Think of the exposure!

Four words that score my heart like fingernails across a blackboard.

It is an unbelievably arrogant statement, as if the client is so important that his use of my services will draw crowds of eager customers, hell-bent on paying me, while he actually didn’t.

It isn’t an uncommon practice: the current president of the US is known for evading payment by trying to flatter his hapless service providers.

The other side of this coin is when a client will try to evade payment by saying that the work is not what he or she asked for, and then will get Cousin Dorothy or Nephew Cecil to create a facsimile in MS Paint. When said client is busted for his or her duplicity they will deny that the new article looks anything like the three options provided by me. Most likely their excuse will consist, in large part, of “instead, we used my favourite font”—and I’m not offering any prizes for guessing what those might be. I have over 30 years experience in design and content writing—your nephew will never catch up. Ever.

One of my more amusing encounters was when a client complained about the squiggles on the image—my personal watermark—because it meant that they couldn’t use it on their site or paperwork. Gosh, pay me and I might just send you the watermark-free file, in high-res too! (Yeah, that blurry look you were getting is because I sent low-res files to stop your thieving ways.)

And finally, the client who pays no attention to email requests for payment. Or ignores WhatsApp messages and phone calls. I have a special level of hell for them: being outed on social media. The small-scale hashtag campaign to grab their attention—a reminder of their parsimonious ways.