2) With regard to the above situation, the Company still tells me they are going to me as soon as they have the funds available. Learning my lesson, I have now given them until the end of this month to pay me, otherwise, I will seek legal action. I am enthusiastic to sue two attorneys. I have never lost a case yet!
3) I also always want to make my mother proud and my nephew proud. Does anyone else feel that way?
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A Smile From The Inside Production :)