Sunday, November 11, 2007

I quit my job

I've been freelancing for a woman for a several months now. She actually sent me home with a mac so I could work when she needs me to. It's been really wonderful to make some extra money for us, and I really do like what I do.

Recently though, my client discovered she has breast cancer. So she started farming out her work, so that she can have the next few weeks unencumbered. She gave me two jobs to work on. One for a local Chamber of Commerce, and another for a car dealership which does a weekly newspaper ad. I knew the next couple of weeks would be very full and somewhat stressful, but I felt I owed it to my client to be there for her. Plus, to be honest, all those billable hours would be really nice.

Well after several days of working on the Chamber of Commerce thing, my client added up the hours and decided it would be best to give the job back to them. Apparently even paying me at less than what she was billing, she would lose money. It was a combination of reasons, really. The customer made many changes which had not been included in the original quote, and passing the thing on further down the line meant communication was being lost; kind of like the telephone game. So I spent four hours on something before I was told that it needed to be completely redesigned, at which time I spent another four hours redesigning it. If my client had not been ill and distracted, I'm sure the information would have been passed on correctly the first time around, but that was not the case, and I spent a lot of time doing work which was wrong. So in the end she (rightly) decided it was best to give the job back to the agency and let them deal with it.

Then we have the car thing. These folks are completely unprofessional. I'm not going into the details of the whole thing, but the bottom line is they were supposed to have had the ad all approved so I could upload it to the newspaper by noon on Thursday, and Friday at 5:30 is when I was finally able to upload it.

So I told my client that I would not be able cover the car ad for her until she returned to working full time. It would make me a slave to the house on Thursdays and Fridays and wasn't fair to the boys. So Saturday morning she came and took her computer back so she could give it to someone who could cover for her.

My feelings are so mixed. Bottom line is that I made a choice to stay home and raise my children, and homeschool them, and to expect them to entertain themselves two days a week for the next several was not fair. Not to mention that we would have to cancel plans already made for those days.

I also feel frustrated that my client left feeling that I took way longer to do the work than she would have. I know this would not be the case had she been her normal self - instructions would not have been missed, and I certainly would not have had to spend the enormous amount of time I had to gathering all the files together from all the different places she had it stored. I only hope that when she is herself again that she is able to see that I am still valuable to her, and that the time I spent on all her work is justified. "If you always do your best, there is no way you can judge yourself." Man, this book rocks. It is my life preserver.

There is also a piece of me which feels proud on a couple of levels. First, I have my priorities straight. Second, I feel that car dealership and the agency who represented them really were unprofessional. I refuse to work with people who don't respect me, especially after I explained my circumstances to make sure they were okay with my time limitations.

Finally though, I am dealing with the whole money thing. It doesn't seem fair that society judges people on their worth according to their monetary worth. And that that viewpoint is so prevalent that it has rubbed off on me, even though consciously I know I what I contribute to my family is worth more than some extra money. If I could just get my husband on board with that...