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I'm a beginning TW/editor, and would appreciate some advice. Is there a way
I can (tactfully) extricate myself from a work project and collect the money
the client owes me? (He still owes me for about 40 hours of work.) Also,
what could I have done to keep this situation from escalating?
Six months ago, my boss assigned me a Total Quality Management (TQM) book to
edit. When I delivered my "final" edit to the client, he handed me a revised
copy of the book featuring new chapters and a general overhaul. A few days
later he gave me a *new* new version, which used only a small portion of my
earlier edit. We offered to introduce him to a more useful, standardized
author/editor work system, but he begged off, saying that he'd already been
working on this project for five years and this was the only way he could
forsee finishing it.
Meetings with this client went as follows: He'd raise an issue. I'd offer a
recommendation. He'd ask my boss the SAME QUESTION. My boss would either
say, "Ask her; I don't know much about that," or else repeat exactly what I
had just said. If my boss wasn't present, the client would disregard any of
my comments save praise, and mostly wanted to talk about the powerful impact
his book would have.
At the initial assignment I had given him my home phone so he could reach
me, as he is not Internet-saavy and I am only infrequently near a phone
during the workday. One morning my husband and I were woken by him calling
to share his philosophy of trust, which he said he had just come up with. He
cornered me at work and wouldn't leave for *three hours* then called me at
home again that night to give me an overview on how his marketing plan was
coming. I've begun letting the machine take all my calls.
To date I've done seven "final" edits and two redesigns of his book. He has
plans for creating a novel incorporating the TQM principles, and also wants
me to help him create a musical, a screenplay, etc. I lack the time,
ability, interest, and patience.
Whenever I try to resign from the project he talks at me until I back down,
keeps calling me and cornering me, or adds more detail to my present
assignment. This might be harrassment, but there's not much I can do; my
boss and everyone else I work with are intimidated by him. By now I just
want out. Fortunately, my husband is relocating to a different state for an
internship, so I'll be leaving this area in a few weeks.
But I would like to get this resolved before I go.
He would like me to continue to work for him. I don't care for the
long-distance gig, and he won't take no for an answer. Should I just mail
him his manuscript and the other TQM material he's given me and take off?
Would it be best to just forget about the check he owes me and chalk this
one up to a learning experience?
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