Put it on my bill

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Money in, money out. If you’re in business, any kind of business, that’s the governing equation. But if one side of that equation is missing, you’ve got trouble.

David DeCristoforo and I have both talked about clients who either don’t pay or are late to get checks in the mail, sometimes creating an inordinate amount of difficulty in balancing checkbooks in a timely fashion. Some of these people just don’t seem to get – or don’t care – the concept of paying in a timely manner for services rendered. Either way they’re inconsiderate and I despise them, especially when it’s a slow month where a single check can make the difference.

Well, I’m discomfited to admit that I became one of those people, but not because I’m inconsiderate or don’t get the concept or don’t care. No, it was more that I didn’t have a clue. As in being a knucklehead.

I traveled to Connecticut last month and before I left paid most of the bills by mail that would fall during my travels. A few others that would fall at the end of my trip I put up on my desk to be paid online should I need to extend my travel time. No problem so far; I’ve done this countless times.

But once back and in the process of settling into work in my office, I shuffled a lot of stuff around. Unfortunately that included those bills I intended to pay. As it happened, I returned in plenty of time to get them into the mail, but because those envelopes got shoved into a pile of other stuff they immediately fell off the radar.

Imagine my chagrin when I got three late-payment notices last week, plus some hefty late fees. As a result I’ve had to readjust my opinion of folks who don’t pay. Maybe they’re not rude and inconsiderate after all.

Maybe they’re just knuckleheads.

A.J.

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