Creating a Monster

I don’t even have any idea how long it’s been since I was here last – maybe 3 weeks? I haven’t even logged into the blog world at all, so I hope you’re all well. Things have just become even more chaotic than previously.

Since Mark has been away training, I’d decided to throw myself heavily into my freelance business, and that’s been going really well. I was very busy in March, & that was a good feeling, acquiring new clients, etc. Last week I acquired another big client, one that seemed to have a project that was perfect for me.

Unfortunately it’s morphed into a monster, and the original 120 hours-before-April 23 that they asked of me, has turned into a never ending requirement of document revisions, add-ons, and “oh we don’t care how many hours it takes, or how many pages it’ll be, we just want it done right….”. Well that’s fine, but they don’t give me any extra on the deadline while they’re raising the bar on what they want…..

So I just had a long and painful conversation with my contact there, who has been so nice all along, letting him know basically that I’m halfway through the allotted 120 hours now, and not even halfway through the document, due to their add-ons. And I just can’t fit any more than 60 hours in between now and the deadline   – simple maths will do the trick there. I feel like I’m just bringing up the elephant in the room that nobody wants to admit to! I already have a full time job and am doing this in my spare time. There just aren’t enough hours in my week to give any more than what I originally agreed to.

But naturally they’re making it all my problem, and about how much of a predicament I’m putting them in. I feel horribly frustrated. My priority is helping them meet their deadline, but they’ve changed the goalpost numerous times now, I just can’t keep up with it.

So I’ve sent them some suggestions of science writers to network with, and have even told them I’ll cap my hours right now and won’t even charge them any more – I’ll just work on my currently-completed draft at the halfway mark, & get that perfectly squared away for them, while someone else works in parallel on the remainder. Realistically, that’s the only way they’ll meet their deadline since they keep adding to what they originally outlined.

Never turn your back on the coffee-ready mug, even for a couple of seconds…..

My poor car has also been a pain in my backside too. In 3 weeks it’s visited VW 3 times…..wheel bearings needed attention first, the car was horribly loud for a while. What a difference it made when they attended to that issue! Three days later the a/c died….and 10 days after that, my check-engine light made an appearance. More than $2000 later, it’s ok again… I was leaving VW today when they’d dealt with the engine issue, the guy who took care of me said: “See you Monday, kid!”……I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!!

On a lighter note, Mark is home again as of a couple of days ago. He’s happy to have a real bed again, and it’ll be nice to see him tomorrow. It’ll also be a welcome break for me since I’ve not stopped working, days and nights, since he went away at the beginning of March!

Sadly the nice care package that I mailed to him at Fort Polk was returned to me a week after I mailed it 😦 –   I was really annoyed because the box had been opened up, and then badly re-sealed, and 80% of the stuff I’d put in there had been taken out. Honestly, I wish whomever had delved into it had just kept it. It made me sad to think someone had been in there, going through the personal stuff I mailed, like notes and photos. Swines.

"I know you can smell burned cat fur….I just jumped on the oven, onto the open-flame-burner, scared myself to death, and now I'm feeling rather sheepish……"

OK, I’ll have to get back to my writing project…’s been good therapy taking a 15 minute break though! Hope you’re all well……one day I might even get to read again about what you’ve all been up to!


6 responses to “Creating a Monster

  1. What a tough time you’re having! Everything at once. I’ll be curious what happens with the client. I’m lucky–all I sell is books and most of them are digital. No problem with deadlines there.

    Darling cat–there’s the upside of your week/month–you have a cat who loves you.

    • I know, I’m curious to see where it all pans out. He seemed to be living in denial on the phone. It really was the 800 lb gorilla that nobody wanted to acknowledge! But I’ve given them links and email addresses to use to get help, so I feel ok about my stance. I’m not abandoning them – just trying to maximize their chances of meeting this seemingly-increasingly unrealistic deadline.

      And yes, darling cat at least provides me with some comic relief!!

  2. Hey Nicky
    You poor thing! I’ve missed you from the blogosphere and was wondering if everything was OK! I’m so sorry that things have been so hectic and my blood was boiling reading about Mark’s package. You’re too kind with ‘swines’!
    I’m glad you’ve given your client an ultimatum and suggestion for a manageable way forward. I think too often we just put up and shut up instead of putting our own sanity first! I hope that all gets sorted out soon and you manage to claw back some valuable ‘you’ time.
    I also want to say a hearty ‘thank you’! I’m in the middle of a situation with some people that I thought were good friends. I’ve been pretty upset over this past few days and, although I’ve been able to sound off to, and have received lots of cuddles from, my amazing family – your post reminds me of the therapeutic value in pouring it out on paper! I can’t write about it publicly, but I’m off to open a new Word document and have a good old private off-load!
    I sincerely hope that things quieten down a bit for you and I look forward to hopefully seeing you back to regular blogging soon. X

    • Oh no, sorry to hear your woes too, Jane. It’s demoralizing when so-called friends turn on you. Hope you managed to get some resolution there, even if it was just a glass of wine to help you wave it all off in your mind! Hope things are better now. I’m coming to the last 4 days of my involvement in this project. Looking forward to having my life back then.

  3. Hang in there Brit. And go you, for picking up new clients, and for standing your ground with them.
    I expect that before too long, you’ll have a reputation as one of the most reliable, integrity-ous people in the business.
    Keep on rockin, and we’ll be here when you come around.
    And have a great weekend!

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