Let’s ask the audience

“Under the header Frustration”

I recieved a forwarded e-mail that went a little something like this:

Hi guys,

I am part of a <type of consultancy> consultancy, <name of consultancy>, and in a nutshell, we basically <operations of consultancy>

I’m looking for writers, flash programmers and artits, graphic designers who are willing to work full time, part-time or even on project basis! We basically work in a virtual environment which means you have very flexible hours and you can work from the house as long as you have a PC.

Know anyone or interested yourself? Please ask them to send me their resumes and portfolios to <email of consulting director>.

Thanks! <consulting director>

“Post your comments”

“Under the header Frustration”

UPDATE: I am here to admit that this post is as unprofessional as the issue it discusses. For that I am sorry, but I will not take this down for the following reasons

  • This is a personal blog, as much as I’m itching to email blast this (to protect people), I am keeping it contained here.
  • It may be an issue of personal or professional. but it’s my blog, not the NY Times, not Technocrati, or Slashdot, which the whole world visits, therefore I have no problems if you take it with a grain of salt. If the whole world sees it though, then I too have no problems with that since I’ve been itching to shout this to the world (2 years for that matter).
  • And I DID NOT mention names… so what are you complaining about? hehehehe. This could be a “rumor” for all it’s worth.
  • I figured, that if ever I had to explain myself, instead of getting some facts mixed up, I could just point them out to this post – as it has a somewhat detailed overview of the whole situation.
  • In time, it’ll just be buried along with the other posts no one cares to read, so it’s not that much of a risk really.

Remember that post that discussed how some person was not paying me my dues? This was from that persons’ company! Of course the person who actually sent the letter is innocent, since he was just doing his job.

I may be aggressive, but I am still a nice guy and still would like to believe in human beings. I hope to God Almighty that that man would realize his ways and have a change of heart and do what is only fair and just. Because of such belief, I’ve purposely edited all mentions of names (aside from my own) and email addresses to protect those who have wronged me.

Now you may be thinking why did I react so negatively to that e-mail? Read on young padawan…

Before I begin, here’s an introduction.

I met the guy in 2002, January 07, 2002 (according to my logs) to be precise. Someone referred me to him, and he contacted me for a freelance project. This project was exactly as stated in the letter and I took the project. And was paid.

NOTE: I realize that I made a mistake in saying a backlog of 3 years since I met him 2002 hahaha. I must admit I exaggerated.

He then contacted me a couple of months later and we then got into an agreement that I go part time (since my package rates were quite high) I guess hiring me as part time was better since he could drop the rate, which was fine by me since I get to get paid monthly instead of a per-project basis.

This is where everything started turning sour. I got paid a couple of times, then had some issues, (fees delayed, etc.) which we both ironed out. I will not get into the details, but the logs are here explaining everything. Suffice to say we agreed on paying me the backlog of a couple of months (at a lower rate).

The log entry I have pasted below was way after the fact of that agreement, but it nonetheless was still about that. And we both said enough in the discussion that clearly states the settlement we agreed on.

But of course through the course of the discussion, there are a few notes to be considered. Take particular notice of those in bold as they basically sum up the conversation.

Session Start (<me>:<contractor>): Mon Nov 10 15:32:08 2003 <me> mr <contractor>? <contractor> hi carlo.. hold on please.. <contractor> sorry we missed our meeting last week… <contractor> how have you been? <me> very well <me> =) <contractor> how do we deal with this what i oue you..? <contractor> i really want to pay you.. <me> i was thinking to just stick with the last discussion <me> but the “gives” never came <contractor> but i also feel it was a lot and i dont have sufficient funds now.. <contractor> its been hard on our side.. <me> i see, well if its a matter of lumpsumming it <me> then i dont mind the staggered payment <me> the best we can do is, since wala na naman ako work for you, then there is no incurring rate on your side for my “services” di ba? <contractor> i will have to schedule it slowly.. <contractor> no projects <contractor> no recurring rate <contractor> we stopped that <contractor> months back <me> so ang pede, just include a person (me) sa monthly paychecks mo to the rest of the poeple here <contractor> since there was no projec <me> untill the balance is filled <contractor> how much was your last count <me> we agreed on 1500 USD <me> i can pull up the logs if ou want <me> so ang suggestion ko <contractor> i think so.. <me> staggered as normal salary rate <contractor> 1500 <contractor> ok.. <me> untill 1.5k is filled <contractor> ok.. <me> pero para walang gulo, strict dapat sa sceduling <contractor> i cant start until jan <me> ksemahirap na kunwari a month or two walang dumating <contractor> money is really bad now.. <me> so baka magkagulo lang <me> i understand <me> i have no problems with the staggered payment <contractor> but its my concern to pay you.. <contractor> yes we’ll staggard.. until covered.. <me> k january is fine <me> meron pang mga xmas bonus so i wont expect ou to take out a chunk of that for my payment <me> so starting jan, how much per month yung palagay mo? <contractor> may be 250 <me> tas to the date every month (or 15/30 like any other job) para maestimate natin when it will be paid in full <me> k no problem <contractor> every month 30 <me> k so whole 250 every 30th? <me> so 6 months di ba? <me> by june next year, i’ll be out of your hair =) <me> hehehehe <contractor> yes and when money comes in.. i will accelerate <contractor> never out of your hair.. things <contractor> could improve and projects may come.. <contractor> we have some piled up for next year.. <me> ic <contractor> one never knows <me> true true <me> but to make you feel better <me> kahit me pumasok, dont feel forced to accellerate <me> kahit normal pa rin, basta sure ung monthly <contractor> ok <contractor> thanks.. <me> kse i know fluctuating yung trabaho natin so you never know kelan gipit <contractor> sorry for the delay in talking to you.. <me> so mabuti na meron stock ng pera <contractor> this is a deall will keep it and i will tell <financial officer>. <me> can i assume there will be no delays sa monthly? <contractor> i will try.. <contractor> no gurantees.. will do our best… <me> i mean worst i could imagine, is if money comes (na dapat accellerate) you could offset that to dry months para sure <me> hehehhe <me> ok fair enough <contractor> thanks for understanding <me> basta give me a heads up so i can keep track, mahirap yung hindi ko alam bigalang the month itself walang papasok <contractor> ok <extraneous kwentuhan edited out> <contractor> thanks.. bye for now.. take care <me> you too Session Close (<contractor>): Mon Nov 10 15:49:26 2003

Suffice to say, that did jack-shit for me. No money ever came in.

The following session was an offline message he sent me (I wasn’t at the PC so I couldn’t respond):

Session Start (<me>:<contractor>): Wed Feb 25 09:00:22 2004 <contractor> hi carlo <contractor> i am sorry.. <contractor> i missed our fee for you for the past two months.. <contractor> business has been very slow.. and we caould not catch uyp <contractor> with the payments.. <contractor> honestly.. <contractor> i dont know when i can come up with the payment for you.. hopefully i can schedule some small portions by March.. <contractor> i will do my best.. <contractor> sorry once again.. Session Close (<contractor>): Wed Feb 25 09:08:40 2004

That was the last time he has ever attempted to contact me, or even replied to ANY of my attempts to contact HIM (IM, e-mail, etc.)

I ended up talking a lot to the financial officer, who was more than accomodating as she seemed to empathize with my situation

Now I don’t know about you, but wasn’t it obvious that I was still trying to be the nice guy? A backlog that long and I still am patient enough to consider all those alternatives I suggested to him.

What if I had a kid and was the breadwinner of my family, you think a company being in “financial trouble” would cut it as an excuse… more so for a COUPLE OF YEARS?

For me, the humane thing to do if your company was really in trouble – file a chapter 11, close shop, liquidate assets so you can pay those who deserve to be paid! Of course this applies to a humane situation.

In the other correspondences before those I’ve posted (they were the last I had with him), He would contact me informing me of delays, which I really appreciated. In retrospect, I noticed that it was the same damn story over and over. But I was kind enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I’m sure anyone would agree with me that it was simply too much to hold off money that long, and simply tell the person “Hey we’re kinda in a tight spot, we dunno when the hell we can pay you.” Why didn’t he just add something like “You should’ve asked for the cash upfront years ago so you wouldn’t be screwed today”

Is that what people get after being nice? Hell, no wonder the corporate world is so unethical! It seems to be a habit of corporate bigwigs to screw other people.

Take note, as I said in my previous post, that I’m settling for 70% of the agreed debt just to expedite the process, when I have every right to demand interest. I guess I just want it done and over with… and forget about him totally.

The letter was pretty insulting, and you damn well know why. If you still don’t get it, lemme post my offline IM to him right after I got the forward (in the hopes he has the decency to answer it).

<me> <contractor>, I’ve received a forward from <employee>about recruiting people for <consultancy>

<me> in light of our “situation” I am amazed at how this could be? I thought finances were declining, but here you are openly looking for applicants. You still haven’t been answering any of my IMs

<me> <employee> is a friend of mine from college, and as much as I never wanted him to know about this, I don’t think I can just keep quiet about it anymore. It’s very insulting how you avoid me, or telling <financial officer> that there aren’t any funds, yet telling your <employee> to start recruiting more people.

<me> If you don’t have any money as you said (or your current staff being delayed in their salary for months now), how do you expect to pay the newcomers? Do you plan to pay them at all, or just try to do to them what you’re trying to do to me? I will not have it

<me> please naman <contractor> When we part ways, I want to remember you with the respect I’ve had for you when we first met. Ok ka naman tao nun eh, ano na nangyari? bakit ka ganito now?

<me> don’t do this to people… it’s wrong. and don’t do it for me or anyone else, do it for yourself na rin.

Now folks, you tell me if I’m “overreacting?”

**UPDATE!!! (08.16.2004)**

I got to talk to him finally, and it was ugly, but I did follow his request to post his sentiments here… after all, I am a FAIR person =)

Take note of the lines in bold

Session Start (<me>:<contractor>): Mon Aug 16 11:01:28 2004 <me> i hear you’re online <contractor> i feel.. <contractor> that you and I have bad misunderstanding.. <contractor> for months.. in the agreement.. <contractor> you just kept quiyte without doing work.. <contractor> so i may willing to compromise and pay you $750.. <contractor> since money is tight.. <contractor> if you agree.. <contractor> <financial officer> wil pay you $200 today.. <me> wait before we come to agreements <contractor> and then $200 next week.. <me> linawin muna natin lahat <contractor>* no need. to clarify anything..

NOTE: Take note of this gesture, the only time I would be afraid of clarifications is if I knew that I may have been wrong… but that’s just me.

<me> hindi, kse issue sa iyo yung “months na yon” without work as you say <contractor> <financial officer> will ask yuou to <contractor> sign an agreement for $750.. <contractor> if you disagree.. <contractor> then i am unwilling to pay more.. because of my sentiments..

NOTE: The NERVE! Talk about closed minded. Such cop-out thing to say – never mind if you’re screwing someone, just give them a choice.

<contractor> i checked my records.. <contractor> and you waited to do nothing.. for six months.. <me> can you send me those logs?

NOTE: He didn’t send me his logs BTW. Anyways, more on this “issue” downstairs.

<contractor> and wanted to collect money without a single informing you were not doing any project. <me> i can disprove that right here right now <contractor> for me this not good business practice onyour part.. <contractor> thats my final position.. <me> so ano yung mga pinag-uupload ko noon?

NOTE: I was referring to the work I’ve delivered (or as he says, “non-work” hehehe)”

<contractor> i was taken advantage of.. <contractor> thats how i feel.. <contractor> you were paid. for the past work.. <contractor> lets not talk any more.. <contractor> thats my final proposal.. <contractor> and if you dont agree.. <contractor> it is even more harder to deal with this.. <contractor> we have reached a point of no return on this.. <contractor> so make up your mind.. <contractor> and let <financial officer> now.. <contractor> thanks and good luck to you.. <contractor> i hope you learn to be a better contractor..where you also think of your clienst concerns.. and not just expect to get paid with out doing anywork,..

NOTE: Amazing how he can make “normal employee behaviour” seem so evil huh? And amazing how he can simply say that “you didn’t work” I have tons of files here proving the output of that so called “non-work.”

  • YOU DO NOT put a responsibility on a programmer with regards to the amount of work he’s doing – as it is not on the job description. A programmer has a responsibility to keep track of work/orders that are given to him/her, not orders that may (or may not) be given. – that’s what secretaries, project managers, and bosses are for.
  • YOU DO NOT settle on an agreement that has already stipulated “former” issues, only to take back those words without warning. If you have issues, address them immediately… and when you come to a decision (as you did years ago), be a man and stick with it!
  • YOU DO NOT disappear without a trace, and force people to go to drastic measures just for you to respond. You talk big about responsibility… WHAT IN GOD’S NAME WERE YOU DOING!? If you were so “right,” then why did you hide?
  • You call it “not being a good contractor.” No; I call it “mismanagement.” I’ve had it with people in authority passing blame of their own stupidity to the footsoldiers under them.

<me> k bigwig, i guess you win, you’re amazing you know that?

NOTE: I was supposed to say amazingly evil… I swear, how does he sleep at night!?

<contractor> you should also post this comments in your blog.. to tell the whole picture..

NOTE: Goddamn fucking right I will! So when I look back at my life through this blog, I can tell my children to take very good care when in a corporate machine!

<me> i’m here listening to you because i do care what you feel

NOTE: Believe me, I really did!

<contractor> no such thing.. <me> but you don’t want to hear my side <contractor> good luck with you.. <contractor> and <financial officer> e will talk with you.. <contractor> i am out of here.. <me> if you harbored such sentiments before pa, then yung discussion sa blog should never have been

NOTE: the first log pasted above

<me>if you felt that strong about it, we couldve talked more to clarify things <me>but for all it’s worth, i’ll post na rin this kahit hindi ka nakikinig, so if i post it sa blog, alam ng tao yung whole picture <me>this was an issue with <project manager> ‘s project if i remember correctly. 6 months yung span ng project and yes i admit that I wasn’t working at my full potential. but not because i refused to work, but simply i wasnt informed as often

CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: I was hired part time indefinitely, and I initially asked for more than 6 months. More on this below

<me> when <project manager> would give me stuff to do, i DO it. so don’t dare say i didn’t do anything <me> as far as keeping quiet about something. look at it this way: <me> you are hired, you follow orders <me> the orders you are given , you DO <me> that’s what i did <me> if there were times na parang wala ako ginagawa, i assumed because walang gagawin <me> and since part time ako, i was doing something else, so naturally the “no orders” were a welcome part <me> but i never, EVER thought that there were in fact orders held up, which i had the obligation to follow up <me> and i rememer that fight we had before <me> the backlog was actually MORE than the 1.5 <me> but after you agreeieng to pay <me> i also put it down there in then to 1.5 since i realized how you felt <me> so 1.5 already had the compensation for the NON-work taken out of it

NOTE: Just checked my logs, I was still into the project till December, but after arguing, I thought it be fair to decrease the number of months to 6 (instead of 8, or 2k USD) to appease both.

You know why I can say this without batting an eyelash? Because the company I’m now in, I’m on a manegerial level (a co-boss) and we’ve experienced lulls in development too, but I NEVER EVER took it against the team and everyone was still paid. They were ready to work (as was I), but we didn’t give them any work sometimes. It’s because of that trust and professionalism [in that context], that I’m living a good life recently.

<me> plus the fact that the delay was years… i need not tell the possible implications <me> when we had that conversation (and agreement) <me> i thought that despite both of our misunderstandings, that we had come to a mutual compromize. that’s why i based everything on that <me> plus the fact that the post on my blog was after the fact of the actual agreement, then you reinforced your resolve that you accepted the previously stipulated facts <me> oh well, yon lang naman. so for all its worth, i’m sorry if you felt that way, but after everything, i’m sure even YOU know na hindi ko fault yon. kse if you felt that way, we couldve settled that particular issue the day when we had that argument <me> and id’ve probably accepted the 750 with open arms, but after all these years i was banking on the word of a man, which i take seriously because i respected you.

NOTE: So much for that. respectED is the operative term.

Session Close (<contractor>): Mon Aug 16 11:51:42 2004

So there we have it. I took the $750, I guess being screwed over once in a while is good, as it makes it easier to play hardball with the succeeding clients. Now, when I take on projects, rigid conditions/requirements ko, and the clients are always happy. Ask for a list and I’ll gladly provide you with one 😉 Maybe karma was working all this time after all.

I didn’t leave anything out. I showed both of our faults here so I’m probably as guilty as him… so it’s not a question of degree or professionalism anymore. I guess I just want to stress out the fact na all things being equal, how should this charade end? For those who know me and how much I make nowadays, you know money isn’t the issue here 😉

I really feel sorry for the guy, it’s like a classic case of “corruption,” not the political sense of the word, but simply how a person “falls” into an undesirable state of mind, and being. I take back the words I said about them going bankrupt. That was too selfish of me. I hope they get back on track so he can become the respectable person he once was.

**UPDATE AGAIN!!! (10.11.2004)**

Well it’s October 11, 2004 and even the $750 is not yet here. (look above, and you’ll see we agreed on the payment August, not counting the years of backlog) I wrote him an email stating this:

I thought we both wanted to get this over with? Ok na nga 750 kse sabi mo para matapos na lahat… and I’ve accepted it na regardless of how I felt.

How come the backlog seems no different now that you owe me 750, to when you owed me 1500? When one of the primary reasons you also demanded 750 nalang was para matapos na to at magkalimutan na. In spite of our differences regarding the issues, can you honestly say that you’re in the right this time?

Please lang <contractor> – just pay the 750. I already accepted that condition. You were already at an advantage when I accepted it against my feelings. What more do you want pa?

Can you at least, please, stay true to your word of paying half of the 1500 so we can finally call it quits?

I’m trying my very best to sound as passive as I can since I just want to get this over with and for us to forget about each other – and not hold ill-feelings in the long run. Why are you deliberately creating a situation where animosity between us can extend further pa?

As usual, no response… I’ve talked to some of the ex employees of the company, and there are cases similar to mine… I’m sure that is enough to prove who the wrong party is.

May God have mercy on his soul.

2 Replies to “Let’s ask the audience”

  1. oops, may update na pala. olats… ka. hehehe

    let me take back what i said. “i didn’t said that.”

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