Friday, October 1, 2010

Just Tell Me!

Dear Readers,

It's kind of a busy day here--dealing with a few deadlines, which frankly is a nice situation.  I'm glad to have work, and I'd like to produce some decent articles today.

At some point, I also have to send some gentle reminders to clients or potential clients who seem to have fallen off the face of the earth.  One of the most frustrating aspects of this job is dealing with a sudden lack of communication.  Past clients who won't pay up.  Supposedly current clients, who, in the past, had weekly assignments and now no longer contact you.  Potential clients who outline an idea, and when you respond with your vision of that idea and your pay rate, never reply.  

Look, I'm in the business of rejection.  I'm used to not hearing back personally on plenty of proposals/gig applications (it's like looking for a job--you mostly don't hear back from anyone.  It's frustrating, but that's life).  But if we've worked together, and you no longer need my services, please tell me.  If I'm too expensive for your project, let me know.  If I'm one of a handful of people applying for your gig, and my idea doesn't suit your project, a "thanks, but no thanks" would be nice.  

Honestly, earlier this year, I spent over a day working on an involved proposal for what would've been a neat project.  I had a question for the hiring person, and he responded right away, with a mention that he was looking forward to my application.  I sent it in and got nothing--no, "Hey, I got your application."  No, "Hey, thanks, but we're going with other people."  I don't know if hundreds of people applied for this gig, but it really felt like all the work I put into it went right down the drain.

Another gig I was shortlisted for involved another trial.  I spent several hours putting together a package of work, and while I did get a confirmation of receipt of the trial, I never heard back.  At that stage in the game, when you're only getting full-on proposals from a couple of people, have the courtesy to at least tell them they didn't get the job.  They're spending several unpaid hours trying to get this gig.  The rejection isn't the hard bit--it's the wondering if you're going to get hired.  Do you bother to set time aside in case you get the job?  Or do you keep throwing out a lot of feelers and then just deal with it when everything explodes at once and you have more work than you can really handle?

Am I being overly fussy?  Is there a way I can have better communication without being totally annoying to the person on the other end?

Your pal,

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