Edit Yourself Out Of This Narrative

, , , , , , | Working | August 20, 2020

I’m a freelance writer and editor, so I’m always interested in new projects. I had an ongoing contract with a client for around a year, working alongside another freelancer. The other guy and I got on well, and when the project ended, he said he was getting busy with work and could use some help from me if I was up for it.

It sounded like a no-brainer — regular work and reporting to someone I already knew I worked well with.  

After the first week, he said there’d been some problems and he’d had bad feedback from the client. It had taken him as long again as I’d spent working to fix the issues. Obviously, I was mortified. I apologised profusely and said that, of course, I wouldn’t invoice him if what I’d done hadn’t been up to scratch and had actually caused him more work. I really wasn’t sure what I’d done so wrong but had no reason to doubt him.

The second week, the work was for a different client. As well as writing, it involved uploading to an online portal. As far as I could tell, I’d followed the previous examples to the letter, but the guy came back and said I’d done it all wrong and it would take him several hours to sort it out.

Hmm. Now I was getting suspicious. Again, though, I felt I couldn’t invoice him for the time I’d spent.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt one final time and agreed to do some more work the following week. Yet again, there was some issue he said he had to spend ages sorting out afterward.

I decided to go back and check what had been published online against my original work, look at publishing settings, and so on. I couldn’t see any changes.

Not wanting to burn bridges — this guy and I are both members of several online groups and forums, and he could affect my chances of getting other work — I chose not to confront him. But I told him I’d suddenly landed some more work myself and would be too busy to help him after all.

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