Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not everyone has manners.

We started our business over eight years ago, and never looked back. Like every job, there are benefits and irritants. I’ve been seeing the advantages more than anything else. I work from home, which is priceless as far as I’m concern (I’m not really the office type), I manage my own schedule (as long as the work gets done, who cares when it’s done, read day or night), I’m always available by phone or by emails; I make a point of that. Even on vacation I answered my emails and voicemails.

The down side of it all is that I don’t get dressed right away, and often don’t shower right away either (I know, I know… you’re jealous!). My schedule is really messed up, I’m more a night owl than the morning bird. With my weird schedule comes the strange eating habits (read late). We never have dinner before 8:30 – 9:00 p.m.

I don’t really miss not being with people everyday, quite the opposite; I like my quietness – even if the past few days have been hell around here. Our neighbour upstairs is having his hardwood floors redone, not just refinished, nope, they ripped everything out and reinstalled brand new ones ‘cause the previous ones were squeaking on certain spots... Today they were nailing… O.M.G. This is all I will say about that, O.M. F.G. Ok, sorry, back on track. I don’t mind seeing my clients, even if at some point I did wish I didn’t have some of them as customers, because they were disorganised, or always late, always missing some papers, etc… but overall I have good clients. I think I do a good job, I try to be professional and I’m respectful. Never had a complaint, so that must be a good sign, no?

Last week our accountant called asking about one of my clients that I had referred to him for their year-end closing. He had tried contacting them to no avail. I told him I would ask my client what was happening on that front, since I had referred him, so I sent them an email. A week went by without any answer. Friday night I get a message from one of the owners, with whom I’ve always dealt with since the start (last year in October when they contacted me, in a panic, to take on their bookkeeping because they weren’t happy with their bookkeeper and were late in their remittance to the government) in which she: 1. Apologized for not contacting me sooner, 2. Said they decided not to use my reference and 3. They were using someone else for their bookkeeping but we should stay in touch. I re-read her message a few times, since her English isn’t that great, wanting to make sure I was reading it correctly. WTH? I sent her a reply asking if I was correctly understanding her message: they no longer needed my services? She replied a day later only saying: “Yes, you read correctly”.

I didn’t know if I should be happy or what? My first reaction was surprise of course. Then I felt upset for their lack of common courtesy. I’ve always been professional and will continue to do so. I will email them their data with a short thank you note. I’ve been thinking about this all day today, and deep down I know it’s a good thing. They were more trouble than they were worth. I guess my ego is hurt; to be dropped that way isn’t very pleasant. I’ve been fired once before and I remember it being unpleasant but not like this. I knew why and that was fine, but this… this is plain insulting!

Yeah, that's is! I'm insulted by their lack of "savoir vivre"!


Marius said...

I've never understood selfishness or lack of consideration. On the occasion that I do unintentionally wrong someone, say with a careless forwarding, I'll feel like a total ass for days.(at least I rarely make the same mistake twice) ;-) I could never just ignore someone I had hired in the hopes that they would just go away. But as you said, they are more trouble than they are worth, and we love you, so you are still on the plus side of the ledger. :-)

Anonymous said...

I would not consider that being fired- if you had not contacted them you still would not be aware of the situation. Clearly, a key piece of their business model is mismanagement. Ultimately, you are dodging a bullet here. This sounds like it calls for a toast to your good fortune more than anyhting else.

Attila The Mom said...

I'm with Monkey! More trouble than they're worth! Do a happy dance and have a cookie. ;-)

Charlie said...

Isn't it just like a Mom (Attila in this case) to mention cookies when you're feeling down?

I guess you know from reading my last rant that I was a public accountant for many years. I too had a client do the same thing to me and yes, it hurt—it made me doubt my abilities, when in fact I knew that my abilities were just fine.

What it turned out to be was cheapness—the client either found someone else, or met someone in a bar, that would do his books for ten or twenty dollars less a month than my fee.

I'm going to guess that is the case with your ex-client; it's nothing personal with you, but rather $$$ and pure rudeness.

Annake said...

Wow, I've never heard of anyone doing that before. Did they think you were psychic? I guess you were supposed to stare into your crystal ball to find out how many clients you still had and how many dropped you. That's just craziness. Yep, you're better off without such inconsiderate people to deal with.

tNb said...

I agree with Monkey - time to celebrate good riddance! One less trouble client means you have time and energy to work with great clients. :-)

Brave Astronaut said...

In the words of Nate Fisher from Six Feet Under, "Sometimes, I hate the living."

Customer service is most definitely one of the first and most severe casualties of the economic crisis. Cheer up. Think of the beach, and the sand, and the mai-tais, and the warmth, and . . .

lizgwiz said...

They are completely lacking in class.

Traceytreasure said...

Oh gosh! Sorry about that! Consider yourself lucky, I guess if they are going to be like THAT!!

Maybe you should go to Hawaii and stay until the hammering is done upstairs!! Sorry about that!!


Stinkypaw said...

marius: Don't feel like an ass, it's not worth it, and like you said, you did learn something so it's all good. Thank you for your kind accounting affection! :-)

monkey: Thanks I'll toast to that - bbut in this case it will peannut butter on toast! ;-)

atm: I will, thanks!

charlie: Thank you sir, and in their case they were cheap from the start. Never had to negociate so much as I did with them last year!

annake: Even if I do know I'm better off without them, it still "hurts" a little... oh well, like everything else, I'll get over it! ;-)

tnb: Right! More time for a new client or blogging! Hee.

brave a: I get melancolic when I think of all that (beach, sand, etc) but I always loved Nate!

lizgwiz: That they do!

traceyt: Thanks. It's quiet today, they are finally done...now that I have a headache!

noble pig said...

Most likely in their own embarrasment chose to handle it in this way. They don't get it and never will. You it was them and not you!