Six weeks ago, a friend asked me to do some paper work for his company; it was needed within three days. I emailed it to him and, since I didn't know the going rate, I phoned him to discuss a reasonable fee. He mentioned a figure, which I found acceptable.
Two-to-three weeks later I contacted him again saying I hadn't heard from him, but the figure mentioned was what we'd decided, and I'd be happy to do such work again if asked.
It's now been another two weeks. My most recent email mentioned our lack of contact and that I expected to receive compensation. All correspondence was very cordial, but I didn't want to phone him.
Although not close, we've known each other for 30 years. What now?
Losing a Friend?
Phone him. If you're about to lose/end the friendship through this incident, you be the one who's upfront. Tell him you're surprised to have not yet received the owed amount, when he experienced no wait at all for his request from you.
You may not get your money if he's been delaying on purpose, so your next move depends on the amount. If it's high enough for you to bother, or you're angry enough at being exploited, consider Small Claims Court (a lawyer isn't necessary but you need to research how to go about making a claim). You'll need some proof - your emails - of the work and agreed price.
He's the loser in this situation, even if you don't get your money, because you'll surely tell the story among mutual acquaintances.
My still-young, seemingly healthy father recently passed away unexpectedly. My good friend's lack of compassion has left me hurt and confused. She attended the funeral but only called me twice since then. All my other friends have been calling, texting, emailing, and visiting me throughout this difficult time.
I spoke with her over the phone last week but didn't feel like sharing what I was going through because she was MIA for the past month. Our conversation mostly centered on her life and her wedding next June.
She asked if I was attending an imminent party at her home for her bridesmaids and groomsmen. I said I'd attend but am having second thoughts. I asked her if she wanted to meet with me on a weekday and she replied, "weekdays aren't good, with work then working out." I was shocked and speechless.
I know everyone has different ways of dealing with death, but her self-centeredness has blindsided me. She made time to see other friends and even enjoyed a girls' night out according to her Facebook updates.
Should I still attend her party and support her when she's been anything but a friend?
Hurt and Grieving
Losing a parent is one of life's most painful experiences, especially if you're still fairly young, but you're correct that everyone handles death differently. Some people - especially those lucky enough to not have had this experience - simply can't handle talking about it, and/or have no concept of what others are feeling.
She IS in that self-absorbed bridal state, more aware of her need to work out and plan parties than of your grief. Yet, she does consider you a friend.
Ask yourself how valuable her friendship is to you, and if you're capable of being pals after all this... in time your pain of loss will lessen, and you may feel you can enjoy her company again. Or not.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who feels guilty celebrating a birthday on Sept. 11 (Nov. 11):
Reader - "Our daughter was married on Sept. 11, 2005. She wanted a September wedding on a Saturday. The weekend of the 11th was the most convenient choice, but she worried that the date may not be the best one, considering it was such a sad day.
"After talking about it with us and others, we all decided that if we sacrificed that day to sadness and gloom, and never celebrated the joy of life, then the perpetrators of that horrible day had won their victory yet again.
"During the reception, I asked my daughter how she felt, and she told me it was the best day of her life. This never meant that 9/11 should be forgotten, but that evil should not rip a day from our lives, and that our freedom should be remembered even more."
Tip of the day:
Even when doing business with a friend, document your payment agreement.