Friday, July 18, 2008

Who’s The Daddy?



The best thing since sliced bread...
The best thing since sliced bread...
As some of you will be aware, in addition to my full-time local authority job (which I’m currently underpaid for – see my previous post) I also run my own part-time web design business.

It’s just a small concern – hardly a global corporation or liable to give Bill Gates any sleepless nights – but it’s all mine.

When I started it three years ago I did so with a glad and excited heart. No more working for idiots and gits, I thought to myself. I’ll be my own boss. I can do what I like and tell the twats to get lost.

Of course that isn’t the case at all. You still end up working for idiots and gits. Anybody who’ll pay you for the work basically. And while you’re producing work on their behalf the idiots and gits are still, technically, your boss.

Sigh. I never did like Status Quo.

However, after a while you begin to sort out the good clients from the bad and you start to develop a long memory and good instincts.

How does that help?

Well, I had trouble about a year ago with a real a-hole who gave me months and months of grief and hassle and actually managed to make my life a complete misery. However, I persevered and managed to build him a tiptop web site. Once it went live, however, he started being awkward about paying my invoice and quibbled over the price we’d agreed upon months in advance. This was at a time when I just did not need the extra hassle – Karen was having a difficult pregnancy and I needed my time and energies to be directed elsewhere, not chasing welshers.

Things got nasty and I came within an inch of taking him to the small claims court. But in the end, he coughed up. He paid. And he even attempted a little humility.

Yeah like whatever.

Then this week, out of the blue, he got back in touch with me. A real begging email. Seems he has loads of updates that he needs putting onto his web site but nobody wants to do the work for him.

Oh really? I wonder why?

At last, being my own boss finally came into its own. I owed him nothing. I was holding all the cards (aces naturally). And there was only one barrel and it wasn’t me that was over it.

I told him no.

Effing marvellous!

It’s a sensation that can only be matched by being the filling in a Kirstie Allsopp* and Michelle Ryan* sandwich.

*Please feel free to insert the “bread” of your choice though I don’t recommend anything too crusty...

35 comments:

The Poet Laura-eate said...

What's that Chinese proverb about waiting by the riverside for long enough and you'll see your enemies swept past towards their doom...?

Seems most apt in this case.

What's a Kirstie Allsop sandwich? Or will I wish I hadn't asked? Nothing Mrs Bloggertropolis GTi wouldn't approve of, I trust...

Steve said...

Must remember that Chinese proverb for future use - possibly in my terms and conditions.

I'll leave the imaginary construction of the sandwich to you, Laura, I'm sure you can guess the rudiments... as for Mrs Bloggertropolis GTi, her only comment was that I have a "definite type" that I go for... and as she corresponds to that type perfectly she knows that she has little to wrry about. A club sandwich at home is worth 2 triple deckers away. Or something like that...!

Old Cheeser said...

I'd have Johnny Depp and River Phoenix in mine (sandwich). The River part might be a bit mouldy though. Sowwie!

Or perhaps a Phil from Location Location sandwich. I can share a bite or two with Karen.

Anyway, well done for just saying NO! Power to the Steven!

The Sagittarian said...

Good for you. Steve, you didn't sell out your principles and that is always a great well deserved feeling! Bravo from the Antipodees.

kate5kiwis said...

Michelle Claire Ryan (born 22 April 1984) is an English actress.
uh steve, just pointing out that you could be jailed for child-snatching... X

Steve said...

Hi OC, true - Ol' River might be a bit gamey by now, unless they "hung" him properly and maybe smoked him a little bit to preserve the flavour... I'm sure Karen would appreciate sharing a Phil Spencer sandwich with you but she'd like to know which end would you'd prefer?

Many thanks Amanda, always good to get a pat on the back from the Antipodes!

Kate, Ms Ryan might be a young thing but she's a big girl now and well over the age of consent. Sadly I also suspect she's old enough to have a fair degree of taste and intelligence which might throw a rather large spanner into my works...

LucyFishwife said...

What Laura said. I am a huge believer in Karma, although I don't put it quite as New Ageily as that - if someone's been a bastard to you, chances are they've gone through life doing it to everyone and it will come back to haunt them. Doesn't help when you're lying awake seething, nor is it seemly to gloat when your husband's truly VILE ex-boss gets caught embezzling by the taxman and loses his business (deeply satisfying example there). But I firmly believe everyone gets what they deserve in the end.

LucyFishwife said...

Oh I forgot about your Kirstie fetish. Those bodacious ta-tas again. Nathan Fillion and Dylan Moran for me.

Steve said...

I do try not to gloat, Laura, but I wouldn't be human if I didn't admit to a little sliver of pleasure running down my spine at being able to kick Mr Bad Client into touch once and for all.

Had to google both Nathan and Dylan... I see a resemblance. I'd say you have a definite type too!

Rol said...

Good for you - payback is always nice, especially against the a-holes. One day when I am rich and famous, I will go back and visit all the idiots I've had to bow to in my job and tell them straight.

I have a very long list. ;-)

Steve said...

Rol, I really hope you make it happen. What a fantatsic idea. I may have to compile a list myself. To tell you the truth, the best thing about it all was realizing that my own self worth was worth far more to me than any money this client may have thrown my way. Somethings (to quote an awful credit card advert) really are priceless. Self respect is one of them. Nice to know that when push comes to shove I can hang onto mine.

The Sagittarian said...

As for sandwiches...make mine a John Hannah and a John Barrowman (ok, ok he will have to be the er bottom...)

Steve said...

Amanda - Lol! With the crusts left on or cut off high class toff style?

LucyFishwife said...

Oh my God I had failed to notice any similarity - actually they both look slightly drunk in photos, so maybe that's it! If I'm allowed a club sandwich I'll add John Cusack.
I also (like Rol) have a List and I used to put curses on people (nothing witchy, just writing their name on a piece of paper and putting it in the knife drawer), but stopped when one of them had a nervous breakdown and one got cancer. All totally coincidental but if you reap what you sow I don't want that coming back to me any time soon! Better to let Karma handle it...

Steve said...

Lucy, club sandwiches are positively encouraged.

As for Karma, I'm with you. Better to let the Universe even the score lest you tip the balance against yourself.

"I'm just trying to make the world a better place. My name is Earl."

Steve said...

Lucy and I do apologize most profusely for calling you "Laura" in my earlier reply - and apologies to Laura too. Just broke my granddad's golden rule: never get ladies names mixed up - they won't thank you for it! Please don't stick me in the knife drawer!

LucyFishwife said...

Oh Steve Steve Steve. Actually my paternal grandfather kept marrying women called Patricia so he wouldn't have to learn a new name, the old creep. I have no problem with being confused with Laura, after all we are both articulate and talented redheads with an Oxford connection and a cat..
I love Earl. Well, I love Joy...

Steve said...

Joy is superb. My favourite Joy moment was when she was trying to "help" a rival beautician who was asian and couldn't speak a word of English... Joy taught her the phrase "me love you long time". Just the thing to help anybody's nail painting business... ;-)

Brother Tobias said...

I sympathise; working for local authorities requires the patience and humility of a saint. One is committed, incorruptable, unrewarded and unloved. It was a joy to move into a world where one could take decisions and not have to justify them. Unsung heroes, a lot of those LA staff.

Steve said...

Thanks Brother T - you're a gent and a scholar.

LucyFishwife said...

My favourite Joy quote was (to Catalina) "Oh I'm sorry, honey, I don't speak maid..."

Inchy said...

'People' seem to think that 'doing a website' takes all of five minutes and SHAZAM! there it is, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I run a couple purely as a hobby (www.sdsracing.co.uk and www.freewebs.com/restlessnatives/index.htm) and to help a few friends out, and it's bloody hard work sometimes.

No pay, no play.

Steve said...

Lucy, Joy deserves her own show - except I'd miss Earl, Randy, Catalina and Crabman...!

Inchy: spot on, mate. Sometimes the worst thing you can have is a client who has come up with their "own design" with utterly no concept of how a web site works both in the browser and behind the scenes. I frequently pull my hair out. I also have clients who who'll take a beautifully balanced clean design and then months later want it utterly trashed with advertizing, tickertape news feeds and annoying flashing graphics... and then wonder why people fail to navigate around their site properly.

Daisy said...

good for you steve...i always say...sometimes the money is not worth it...no matter the amount!

Steve said...

Daisy, money is never worth a bad time. Life is way too short!

-eve- said...

Good for you, Steve! Way to go (especially with all the worry he gave you)! heheh :-)

Steve said...

Thanks Eve - it certainly feels good to be on this side of things now!

TimeWarden said...

I dunno how Michelle Ryan would feel about the older woman! With her hands, I suppose!!

Kirstie Allsopp, on your other hand, might think it was her lucky day!

Meanwhile, I'd probably get myself into a pickle were I to choose the type of bread to wrap around my corned beef!

Steve said...

TimeWarden, I always took you for a consummate plough-man... I'll let you add your own comments regarding furrows and wild oats...!

Anonymous said...

Very good post.

Steve said...

Anonymous: very good name.

Anonymous said...

Just killing some in between class time on Digg and I found your article . Not normally what I choose to examine, however it was absolutely worth my time. Thanks.

Steve said...

Anonymous: always glad to help people kill time in-between class.

Anonymous said...

Thank you amazing blog, do you have twitter, facebook or something similar where i can follow your blog

Sandro Heckler

Steve said...

Is Heckler your real name? Should I be worried?