Someone said to me the other day, “It must be nice to be able to pick and choose who you’ll do business with”. That would be nice, but it doesn’t really work that way. The way it does work is that I have a No Asshole rule. It might seem vague, but I’ve never known anyone to be an asshole by the standards of his native culture unwittingly. Someone made a video that illustrates nicely:
It seems farcical, but I hear those very things and more all the time. I had to learn the hard way, but I did eventually catch on. Just say ¡vete a la chingada! like you mean it when someone seeks unfair advantage.
One of my clients does internet marketing and has a couple of servers upon which she hosts her clients’ web sites. She’s a nice enough young woman, though a bit mental. She says she’s got ADHD and various other mental malfunctions and she might actually have them, but she seems normal enough to me. Some time ago she sent me a very disturbing email that led me to believe she was very depressed and possibly suicidal, so I called her on the phone. I don’t know if it was liquor, or prescription drugs, or some combination of them that she was into that evening, but we talked for a while before she abruptly announced that she was going to bed and left me to worry that she might not be alive when the sun next rose. She told me of her challenges and they were all related to clients very much like those in the video above. They demanded all of these things and those things, but wouldn’t pay for them. Not willingly, anyway. So I asked her: You’re telling me that the only way you can afford to continue hitting your parents up for money every month to pay your bills is to continue giving charity to commercial enterprises?
She’s doing much better now, personally and professionally. When her changed policies led one of her biggest clients to complain that they couldn’t afford to pay for everything they wanted, she flatly said that she couldn’t afford to give them everything they wanted, either — so that client somehow miracled up some cash to spend for the things they wanted, and their spending alone would have made January her best month ever and her business is now operating in the black. It’s funny how that works.
This is all on my mind just now because I have one last system administration task to accomplish for the client I’m throwing away at midnight tonight.
It’s never too soon to get rid of an asshole.