Monday, October 20, 2008

Client Relations Part II

She had always been pretty in a black Irish sort of way, always sort of flirty one day and serious the next, trying to be grownup and little girlish at the same time, being serious one minute and childlike the next, and so I wasn't quite sure which version of her was coming to see me. Sometimes she would be dressed in a business suit, and then the next time it would be bib overalls and pigtails. I had always dealt with her in the same businesslike manner, regardless of who showed up, and so, when the doorbell rang, I hastened to answer it.

She stood in the doorway clad in a vintage DVF wraparound dress, white with a shamrock green print, wearing high heels and stockings. Her dark hair fell just to her shoulders, the peekaboo bangs partially obscuring her eyes. She had a trenchcoat incongruously thrown over one shoulder, and some sort of expensive handbag held in her other hand. She flashed me a smile that didn't extend up past her mouth, her eyes retaining a vaguely haunted look, as she brushed past me on her way to the living room, where she tossed the trenchcoat on one of the wing chairs and sat down in the corner of the couch.

I began the conversation by reiterating what I had told her on the phone, that I liked her and thought she was a very nice person, but that I really couldn't extend myself out for a third year without some sort of payment plan or something more concrete than her best intentions. And I watched as her eyes softened and her mouth lost its smile, her lower lip pouting out. She stood up and began to pace back and forth, the heels clicketting loudly on the parquet floor, as she started in on a long tale of mishaps and misdeeds, of jobs that didn't pay her at the end of the week, dead end commission jobs in the garment center, her voice becoming softer and softer as she spun out her tale of woe.

"Please," she said, "don't make me beg."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Me and The Internet

I have just a few lingering complaints about the internet and how it works:

---We all visit websites that are by invitation only, and I'm always thankful to bloggers that invite me in, and take me along when they travel from address to address...many readers here will also visit toy, joy shared, slut no bounds, dirty little details, to name but a few that I read regularly, and I truly am thankful for the question is this---why, when I sign in each time and check the box that says remember me, do I have to sign in the next time, why doesn't the remember me part stick?

---I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here, but my feeling is if a blog is out there in public, I find it offputting when some of the postings become private/by invitation only. I'm not talking about the type of blog that was written up in the NYT several months ago, and read by thousands daily. I'm referring to a relatively, as far as I can see, small or medium sized readership, the story of four people, two couples, in what I read is a polyamorous relationship...if it's just for the four of them, why is it public to begin with?

---I can't remember if I ranted about this before, but it's still irking me big time. We all look at youporn, redtube, any number of other sites, just because we want to get off on what we see. A week or so ago, I stumbled across a three minute clip from a porn flick that I had seen about 5-7 years ago, called Crack Whores Of The Tenderloin, produced locally by someone here in NYC, one of the best things I'd ever seen. BUT NO CREDIT GIVEN!!! Be honest, give kudos where they are due, and don't steal from other people w/o some sort of disclaimer.

That's enought crankiness about the change to gmail is coming soon...or soon enough.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sick Of It All

Fellow blogger, business clients, family and friends, all have chided me over the years for still using AOL---and they all know that I'm the last of the Luddites, loathe to change and wary of anything different, let alone new and unknown. I come from the generation that thinks if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
But all that's going to change, and hopefully by the end of the year---here's why, in two concise paragraphs:
---I finished some work for a client last week, at an fee that was agreed upon in email some six months ago. But when I couldn't access that particular email, because AOL eats its children after about a month, unless you specifically designate it as something to be archived. And fortunately the client was honest and was able to pull up HIS gmail and "remind" me what we had agreed upon.
---The desktop computer I use for work was purchased about 5 months ago, and when my computer guy installed it and transferred everything over, he installed the British version of AOL, which comes with a very sexy voice, British pop ups, a specific screen to close out of email, etc., etc. Something has changed, not by me for sure, and AOL has started to sign itself on periodically, using whatever account was the last one's sort of like Skynet and the Terminators, with the machine thinking for itself.
Both excellent reasons to forsake AOL and move to gmail, which will happen before the end of the year. Please come along with me, and be kind enough to answer questions as I post them here.
Because I still am the Luddite, and loathe to change towards what I don't know.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Client Relations Part I

I've worked from home as a tax accountant for quite a while now. It affords me the liberty and luxury of working in jeans or sweats, unless I have to go out to a corporate client, and it allows me to make my own hours, which is of course good and bad. During tax season I wind up working twenty hour days, during the summer I can get to the beach more often than not. My referrals are all word of mouth, and I'm sometimes astonished at the number of trusting young women who will call and make an appointment to come to my "office", having just me me on the phone. Over the years I've had young magazine writers among my clientele, and they've passed my name down to other writers as they've moved on to other endeavors. Sometimes they graduate to being editors, sometimes they decide to be freelance writers, sometimes they just get fired.

Geraldine had come to me three years ago, having just lost her job at a beauty magazine. I did her tax return with the understanding that she might need a little time to pay me for my efforts, and so when the end of the year came around, I understood that she had hit a rougher patch than she had anticipated. I met with her in March to do her taxes again, and she told me a long and sad story of barely making ends meet, living from hand to mouth, and so I did her tax return for a second year, and waited once again to no avail, as the end of the year came and I still hadn't received any sort of payment for my work. How does the saying go---fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me, And so I wrote off what she owed me, and chalked it up to my bad judgment and her bad personality. The bills weren't large, and I frankly just felt annoyed that I had misjudged the situation.

And so, imagine my surprise when my caller ID lit up with her name last March...what chutzpah, I thought. And yet I answered the phone, and had a long conversation with her about her responsibilities, how I needed to make mortgage payments and put gas in my car, etc., etc., and how I really really couldn't get involved with her for a third year with no prospect of getting paid anything for my efforts. She pleaded and begged, promising that if I would see her, she would bring something to get the process started. And so, against my better judgment yet again, we made an appointment for the following week.