my client constantly pesters me and micromanages my every move

A reader writes:

I work as a contractor for a lice-removal company (I’m a recruiter). My tasks aren’t particularly time-sensitive — think mass mailings, follow-up texts, and phone calls. This is my second job; I work as a secretary for a local university as well. I have two questions about the company I contract with.

First, my client harasses me from mid-morning until fairly late at night (9-10 p.m.) despite knowing that I have other commitments. Questions range from, “When are you going to log in to work?” to “What are you doing?” to “What about Task Y?” and the client becomes increasingly hostile if I don’t answer immediately. I’ve clarified my position as a contractor twice (no set hours, will communicate about the work I’m doing and when I’m doing it, other commitments mean I am not always available for immediate response) and the client reacted with anger both times. I work reliably in a consistent routine and if I need to change that routine I let the client know — but the constant harassment is making me anxious, defensive, and unhappy. The client also expects that if I’m going to change my schedule for any reason, I will clear it with her in advance, and this ranges from things like “I’m taking a nap before sending emails this afternoon” to “my son has a play I need to attend in three weeks.” Essentially, I have a set schedule despite being a contractor, I’m required to get permission to change it even by an hour, and she is constantly pestering me about work times and what else I’m doing with my life. How do I get this to stop? Is it even appropriate for me to expect it to stop?

The second question has to do with pay. When I was hired, I was instructed to invoice every Sunday for the hours I worked the previous week and further told, “We pay weekly.” I’ve had several instances now where a check has not arrived for 2-4 weeks and, when I complain, I’m told that there “is no process” for payroll and that “things happen.” The client further says that pay takes 7-10 business days to arrive and that time is counted from when they submit payroll to the bank, which can vary based on “whether our payroll person went to a party the night before” or “whether we’re too busy to do payroll.” The client finished up by telling me that the whole mess was my fault and that I “shouldn’t have been counting on” my pay from them for “time sensitive things.” Finally, when I submit an invoice the payroll manager will often pretend not to know who I am, despite my full name being on my email and on my signature — she claims she “can’t be expected to remember everyone’s email,” and I think this is probably the true root of the random pay delays. Is this fair? Do I have a right, as a contractor, to expect a reliable pay schedule (given that the nature of my work is consistent rather than sporadic)?

I don’t have a contract, and I’m kicking myself about that. I asked about contracts when I was hired and I was told that they “don’t have time” to be “hassling” with that. I got the job through a family friend, and I was far more trusting in that situation than a smart person would have been.

Please don’t hesitate to tell me to suck it up if that’s what I need to do. I’m just feeling taken advantage of and hoping there’s some professional recourse.

Nope, it’s not reasonable and your client is out of line.

It sounds like your client wants an employee, not a contractor, and she’s just going to treat you like an employee even though you’re not one. However, IRS regulations prohibit treating independent contractors (who are responsible for paying their own payroll taxes) as employees (since for the employer, that would be getting all of the benefit of an employee with none of the tax responsibility). To determine who qualifies as a contractor, the IRS looks at the factors described here. (Although to complicate things, they also note: “There is no ‘magic’ or set number of factors that ‘makes’ the worker an employee or an independent contractor, and no one factor stands alone in making this determination. Also, factors which are relevant in one situation may not be relevant in another. The keys are to look at the entire relationship, consider the degree or extent of the right to direct and control, and finally, to document each of the factors used in coming up with the determination.”)

In any case, and with the caveat that I’m not a lawyer, it sure sounds like your employer is treating you as an employee– by expecting to be constantly updated on your schedule and to clear any changes with them ahead of time and expecting you to be always available to them. Those things aren’t generally appropriate for independent contractors.

I’d say this to your client: “I’m concerned that we’re running afoul of the laws on independent contractors. I know it’s easy to fall into treating me like an employee, but the law is really clear that you can’t do that with contractors, and the company could get into legal trouble if they do. As a contractor, I’m glad to let you know generally when I expect to be working on your projects, but I don’t have set hours, shouldn’t be clearing schedule changes with you ahead of time unless they affect a timeline we’ve already agreed to, and will also be spending time on other commitments.”

I’d also add: “Are you positive that you want to have a contractor in this position? If you need someone who you can reach at all hours and who will be available whenever you contact them, you probably need to hire an employee instead.” (Of course, if you’d be upset if she then took that advice, you might not want to say that so explicitly.)

From there, I’d say, “Going forward, I need to work in accordance with the regulations for contractors and with our initial agreement. I don’t have set hours, but I’ll let you know if I expect a major change in my normal routine. I’d like to ask that you stop emailing me to ask when I’m logging in or becoming concerned if you don’t get an immediate answer. That’s making it difficult and stressful to do the work you’ve hired me for. Of course, if there’s ever an issue with my work or with things getting completed on time, I want us to address that right away, but that isn’t typically the case.”

As for the evening contacts, if those are phone calls, tell her stop immediately: “I won’t take phone calls after X and need you to stop calling me that late.” If they’re emails, let them wait for the next day. If they’re urgent or frantic emails where she’s clearly expecting an immediate response, let her know that you may not be working in the evening and that she shouldn’t rely on you seeing emails until the next day. After that, stop responding to any future nighttime emails until the next day.

On the payment issue, this would indeed be easier if you had a contract. Always get a contract! As a contractor, you’re not covered by state laws about late pay, and without a contract, you’re basically at their mercy. That means that you’ll have to decide how far you’re willing to push this. It would be totally reasonable of you to ask them to agree to written payment terms now (ideally with late fees), but it’s possible that this client will react poorly to that. That means that the question for you is how much you want to keep this work. Are you willing to push this issue even if it means losing the client? That’s going to have to guide you here.

And frankly, that’s a question I’d be asking anyway. This person sounds like someone who might simply end the relationship with you if you push her too much on this stuff, which means that you’re going to have to decide how much you need the work before deciding how assertively to push back.

But for what it’s worth, she sounds like a nightmare, she’s pestering you all the time (probably far more than you’re getting paid to tolerate), and she’s making you “anxious, defensive, and unhappy.” If you have the option of severing ties, I’d seriously consider it — or at least be prepared to do that if the steps above don’t get you where you need to be.

{ 119 comments… read them below }

  1. LBK*

    Ugh ugh ugh. I hope you don’t need the money and can just fire this client – financial necessity is the only thing that justifies hanging on to a nightmare like this. Although since the paychecks show up randomly at best, I can’t imagine it’s too helpful for your financial stability anyway. Even if it puts you paycheck to paycheck to cut them off, the stress of having to live that way might be less than the stress of having a horrid client like this running your life. Something to consider.

    1. TeapotCounsel*

      Concur.
      Your issues are **entirely** reasonable. You have every right, and it is consistent with professionalism, to: end the micromanagement; demand regular, timely pay; and have a written contract.
      If client is unwilling to give you a written contract, then definitely fire this client. Honest people don’t balk at putting things in writing.

    2. The Strand*

      I couldn’t agree more. Cut your losses if you can afford it – this person sounds like nightmare fuel.

      1. Chinook*

        I also agree with cutting your losses but I would also use this an object lesson for yourself and create a sample contract you can present in the future for other clients that will cover all the issues you have come across now.

        As well, your cheque should not be cut by payroll but by Accounts Payable. Payroll deals with employees, A/P with vendors and contractors. Payroll deducts payroll taxes while A/P pays as per the invoice. The fact that your contact sends your invoices to payroll may be part of the issue (if they are two different people). You are not on staff so I wouldn’t expect the payroll person to have you in their system but you should be in the A/P ledger and part of their regular cheque run (which could be weekly or biweekly depending on their size).

        1. Ann Furthermore*

          I noticed that in the OP’s letter too — that the client keeps talking about how the OP’s payments go through payroll, and not AP. Beezus below pointed out that if the company is small enough, then AP and payroll may be done by the same person, which is true. But I wonder if the client’s constant referrals to payments being processed by “payroll” would help substantiate the position that the client is treating the OP like an employee, even though s/he is a contractor?

        2. Sara*

          I don’t actually know what department handles my pay. It’s a single woman who pays everyone, and as far as I can tell the company has no actual employees — it has the four owners who receive dividends (one of whom is my boss whose title is Human Resources Manager, one of whom is the pay lady whose title I don’t know, two others whose titles I don’t know), the actual lice technicians who are contractors and tend to only work one or two jobs per month, and the people like me who perform back-end operations, recruiting, dispatch, hiring, data entry, etc. and are also contractors.

          My checks have no department on them. As far as I can tell — and my boss is pretty cagey about how this actually works — the Pay Lady gathers everyone’s invoices, calls or emails the company’s bank, and has the bank cut everyone their checks. The checks themselves simply come from the company, not a payroll division, and aren’t marked in any way as pay. This process is erratic, according to my boss, because Pay Lady doesn’t always submit invoices on the same day (“if she went to a party the night before,” or “if she’s out of town” and all that), the bank cuts checks whenever they get around to it after submission, and the checks are mailed whenever people get around to it after THAT. I mean… it’s a mess.

          1. LBK*

            I’m really curious how frequently your boss gets paid. I’d be willing to bet that her pay is magically on a consistent schedule despite there allegedly being no set process or timeline.

            1. Sara*

              Ah, she claims not. That was one of the things she sort of threw at me during her angry phone call. “I’m an owner and my dividends don’t always come in on time. Of course, I have a husband and a retirement account and I make a lot more than you, so I guess it’s different.” Which enraged me on at least four other levels, but there it is: she claims even owners don’t get paid on time.

              1. Kelly L.*

                Oh, yuck, yeah, it sounds like she doesn’t need the money and doesn’t understand that other people actually do.

              2. Dynamic Beige*

                “she claims even owners don’t get paid on time.”

                Which may be true — but that’s not your problem. At my first job, it was owned by a married couple and when things were slow/money was tight (I knew because they trained me to enter things into their books), they didn’t pay themselves. But not every boss is like that.

                Now, when I was a kid back in the Pleistocene era, only one kid I knew ever had lice. I understand that’s changed and it’s more common now but I would assume they are a payment upon rendering of services business, like a hair salon. You can’t go in to see a stylist and expect to leave without paying, or promising you’ll pay in 2 weeks, you don’t pay, you don’t leave. So either the person who is running the payroll services is just generally incompetent overall and no one is getting paid on time or — more likely — there are times when the lice removal services just aren’t needed as much as other times, so there isn’t money to pay anyone. I mean, it’s not like grocery shopping that you need to do every week — how often do people need lice removal? Myself, never. If they contract to daycares or schools, there may be an issue with their clients paying them to the terms of their invoices — which is also not your problem.

              3. Melissa*

                Yuck, this sounds like one of those small companies by a couple of friends or family members who got together to do something but have no intentions of running it well.

              4. Three Thousand*

                I adore that response from the owner. “I’m getting screwed just like you, except I’m really not, I guess, and also I’m better than you, so, you know, fuck you.”

                1. Sara*

                  Then you will love this choice quote: “I don’t mean to be rude, but what were you doing before we came along? How were you paying these bills then? It’s not like you’re doing us a favor, here.”

                2. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Sara, what was that in reply to? It sounds like it might have been in response to you telling her that you need to be paid because you have bills to pay yourself? If so … I think you need to deal with her at a more professional level and cut off the personal info. Don’t give her reasons why you need to be paid; you need to be paid because you need to be paid, just like any other business needs to be paid when it provides a service. You could be fabulously rich; she would still need to pay you, and pay you on time.

                  The same goes for telling her reasons why you aren’t starting work until 3 p.m. or whatever — not her business and not info you should be sharing. By offering it up, you’re training her to think it’s relevant, when it’s not.

                3. Sara*

                  You’re right, Alison. It was in response to me telling her that I rely on this money for bills and needs, and I shouldn’t have. This happened the second time I wasn’t paid; she asked why I was so insistent on a “short time frame” (I had asked her to clarify what “weekly pay” meant to them, since at that point I hadn’t been paid in almost three weeks) and I responded with a level of detail she wasn’t entitled to.

                  You guys are right about not explaining why I’m unavailable, too, and I’m definitely going to keep that in mind going forward. I actually started that today — she began texting me to ask when I’d be working at 9AM and I didn’t respond until 1:00, at which point I just said “I can work today from about 2:00 until about 6:00, what would you like me to do?” She of course asked what I was doing, whether I could change the timeframe, and what I would be doing after 6:00, and I just said “I’m busy for the rest of the day.” She was clearly unhappy and she told me she “needs to know how I’m building my schedule,” but I left that entirely alone.

                  I actually felt relieved today. She did eventually give me my tasks, I worked them during the time I had to do so (and completed them — it wasn’t as if I had to bow out halfway through), and was able to let it go afterward. AAM and its commentariat are the best, I tell ya, the very best.

                  Since I’m apparently writing a novel here, I should also add that I have some edits to make to my “let’s clarify our respective positions” email and will be doing so & sending it tomorrow. I’m also installing a basic landline at my house to route work calls through so that my cell isn’t ringing off the hook at all hours (I can turn the land ringer off during non-work times and return voicemails during work; I can’t have my cell off all day except during work). I’ll try to come back and update once everything shakes out.

          2. Meg Murry*

            If its that much of a mess – have you received a 1099 for last year yet? You probably want to check its accuracy – I’m willing to bet they don’t have a great system to make sure everything is included.

            If you haven’t already, start numbering your invoices (even if the number is YYYYMMDD) so you can track which they have paid and you can follow up on specific invoices. Have you clarified with them how often you should be invoicing? If paying people is as sporadic as it sounds, you may be better off submitting smaller invoices every 1 or 2 weeks instead of a big one every month or two. It is distinctly possible they have a cash flow problem and sometimes your invoices sit if they don’t have money in the bank to pay your invoices right work

            Regarding the boss’s micromanaging – I know you dont have to have a schedule, but if it got her to leave you alone, what if you set up a google calendar that you shared with her where you blocked off when you plan to be working for her? That way you wouldn’t have to constantly be updating her (just take down the block of work time during your son’s play, for instance) but she would feel like she knows what’s going on. Of course, that is assuming she won’t be crazy and flip out if you dont answer her if she calls at 2:01 when you blocked to work for her from 2:00-4:00. You could also use the calendar as a record of past hours that you did work, as a way of double checking when you make invoices.

            1. Sara*

              I did receive last year’s 1099, but I’d only worked for the company about a week (I started toward the end of December) and thus it was pretty straightforward. I am tracking my invoices on a spreadsheet by date and amount, so it’s very easy to see what’s been received, what’s overdue, what came early, etc. I was instructed to invoice weekly because “we pay weekly,” and if I don’t submit on Sunday the pay person gets up my nose about it — I’ve no idea why, because she doesn’t appear to process pay regularly.

              The Google calendar idea is a good one, save that I don’t have a predictable routine in daily life. That’s part of why I took a contract position rather than finding another part-time or full-time job. Outside of my secretary gig I have loose blocks of time that change day-to-day — say, my son wants to bring a friend over for a playdate or a transit spot opens up for a grocery-store run. When I took the position it was with the understanding that I would work around my schedule, check in each day when I was starting work, and follow up at the end with a summation of what I’d accomplished. That worked beautifully for weeks, but my client has just sort of veered more and more into harassment territory as time goes by. I could sort of deal with that for a while, but about a month ago she started getting angry if I didn’t respond to texts right away, then she started questioning what I was doing with my non-work time and becoming angry if I didn’t explain it to her (I volunteered for an NPR pledge drive earlier in Feb and she blew up at me for sending a quick “I’m on-air, phone will be off” response — “What does on-air even MEAN? Why didn’t you TELL ME you were doing this?”), and she capped it by telling me a week ago that she expects me to notify her of my schedule in advance “not as it’s happening.”

              1. Meg Murry*

                Ugh she does sound terrible – but I do understand her point of wanting to have a general idea when you plan to be working, so she knows when its OK to contact you – so if she was expecting you to work this afternoon, but you let her know at 1:00 that you would be working 1-3 today when she was scheduled to be elsewhere that could be annoying to her. Could you at least commit to your schedule for 24-48 hours in advance and schedule regular times to touch base with her (1-2x per week, for instance)? I agree that she is the one in the wrong overall, but giving her an inch here or there might calm things down overall.

                1. Sara*

                  Oh, yeah, that’s happening already save for things I can’t control in advance (like a transit spot opening up — I don’t have a car; if our shuttle calls me and says the ride I requested last week will be available this afternoon, I’ve gotta take it). I’m never available before 1PM and she’s aware of that; from there I always check in between 12-1 and either say that I can work a solid afternoon, I’ll be out of pocket at X time but otherwise working, or whatever the case is.

                  The frustrating bit is having to explain to her what I’m doing with non-work time (as opposed to simply saying I’m not available or busy) and having to clear small things with her in advance. My work isn’t time-sensitive or schedule-dependent; as such, I feel it’s unreasonable to have to notify her every time I’m going to lunch first or need an hour for errands. I do let her know in advance of anything that’s going to keep me from working at all.

                2. Sara*

                  I just want to clarify that I might be being petty or peevish here, and that might be something to address. I’m a single parent with two jobs, an autoimmune condition, no car, no family or other support in the area, and pretty much no money. I hate the idea of having to outline my various everyday failings or trials to someone who is a) basically a stranger and b) a client. I don’t want to have to say “I thought I could jump right in today but I’m having a flare-up and need a nap first, may I please start at 3 instead of 1?” or check in and out and in and out and in and out on snow days as I deal with my child or whatever.

                  I particularly dislike doing so when I’m being harassed at times I clearly wouldn’t be working for this client. The NPR/on-air incident was at 7AM on a Tuesday and the client knows I am never available before 1PM. The angry yelling about letting her know in advance rather than as things happen was actually about a situation I apprised her of the day before — her issue was that I hadn’t given her enough time to veto the schedule change, which is something I don’t feel she should have the right to do. On the other hand, maybe I’m crazy. Maybe it’s cool for her to expect me to be working a set schedule as a contractor so long as it’s from home and on my own equipment, in which case it’s reasonable to expect me to make advance arrangements regarding my non-work stuff, in which case… see above, re: peevish and petty. I honestly can’t tell which it is right now.

                3. Mephyle*

                  I agree that you don’t have to tell her the details of your life. I urge you to change the way you answer her (if you stay with the company) and just don’t tell her details. Even if she wants you to. Any questions about what you are doing before 1 pm, state only that [as she knows] you never work on her company’s stuff before 1 pm. And anything during the hours that you would have been working for her, state that it will not be possible, something came up and you will make up the work later. If she asks why, what came up, just repeat that it won’t be possible (once) and cut short the communication.
                  From what you describe, the worst that will happen is that she ‘fires’ you and/or badmouths you within the family. The first will leave you free to search for a better company to work for. You feel you can’t afford to give up this income, but I echo the others who ask, “What income? The precarious way you are getting paid is not helping your financial situation much.”
                  The second will be unpleasant, but things are very unpleasant now. Would it really increase the stress over what you are experiencing currently?
                  I would prepare a response like this to any family member who tries to berate you about leaving the job: “I wanted keep working for Eulalie’s company, but I couldn’t afford it any more.”

                4. Meg Murry*

                  I don’t think you are being petty or peevish, and I think you don’t need to justify your life to this woman. I would suggest you not give her more details than she needs – ie “something came up, I’ll be starting at 3 today” or in the NPR case, just sending her a response text that says “Can’t talk now, call you at [time]”. Don’t make it personal, don’t explain, and don’t let her get into tangents of you justifying the time – if you can’t work at that time, you can’t do it.

                  But there is something to be said for meeting or exceeding expectations – so instead of telling her you will be able to work at 1 but then pushing back to 2 or 3 sometimes, could you instead tell her you will usually be available at 2 or 3 and then sometimes be “able to get an early start” at 1? You would be doing the same work and same number of hours, but look like a “go-getter who can start early sometimes” instead of “unreliable person who has to push back her schedule all the time”. For instance – my start time used to be 8:00 at my job, but I was often scooting in at 8:05-8:10. My boss and I agreed to “officially” push my start time back to 8:30, but with the understanding that I could leave after all my work was done (generally 8 hours), and not necessarily delay my leaving time.

                5. Sara*

                  Those are good suggestions, Meg. I don’t have an official start time (the 1PM thing is simply that I work my other job until then, not that I’ve committed to working for the client at that time) but it might be worthwhile to clarify that in a way that appears a little more reliable. Something like, “Just so we’re on the same page, while I finish my work at XX University at 1PM I do have other obligations to meet and thus will tend to be working YY Nitpickers later in the afternoon. This isn’t a perfect system, but it is generally reliable, and of course I’ll let you know if something comes up outside this framework.”

                6. Tau*

                  “Just so we’re on the same page, while I finish my work at XX University at 1PM I do have other obligations to meet and thus will tend to be working YY Nitpickers later in the afternoon. This isn’t a perfect system, but it is generally reliable, and of course I’ll let you know if something comes up outside this framework.”

                  Honestly, to me it still sounds like you’re giving her too much information. She doesn’t need to know whether you work at XX University in the morning, only have childcare for the afternoon, have health issues that prevent you working mornings, or are secretly a robot scout from the Martian army who needs to recharge at your spaceship and write and send reports to your alien overlords about the imminent invasion every morning. If you’ll pardon the rather colourful example…

                  I can’t come up with a script but really it sounds like all she *needs* to know is when you will be available to do work (a time that does not include mornings), any potential deviations and how you’ll communicate changes. Giving reasons just gives her a chance to argue with the way you organise your life, and from everything you’ve said about her it sounds like she’ll take that and run with it.

                7. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Totally agree with Tau here. You’re giving her way too much info. Think of how a vendor you hired for your home would deal with you. If you hired, say, a carpet cleaning person, it would be weird if they told you all this stuff about their schedule, right? They’d just tell you when they were and weren’t available. That’s what you need to do too.

              2. The Strand*

                Sara, I promise you, you are not being petty or peevish.
                You’re a contractor, not her child or her employee. There is nothing wrong with her needing to leave you a message or texting you because you are doing other things.

          3. Leah*

            Why is an employee like this tolerated? Seems like a pretty basic expectation for payroll is to, you know, actually pay people. I’m confused as to why the owner puts up with this?

            1. Sara*

              The pay person is also one of the owners. As far as I can tell this company has no actual employees. Just the four owners who run everything, lice tech contractors, and administrative contractors.

              1. Another Ellie*

                It sounds like they are purposefully employing people but calling them “contractors” to skirt employment laws. If you know more of the contractors, it might be worth it for you as a group to either report them or see if a lawyer might take this pro bono, especially if pressing the issue causes you to lose your job — I mean contract.

        3. Observer*

          Others have noted the issue of payroll vs AP. But, in either case, I don’t think that it explains or justifies the payroll person’s responses. Part of her job is to have a list of everyone for whom she regularly cuts checks. And, to be honest, unless she is actually cutting check by hand using pen and paper, this information should be easily available.

          “I can’t be expected to remember” is someone blowing smoke – whether the employee or the boss through the employee is not clear.

    3. Sara*

      OP here, and oh, would that I did not need the money! My primary job (secretary at a university) is only part-time right now due to budget cuts; before taking this contract position my son and I were living on the $700/month it pays. I’m continuing to look for other work, but I’m loath to give up this position and return to living on almost nothing.

      I did send off an email composed of four parts, though: one part in which I borrow the framework from Alison’s wonderful answer to address the time and micromanagement issues; one part on which I clarify my understanding of our initial agreement, the ways it’s changed, and what I’d like to see happen from here; one part in which I handle some other stuff I didn’t write in this letter (asking me to act as a company agent to circumvent a ban on job-board postings, for example); and one part in which I basically say, “I need a consistent pay window after invoicing, I’m happy for you to set that window at your convenience but I need it to be the same every time without fail, this would be standard in any independent contractor agreement and thus we need to agree to something here in writing or I will need to resign my position.”

      I don’t expect great things, honestly. I think she’ll probably end up angry and it’s possible she’ll decide to let me go (though she might not — I spoke to her sister, who is the person I got the reference from, and she says this is just how this woman is but that she can be surprisingly reasonable when called on it). After laying it out in my AAM email, though, I was basically like, “Self, what are you doing, you would never let any other client treat you this way.”

      1. Ann Furthermore*

        It’s hard when you’re doing business with friends, friends of friends, or family of friends. It’s way too easy to let things slide that you would never put up with from anyone else. Good luck!

      2. LBK*

        Ugh, that really sucks that you need the money. Sorry to hear that. I’m glad to hear that laying it all out in writing helped you realize how crazy it sounds, though, and that you were able to create a clear outline of what needs to happen. Hopefully it goes well! People that act unreasonably can often be surprisingly responsive when confronted with their ridiculousness.

      3. Cordelia Naismith*

        $700 a month for you and your son? Ouch. That’s really rough. Here’s hoping that a miracle occurs and your client decides to be reasonable — at least for long enough for you to find another job. I’m rooting for you!

      4. Beezus*

        One thing to keep in mind – if you’re dependent on this capricious woman and her company for a paycheck, and she’s treating her other contractors/vendors/employees this way, she may not stay in business forever. You might want to look at diversifying your client base a little, so you’re not sunk if you lose or fire one client – that’s good for you, anyway. Setting reasonable expectations with her regarding your availability is a great first step!

  2. LizB*

    Your client wants you to drop everything and do their work whenever they ask, but will pay you late any time “things happen” on their end? Talk about a terrible double standard. If there’s any chance for you to find another job, I would, because nobody deserves this.

    1. fposte*

      That’s what I was thinking. She wants the OP to be an employee, but she has no interest in paying her like one–or really, at all.

    2. Melissa*

      I was thinking that, too! She gets seriously enraged when OP doesn’t report on every little insignificant detail, but for something as big as inconsistent pay she brushes it off as no big deal.

    3. DaBlonde*

      This is what I fixated on as well. You have to account for your time whether on their clock, but the person that handles the money does it when she gets around to it?
      That is ridiculous.

  3. Helka*

    You shouldn’t be counting on them for time-sensitive things, but everything they expect from you is incredibly time-sensitive and needs to be handled immediately? The unprofessional side of me thinks you should start mirroring their wording regarding pay back at them when they start asking about the work you’re doing. “Things happen,” “went to a party the night before,” “don’t have a process.”

    1. Sara*

      Believe me when I say I have considered it. I’ve been freelancing for years alongside my steady work and I’ve never heard that kind of language from a company, client, or even coworker or subcontractor. If the owner weren’t a family friend I would basically be like, “All right, what kind of shady fly-by-night operation are you running, here?”

      That’s actually part of my conundrum, I think. My professional instincts are pretty well-developed and I usually have no problem asserting myself professionally, but I don’t want to burn a family bridge. I should probably nut up.

      1. Nellie*

        Obviously family dynamics can be even more complex than professional ones, but I hate to think anyone who really understood your circumstances would think you were the one engaging in bridge-burning activities. For example, if someone got you this job and you were to feel guilty that they stuck their neck out for you, honestly if anyone were to feel guilty it should be that person for setting up you up with a crazy client who doesn’t pay. I hope AAM’s answer and these comme you the confidence you need to know you are in the right if you assert yourself. Clearly most people would be sympathetic to your circumstances. Let us know how it goes!

      2. Burlington*

        If it’s a family bridge situation, they should be at least as worried about making your mutual acquaintances angry by mis-treating you, right? I wonder if this could be a time to bring in whoever those people are, like “Hey, thanks for the referall, I’ve been working with them for a few months and have had these ridiculous problems. Do you know if they treat all their contractors so badly? I trust your references, but in the future, you should consider not sending this company anymore work from anyone you actually like!”

        1. Sara*

          That’s great advice. I actually ended up doing this after I submitted my email to AAM and it helped immensely. I hope anyone else in a similar situation takes a look at this and follows suit — it can be an enormous relief just to clarify everyone’s positions and know you won’t be demonized by family/friends for standing up for yourself professionally.

          1. LizNYC*

            I’m so glad you reached out to your family friend contact! I know I’d be horrified if one of my family’s “friends” treated a mutual acquaintance this way.

            If the owner is upset you went through her sister, then you need to reevaluate how much this person is a “friend” and how much of this abuse you’d take if this was another one of your freelance clients. (I’d say far, far less.) I hope another part-time situation opens up so you can drop this horrid one.

  4. misspiggy*

    Agree with others that, since you have another job, it makes sense to dump this one and put your energy into getting another job/client. Wait until the second the next paycheck hits your account and tell them that’s it.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      I agree. You need to fire this client and the sooner the better. Your efforts are better directed away from the vampire company and into something that will actually serve you.

      This whole place sounds very poorly run. I’m betting you’re not the only one with this problem. I bet their vendors hate them.

  5. AMG*

    Draft a contract and have her sign it. If she doesn’t, or doesn’t comply, fire her. She may fire you first but it doesn’t sound like you’ll be any worse off.

    1. azvlr*

      Regarding the contract (help me out, fellow readers, as my thought are not fully formed) – I remember reading advice on how to get someone to pay an IOU: Send them a written communication that you want your $x,xxx by a stated date. The trick is that you greatly overstate the amount so that they write you back and say, “Actually, I only owe you $xxx.

      Not exactly a contract, but my point is to start putting together documentation of what/when you expected to get paid and what you actually are getting paid. Even if its just sending a comparison in an email, and solicit some kind of response.

    1. Dynamic Beige*

      +1

      Seriously, if you need extra money there are other ways to make it. Start looking for something different now because nothing you say or do is going to make a bit of difference in how this woman operates.

  6. Hit the ground flailing*

    If the employer is paying the LW through payroll, isn’t she considered an employee? In every instance I’ve ever encountered in 20 years of doing accounts payable and payroll, a contractor is paid through AP, not payroll.

      1. Ann Furthermore*

        True, but the whole thing still sounds like a load of BS to me. What company, no matter what the size, would be able to get away with processing payroll whenever they get around to it, which is what the client is implying to the OP? Not only would there be legal issues with that (I would think — not a lawyer), not many employees would put up with not being able to count on getting paid consistently and reliably.

        1. The IT Manager*

          That’s the one thing that makes me think despite talking about “payroll” she is being treated as a vendor because I can’t imagine their actual employees would put up with this for any length of time.

          In every other way it sounds like the boss is trying to treat her as an employee.

          1. Hit the ground flailing*

            In our small company the payroll and AP were run through the same individual – me. However, they’re completely different processes with very different rules. I agree though, if they’re paying her “whenever” either they aren’t really paying her through payroll or they’re payroll people are dancing with the devil.

        2. Beezus*

          Oh, I totally agree! Late payroll is a legal minefield and not good for employee retention, and being blase about being late is even worse for morale.

          I was just pointing out that in small companies, they’re often handled by the same person, and for people not close to the process, that can make them feel interchangeable. The LW’s employer sounds like she’s not super clear on the difference between contractors and employees, so her track record on knowing the difference between similar things with very key differences that are important to her business is not so good.

    1. Dynamic Beige*

      Also, as a freelancer myself, I would ask how the LW makes their invoices. I was told very early in my career that you specify the terms on your invoice. If you want Net 30, if you charge late fees for overdue payment, if it’s payment upon receipt, then it has to be on the invoice. I am also required to put my tax number on my invoices, because I get to be a tax collector for the government and have to charge my clients HST.

      1. Chinook*

        “If you want Net 30, if you charge late fees for overdue payment, if it’s payment upon receipt, then it has to be on the invoice. ”

        If you are sole proprieter (as in the only employee of this company) and want to be paid weekly, I recommend negotiating a Net 0 (zero) pay deadline and unofficially give them 7 days to pay (as most cheque runs are no more than once a week). Also, ensure that you have the late payment details in writing and do not be afraid to implement them.

        Lastly, feel free to bill them in min. increments of 0.5 or 1 hour every time they call you, text you or email you outside of your expected hours (and include that in your contract). Even if the call is 2 minutes long, you can consider it a premium for the inconvinience of being on call.

      2. Sara*

        Do you know if that’s useful or enforceable even in the absence of a contract? I’d be more than willing to do that — I have several invoice templates I customize per job and a couple of them specify net 15 because that’s what I most commonly ask for. I’d be willing to send this client one of those, but I suspect she’d come back at me with, “You don’t get to tell us when to pay you, we pay when we pay, the end.”

            1. Dynamic Beige*

              She can tell you whatever she wants to tell you — it’s all hot air. If you’re an independent contractor, then you are essentially a sole proprietor of whatever work you do for them. You have to pay taxes out of whatever they pay you, they aren’t holding back taxes on your salary because you haven’t got a salaried position. If she did blow up at you about it (and I get a feeling that this may be a tactic she uses because she knows it works with you: like me, I think you may be non-confrontational and shy away from displays of anger/loud voices), all you would have to do is point out that what you’re asking for is not unreasonable and if she needs further proof, she can examine any bill sent to her by any vendor she chooses (phone company, credit cards, electric) and she will see that they all specify the terms of payment on them somewhere. You are just another one of her vendors. If she doesn’t pay off her credit card balance every month, she gets charged interest, it’s that simple.

              Having the payment terms on the invoice is proof that you submitted an invoice that detailed out when payment was expected and they chose to ignore it. If you have no payment terms specified, your client can easily say in court or wherever that as there weren’t any terms of payment on your invoices, they assumed that they were free to pay whenever and since you have no written contract that says otherwise, it’s your word against theirs. Given that it’s entirely reasonable that everyone expects to be paid promptly when they submit a bill, your client shouldn’t have a leg to stand on, but you never know what a shifty client with a lawyer can get away with. Which I don’t think she would do, because that would cost money unless he’s her husband or boyfriend.

              Yes, you would have to go to small claims court and that is up to you whether or not it would be worth it. But I think that this client has proven they are not worth the aggro of working for and you would be much better off using that time to find other, better people to work for.

              1. Sara*

                You’re right on about my non-confrontational tendencies. I have no problem asserting myself in a professional setting, but when met with hostility, yelling, etc. I tend to retreat immediately — largely because in those situations my instincts are UNprofessional and I’d rather err on the side of inaction than incorrect action. That’s something I need to work on, particularly because yelling and arguing does seem to be this client’s MO. (I actually looked at the company’s BBB page last week and, surprise surprise, they have numerous client complaints that all say the same thing: “There was a problem, I called to address it, and the owner yelled at me.”)

                Your comment was great, and really, really helpful, particularly this: “…what you’re asking for is not unreasonable and if she needs further proof, she can examine any bill sent to her by any vendor she chooses (phone company, credit cards, electric) and she will see that they all specify the terms of payment on them somewhere. You are just another one of her vendors.” She tends to address the pay issue as “our system is our system and it’s not up to you how we do it,” and in that quagmire I forgot that actually I do have some say in how I’m paid. I forgot, I guess, that an invoice is a bill for services rendered as opposed to a… I don’t know, a favor in kind.

                1. Dynamic Beige*

                  Well, you can specify how you’d like to get paid/what terms… but actually getting paid is another story. This client looks like one who will pull out all the stops to not pay you, especially if they yell at their own clients (how is that going to work for word of mouth or repeat business?). That sucks and I know you need the money, but you may not get it, especially since your client is acting more like Queen of the country than an actual employer (or human being) who is intent on living up to her financial obligations. I have a feeling that this may be a hobby job if she’s already got a retirement package and she’s frustrated that it’s not raking in the cash for whatever investment she’s put into it. Some people are just not meant to be in business for themselves, especially a service business, and it would appear she’s one of them.

                  Here’s another suggestion: just add whatever payment terms you want to your invoices going forward (until you can get another job and bug out). If Rage-o-matic doesn’t notice, great, you will have something moving forward that if you did decide you wanted to pursue this in small claims court, you could. If she does notice and decides to blow up, you can just say “Oh yes, I realised that I had forgotten to put that on my earlier invoices [do not use the word timesheets or similar, you are a vendor, not an employee], it was an oversight on my part.” You can go into whether or not you’ve used it with other clients if you wish or just use my previous suggestion that it’s what everyone does. Rage-o-matic can yell and scream all she wants about how you can’t dictate terms or whatever, just let it go in one ear and out the other. FWIW, I think most accounting software packages generate reports of what’s overdue, based on receipt of the invoice, so they know. Also, if she’s used to working with family only, she may be having difficulty differentiating between “family member who can be argued with about payment” and “employee/contractor who is not family and cannot be”.

                  TBH, I never have contracts with my clients, it’s all done verbally until my invoice is submitted (some do have a PO system, though). And even though I have terms on it, a lot of them don’t meet them. I’ve never taken a client to court and I have had some who never paid — my answer is to never work for them again and with one exception, every one that didn’t pay never called me again, so maybe they were unhappy with my services anyway (be sure to keep your unpaid invoices for your accountant, as they should fall under the category of Bad Debt). I literally had a major advertising firm tell me that they did not pay vendors for 60 days — and in my business, quite often my client is chasing after their client for payment so it trickles down. I don’t like it, but I don’t see any point in being all “you’re X days past my invoice and now you owe me Y% in interest!” about it. But then again, most of the people I work with I have known for over 10 years now. Other people who read this blog will disagree with that, but due to the peculiar nature of my industry, I cannot afford to alienate my clients over something like that, the risk is too great that they will just stop giving me projects in favour of some other freelancer who isn’t going to be a PITA about their invoices.

  7. Cheesecake*

    I am absolutely sure it is not going to stop and i am even more sure the moment you insist on contract and make it a dealbreaker – they will drop you. Of course try to get this in written anyway, but be prepared to leave. I also doubt they pay you THAT much to putting up with this. Focus your energy on 2nd job and getting a better client. Good luck!

    1. LBK*

      I’m not so sure they would drop the OP unless the discussion becomes REALLY contentious – they already seem really dissatisfied by almost everything the OP does and yet they inexplicably haven’t cut the relationship off yet. Some people just prefer to be angry rather than actually solving a problem that upsets them.

      It reminds me of some of the regular problem customers I used to get in retail. They’d come in all the time and every time they would complain about how it was such a horrible experience. If you hate this place so much, why the hell do you keep coming back? Save us both the trouble and go away.

      1. fposte*

        That’s what I was thinking–this woman’s just always angry and contentious, and to her that’s the norm.

      2. Cheesecake*

        Without the contract it is easier to be angry, complain and at the same time delay the payments. So once they hear ultimatum “contract or no more work”, they will make a big drama, claiming it is them who drop OP, because company is clearly awesome and OP is clearly not. You can expect anything from these.. ehm..people

  8. Rex*

    OP, I agree with everything everyone has said here, I just want to add, it’s okay to ask for the things you want! Throughout your post I see a lot of “can I ask for that?” This contractor’s behavior is so over the line, it might be worth thinking about building your own confidence in the fact that it’s totally okay to not be harassed at all hours, and to expect to be paid in a timely way.

    1. LBK*

      Great point. Sometimes a bad client like this can gaslight you into believing that a request as basic as getting paid for your work in a timely manner is unreasonable.

      It kind of reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica is scared to ask a widow for payment for catering her husband’s funeral. You are not the one creating the awkwardness of the situation by asking to be paid – they’re creating it by not paying.

      1. Leah*

        Yes, I remember that episode! Phoebe ends up calling her out, and Monica & Phoebe look like the bad guys, even though the woman was trying to weasel out of paying.

    2. Sara*

      This is a really helpful comment. I have been kind of feeling like this whole mess was my fault — for not getting a contract, for not probing further into the pay schedule up front, for being more accommodating about the schedule than I probably should have. (I switched my hours at the university from afternoon to morning, for example, when the client said she wanted me to work more hours. Probably should have reminded her then and there that my work is task-dependent, not time-dependent.)

      1. Meg Murry*

        It is definitely NOT your fault, but its totally reasonable for you to decide that this is not a good fit for YOU. It sounds like the 4 owners don’t really communicate well and don’t really need the steady income, and the other contractors are only working small jobs here and there so its not a big deal if they aren’t paid on time, but you are relying on this income and also the flexibility – and right now you are getting neither. I think if you’ve only been working there since December it’s time for you to decide if this is worth it for you – and it is totally legit for you to keep looking for something else and move on from this place if you can’t get past these deal breakers.

      2. LizNYC*

        Don’t beat yourself up for what you’ve done in the past! This owner is out of control!

        When I first started freelancing early in my career, I made mistakes like not insisting on a contract and bending to the employer’s every whim instead of being more confident to say, “We’ve agreed to this, no more, so I’m sticking to it unless you want to change the rate of pay.”

        YOU ARE NOT AT FAULT HERE.

      3. Chinook*

        “I have been kind of feeling like this whole mess was my fault — for not getting a contract, for not probing further into the pay schedule up front, for being more accommodating about the schedule than I probably should have. ”

        Chalk it up to a rookie mistake and a chance for “lessons learned.” We all make them and there is no reason to feel guilty about it. You were working in good faith with your vendor and expected them to treat you the same. Once this late payment happens the first time, you know you will never make the same mistake and be better for it going forward.

        Atleast you didn’t have to send you brand new husband (who may or may not been wearing his army uniform at the time) over to collect the last, 4 month, overdue payment before you left the province.

  9. Artemesia*

    The most important advice in this thread is the part about getting paid before quitting; I’d be looking for another client or part time job yesterday and give notice as soon as you are paid for your last work.

  10. Jordan*

    Sounds tough! If you’re able to fire them, do so! It sounds like they aren’t worth the trouble and hassle that is probably distracting you from other clients.
    As for the pay – hopefully making enough of a stink about it will get the attention of someone who can deal with it for you. Here’s hoping!

  11. Ann Furthermore*

    Run away OP! And don’t kick yourself too much — just use this as a learning experience to apply to the next time. This person sounds absolutely horrible to deal with. What’s probably going on is that the client is either extremely disorganized, or is unable to manage their money, or both, and is twisting it around to make it look like it’s your fault for having the audacity to expect to be paid in a timely fashion for your services.

  12. Christina*

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter.

    Not sure if it was intended by Alison, but I love her wording that you’re being “pestered by” a lice-removal company :)

    1. caraytid*

      was just going to ask if anyone else was surprised that the owner of a lice-removal company was a nitpicker…

    2. Alma*

      Bwaaaahaaahaaaa!!! Did you see Dynamic Beige’s statement “Here’s another suggestion: just add whatever payment terms you want to your invoices going forward (until you can get another job and bug out). “??? I almost choked!!!

      Sara, this is your Baptism by Fire. When you are dealing with the Nit Pickers (OMG, another good one), stand up and put your hands on your hips in a power pose. I don’t care if you’re in your jammies and bunny slippers – it makes a difference. Be very comfortable with silences: should a tirade be thrown at you, let there be a VERY pregnant pause until you answer. You are able to be in control because you are a professional.

      I would squeeze in any kind of looking for something to tide you over until you find steady part-time or full-time employment. You work at a University – does anyone need editing, proofreading, filing, tutoring? When I was in graduate school, both professors and students often needed someone to pick up the slack for them, and they paid for it. This is still a rather fluid schedule to accomodate your Mom activities. Build this up, or use it to fill in, but start the job search in earnest. A group of spouses made money by baking birthday cakes (or pies) – post flyers, and think creatively about what you might do that will get you paid immediately.

      Yes, as I began this thread, I wondered what exactly WAS the purpose for recruiting lice? Did the company have a traveling circus? (There was a local person who tried to use the extreme heat method for ridding his motel of bed bugs, and the two space heaters he had in the room burned the place down.)

      I feel for you, Sara – no, really, I’m starting to itch… sign up with a temporary agency, and if you sit in their office using tutorials, and testing for your level of mastery in computer work, they will get a good idea of your work ethic, your personality, and your focus. The University here in town (not my alma mater) has a temp pool, too. If you are able to qualify to be a lifeguard, they make excellent money. Think out of the box!!

      And work on your contract document. And “I’m in an appointment right now” most certainly can mean you have blocked out time with your child. Nothing will ever be as bad as this job – AAM folk have given you a lot of encouragement and incredible advice. Keep us posted.

      1. Sara*

        I was going to start my reply by highlighting a couple of quotes I found most useful, but the more read the more I just loved this whole comment. Thank you, you’ve given me about fifty really helpful ideas — I haven’t been utilizing the resources available to me as university staff, for starters, and I should. I have fantastic references there and not only is it my alma mater, I actually work in the department I majored from, which means that the people I work for know my work capabilities outside the secretarial. Temp agency might be dicey (no car, only transit in town is by prior appointment) but I should still try it and just let them know I can’t take “on the spot” positions.

        I’ve been looking for work for almost two years. I’m extremely reluctant to give up the university position, for one because I love it, but for another because it offers benefits out of all proportion to the low wage and short hours. Another consideration is that since I’ve started there our department’s enrollment and completion have increased almost 400%, which means at next budget review I may be approved for 3/4 or full-time work (my boss is actively agitating for this; I am well-loved in this position). So… you know, I don’t want to give it up, but it does constrain my search for a second position, and I think I’ve let that hamper me even more than it should. Thank you so much for the great advice and encouragement.

        1. Jean*

          I’m coming along to say that if there’s any way you can continue to hold onto your university job until the next budget review …. do so! University jobs often provide benefits such as exposure to informal and formal continuing education (lectures, workshops, degree programs, tuition remission for dependents). You also might be able to use your current position as a jumping-off point for getting a job that offers better pay. Eventually.
          Sorry to be incoherent! It’s late and my brain is foggy.
          Good luck getting this horrible client under control and then out of your life as soon as possible. She needs to go bother someone else. (Or to repent of her evil ways, but either way to leave you unbothered!)

        2. Alma*

          Ding ding ding ding ding!!!! We have a winner here!!!

          Your alma mater?? You are in clover. University communities are (generally) wonderful, the department you work in will champion you – make use of those supportive, healthy resources!!

          You will FEEL so much better, and have such a healthier outlook on life, and find it easier to nab a dream job at that University, even if you are scrubbing bathrooms there. Speak to someone who is your rock and tell them you would really like to focus on employment there, after your time doing consulting/freelancing. Take whatever you can get to inch that foot in the door… when you said you were alone with no support, that concerned me. But you HAVE support. These people delight in you!!

          I can sleep well tonight, Sara. I hope you are able to as well. I’ll be looking forward to hearing what the next week will hold for you!!

          1. Alma*

            Offer to do research, indexing, help in the career counseling office (just don’t plagarize anyone’s cover letter or resume…)… and use your career counseling office. Surround yourself with people who are excited about what they do! It is contagious.

  13. mindi*

    Thank you for this, Alison. I held my “dream job” about five years ago as a contract employee. I ended up burned out quickly and leaving it, in large part because my boss abused me in similar fashion to the OP’s boss (main difference that mine was a full-time contract job). I’ve felt guilty for many years about “letting the opportunity slip away” when I quit, but just reading your reply about expectations for contract employees has allowed me to release a huge part of that. Great way to start a Monday of a week that involves finding out about two possible big career moves for me.

    As for the OP: if you can afford to, move on. Between the unreliable payment and obnoxious boss, it’s not worth the stress. A part-time position at Starbucks would be more flexible and involve less outside-of-hours harassing.

  14. badger_doc*

    Off topic, but Alison, when i loaded this page on my Google Chrome browser on my work computer, an ad for Greenies dog sticks was playing in the background (video off to the right side of your blog). While I do not mind auto-play of videos, is there any way to remove the sound component? Would have been embarrassing if I was in a meeting (obviously not paying attention :-) ) and my laptop started playing a Greenies ad. Thanks!

      1. Caramel Sauce Boat*

        Another ad complaint – I was surfing on mobile and your page tried to send me to a different app (what, I don’t know). Thanks for addressing these issues!

  15. pucksmuse*

    So, they expect constant attention and professional, prompt service out of you, but feel they should only have to pay you when their payroll person isn’t hangover? One issue without the other would be enough of a reason to quit, but BOTH? Dump them. Immediately.

  16. Anon Accountant*

    That sounds like several of our clients but we are employees and can’t fire them ourselves. OP can you adjust your fees upward to tack on a pain in the ass fee (PITA fee)? Are there prohibitions on your agreement from “fee increases” in what you can charge the client?

    1. Sara*

      I was offered, and accepted, an hourly rate rather than a fee-for-task. I did at one point negotiate for a higher rate but was told that while it wasn’t unreasonable to ask, the company can’t and/or won’t pay a higher rate. I have been invoicing for the time I take to address the random texts, calls, and emails and the company has been fair in paying for that time when they do get around to paying me.

      I kind of do want to say, “Look, you’re paying me a fairly paltry hourly rate and on top of that paying sporadically at best. There’s only so much dedication and investment you can expect for that rate.”

      1. Chuchundra*

        What’s your minimum billing increment?

        One way to deal with this it to set a window when you’re working and outside of that window bill a minimum amount of time per incident. If every time you have to respond to a text or an e-mail outside of your established working time you bang them for a quarter or half hour, they might think twice about regularly bugging you at all hours.

        1. Sara*

          My MBI is half an hour, though I haven’t been billing half an hour for every out-of-hours interaction (instead logging my time and billing actual unless it’s a rough amount like 4h05m). Perhaps I should do so going forward — if nothing else the sudden spike in my invoices might give them pause about the level of contact they’re expecting. Good advice, thank you.

          1. Chuchundra*

            I’d give them a heads up first, but this might be the easiest solution. If they start getting billed for a half hour every time they call or otherwise expect a response from you they might think twice about it.

            Good luck!

  17. TT*

    For what it’s worth OP, I think you’re doing a great job handling the situation. I’ve worked for a small family business, my first paycheck bounced. That was hard to take. And the fact that they are so small and connected to you personally makes it worse. The payroll lady went out last night, sorry no money for you today. Good grief.

    It sounds like you’ve had other clients, which means you can probably get more clients. Your written communication skills and clarity for introspection signal that you’ll be able to find more satisfying and better paying client based work in the future. Good luck on finding something more better – maybe full time hours, great pay, great benefits, excellent schedule.

  18. EG*

    Please let us know how things turn out. I’m rooting for you! And I’m so glad people have been able to give you some advice on how to handle this.

  19. Snoskred*

    @Sara I have read through the comments here and you have received excellent advice. :)

    I hope you can successfully navigate a way to work with this person but if not, I think you are learning some important lessons for future contracting jobs.

  20. HAnon*

    does anyone know if there is an expiration date to clarify the 1099 contractor vs. employee role at a company? I ended up owing a lot of money in taxes a few years (2011-2012) ago at a company where I was treated as an employee but filed as a contractor, and now I’m wondering if there’s any way to get some of that tax money back.

Comments are closed.