I Wonder What Happened To…

I haven’t been freelancing much lately. I took on a 9-5 day job that leaves less time for a side hustle. It’s fine. I wasn’t very good at collecting payment anyway and I like this job because it reliably pays me twice a month. Since winter is coming, the idea of having a roof over my head trumps the urge to freelance right now.

I like freelancing. Being my own boss, setting my own hours, picking and choosing who to work with. But I love getting paid as a freelancer. That was always the hardest part: finding paying gigs. And by “paying” I mean pays more than minimum wage. I mean really? .01 cents a word? What the hell is that? Then, if I could find a reasonably paying gig (or one that accepted my rates because I’m not cheap), I would invoice them and wait and wait and wait and wait. I usually ended up never collecting. It’s a pain in the ass to try and sue or turn it over to collections. So, I would let it go and chalk it up to the sucky side of freelancing.

Every now and then, I wonder about these people that never paid me. Did their business continue? Was it just a pipe dream? Was it all just a scam to see how much they could make me do? I’ll probably never know. I’ve chalked it up to a learning experience (which, I’m told, is priceless). Now I’m far better at picking clients. But it’s also why I have a day job.

I was out and about for said day job and saw a sign for one of my old clients (who owes me money. See? Bad at collecting) for a new location for his business. Good for him, I thought. He actually did manage to stay solvent. Bravo. I was curious how well he was doing and decided to Google him. I wasn’t going to hound him for the money. I really was curious. See, the last time I did work for him he was running said business out of his parents’ basement. Whatever. I don’t judge. It was working for him.

The first result told me he had opened a place above ground. The second result told me that not long after I fired him for non-payment (that sounds much better than I never got paid and blew him off) he was arrested. For solicitation. And running a prostitution ring out of the business in the basement of Mom and Dad.

Yikes.

I won’t go into details, but he did some time and just finished his probation a few months ago. It’s not really a sense of closure, but at least now I know why he didn’t pay me. And I’m glad he didn’t want to barter. I don’t think I’ll be chasing this payment. He’s got other things to worry about.

I’m going to take a shower now.

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