The Client Who Does not Pay (finally takes a call from a different number, after months): Hayloooo
The innocuous vendor (from hereon, yours truly): Sir, This is Me…..If you remember…
The Client Who Does not Pay (almost choking, startled…): Hayloo, hayloo. How are you? Long time…Hehe!
Me (with a whiff of triumph now that the non-paying client is caught): I am good sir, how are you?
The Client Who…(regaining his tone and sound): I am good…so tell me.
Me (with exceeding hope and receding victory): Sir, Please update me on the payment?
The Client Who…(with an air of naked callousness): Next week, next week! The cheque will be ready
Me (trying hard to not to fall into trap): But sir, let me tell you that this is the 10th time such a promise is being made in the past 4 months. Also, nobody has answered my calls for the past two months from your office (now, some anger + frustration + other inexplicable emotions)
The Client Who…(getting sober or at least trying to sound like one): That was not our intention, you know. There’s an audit going on and there was some issues with our own finances.
Me (despite my lessons, try to find how the answer fits my question, any how still tenaciously trying to reason): But sir, I called your office assistant so many times, and there was no reply. There are about a dozen unanswered emails in my inbox. Please ask your office staff to at least answer my calls.
The Client Who…(regaining more composure, trying to sound more sober, and yes, more illogical): You have my empathies, but as I said, it was all unintentional.
(That’s a hint he has now answer and wants to address the issue from the veil of diplomacy, whilst not comprising on his elegant arrogance)
Me: Okay sir, so please do release my payment next week.
The Client Who…:Sure! Sure! (as non-assuring as always)! (Puts the phone down!)
Extra Note: Dear Client (Who never pays), I know that ethics and values are not your cup of tea. Courtesy numerous seasons in the industry, I am quite immune to your simply logic-defying excuses (or are they reasons?). I know when it comes to project delivery, you like to talk 10 times a day. Post-delivery, even 1 in 10 days is too much for you. And yes, you are so good at testing my patience, that now I have regained my love for test matches; I also forgive Domino’s guys if they are late. Also, I must thank you for making me a perseverant individual. The “never-say-die” (or never lose hope for a payment) attitude that you have inculcated in me has also helped me other areas of life, like my forceful stints on the pot even on constipated mornings. You see, I don’t give up until I am done. I might also thank you for reminding me of the all-pervasive karma yoga. The divine message that asks us not to seek fruit of actions, but focus all our attention on the task done. You have inadvertently transmuted me into a spiritual soul.
Thanks so much!! (may you rot in he**)!