I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A Hamburger Today…
When does being agreeable equate to bank rolling your clients project?
Here’s a quick snippet from a recent conference call I was on:
CLIENT: “So, I know you’ve been working on our project on out of scope items. As we process that change order… we’d like for you to split it up and process it as two…. the first one for the immediate activities and the second one for the future work.”
US: “So, if I understand correctly, you need to postpone the portion of the change order we’ve been working on for A YEAR to get some emergency work done that you didn’t plan for?”
It goes on and on from there. But, this reminds me of Whimpy in the E.C. Segar’s Popeye Cartoon when he’s say…
“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today…”
Did anyone ever get paid back?
Will we get paid back?
Will you get paid back on your next project?
I see this as a very fine line between being a doormat and being a great service provider and I have a few thoughts about how to mitigate the risk…
1. ALWAYS get a written approval for extra work BEFORE doing the work. Even if it’s not in a written change order at least they knew what they were getting before the work started and they gave you your notice to proceed.
2. ALWAYS keep a work product in reserve. As the work gets closer to final submittal, at least now you have something that makes your work an emergency to push other paperwork out of the way.
3. ALWAYS be transparent in the burden you’re under for your client. While its important to remember you’re helping relieve their pain, you’ll get to a point when your own pain is unbearable… and when you stop working – you don’t want your client to be surprised.
There it is… straight talk about being a doormat.
“I yam what I yam…”