Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sundays are no longer my friend.

There was a time when I didn't mind Sundays. They were days off, and even if work awaited on Monday, it was a kind of known quantity, sometimes satisfying, sometimes frustrating, but generally predictable. I knew what I had, and if not ideal, it was at least tolerable.

Later, Sundays became work days. I'd write, or attend work-related events. Not ideal, of course, but again predictable.

Now, Sundays are like Saturdays. As a rule, I don't hear from the people to whom I owe money, and that is the best I can say about them.

There is no point in calling those who owe me money, or from whom I would like to get work. They take weekends off, and leaving messages for them -- as I do during the week -- is futile.

So is applying for new jobs. Again, potential employers are not accessible. They can ignore me during the week, as so many have.

But I know that tomorrow is Monday, and the whole sorry routine of trying -- unsuccessfully -- to explain why I can't pay my bills begins again. I hate that; those to whom I owe money have legitimate beefs, and they don't want to hear that my clients are ignoring me. All they know is that I owe them. They are right to think that way.

I have work. I can do three or four articles for a client whose three publications are far behind in payments. And yet, when I even think about doing those assignments, I can't even begin to work on them. What little trust I had in that company is long gone.

Tomorrow, the whole sad cycle begins again. I will call the client for whom I have done work for close to a decade, but who is hurting because of the collapse of the nation's economy. He will tell me that the usual people have not signed contracts for his gig as yet, and therefore he can't give me any assignments.

Another client will tell me they haven't decided what I can do for them as of now. They will encourage me to call back next week....

Another former -- and, one hopes, future -- client will tell me to drop by and talk with them, though there is nothing they can assign me to do right now. Maybe later....

I will apply for more jobs. A friend has suggested one; it is something I might have taken 22 years ago, when I was a novice in my craft. I'll apply, but not expect anything better than a tepid reply and money that won't allow me to survive, if I get that much.

None of which will pay those bills which are past due. Those I owe are at the point where they don't want to hear excuses. I can't blame them.

Some people will say things like: "think positive!" "Visualize success!" Been there, done that, buckaroos.

The best I can hope for is to survive the week to come. It's not a sure thing.

In the meantime, I think I will allow myself to indulge in an excess of what some call Adult Beverage. It doesn't help, but somehow makes the time pass by more quickly on a Sunday night when I have no encouraging words for myself, and have no one around to deliver any positive thoughts or encouragement.

I never thought it would come to this, Jim.


Kit said...

I often have trouble with Sundays, particularly Sunday afternoons. It's the anticipation of the week.

I hope those that owe you pay-up by the end of the month.

Have these folks always been slow paying, or is this new?

Kimmywoo said...

Feckers. That's all I have to contribute about those who owe you money.

aka mag said...

I only hope that those that owe you money feel as awful about not sending it as you feel about not being able to pay your bills. In reality, based on my experiences with the same situation that you are in...I doubt it though.

Right now life is just crap for a lot of us. Wish you were closer, friends are all we seem to have these days.

MrScribbler said...

Kit -- This publisher has never been quick with the checks, but has recently gotten slower than ever.

Mag -- They don't "feel bad" about it at all. There are plenty of people with other income sources (spouses, inheritances, pensions, etc.) who will write for them if those who depend on writing to pay the bills bail out.

Justfly said...

It is a sad, sad shame that people are not paying up. It is just wrong. I hope you get some happy $$$ envelopes in the mail this week.

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