Electronic Anonymous Suggestion Box for your Boss

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 12:59 am

Today PureWow sent an email about this new site called Tell Your Boss Anything. Its like a modern-day suggestion box where you submit your comment, complaint, suggestion on a website along with your email address and your boss’ email address and the site will anonymously send your message to your boss. Pretty cool idea. Check it out.

Make Sure You Get Paid

In freelance, freelance copywriter, getting hired on September 3, 2012 at 2:48 am

For a long time, I used to get a project from a new client, give them my quote, work on the project and then wait for payment. Sometimes I would request a retainer fee, which was 50% of the full payment, and/or have the client sign a written quote before I started. Unfortunately, I was pretty slack about that and trusted clients (even those I had no connection to) to pay me for my time.

I learned the hard way, why people need to do things like require a retainer fee to protect themselves from getting jipped. On Tuesday, May 8th, I received a call from Carolina Puig from CPL Graphic Design Solutions requesting that I do a proofreading project. She needed the project to be proofread and revised by that Thursday. I agreed, quoted her and got to work. On May 10th, I sent her the revised document via email and we discussed parts of it on the phone.

On Friday, May 11th, I received the following email from the client at 4:39PM:

“STOP the project!!!!!! please. Client want to do this by themselves!

PLease let me know what I have to do now.
Thank you so much.”

Ummm…really? Because I already finished it for them yesterday so I’m not sure what they are going to “do.”
I wrote back and told her that she can either pay me via check or paypal – whichever was best for her. She asked for a formal invoice and I sent one. Then…I never heard back.

I followed up on May 29th with the following email:
“Just wanted to confirm you received the invoice I sent a couple of weeks ago.
Thank you!”

No response. I sent another on June 3rd:
“Just wanted to follow up because I haven’t heard back from you. Please confirm receipt of my invoice.
Thank you.”

On June 10th:
“Just following up. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about my invoice.
Thank you.”

On July 2nd:
“I have not heard back from you regarding payment for the proofreading project that I worked on back in early May. Could you please let me know when I can expect payment?
Thank you.”

And finally on July 9th:

“I have tried and tried to contact you and it’s become evident that you have no intention to pay me for my time.

I just thought it would be fair of me to give you the heads up and let you know I will be writing a blog on my experience working with CPL Graphic Design to forewarn other freelancers or industry professionals of your lack of professionalism and respect of others time.

It’s not even about the money because the amount I charged was nominal – which actually makes it worse to me. Its not like its a large sum of money that the client didn’t have. There was just a total lack of respect for my time. I feel I was taken advantage of and manipulated into working for free. It’s not all her fault. I allowed this to happen by not taking the appropriate measures. I may not have gained any cash from this job, but I did learn a valuable lesson.
Don’t leave it up to the good will of your clients to pay you. Protect yourself and require a signed contract and/or retainer fee.

Irreplaceable Loved Ones

In samples of work, Uncategorized, Writing Assignment on September 29, 2011 at 1:21 am

I found an assignment I was given while I was in a Writing Strategies class in school. As to keep everything in one place, here it is….

One missed phone call.

Someone had called and hung up after the first ring. I checked my phone. ‘Home’ it said. I called back, and it rang three times.

Click, click. The flashing numbers on my cell phone indicated that the connection had ended.

That’s weird. I’m not going to stress it, I thought. I can always rest assure that if my family has anything to tell me – important or not – they’ll make it a point to call until they get through. I continued rehearsing Hamlet with my group members for our presentation the next day.

“Okay. I’m leaving. I’m gonna work on some more stuff when I get home.” I gathered my materials and stored them away in the large crafts’ box I had brought.

Really, I was wrapping up because it had already been too many hours that I had been away from my 7 month-old, 4-pound miniature pinscher. His name was Brinks – like the security system. Since I had gotten him almost 5 months before, coming home was exciting.

On my way home I imagined, as I usually did, how Brinks would react when I got to the door. I knew he’d be waiting on the other side, whimpering with happiness. I’d open the door and he’d run in circles with his ears and stub-of-a-tail down, unable to decide what to do with his excitement. Finally, I’d pick him up and greet him with my barely comprehensible baby talk.

I pulled into my driveway and was surprised to see my father standing outside by the gate of the front courtyard.

“Can you help me bring this box in?” I said as I pointed to my crafts’ box.

My dad and I walked past each other as he went for the box in the car and I went for the door of the house.

Inside, I stood by the dining room table and my dad walked up to me and said, “Something terrible has happened.”

I searched for clues in my head. Is there someone who’s been sick that could’ve died? No ideas came to mind.

“The puppy was hit by a car.”

Ah, my dad the jokester! He’s just bothering me because he hates how I’m always on his back about closing the front door now that we have Brinks walking around the house. Jeez. Cruel Joke.

“No he wasn’t!” I laughed and pushed him on his shoulder.

He kept a fixed gaze on me and tried to insist by nodding his head.

“He was.” His voice cracked and he reached out to put his hands on my shoulders. From the corner of my eye I saw my mom reaching the bottom of the stairs from the computer loft where she had been and I saw her staring at me. No, this isn’t possible, I thought. Brinks is supposed to be alive like I had left him a few hours ago.

“How did this happen?” I finally asked.

My father just pointed at himself as he cried with his head down, “I threw out the trash and left the door open.”

How many times do I have to tell you to close the front door!?” I screamed in frustration. “You always call me ridiculous! This is why I do it!”

We’ve had several family pets, but before Brinks, my family thought that people loving their pets this much was ridiculous. A pet is an animal – not a person. However, after a while it was no longer surprising to find my dad marching around the house holding Brinks in a sitting position on his head as he chanted the nickname he had for him, “Chi-cho! Chi-cho!” Brinks’ quirky personality and Napoleon complex amused us all. How could someone not find something that tiny adorable? I was obsessed.

“Listen, starting tomorrow, we want to take you to see different puppies,” my mom offered. “I’ve already gotten in touch with some min-pin breeders.”

I walked across the house to my room. Brinks’ bed, toys and bones had already been removed from my room. My dad knocked on the door and entered. I sat on my bed and he sat beside me.

“I’m sorry,” he told me. “You always warned me.” He hugged me and cried. I felt bad for how guilty my dad was feeling and was surprised to find that he was the one who need consoling. I couldn’t cry because it hadn’t really hit me yet. Then my sister, who lives in New York called.

“I told her that he had run away, ” my dad said as he looked at the caller ID. “At first we just couldn’t find him and then we never called to tell her we had.”

My dad picked up the phone, and I could hear her asking if they had found Brinks yet.

“He’s dead, Booboo.” He responded. Then he turned and looked at me, “She’s strong. She’s doing better than I am, actually.” My dad passed me the phone and left me to talk to my sister alone. A few moments later my brother walked in and sat beside me. He asked me how I was doing and hugged me. All of a sudden he put his head on my shoulder and started to cry. What is going on here? First my dad and now my grown brother. “I’m sorry,” he told me. “I know I could’ve prevented it. I came home and saw the door was open. If I would’ve just thought about it, I could’ve looked for him and found him.” Brinks was hit directly in front of my house, which means that if my brother hadn’t seen him on his way in, he hadn’t been hit yet.

We all decided to hold off on telling my oldest sister until she asked. She didn’t live with us, so that could buy some time. Who wants to upset a pregnant woman? For the next 7 consecutive days, we visited breeders from Pembroke Pines, Homestead and beyond in search of a new puppy to fill the void. My parents were ready to travel to Tampa or Orlando if we found something we thought was what I was looking for. Finally, on December 8th, exactly 7 days from the day we lost Brinks, I found him in Weston. A handsome, elegant miniature pinscher that I named Fargo. Though I loved Fargo, he was never able to replace Brinks.

Still, I was fortunate to have my family offering anything they had to help me get through my time of grief. Brinks changed my family’s perspective on pets and he’ll never be forgotten.