Why I Fired My Boss
Alright, beautiful people, the title of this post may seem a little different from this article, but it’s the same thing.
I’m looking for a bit of advice, but I’m also having a little bit of a rant.
Who’s had experience firing bad boss/client as a freelancer or a worker.
And how do you go about it in a way that causes minimal damage? And without terminating your image.
I’ve never had to do it before, but it looks like I’m about to learn.
I’ve got a retainer with a client, and once that retainer is up, I don’t wish to renew it. If possible, I want to leave the door open to a few projects a month, but if it’s the option between ditching them entirely or continuing to have them dominate my work.
I’d rather just drop them and hope that I can fill the gap in my calendar quickly.
Things started off really well, but the moment I got this client as a retainer, things started going really sour. Mind games, weird, unnecessary threats, no one respecting me or my time anymore.
It all pretty much started the moment the retainer was signed to be my steady client.
These clients started developing this weird sense of ‘ownership’ over me. This came to the point where I have to remind them that I’m not an employee, and they’re not my only clients.
They’ve become an absolute drain on my time. Their retainer is 16 hours a week, from what we signed. But I waste hours trying to convince them that this is a freelance job.
They also seem to expect that, even though they only reserve 16 hours of my time, I should be keeping all 40 hours available for them every week on the off chance that they might have work for me.
And if I’m working on another client’s work and can’t immediately drop everything to focus on them when they call on me, they absolutely flip out.
It’s doing my head in, and is actually making it really difficult to pick up extra clients to fill in my remaining hours. They take up so much time, that it feels like I don’t have the capacity to take on another client, even though I should technically have at least an extra 10 billable hours for new clients. And I can’t charge for those hours they’re wasting!
Now, they’ve decided that, because we have the retainer, I should have to drive to their office every week to do a day of work with them. When I pointed out that it was a one and a half hour drive just to get to their office, they started off by criticising me for wanting to drive ‘because it’s bad for the environment’. Apparently, my explanation that I live in an area where there are no trains, and the bus would take closer to three hours just to get there was not an acceptable enough reason. I then asked them why they would want to pay for three hours of my time a week just for me to sit in a car, and then sit in their office. They acted shocked that I would ‘dare’ ask them to pay me for time that I otherwise could have been dedicating to other work (and NOT polluting the air by driving).
They’re real time vampires, and they don’t seem to care that every hour they waste is an hour I can’t get paid for.
For a long time, I’ve gone above and beyond for them, but I’m honestly at the end of my tether and I barely make it through each week with them.
Right now, I’m miserable and they’re making me hate my life as a freelance copywriter.
Every Sunday I sit here hating the idea of tomorrow, and every time I get a call from them, I feel this pang of anxiety. Until now, I’ve loved my work, so it upsets me that they’re ruining my passion for it.
Anyone who has had experience dealing with bad clients, I’d love to hear from you. At the moment I’m stuck until the retainer is out, but I’m mentally preparing myself to find a way to drop them without making them angry, abusive or having them try to ruin my reputation.