It is very exciting to work with your company. As a one-person operation, I work with other individuals, small businesses, and huge companies. When I work with big companies, there is a lot of potential for growth. I am just wondering, is there a requirement that I must go through some sort of pain before doing the work and getting paid for it?
I am pleased to get the chance to write articles and books for you, edit your thought pieces, or give workshops for your staff. The people working for your company are bright, hard-working, and open to learning. The work is very rewarding.
The steps I must follow to get paid are less rewarding.
It was fascinating to see your procurement operation in action. Negotiating with your people in Bangalore was very enlightening. After a month and a half of requests to change my price based on made up standards, we ended up in the same place. I know you wanted to work with me, so what was the purpose of that exercise?
When I received your message indicating that all vendors must take a 15% price cut, I was intrigued. When your customers ask you to offer your products for 15% less, do you simply give them a discount? What is the rationale for such a request? Does it tend to winnow out the best vendors, leaving you with only the cheap ones? I look forward to hearing how that came out.
I saw on a news site that you were conserving cash by “stretching payables.” I am not living hand-to-mouth. So sure, I can wait 120 days to get paid after performing the work. I am just wondering, do you mind if I delay 120 days in delivering the rest of the work I have promised you? Since your deadlines are important to me, are my deadlines of any interest to you?
I have enjoyed working with your overseas affiliates. It is like a virtual travelogue. I am sure there are reasons, probably associated with tax law, that you cannot pay me from the United States, even though that is where you are and where I am doing the work. But your affiliate keeps coming up with new requirements to allow me to get paid, along with new forms to fill out. I actually sent you all that information when we agreed to work together. Perhaps I could get a little consulting work with you where I help you with your internal communication?
When you asked me to sign up with your vendor management system, I spent the hour it took to work through and answer questions on all those Web pages. I looked up and entered all the information you requested. I wrote up a pretend document indicating that we had a non-discrimination policy, even though I am one person and do not hire anyone. I also certified that we have a non-corruption policy in place, and indicating that I would fire my only employee, myself, if I caught myself bribing anyone. May I charge you my hourly rate for the time spent creating these documents?
After filling out the forms in the vendor management system, I am now getting weekly email messages from the system about opportunities for vendors like me. I am terrified to unsubscribe, as I wonder if this will cause me not to get paid. Do you know that the people running your vendor management system are doing this? Does it matter to you?
By the way, I recently saw that after several months, your foreign affiliate actually paid me. I also noticed that the payment was about $70 less than the invoice. Your overseas accounting department appears to need to charge me for the privilege of paying me. And my bank charges me for receiving an international wire. Should I send you a bill for the shortfall, or just pad my future invoices by this amount? I could add a “working with Josh” fee — would you be okay with that?
When I reach these snags, the only people I can reach out to are my clients. These are typically senior managers within your organization. The senior managers then spend their time untangling your own accounting practices, sending notes to people who can go around them, asking for personal favors, or sometimes, in extreme cases, using their credit cards or PayPal to pay me, then sending an expense report to your accounting department.
Does this actually save your company money and make it more efficient? Does it enhance your ability to track and reduce expenses? Does it attract the best people to work with you, and encourage them to hire the best experts to work with, like me?
I was just wondering.
Everything in this post is true. The names have been removed since I hope to actually get paid eventually. And I really do love the work, the clients, and the freelance lifestyle.