We all have new experiences no matter how long we have been in this profession and this business.
I take care of my consultants. As stated several times before, they are my friend first and then business associates. We have built a great relationship over a long period of time and I know they always have my back. Therefore when involved in projects I always cover theirs.
We were involved in a project that started last summer. The permit drawings were finished in a couple of months and the tenant expected to be in before the winter, August to be exact. The contractor who spearheaded the project and help get the tenants to sign with the owner was not retained to oversee the project so instead of getting in by August, they finally got in about the end of April.
The owners was a nice guy as far a people go, but not very dependable. They always seem to be jovial and would smile and tell you they would take care of something, but it was iffy at best whether they did. My consultants did extra services for the owners above and beyond my contract with the owners. I always road the owners about making sure they got paid. I would get promises that after they got the current pay application payment the consultants would get paid, but it may end up being two or three pay apps later before they actually got their money.
Last week I receive a copy of an email sent from my consultant to one of th the owners asking about payment for an invoice that was originally dated in July of 2014. With the tenants having moved in and having seen similar invoices over the past months I decided to email the owner.
My email below (the names have been changed to protect the innocent)
It was brought to my attention that you still have unpaid invoices from work done for the upfit project? Is this so?
I would greatly appreciate it if you would pay it as I know the consultant would not have done the work if you had not asked.
It you have no intention of paying the bill, would you man up and just tell me so.
Now I know that is is not a professional sounding email, but I felt comfortable enough with the owner, that I would have said "Hi Bob" instead of "Good evening Mr. Smith" if I had run into them on the street. This was the second project I had worked on with this owner. I had bent over backward to help him on his first project. I had a comfort level with him that apparently he didn't have with me?
About five minutes later I got a phone call and by the caller ID I could see it was the owner. The conversation went something like this:
"YOU M****F*****, IF YOU EVER SEND ME ANOTHER G**D*** EMAIL LIKE THAT AGAIN, I WILL GUT YOU LIKE A PIG!:
I wasn't mad. I wasn't upset. I definitely was surprised. I went over this again and again in my mind. Apparently writing "man up" challenged his masculinity? If it had upset the owner, I could have expected a reply similar to:
"Tim I got it taken care of"
"Tim I really didn't appreciate the words or tone you used"
"Tim I was a bit insulted by your email"
But gut me like a pig? Apparently he was having a very bad day!
I did get a call from my consultant about 45 minutes later telling me he had gotten a call from the owner. He said the owner was very pleasant to him, asked him to clarify what the extra work was for and then told him he would get a check out to him next week. At the end the owner asked the consultant how much of the money ($400) was I getting? The consultant told him $0. I assume the owner would not have sent the amount owed to me because I had obviously gotten on his bad side.
I still think the client is a pleasant, but not so dependable person. I wish him no ill will, but I also will never work for him again. Not that he would ask me, but it wouldn't surprise me somewhere down the road he would forget about the phone call and contact me again.
First time I have ever been cussed out by a client. Sorry I offended him. My email was not the most professional and I was mistaken about my relationship with the owner, but I don't think the call was justified by my email. Obviously the owner did.
Just another bump in the road of life, so we move on.