In the freelance world, what goes around definitely comes around. I remember a recent situation where a fellow freelancer had to bail on a project and left some work that needed completing; long story short, I stepped up to help. When it came time to get the materials for the project, my colleague got a strange attitude–as if he couldn’t be bothered to actually deliver the materials I needed to help finish the gig on time.
It all worked out in the end, but lo and behold a few days later this same person wanted me to do him the same courtesy I’d asked for (but not gotten) with the project materials. Funny how that works, eh?
In these situations I try to take the high road, but now and then every freelancer succumbs to the guilty pleasure of really sticking it to somebody when they seem to deserve what the Brits call being “kicked back into touch.”
I don’t advise this since freelancer karma works both ways even when you’re in the right. I usually just take satisfaction in knowing that I was vindicated and move on.
I do make sure the person knows they owe me one, though–and that’s a LOT more productive than giving in to the temptation to be a bit petty. The real danger in these situations is that the person on the receiving end of freelancer karma often winds up becoming grist for the writing mill.
In the words of a t-shirt I spotted for sale online recently, “I’m Blogging This”.
Fooey on you, karma scofflaws!