ss_blog_claim=94169b0a83b496d7c00add723702f80a

Apr 3, 2012

Frustrated with Freelancing!

I've decided to deviate from my (now) usual political rants to rant about something else, LOL

Don't get me wrong, I love oDesk but am becoming frustrated with the way clients are allowed to steal work from contractors, get by with not paying for work turned in, etc. I get it's a contract work situation, not an employment contract, but other freelance sites have systems in place to protect their contractors from situations like this (I know...I'm signed on to a couple of them).

A recent client of mine hired me for an article, to be ghostwritten in someone else's voice. I didn't really have time for it but really need the money, as I'm not working steadily at all and have bills to pay. I put current projects on hold to juggle the deadlines for each, understanding this one was due sooner.

In any case, I turned it in before the deadline, asking my client to respond to let me know if it meets his needs and, as is standard for me, reminding him of my complimentary revision policy to make sure it did. No response. I waited 2 weeks, tackling other work and staying very busy between it and home/family events, then tried contacting him again. This time I requested either feedback on my work or payment if it met his needs as is. Again, no response.

At this point, I'm starting to get mad. I can see he's been on the site hiring for other jobs but he can't take 2 minutes out to hold up his end of our contract. I contacted oDesk, knowing it's not their policy to allow disputes on Fixed Price projects (which I normally avoid but he had established a history of paying them, so I took a chance). However, the rep contacted my client on my behalf to request payment...still no response.

I waited a few more days, then finally decided to make my work illegal to steal. I check the site it was written for periodically and, so far, it hasn't been added but I wanted to be sure my work stayed my own, unless I was getting paid for it. I'm also considering putting an attorney on retainer but would like to avoid it if possible. I've already got two cases pending (custody thing with my ex and a medical dispute), so being forced to create a third would leave me seething and that's just no good for anyone that has to deal with me.

Being a karma balance person, I prefer to believe he'll shoot himself in the foot with his poor business practices, with no involvement on my part necessary. However, being a Scorpio, I'm prepared to ensure both feet get in the way if I'm pushed to do so. We'll see how it goes but I'm rooting for the more peaceful resolution. Anger's the easiest emotion for me to express but it's too easy...I still prefer the self-righteous indignation that comes with sitting by and watching idiots do themselves in, odd as that sounds for a hippy to admit.

Anyway, on a more positive note, the majority of my clients have been awesome, including my most current one! He's a god-send, very patient with my ever-shifting schedule of duties and encouraging of the work I produce. While I'd prefer getting more done for him each week (my schedule's fault, not his!), he's very much the type of client I enjoy working for. I've had many clients like him since starting with oDesk and they are the ones who make the stress of working from home worthwhile.

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