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Hi all,

 

This is both a rant and question of how to handle a situation I guess.

 

So Ive been working hard to get somewhere in my field for a while now and its slow progress, but recently a large company with a lot of money (being in the financial sector) contacted me for a project. Whats really weird is that my boyfriend worked for them doing the same type of work a year or two ago. He is a lot more successful than me currently and has been doing it for longer.

 

He's talked about this client before and how they were pretty much a nightmare to work with but payed big. They even hired someone after he refused to work with them anymore, to copy his work! But here I am struggling and that money would help me tremendously, so I wanted to at least hear what they had to say.

 

So my boyfriend and I decided on a rate to pitch this company. To my surprise they accepted and set up a phone call. While on this 30-40 minute phone call they told me all about this project and they basically ended up implying that they want this project to look like the work my boyfriend did. Now in my field this is considered pretty blatant copying and its not really cool. I told them I could try to make it fit in with what he's done but without blatantly ripping him off. It felt really bad after how much they had complimented "my work" but finding out they really just wanted me to copy someone else's work. And my boyfriend of all people. I already struggle with comparing myself to him, and this was a pretty devastating blow.

 

And now I just got an email that said circumstances have changed and they can no longer move forward with the rates they already agreed to :/. I know its probably for the best but do I even need to respond? I would probably never work with them in the future and I really hate how they wasted my time, insulting both my work and integrity. I even had to take time out of my day to get ready for the actual video call (like why did it have to be video?!), and then just sit in my house the rest of the day like an idiot with my hair makeup and outfit done. I feel awful right now.

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The details are a bit vague but I'd set out an outline of what you will and won't do as part of the contract and negotiate with them. It doesn't sound set in stone unless they've given you a clear idea of what you should copy or create. The economy world-wide isn't doing so well right now and I'm surprised you've got an offer for some work. If money is an issue and it's a lowered rate, I'd just start thinking about an outline and go from there provided you have a conversation first with your boyfriend disclosing the extent of what you're doing in this position.

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The details are a bit vague but I'd set out an outline of what you will and won't do as part of the contract and negotiate with them. It doesn't sound set in stone unless they've given you a clear idea of what you should copy or create. The economy world-wide isn't doing so well right now and I'm surprised you've got an offer for some work. If money is an issue and it's a lowered rate, I'd just start thinking about an outline and go from there provided you have a conversation first with your boyfriend disclosing the extent of what you're doing in this position.

 

Well they actually reached out again saying they cant move forward with the budget we previously decided upon. So there wont be any contract, unless they're expecting me to beg and lower my rates. I wont do that because the project is literally a rewards program that spontaneously doubles their clients paychecks lol. They have plenty to spare. Besides its a fraction of what they payed my boyfriend. Im just upset and wondering if I even have to reply to them after they wasted so much time and are just shady people in general.

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Well they actually reached out again saying they cant move forward with the budget we previously decided upon. So there wont be any contract, unless they're expecting me to beg and lower my rates. I wont do that because the project is literally a rewards program that spontaneously doubles their clients paychecks lol. They have plenty to spare. Besides its a fraction of what they payed my boyfriend. Im just upset and wondering if I even have to reply to them after they wasted so much time and are just shady people in general.

 

I would reply and thank them for their time. Your boyfriend did work for them pre-pandemic a year or two ago. Times have changed. It never hurts to stay humble and at least thank an employer for their time and consideration.

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I would reply and thank them for their time. Your boyfriend did work for them pre-pandemic a year or two ago. Times have changed. It never hurts to stay humble and at least thank an employer for their time and consideration.

 

Really?! What about my time? I spent 40 minutes on the phone with them! They are a bank in no way affected by this situation, or why would they be giving away free money just because? lol did you even read my post?

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That sounds frustrating. Hugs.

 

I've recently had some setback in work too and for a while got quite emotional with it. Different story but essentially I felt unappreciated and meanwhile dissatisfied with my progress in my career or I won't have to be dealing with these people (so I thought!). Took me a moment to get over it and eventually recognize it was more of a waste of my time and energy to get upset with people who are, ultimately, merely professional agents and nothing more in my life. There is no point holding the kind of expectations for them like I would for a friend. They are not my friend and will stay that way. I also realized that there could be such disappointments and setbacks no matter where I am in my career, so it doesn't have to be a verdict against me or my achievements. I'm trying to use that energy of anger to fuel my work so I can get where I want sooner.

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That sounds frustrating. Hugs.

 

I've recently had some setback in work too and for a while got quite emotional with it. Different story but essentially I felt unappreciated and meanwhile dissatisfied with my progress in my career or I won't have to be dealing with these people (so I thought!). Took me a moment to get over it and eventually recognize it was more of a waste of my time and energy to get upset with people who are, ultimately, merely professional agents and nothing more in my life. There is no point holding the kind of expectations for them like I would for a friend. They are not my friend and will stay that way. I also realized that there could be such disappointments and setbacks no matter where I am in my career, so it doesn't have to be a verdict against me or my achievements. I'm trying to use that energy of anger to fuel my work so I can get where I want sooner.

 

Hey,

 

This is actually a really good perspective to have. Not taking it personal and whatnot. They seem pretty problematic regardless of me or what I've done. Thanks for this.

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I think it’s a good opportunity to reply and attempt to negotiate for exactly what you want. Seriously, just for practice. The worst they can do is accept your counter offer!

 

Yeah the problem is they are basically asking me to copy, and to do so cheaply when I know this exact company paid my own boyfriend around 1000 usd for things that would have taken him 1 hour max, in addition to a ton of other more involved work. Lets just say he made what some people make in a year with them. You get it right? Me doing the same exact type of work, perhaps even more, literally copying it in fact, and getting paid substantially less. I think the worst I can do in this case is trample all over my dignity because that practically reeks of desperation and low worth in my opinion.

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Yeah the problem is they are basically asking me to copy, and to do so cheaply when I know this exact company paid my own boyfriend around 1000 usd for things that would have taken him 1 hour max, in addition to a ton of other more involved work. Lets just say he made what some people make in a year with them. You get it right? Me doing the same exact type of work, perhaps even more, literally copying it in fact, and getting paid substantially less.

 

Understood.

 

I think the worst I can do in this case is trample all over my dignity because that practically reeks of desperation and low worth in my opinion.

 

It sounds like you would only trample all over your dignity if you agreed to work for them, and/or work for them for less than what your boyfriend made.

 

What I'm saying is, use this as an opportunity to sharpen your negotiating skills.

 

You don't want to work for them anyway, so you have nothing to lose by countering with the $$ you want.

 

They can't reject you more than they already have.

 

In fact, the worst case would be that they agree and offer you the job on your terms.

 

Then you can reject them based on your principals if you want. You don't have to take the job.

 

It's better to gain practical experience in being bold than it is to skulk away feeling insulted and demoralized.

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Business is business. Its not personal. They are letting you know its not going to happen. The professional thing to do is to reply with a thank you and maybe in the future we will cross paths again.

 

Its ridiculous for you to feel you should be compensated for 40 minutes out of your life and doing your hair. If you really feel you should be compensated for your time, say that upfront.

 

Professionally speaking, you will meet with companies and nothing may come of it many times throughout your career. Until its signed on the line, its all just talk.

 

Toughen up your skin and stop comparing yourself to your bf. Work on your own skills and stay focused on you. That is the only way to succeed.... When you are the hardest working person in the room, someone is bound to notice. Its not gonna happen this time. move on. but don't burn bridges just being petty.

 

Lastly, don't judge a company by what others say. Make your own judgments. I've worked places that others bad mouthed or whatever and I had a good expereince. If a company, your boss, co-workers, hours, pay, WHATEVER is horrible, its on you to change it. Not the company to make you happy. They aren't your mum. They act in their best interest. And its on you to act on yours. If that means a phony smile via email with a thanks, so be it.

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If you want to succeed, don't cut off your nose to spite your face and stop looking at work and business as something personal. It is not.

 

If you are a contractor, then it's a large part of your job to do whatever makes the client happy. If they want you to copy someone's work because they like it, so be it. If they want you to use poop brown color in an ad, you can advise them against it, but if they insist, you document it in writing and do whatever the eff they want. What the client wants, likes, or needs is never about you. The more you understand this, the more you'll achieve your desire for success.

 

Bidding for projects - that's always on you. That's your form of marketing efforts. Nobody is exempt from this or gets paid for it. You get paid when you close the deal.

 

That said, be realistic. Times have changed abruptly and everyone is suddenly looking at costs and looking how to cut back and be conservative about money. You can be rude and just drop off or you can respond with a counter offer and have money in the bank when you are done. What someone else thought about the client is irrelevant to you. Your relationship with them might be completely different and much more successful....or less.... It's up to you really and how you manage things. Ultimately, understand that some things, you are competing globally - your bf might have gotten $1000, but they can easily hire some guy in India or Philippines for $100 for the same thing and job done. Beyond just $, you need to consider marketing potential for yourself. If you put out there that this bank is your client, how much additional well paid business is that going to bring in for you because you just added power and credibility? Think bigger, broader, smarter and more long term instead of "my ego got hurt today."

 

At the end of the day, business is NOT about what your competitors think or consider right or wrong, it's about how much $$$$$ you land in your bank account. $$$ is winning and your competition clapping their hands because you won't copy.....that's the definition of losing. Get your perspective straight.

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Ultimately, understand that some things, you are competing globally - your bf might have gotten $1000, but they can easily hire some guy in India or Philippines for $100 for the same thing and job done.

 

That is sooooooooo true. I see it all the time in my industry, especially where graphics are concerned.

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I find it problematic that the average american is so complacent to corporate greed.

 

Its not that they don’t have the money, its that they are not held accountable to pay fair wages while their CEOs get millions just in bonuses. And I might agree with you if, once again, their program wasn’t literally giving away free money at random. I think that can’t be overstressed enough in this particular case.

 

And what is there to negotiate? The starting point was already much less. They agreed to it. Scheduled a phone call, talked for 40 minuted and then went back on something they already agreed upon. Furthermore I don’t need exposure from them. Im not starting at level 0 and This is not the type of work I would necessarily want to be known for. Besides I have other work, I just saw this as one that could pay a substantial amount in uncertain times.

Edited by blitzkrieged
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And if they can hire someone from India as mentioned, why wouldn't they? Why even contact me or someone like my boyfriend. Think about that one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Because they have options. How do you know that they haven't contacted a contractor from overseas in addition to contracting you? Maybe that's why your offer plummeted the way it did.

 

I find it problematic that the average american is so complacent to corporate greed.

 

Its not that they don’t have the money, its that they are not held accountable to pay fair wages while their CEOs get millions just in bonuses. And I might agree with you if, once again, their program wasn’t literally giving away free money at random. I think that can’t be overstressed enough in this particular case.

 

And what is there to negotiate? The starting point was already much less. They agreed to it. Scheduled a phone call, talked for 40 minuted and then went back on something they already agreed upon. Furthermore I don’t need exposure from them. Im not starting at level 0 and This is not the type of work I would necessarily want to be known for. Besides I have other work, I just saw this as one that could pay a substantial amount in uncertain times.

 

I don't think your argument makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. But I see no point in arguing with you. Bottom line is, it's your life.

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Because they have options. How do you know that they haven't contacted a contractor from overseas in addition to contracting you? Maybe that's why your offer plummeted the way it did.

 

 

 

I don't think your argument makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. But I see no point in arguing with you. Bottom line is, it's your life.

 

 

If you don't think it makes sense let me know why?

 

1. I think it makes perfect sense that if they have money they should pay me decently. At least comparable to what they have paid in the past for similar work.

 

2. They know I live in the united states and my bills are in dollars. Now let me ask you why they would waste THEIR time as well, if they didn't understand that, and didn't comprehend the initial quote?

 

Its just if you're going to even bother replying take one second to think of the situation, because I dont think your answer made close to any sense.

 

 

Maybe their options aren't so great because not only does my boyfriend refuse to work with them (which is why they try to hire people to copy), but where did the guy go who copied after him? I even looked them up and there was another girl who did the SAME type of work, albeit in her own style and theres no trace of that except on her own portfolio. It would seem as though they're not the best client for an extended relationship based on what I can only call common sense (which by the way would greatly reduce their options, unless they're willing to pay).

Edited by blitzkrieged
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What is this symbol?

And if they can hire someone from India as mentioned, why wouldn't they? Why even contact me or someone like my boyfriend. Think about that one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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The issue in your earlier post was whether or not to reply to a changed offer in rates. As a general rule, it is a good idea to respond professionally. It's good practice even if you don't want to. I can't tell you how many times I'd rather have archived an email string but have had to be present at a meeting or respond because it's what you do especially if you do eventually work for the company of your dreams. As for the pay, you won't be encouraging anyone to pay you a higher amount by getting angry or upset. You're completely entitled to that and if you're annoyed and insulted, use it as inspiration and find some place else or some other work that will satisfy your hunger to do better.

 

From your level of frustration, maybe this isn't the right kind of work to try to get into despite the difficult economic situation. Maybe it was a good thought or an idea. But now it's not. Don't waste your energy. I hope your boyfriend isn't putting pressure on you or anyone else in your family or immediate circle. Let this go if it's not right for you.

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The issue in your earlier post was whether or not to reply to a changed offer in rates. As a general rule, it is a good idea to respond professionally. It's good practice even if you don't want to. I can't tell you how many times I'd rather have archived an email string but have had to be present at a meeting or respond because it's what you do especially if you do eventually work for the company of your dreams. As for the pay, you won't be encouraging anyone to pay you a higher amount by getting angry or upset. You're completely entitled to that and if you're annoyed and insulted, use it as inspiration and find some place else or some other work that will satisfy your hunger to do better.

 

From your level of frustration, maybe this isn't the right kind of work to try to get into despite the difficult economic situation. Maybe it was a good thought or an idea. But now it's not. Don't waste your energy. I hope your boyfriend isn't putting pressure on you or anyone else in your family or immediate circle. Let this go if it's not right for you.

 

So you can't tell me how many times you did something you didn't want to... because...."it's what you do?" Is it though? Or is it what YOU do because someone told you you're obligated to absolutely every soul to be sweet and polite?

 

I'm just not sure exactly what its good practice for ya know? Using words? Being a doormat? I email almost every day. I know how to say thank you when someone does something I'm grateful for, or we at least have a good respectful working relationship.

 

I'm self employed and its not rare for individuals and companies to reach out, tell me all about their thing, ask for prices, say they will get back to me and never come around. This is normal and I don't really care or get too upset. It doesn't cost me much time or effort to email someone, and how else would they know if its a good fit?

 

In this case I'd like them to know that when they waste my time like this or play haggling games, I'm not exactly grateful. When they gush about my work, then ask me to copy someone else's, they should understand they are doing nobody's career a favor and it's hella shady. And yes even doing my hair and getting ready and talking on the phone.. I am BUSY, it does make a difference in my world. Even a voice call would have been better, but they wanted video.

 

What do they have to do with the company of my dreams and my future? They are far from that, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that, where they go around badmouthing some private contractor to completely unrelated companies over drinks lol. As if this one company will destroy my whole career for not responding back to one email that frankly needs no response?? Its hard to even imagine it coming out not passive aggressive, as i DONT want to give the impression its ok to do this. Some of the responses here are more upsetting than this situation was in the first place! lol. So you're saying... I should lower my rates because... theres a deadly virus crushing some other sectors of the economy, so now its a free for all pass to loot the working/professional class??

 

And see this is why I never post on this forum lol. I am not a sophisticated robot, I'm a human being and as such, of course I get upset when I feel disrespected and blown away by the audacity of some people. I have emotions like you probably are a real emotional wreck in your own life, but on here you a cold hard logic calculator and a stoic warrior, and Im supposed to be too. ok then.

 

It's clear they changed course for some other reason, not cost, but thats what they're telling me to save face, and everyone is like wHy dOnT yoU NeGotiTate! They probably felt uncomfortable asking me to rip off my boyfriend, once they found out thats who he was to me. I thought that was obvious though!

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I don't think it's smart to mix emotions with your work. I get that you are upset but you're making it very difficult for employers to hire you based on that mindset. You're always welcome to share what you feel and I understand you're upset and feeling down like your title in your thread says. Personal attacks aren't welcome, by the way. We can make a point without getting personal or rude.

 

Of course you're under no obligation to respond to the employer at all. If you're so adamant against it, why bother what anyone else thinks or even ask what others think?

 

I was only suggesting earlier to turn your feelings of frustration towards more inspiration, do something else with your energy. Don't waste it arguing over issues that are not in your power to change.

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I'm not making it 'very difficult' for anyone to hire me. I went along with their whole game until this point, there is no counter offer just a nebulous 'we cant move forward with the rates'. Never a budget proposal, they asked me what I want. I think I was very fair. Meaning I could lower it out of desperation and still have them want to lower it further. I know this project would be a lot of work and a headache. And if expecting respect is a "mindset" that makes me hard to work with, Im not sure I want to work with people like that. Myself and others do have experience and judgement in our field you know, and these types of clients never tend to get better after the initial impression.

 

I was just curious to see if anyone had a smarter/better response than silence or a decent reason I should say anything at all.

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