So much to do

And so I nipped into the “office” to print off the next 2 parts of my BCJ assignment and while the colour printer was behaving itself I thought I’d just run off a few letterheads … and a few continuation sheets, and a few invoices, and a few compliment slips. Before I knew it I’d been there for over an hour and had even joined in a TwitForum while I was there.

How do these things happen? Do you see how I’m so easily distracted? I’d been working so well and so solidly downstairs away from the pc, and all I did was nip in to print off a couple of pages … (sigh.)

Of course, while I was printing stationery I thought I may as well print off some sticky address labels (my address). But could I find the things? I know they’re in a box somewhere, and I did try several locations, but those labels ain’t ready to be found just now and they’re so expensive I can’t afford to buy any when I know I already have LOADS.

But at least I have my letterheads and invoices and compliment slips. I feel so much more … established now just by doing that one simple thing.

Other jobs I did included emptying one bag of books back into the bookcase. Little steps but the clutter is gradually diminishing. I pitched to be a walks correspondent again as well, because I received news that the magazine in question had changed their email system and there was a new contact person. So while hot, I struck. Fingers crossed.

I didn’t finish that on spec article, I didn’t even start it. But I did write an extensive outline. I expect that to be fleshed out over the next few days and once I find the old holiday snaps to scan in – if they’re ready to be found and scanned, that is – that will go off to market.

It was another study/proofing/writing day and I got quite a lot done in between too.

One job was updating the mini CV I have on the bottom of my letterheads before printing them off. This is a list of all the publications and other media I’ve appeared in or on over the years. It used to run down the side of the letterhead, but that made the actual body of the letter too narrow, so now it’s at the bottom. I was surprised at the number of new markets I had to add in.

Another job was adding a disclaimer to the invoices. Some people are trying to move from 30 day settlement to 60 day settlement, but they don’t realise that’s actually illegal unless all parties agree. And there’s the clincher. “Agree.” You don’t just “tell” someone you’re delaying their wages by another month; you discuss it and negotiate, like adults, and come to some mutually acceptable agreement.

And you need to know too that the last piece of paper that exchanges hands is the legally binding one. So my invoices now have the 30 day settlement disclaimer clearly printed at the bottom. The people who don’t argue, who don’t try and con me out of my money (note, that’s my money), I feel bad for. They’re all great and brilliant and fair and everything. But I can’t afford to wait at least 60 days for other wages when I could be spending that time working for other people who will pay me a damn sight quicker.

Statutory settlement in the UK is 30 days. Period. I don’t understand why others are happy to give up their statutory rights. Maybe they’re rich or have another income. I’m not and I don’t. And I have a mortgage to pay.

Can you imagine me calling my mortgage company and saying: “Oh, hi. Sorry, but Bloggs Inc isn’t gonna pay me for another 30 days, so that’s when you’ll get your mortgage repayment.”? Can you imagine my energy supply company not cutting off my power if I don’t pay them for another month? Can you imagine my phone still working if I haven’t paid the bill?

And can you imagine them agreeing to wait another 30 days for their wages? I don’t think so.

Ahem, sorry. Bit of a mini-rant there …

Today is more of the same. Work, I mean. Although I have some amendments to do for the annual I submitted on Tuesday. I also have invoices to raise – wahey! On my nicely printed stationery too. It’s all green again, just like it always has been, although recently, during the transition period, I was printing off best quality black copies on the laserjet.

Not sure if we’re out tonight. It’s a friend’s birthday and while she wanted to go out Saturday, we could only find someone we all wanted to watch tonight. So we may go there, or we may decide to go out tomorrow night anyway – although I can’t be late home tomorrow night.

I’m off to a church fete tomorrow, so I can complete another part of my Writers’ Bureau course. I’ll also do my shopping. Sunday it’s Father’s Day so I’m off to see my dad.

Have a great weekend.


10 thoughts on “So much to do

  1. Sarah Pearson 17 June 2011 / 9:18 am

    Some people give up their statutory rights because they don’t know what they are in the first place I imagine. It pays to keep yourself educated about such matters, especially when you’re self-employed.

    I can’t wait for the day when I’ll have a reason to justify personalised stationery and compliment slips. Right now, the only recipient would be the girls’ school, and I imagine it would leave them somewhat bemused 🙂


    • Diane 17 June 2011 / 10:16 am

      It amazes me that so many people go into business, expect to do well, but don’t even know their basic statutory rights. I’ve confronted a bougt ledger clerk about this and was told, quite adamantly, that her husband was self employed so she *knew* I was talking rubbish … I pointed her, and her husband, to the legislation concerned and she *still* wouldn’t have it. If she was looking after her husband’s books instead of an accountant, she was doing him out of his basic statutory right.

      It’s because so many ignorant or scared people do this that organisations get away with breaking the law of this land.

      The stationery is lovely, good quality paper, nice colour. 🙂


  2. devonellington 17 June 2011 / 1:55 pm

    Some people don’t know, and others are too scared to stand up for it.

    I have the deadline on my invoices, too, mimicking the contract language, and the clear statement that payments not received (rather than sent) by the deadline incur a 20% late fee, which is cumulative. In other words, the longer they wait, the more late fees stack up on each new amount.


    • Diane 17 June 2011 / 4:47 pm

      Our default is base rate + 8% but so long as we display it, we can charge what we like. Plus an admin fee.


  3. devonellington 17 June 2011 / 1:56 pm

    PS Too many “writers” are so desperate to be published they’ll agree to any length of wait time.


    • Diane 17 June 2011 / 4:48 pm

      There should be a law against it.


  4. esmeraldamac 18 June 2011 / 12:15 pm

    Hey… there are companies out there who pay on 90 days. Fortunately not in this market place!


    • Diane 18 June 2011 / 5:18 pm

      People who accept those terms are stupid or rich. Good luck to them. I just wish it didn’t impact so hard on the rest of us.


  5. esmeraldamac 20 June 2011 / 3:47 pm

    Unfortunately, the companies in question are critical stockists for the market in question. The suppliers have no choice, if they wish to remain national, mainstream companies. Fortunately, they’ve got nothing to do with freelance writing… although increasingly plenty to do with books. Publishers have started squeaking (understandably) already.


    • Diane 21 June 2011 / 10:24 am

      I know they exist and I know people/companies feel as though they don’t have any choice. Bit I still think they should negotatiate better terms. If I was told I had no choice, I’d ask for a pro-forma payment, like an advance or in 3 stages (and yes, i’ve done that), or a higher overall payment, so it’s worth waiting for. I’ve done freelance admin or accounting work for big companies, even local authorities. Every one said I had to accept their terms … Most of them ended up setting me up on 30 days, others on 14 days … despite them saying “our system is set up that way, there’s nothing we can do about it”. I’ve worked in these big finance departments and I know it can be got around.


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