A good friend and colleague of mine had a favorite saying: "Never burn
your bridges - you never know when you may have to cross them again."
Brie Dodson wrote:
> Dear Callie,
> More advice from the peanut gallery. ;-) I've been in some uncomfortable
> situations as well. At this point, it seems that the thing to do is cut
> your losses, get the **** off the project and do what you can to keep
> him from ever badmouthing you. For me in these circumstances, it's
> essential to stay on cordial terms regardless of what I think of the
> client. Otherwise you're bound to run into him again ... the world is so
> small ... and he'll talk about you ... the spectre of phrases like
> "difficult to work with," "unreliable," etc. is a dreadfully frightening
> prospect, and worth avoiding.
> Although it would certainly be to your benefit to decline in writing,
> you will doubtless wind up on the phone with him at some point, and it's
> well to be prepared. Here are some words to try (grit teeth, bite tongue
> till blood runs down into shoe) ...
> "Hi, XXX. I've reviewed your changes to the contract. I'd love to do
> this for you, but I'm afraid I won't be able to. The sad fact is that I
> can't afford to give you the kind of discount I know you'd like to have.
> I really do appreciate your thinking of me." (And I'll never do business
> with you as long as I live ...)
> He might say: I'm disappointed ... You've left me hanging ... How will I
> find anyone at this late date ... The exposure ... Your career ...
> You can continue right on:
> "It means a lot that you thought of me. You know I'd do it for free if I
> could. I have enough other commitments that I just can't. You know how
> it is, I have to eat! Thanks again for giving me a chance to bid on
> this. Let me know how it turns out for you." Click ...
> Well, the above approach is not morally satisfying, but the reasons for
> it are what they are. And if he does get you in a corner on the phone,
> don't let yourself be bullied into "explaining." It always works to
> repeat a few key phrases: "I just won't be able to." "I'm afraid I
> can't." "I have other commitments ... and I must honor them as best I
> Besides, we don't always know what is behind another person's thinking.
> Civility can forestall many a bad consequence.
> Good luck.
> Brie Dodson Studio
> (703) 597-7163
> 9712 Ashby Road
> Fairfax, VA 22031
> On Tuesday, July 23, 2002, at 07:08 PM, Callie Mack wrote:
> > Thanks, Brie. No, he's certainly not a friend after this. Your
> > suggestion is a
> > good one.
> > Not paying sales tax is not illegal here in CA - but it means I have to
> > eat
> > the tax, since the State Board wants it from somebody. I wonder if he
> > expects
> > the TV he buys to actually cost $399? Does he tell the store he won't
> > pay tax?
> > He also seems to think that when he contacts for an illustration, that
> > means
> > he gets the art. I don't usually send the client my original
> > illustrations,
> > and certainly not for a fee like that!
> > Callie
> > Brie Dodson wrote:
> >> Dear Callie,
> >> Try this, in writing:
> >> "Thank you for returning your alterations to the contract, but upon
> >> reflection, I do not believe this is a project I can take on at this
> >> time."
> >> My two cents' worth: Don't say, write, or imply anything that can blow
> >> back at you; it always does. Don't even allow the possibility of being
> >> misquoted or summarized in a negative way. Above all, don't explain. If
> >> he asks why you suddenly can't do the project, just say, "I simply
> >> can't."
> >> He is not what I'd call a friend!
> >> Brie
> >> On Tuesday, July 23, 2002, at 05:34 PM, Callie Mack wrote:
> >>>> Dear Sci-arters,
> >>> Just to update you on what happened with my contract - the client sent
> >>> back a
> >>> signed contract BUT he wrote in a clause insisting that I send him the
> >>> original
> >>> AND he is not paying the 7.75% sales tax on the $300 fee.
> >>> At this point I don't really know what I should do. (I know what I'd
> >>> LIKE to do
> >>> but I'm not sure it would be wise. What's the email symbol for
> >>> blowing a
> >>> raspberry?) I'm going to complete the drawing, since it is looking
> >>> good
> >>> and I
> >>> can use it for other projects. I can do a high-res scan, so that the
> >>> illustration is available to me even if I sent him the original (he's
> >>> only
> >>> getting one-time use for reproduction), but I don't know that I feel
> >>> like doing
> >>> that. I'm tempted to tell him that the other biologist can use the art
> >>> for the
> >>> cover, gratis, that I'm keeping the original and he can keep his
> >>> check. I find
> >>> it hard to believe that anyone could be that stingy and picky, and
> >>> then
> >>> have the
> >>> nerve to demand the original.
> >>> Just sign me,
> >>> "Steamed in San Diego"
> >>> Callie Mack
> >>> --
> >>> Callie Mack Illustration
> >>> firstname.lastname@example.org
> >>> Tel/fax (619) 461-7050
> >>> Tel. (619) 698-9512
> > --
> > Callie Mack Illustration
> > email@example.com
> > Tel/fax (619) 461-7050
> > Tel. (619) 698-9512
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Gail W. Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI 49014-5076