Hi, everyone: After our meeting this week about freelance issues I thought you might enjoy discussing the issues in the message below. I've posted it here with permission from the author (this was posted on the EAC listserv originally). Most of us who have done freelance editing have at some point dealt with a stinker client. How would *you* handle the situation below? Cheri (The author of the message would like me to share the replies; if you'd prefer your reply to be private, please say so in your message (I will remove all names and contact info anyway). Thanks!) -----Original Message----- Am I nuts to think about dropping the client that pays me my highest rate? It's almost time to renew our contract, and I am just not sure I want to. PROS - Always pay the bill (though somewhat slowly) - Accepts my highest rate - Supplies work each year, though it varies in amount CONS - Constantly shifts the date the document might be ready but expects to send it as soon as it arrives - Isn't clear when relaying the editorial requirements - Changes the style every time a new document comes out and seems to think I will use my ESP to figure this out - Never sends changes to the style guide made in-house - Makes me feel like an idiot when telling me I missed these new changes while editing - Asks for ridiculously quick turnaround times - Sends me a document and tells me half of it will be replaced with new text while I am editing (!) - Generally irritates the heck of me Here's the thing, though, the client is a government ministry. It feels wrong, somehow, not to want a government contact. But I am not sure that the agitation I feel is worth even my top rate. I think I'd rather earn a little less per hour and work on projects I enjoy. I used to put up with it because I really liked the one person I usually worked with, but she's been promoted and isn't the freelancers' contact anymore. I don't seem to get along with the person I now work, and I feel as if she really doesn't like me. She didn't choose me; she inherited me. I could make up some of the income with other clients. Financially, it wouldn't hurt too much to cut this one loose--but what if that isn't always the case? We've all seen publishing houses close, and most of my other clients are publishers. The ministry isn't going anywhere. What would you do? Keep the client, smile when you cash the cheque, and spend some of the money on a meditation class? Or drop the client, lower your blood pressure, and go back to enjoying your work? Do you pick money or quality of worklife?