I am grumpy.
I am grumpy because I am getting very fed up with a particular client of ours who really doesn't seem to appreciate that we, too, are trying to run a business; and that it's not on to pencil us for about a million days, and then give off a strong odour that we are offering them substandard technicians when they have left it so late to firm up that neither B or Young Keith are available and we allocate some of our part-time (but equally competent) crew to their jobs.
Or, who firm up a job (sometimes even issuing a purchase order, which is supposed to be legally binding) and then think nothing of cancelling it, sometimes after we have turned down other work because their job was a definite goer.
Or, on the few occasions when we have hired kit from them over the last twelve months, have ALWAYS invoiced us for quite a lot more than their original quote.
Or who take nearly three months to pay and then contra invoices without discussing it first when you are counting on that money going in to the bank to pay your payroll.
Or, who ring up on the bounce and ask B to go and tail in for them as a favour when they didn't think it necessary to employ him on the job.
Of course there is an element of 'your scratch our back, we'll scratch yours' with any client that you like and enjoy working with; but both of us feel at the moment that we have been doing a lot of back-scratching and have quite itchy backs ourselves. You do reach a point where you start to wonder whether the financial remuneration is worth the hassle.
And the trouble with people who play power-games (which is what I perceive has been happening over the last few weeks) is that when you get to the end of your rope and lay your thing down, as we did in an email that we composed to them last night, they will probably perceive that as YOU engaging in power games as well.
B is a very laid back kind of person; and that sometimes gives people the mistaken impression that he can be taken advantage of. That isn't the case - he just has a very high tolerance for being fucked around and has a zen-like gift for letting things that aren't that important flow over him.
However, even he eventually reaches the end of his rope.
And that is where we are this morning; in a polite, non-confrontational, (I hope) calm 'please don't fuck us around any more' kind of way.
We've reached the point that the possibility of them taking offence at us laying our thing down about booking/unbooking crew and never booking us again, is actually a viable alternative to having to unpick the chaos that any interaction with them causes - the fact that they are a nice crowd and fun to actually work with not withstanding.
I have broken my Lenten Resoultion already - I am off to be sick now, and then I am going to load up my beehive pictures for my next post.