Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm Teetering On The Edge

I try not to whine and complain alot here on my blog (I save that to dump on my family LOL) but I've just gotta get this off of my chest. Back around the first of March the Island King got a call from a vey well known international real estate company. They are having a real estate auction and need photos of all of the properties involved. We were really excited to be working for this particular company and were thinking that the exposure would be good for our business. The Island King went to a meeting with the broker for the company and a few other big-wig types and made a presentation of what he could do for them. They loved his ideas and agreed to his price but they needed this done as fast as possible because the auction was to be held in the middle of April and the marketing material needed to go out ASAP. That meant that all of our other clients would have to take a back seat until the properties for the auction were shot but we thought that would be ok. So for the first three weeks of March the Island King worked like a madman shooting a lot of properties and getting the photos ready. He got it all done and delivered on time without any problems and the company was very happy with his work. One of the things that was discussed in the initial meeting was that payment would need to be rendered within 2 weeks of completing the project and the money man at the meeting told him that would be no problem. I am the money person in our business and I have a hard rule that ALL new clients must pay half down before the Island King starts the project - because you would be amazed at the people living in big homes on the water and driving around town in their Hummers who don't pay their bills. So anyway the Island King is supposed to get half down to start the project but when he tells them that they tell him that the woman in charge of accounting is out of town and that she will send him his check in full as soon as the project is complete and since it's a time sensitive thing can he do that. He tells them yes. He's thinking that this is an international company and that he'll have no problem getting his money. So he finishes the project and they love his work. I send out an invoice on March 20th and am expecting payment by the first of April. Because we pushed all of our other clients back for most of March there was no money coming in but since I'm expecting a big check around the first of April that's not a problem. But... the first of April came and went with no check. I sent an email to the woman in charge of paying the invoice and got no response. I sent 7 more emails over the next week - still nothing. I called her office 12 times and she wouldn't answer her phone or return my calls. By now the Island King is back shooting for his regular clients but I'm a month behind on my bills and this is a BIG check I'm waiting for. And I'm really pissed that the woman won't call me back or answer my emails. So I call the local office and the broker is never available to take my calls but his secretary tells me she will contact accounting and see that the check is sent. Another week goes by and still no check. I've continued calling and sending emails but am still getting no response. By now I've had to dip into our savings to make ends meet and our savings are still low from the fact that the Island King had no work from October through December of last year. To say that I'm mad is an understatement. Last Wednesday I called the broker again and again was told he couldn't take my call and I lost it. I told his secretary that if he didn't call me back before the day was over that I was coming down to their office and I was going to show my butt until someone talked to me. An hour later I get an email from the broker. He says he's not in charge of the money but that I'm talking to the right people and that he's sure I'll get paid. AAGGGHH!! I'm not talking to anyone because no one will call me back! I sent him a really mean email telling him -again- that I'm not talking to anyone and that while he may not be in charge of the money he's damn sure the man who hired us and that I expect him to handle this. The next morning I get an email from a woman in Orlando where their accounting department is telling me that she thought our check had been mailed weeks ago and she gave me the name and number for the finance director and said I should contact her directly. So I call and guess what - the woman doesn't answer her phone - or return my calls or my emails. By now I'm so angry I can't even see straight. I WANT MY MONEY! We're talking about almost $8000 dollars! Not only do I want the money I NEED the money and I need it BAD! So last night I fell over the edge and I sent her one last email and said that if I didn't hear from her today that I was contacting my lawyer and that I would sue their ass off if they use even one of the photos he shot. And at 7:30 this morning I started calling her and leaving my name and number on her voice mail. I've been calling every 5 minutes and I just got a message that her mail box is full. As soon as she empties it I'm gonna start all over again and I'll fill that box up over and over again until she calls me back. I'm just sick over this whole mess and I'm furious that the local broker who hired us is acting like the money part isn't his problem. He hired us and it's his responsibility to see that we're paid. Last night the Island King (who doesn't like to make waves) told me that he's afraid these people won't use him again if I really show my ass. That led to a big fight because no matter how big this company is if they won't pay their bill then we don't want to work for them again - ever. As far as I'm concerned if they ever do call us again they will have to pay UP FRONT before he ever even picks up his camera.
I think the thing that has made me the maddest is their lack of response. I can understand a billing mix up but what I can't deal with is the fact that these people can't take 5 minutes to return a call or email to let me know what's going on.

So if you're watching the news in the next day or two and see a woman with a gun who's gone beserk in an office in Orlando you'll know that's me. Cards and letters while I'm in jail will be greatly appreciated LOL
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