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Rude Prospects

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So today I had an unfortunate experience that I wanted to share. I'm not looking for a pat on the back, but I thought I would share just in case this happens to anyone else.

 

I had a brief conversation with a prospect the other day and verbally agreed to do a very small (two hour) project for her next month. Due to several factors, including changes that she made to the project details, I knew immediately that this was not going to work for me. I called her to let her know that I wouldn't be able to do the project after all.

 

I have never done that before ... however, we had nothing in writing, she had not even asked my rate, and the project was not scheduled to be done for several weeks yet.

 

Well, she was not happy. I understood her frustration, but I was completely taken aback at the rant she left on my VM. It was very unnerving, but makes me glad that I made the decision not to work with her now, instead of months down the road. She ended by telling me that she thought I was unprofessional, and that she was not impressed. She seems oblivious to the fact that she was acting very unprofessionally, and that I was equally unimpressed. I did not voice these feelings to her, I simply continued to apologize for causing her anxiety. I wished her well with the project, and apologized that I could not help her with it. I thought that was a more professional approach. :)

 

I am confident that I provide dedicated, professional service to my clients. I also firmly believe that not everyone can work together.

 

I hope you are all having a better day!

Tracey

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Tracey,

 

Sorry to hear that you have to deal with someone like that - however, I'd say you backing out of the project is a blessing in disguise. Can you imagine working with this potential client at all?

 

No one has to be subjected to this form of "bullying" -- sometimes clients think that VAs are their employees. They forget that as VAs we too run a business and that we decide on what's best for our interests as well.

 

Kudos to you for holding-off on the imminent "word war" and keeping your cool. :angel_not:

 

And thanks for sharing too!

 

Happy Friday!

 

Jocelyn

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Tracey,

 

If I were the client I would have had more respect for you in saying that you weren't able to do this particular project now before signing a contract and starting. I would have definitely kept you in mind for other things down the road. I'd rather work with someone that knows their strengths and isn't afraid to say they need to pass on a particular assignment.

 

She really missed her chance on this one and clearly the professionalism of your business was demonstrated. Her loss.

 

As you said not everyone is suited to work with everyone.

 

~Ruth

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I recently had someone call me "missy" - she sounded like she was talking to her child. Got rid of her quick! :rolleyes:

 

-Karen

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Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your replies.

I still feel like I ruined her day, and this definitely ruined mine.

 

I learned a very valuable lesson (can you believe it, 11 years later I'm still learning lessons?!) :) - I will never, ever agree to do a project without having all of the proper paperwork signed. Had I completed a retainer agreement/project proposal, and required her to sign it before booking the project, we would be working together. I did not mention earlier that she was very nice, and I would have liked to help her (otherwise I never would have agreed to do it in the first place). Tough lesson.

 

Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks again!

Tracey

 

 

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OMG Dana!

That's just ... I'm speechless! (and that's sayin' something!)

 

I see why she got such a lovely pet-name from you!

 

Tracey

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OMG Dana!

That's just ... I'm speechless! (and that's sayin' something!)

 

I see why she got such a lovely pet-name from you!

 

Tracey

 

AND....

 

She filed a false claim with PayPal and got them to reverse about $1,500 to her (she only paid me through PayPal ONCE, and it was only for about $60)

 

THEN...

 

She filed Bankruptcy and listed my final invoice in her debts.

 

 

She better pack her marshmallows 'cuz there's a special place in Hell just for her. :forkoff::forkoff::forkoff:

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Dana: It's simply appalling how some act when working virtual. :nono:

 

I would hope that in a face-to-face office situation that these same actions and words wouldn't ever cross their minds. Somehow the virtual element gives some the impression that professionalism, mannerism, and basic respect for others is not necessary. :forkoff:

 

~Ruth

 

 

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NO WAY, Dana!! I'm gonna count my self lucky that I only got a "look here, Missy" and she paid the final invoice! Wow!

 

Karen

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Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your replies.

I still feel like I ruined her day, and this definitely ruined mine.

 

I learned a very valuable lesson (can you believe it, 11 years later I'm still learning lessons?!) :) - I will never, ever agree to do a project without having all of the proper paperwork signed. Had I completed a retainer agreement/project proposal, and required her to sign it before booking the project, we would be working together. I did not mention earlier that she was very nice, and I would have liked to help her (otherwise I never would have agreed to do it in the first place). Tough lesson.

 

Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks again!

Tracey

 

Do you suppose she called the wrong number? :blink:

 

Truly, if you had maintained control of your practice with your paperwork, etc. the changes and finally things that weren't for you would have come to the surface organically. We have to be able to see through walls and around corners with people who regard us as 'stay at home secretaries' while they perceive themselves as the REAL workers.

 

One of the very old books I listed on my office favorites gives me so much help when I want to melt down. Then, the game is still in the air because I am a human-bean with inclinations toward melt down.

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Tracey,

 

There are some people who shouldn't celebrate National Grouch Day (October 15). I hope things look brighter for you from now on.

 

Debbie Lynn

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