Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lost Opportunity...

I have blogged in the past about some freelance work I've been doing for a company in Idaho. Well, I finally quit yesterday, and today I regret the way I did it because a much more "poetic justice" way of doing it occurred to me.

So I'm annoyed with myself.

Anyway, I'd been working for a loss mitigation company in Idaho for several months. (And here's a clue for anybody thinking of using a "loss mitigation" company. Don't. They charge you two mortgage payments-worth of a fee, up front (which I don't think they're allowed to do, by state law, actually) which is money you could be using to pay your mortgage to begin with! And then, for every "go-getter" on their staff who actually knows someone at a mortgage lender's office, they've got a dozen bodies hired off the street who don't know anything.

If you're going to work with a loss mitigation company - it should be one that only charges for results. IF they don't save your house, you don't pay!

Anyway, I'd initially started working with the CEO of this company about 5 months or so ago, when he was first starting it. And we got along fine. I don't like to talk on the phone, but we IM-ed each other via YahooMessenger, and I was given a company email, and things were just dandy.

Because we got along so well, I thought it would be okay to send him some advice on how he ran his business (after he'd cc-ed me on an email he sent to an angry client). Yes...I'm a $1,000 a month copyrighter and he's a $1,000 a day CEO, but I'd worked for people in his position before and I knew (and know) what is professional behavior and what is not. And sending angry emails to clients who are angry at you - albeit for mistaken reasons - is not a professional thing to do, in particular when the angry client is in the position of losing his home and may just decide to go postal on the next person who upsets him...

Anyway, my boss did not take kindly to this advice, and all of a sudden, that was it as far as our good relationship was concerned. Instead of IM-ing me each day and keeping me abreast of what was going on, nothing. Anytime I IM-ed him with a question, or emailed him with a link to a news article I thought he should know about, I met with a curt response or no response at all, so much so that I finally said to myself, fine. I will no longer exert myself to go over and above my duties...if there's something this guy needs to know about (such as someone at a Scam Website dissing the company) he won't find out about it through me.

Then there was the issue with my paychecks. Initially he'd paid me through Paypal, then it was supposed to be Direct Deposit (except his company still doesn't have Direct Deposit in place, he's as efficient in getting that done as he's efficient in everything else he does...)

So the first paycheck took two weeks to get here, the next eight days (even though sent via Priority)..and simultaneously with these delays were the issues I had paying one of the guy's workers, who worked through Elance - one of the things I'd been tasked to do back when we got along well.

His old credit card no longer worked all of a sudden, so he needed to input a new credit card into the system so I could pay the guy. I emailed him and told him so, and he promised his secretary would get right on it. And she emailed me and told me she would.

Then, nothing. And nothing. And nothing. For two months, nothing. For the first couple of times I emailed the secreatary, she would respond, "Oh, I'll get righton it." The next several times I emailed her... no response at all.

I initially thought it was the incompetence of the secretary, afraid to talk to her boss and get the necessary info, but now I'm beginning to think that she was just stonewalling me, as she'd been told, because now she's gone and a new secretary is in her place... who is asking me the same things initially that the first secretary had done, because their boss is pretending to have no knowledge of Elance!

So after two months of trying to get this guy's credit card validated so I could get his blogger paid - I finally IM-ed the guy last night and asked straight out about it. (I'd done this before - three times, but this time I was going to quit then and there if he gave a snarky reply.)

But, he doesnt' respond to the IM, but rather tells his secretary to email me with a response - and so I decided it was more than time since I quit. But then I had to decide how to do it. Should I show him the professionalism of an official resignation email - professionalism which he wouldn't appreciate and a courtesy which he didn't deserve - or should I just.... stop sending in my nightly newsletter to the company and stop doing my own blogging.

The email from his new secretary says that rather than paying the blogger via Elance, they'll just cut him a check, and asked for the blogger's contact details. So I shoot her back the guy's email, and I email the guy concerned and give him the woman's phone number. (Ironically, I'm more upset about the gross negligence of the situation then the blogger is. He still trusts the guy in charge and thinks things have been stalled for two months just because the guy is "so busy." Well, I threw up my hands after reading that. If the guy never gets paid, and works for a third month for free, he's only got himself to blame.)

So, I would have preferred to have quit by simply no longer sending in my newsletter, and no longer blogging, and letting the guy figure out for himself that I'd quit, (because, as I said, he deserved no other courtesy) but a week ago I'd been contacted by one of the company's VPs who was going to be in charge of upgrading the newsletter, and since I didn't want him to think I was so unprofessional as to not tell someone I was resigning and letting them figure it out after they hadn't heard from me for a few days, I decided I'd better make an official announcement.

So I emailed the head-honcho and CC-ed his secretary on it, telling him I was resigning. I CC-ed the new secretary because I didn't want her to think that I'd been fired by the creep, but was rather giving up my $1,000 a month job because I couldn't stand working for the jerk any longer, as I'm sure she'll find out for herself soon enough.

Of course I didn't say that in the email, just that our communication had deteriorated so much in the past three months that there seemed little point in continuing the relationship. (I IM him, he responds to me through his secretary, too bogus.)

But this morning, right as I woke up, it occurred to me what I should have done. I shouldn't have emailed him at all. I simply should have sent the email to his secretary - and asked her to give it to him!

That would have been poetic justice!

Anyway, I feel better after this rant. And if you are one of the poor unfortunates who is struggling to save your home from foreclosure - there are a lot of programs out there to help you. Go to your local neighborhood center to find out about Hope 4 Homeowners, the various HUD programs, and so on, ad don't deal with a "loss mitigation specialist" at all - unless you get references from people you actually know who can prove that it worked for them. And remember that the law says you don't have to pay them up front for their services!

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