I ended up not going to the movie today...as the guy who has just stolen $56 from me also kept me waiting 30 minutes before he did it.
He lives in Norfolk, I live in York County. To make sure we both didn't have to drive a heckuva long way, we compromised on the Casemate Museum inside Fort Monroe, a well-known landmark just as you get off the tunnel from Norfolk over the James River. (Or whatever that particular body of water is!)
THe first day we were supposed to meet there, so that I could give him the stuff to work on, he never showed up. I waited for 30 minutes before leaving. He said that he hadn't realized that Fort Monroe was still an operating fort...and apparently didn't try to go inside and look for the musueum. (I had forgotten it was called the Casemate Museum and just called it the Civil War museum - but there is only one museum, period, inside the fort, so he should still have been able to find it.)
But, I'm easy going. So I decided to meet him there the next day. This time he was 15 minutes late. But he flourished a couple of maps that he'd used to try to find his way inside the fort (it's a big fort, and there's a building you can stop off at to pick up such maps, and the signs to the museum suck), so I cut him slack again. (Although to my way of thinking if you're meeting someone at a place you don't know, you leave early so you can get there early, in case you need some extra time. But, that's just me.)
So, today, I'd arranged to meet him at 3 pm. 3 pm in the Norfolk tunnel is not a good time, especially on a Friday...but I'd forgotten about that and he who lives on the other side of the bloody tunnel should have taken it into account.
Anyway, I waited for 27 minutes. (Actually, I waited for 45 minutes. I know Fort Monroe and the location of the museum well, but I'm always 15 minutes early for any meeting. If I'm not familiar with where I'm supposed to meet someone, I'm usually there *30* minutes early, just because I leave myself enough time in case I get lost.
So, I started driving away, was on the 'home stretch' out of the fort, when he drove past. He waved, so naturally I had to turn around and drive back to the Museum. Have to admit I was swearing. I'd been tempted to leave 2 minutes earlier than I had actually done - if I had done so I would have missed him entirely and could have saved my $56 - because I would have told him via email that he could keep those articles in lieu of payment and to heck with him.
Anyway, he did say he'd been caught in the tunnel - and I had turned the radio on on my way out and it had said that there was congestion in the tunnel so I knew he was speaking the truth....but if you've got an appointment to meet someone, and you know a certain tunnel is a b*tch at a certain time of day, you leave early, just in case.
So, he gives me the box I had given him, and a red binder. All of the articles were in plastic sleeves, and I'd told him as he finished each article to put it in the binder. (Why else would I have given him the binder?) Well, he hadn't done that. He'd put everything back in the box.
Where did you stop at? I asked. I wanted to take hold of the pages he'd typed, howsoever many there might be, and say, "It took you 10 hours to type this?" (Sure, each page was 8 X 10. But the article in question on each page took up, at the *most*, 2 columns of the page, and none were more than 600 words each, if that.)
Anyway, he starts paging through the sleeves, going deeper and deeper into them, and I'm just thinking...Christ. But, I just said, "Never mind." And handed him $80. So, he in essence stole $56 from me, because there is no way in hell that he worked 10 hours on that project. He worked 3 hours - at about 30 words per minute. That's what I think.
So, obviously I shouldn't have paid him the money...but I just wanted to close the situation and move on.
So, I've learned a couple of lessons now. Expensive, but I've learned 'em. Later on tonight I'm going to work on my newspaper clippings for exactly 1 hour. At the end of that hour I will know exactly how many pieces were done, and I will type up instructions for my next person which will state that I expect her to get that many pieces done each hour. She'll have the option to disagree with that production rate and decline the job - but if she agrees to it, then that's how I will pay her.
As for the typing... I've got to earn a few more bucks from Elance before I can have someone work on that project again. Then I'll advertise it in Craigs List again at a flat rate of $24 - 3 hours at $8 an hour, for someone who can type at least 70 wpm. If someone takes it, fine. If not, fine also. (And at the end of three hours however much that person gets done will give me an idea if I'm justified in my rage right now, or not. I'm thinking I'm quite justified, but we'll see.)
From now on, that's the way I'll be working.
So, sorry for the rant. I feel better now.