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The Father Of All Entitlement

, , , , , , | Right | January 4, 2023

I work in the billing office at a university. I answer the phone.

Caller: “My son is a student there and just got a work-study job. I need to have your payroll department put the check in my name and send it to me.”

I’m hoping I’ve misunderstood him.

Me: “Do you mean his work-study job where he is the employee? As in his job paycheck?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Work-study is just like any other employment with respect to payment; the check goes to the employee.”

Caller: “No, the check needs to go to me. I’m paying for his school.”

Me: “Well, that’s something you will need to work out with him. The university needs to pay the employee in accordance with labor laws.”

Caller: *Yelling* “That is unacceptable! I am entitled to that money! The university is ripping me off! I’m paying for his school, so keeping any money he makes there from me is defrauding me!”

I put him through to my managers, and the call eventually reached the head of the department before he realized that no amount of stupidity and yelling would get him what he wanted.

Counselors Are Supposed To LESSEN Your Stressin’

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | December 30, 2022

I’m still on my parents’ insurance and have been struggling with my mental health. We find a counselor within the network and call them to make sure they do accept the insurance. The receptionist runs it and tells us that they do, so we make an appointment.

I see the counselor for a few months before I determine that I’m doing better and stop seeing her.

It has been a little over half a year since seeing her when I get a call from her. She is aggressive right off the bat.

Counselor: “It turns out that we stopped accepting your insurance shortly around the time that I started seeing you, so only the first two appointments were covered. You will need to pay me for my time from the other appointments.”

Me: “How much is owed?”

Counselor: “$1,600, and I will need the entire payment right now. I can take a card number from you when you are ready.”

Me: “I don’t have $1,600 in my account. You need to call my parents and discuss it with them since it was under their insurance.”

She calls my mom.

Counselor: “It turns out we stopped accepting your insurance shortly after [My Name] started seeing me, and you now owe me $1,600.”

Mom: “When we first called, your receptionist told us that you accepted the insurance. If we had known that you no longer did, we would have found a different practice that did and wouldn’t have made any more appointments with your practice. Why were we never made aware that you stopped accepting our insurance?”

Counselor: “We didn’t catch it until now. Not my fault. I’m still going to need a payment from you.”

Mom: “I understand that it was a mistake, but it’s been months since she’s stopped seeing you, and you just discovered that you no longer accepted the insurance? I’d understand if it was paying for one or two appointments, but why wasn’t this caught sooner?”

Counselor: “I don’t know what you want me to tell you.”

Mom: “So, we have to pay for a mistake that your office made?”

There’s a long pause before the counselor responds.

Counselor: “I mean, what am I supposed to do? Fire my receptionist?”

Mom: “I’m not asking you to do that, but she’s the one that made the mistake and didn’t catch it for months. Not us.”

The counselor ended up begrudgingly accepting that it was the fault of her receptionist for letting it go on as long as it did. She decided to let it go by putting some of her unused pro bono toward the sessions.

They Teach You A Lesson, But Small Claims Court Could Teach Them Back

, , , , , , , , | Right | December 29, 2022

Some years ago, I quit my office job to be a stay-at-home mom and started a small home-based business doing freelance graphic design work. It had been a few weeks of having my website and Facebook page up and running and putting out ads when I got my first client. She wanted a simple logo created, as well as business cards designed for her herbal wellness business. I quoted her a very low price, mostly because I was excited to have a first client and I wanted to be nice. She loved the price and said that it was very reasonable and I was hired! I completed the job, she was thrilled with what I did, she paid on time, and all was well.

Over the next year, I ended up with many more design jobs for other clients and was keeping fairly busy doing it part-time while still being a mom. About a year after that first job, the same lady contacted me again. This time, she wanted some custom stickers designed, a brochure/pamphlet, and more business cards for her new colleagues. Design and printing for it all came to a nice sum of several hundred dollars. I sent her a detailed quote, which also stated that all was to be paid upon delivery of the printed items. She agreed, and I began the job.

Several weeks later, I had everything done and made an appointment to meet the client to deliver the stickers, brochures, and cards. I also sent her the invoice for the job and nicely reminded her that I needed payment at the time I gave her the items. She agreed.

She showed up and happily took all the items, but she had this sob story about how her vehicle had suddenly broken down that morning and she couldn’t pay me until her next paycheck in a week. I was still a bit naive, so I said it was fine and that she could pay me then. I’m sure you all know where this is going.

A week later, I reached out for payment and she never responded. Another week passed, and I emailed the invoice again and requested payment. Nothing. The third time I reached out, she had another excuse about how she couldn’t pay and needed more time. Again, naive me, thinking everyone in the world is as honest as I am, decided to give her the benefit of a doubt.

More weeks passed, and no response again. Blah, blah, blah, several months passed, and I finally realized that I was never going to get paid and decided to chalk it up to a lesson learned! From here on out, if someone can’t pay, they don’t get their design files or physical products! I should have known this already, I know, but like I said, I was naive. Oh, well…

Fast forward another six months. She contacted me, raving about how much she and her colleagues loved my work and how professional it looked. She asked if I would please design and print some postcard-sized ads for them to mail out to their clients to let them know of an upcoming sale event. I was surprised, to say the least.

I made up a quote for what she asked for but also included in the quote the amount she still owed me for the previous job, stipulating that the previous amount needed to be paid, plus I would need to be paid upfront for this job before I would consider doing it. I was very nice and diplomatic about it — no snark or anything.

Cue the tantrum! She was livid! How dare I demand to be paid upfront?! How could I put that previous amount owed onto the quote?! She ranted and raved about how she didn’t have the funds to pay for that previous job and I needed to get over it. She said I owed her this new project done, no matter what, because she was my first client and my whole business was built on her projects and her sharing me by word of mouth! (Her projects totaled maybe a fiftieth of what I had made total from the business; plus, I had never gotten any new clients that heard about me from her.)

After several paragraphs of her rabid ravings about how ungrateful I was and how she couldn’t believe I would do this, I couldn’t do anything but laugh. I just responded that my quote total stood and that if she didn’t like it, she was welcome to seek out a new designer.

I wished her well and moved on. After another tantrum email response, I added her email address to my spam filter, blocked her on Facebook, blocked her phone number from my phone, and moved on in life, much wiser about who I do work for and how I get paid!

Turning The Stupid Up To Eleven, Part 3

, , , , , | Right | December 28, 2022

I work in the office that manages an apartment complex. A resident hasn’t made his payments for a while, so he has been making random payments throughout one month to try and catch up.

This resident storms into the office.

Resident: *Demanding tone* “Calculate how much I’ve paid so far for my rent payment!”

After I’ve calculated everything:

Me: “Sir, as of today, you have paid a total of eleven hundred dollars.”

He has a look of success on his face and starts laughing.

Resident: “I knew it! You’re trying to rip me off! Here are all of my receipts! Add it up again!”

I add up his receipts.

Me: “Once again, sir, you have paid a total of eleven hundred dollars.”

Resident: “Wow. You guys are really something else. I knew you were screwing me over. I have paid a total of one thousand one hundred dollars! Add it again!”

I thought for a moment that he was messing with me. He was not.

Turning The Stupid Up To Eleven, Part 2
Turning The Stupid Up To Eleven

My Punctuality Sucks, But This Is Ridiculous

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2022

Once, early in my freelance writing and editing career, I novelized a screenplay a client had written, sending him sets of three chapters for approval and payment. The contract was clear that he must pay for each set of chapters before I’d start on the next set, and he was good about paying in a timely manner. We successfully made it all the way to the last three chapters, which he was to pay for before I delivered the complete manuscript.

Money hadn’t been a problem up until now, but suddenly, he couldn’t pay me the last installment. He claimed financial distress and said he’d pay as soon as he could get the money together. He asked if I’d send the chapters anyway, but I respectfully declined.

He disappeared for three years only to reemerge, claiming he’d gotten caught up in a natural disaster in which he’d lost a family member. He asked me to give him the chapters for which he’d gladly pay three times the amount he owed… as soon as he could afford it. I declined again and, again, he disappeared.

When he reemerged roughly another three years later, he told me he knew someone powerful in the entertainment industry who had promised to publish the book and make us all rich. It was a sure thing and he could prove it. He sent me a link to this person’s website, thereby proving that they (or at least their website) existed. All I needed to do was send the last three chapters.

Believe it or not, I passed on this “sure thing.” I just wanted what I was owed right then, not a larger slice of pie in the sky (which, due to the existence of gravity, is not a Thing).

Long story short, the client disappeared and reappeared yet again with promises of a huge payday and cover credit… if I’d just give him the last three chapters. When I declined once more, he was silent for about a week, then claimed he’d managed to cobble together the money, asked if he could Venmo it to me, and… crickets.

At some point in all of this, I Googled the fellow by his business handle and discovered that during one of his absences, he’d been in prison on fraud charges — more specifically, for promising something he could not produce while being paid a lot of money to produce it.

Ten years after the original contract was executed, he finally paid me what he owed (plus $25 for my trouble). I immediately sent the complete novel.

The last I heard from him, he asked if I’d design a cover for the book. I have the perfect image for it, but he’s disappeared again.

Suffice it to say that my contracts now have a rider for late fees.