One of the major downsides of being self employed is the speed at which you get paid (or not). It seems to be slowing down year on year. I’m still owed £150 by the Heritage Lottery Fund from about 7 years ago for dressing up as Dracula under supervision of my friend Roland. I expect I’ll never see that and I have no idea who to contact about it now. Roland left between the job and the invoice coming to term.
So these jobs that I do between the acting jobs – I don’t even know for certain if I’ll ever get paid, and how many hoops I’ll have to jump through before the money comes in. And when it comes to well paid work that I haven’t particularly enjoyed it’s even more egregious when the money comes slowly.
There are a lot of people shouting at a WhatsApp group in order to try to persuade a man in Turkmenistan to release pay for us from the horse races. He is responding with details about his internet capabilities and information pertaining to administrative issues that sound depressingly like the fallout of someone who would prefer to pay us slowly than to make too much of a fuss. Meanwhile mortgage deposits, nursery fees and, for me, the ability to tax my car and get a parking permit are deferred by another day and another day. He says “It’ll be in soon.” We say the same to whoever is down the chain. But if it isn’t soon then everyone down the chain feels it.
I’ve been sat in my car all day, driving around or sitting there with the hazard lights on as I am now. Occasionally I’ll feed a meter and get a coffee, or go to a charity shop and buy some CDs for 50p each. (Right now I’m on Stoosh by Skunk Anansie. 0.49p to Cancer Research.) Every few minutes I optimistically check my bank account. Today was given as the day it would definitely come in which is why I have been keeping my car here. Nothing. Tomorrow I’ll probably take it outside regulated parking and leave it for a few days. I was hoping to be able to avoid that. For tonight I’ve only got half an hour left before it’s off meter, so I can leave it round the corner from my place and feed the cat and have dinner.
The advantage of being confined to my car is that I can go visiting my friends who aren’t working. I dug out my friend Tanya, who is training as a Pilates instructor and has time in the days.
She lives close to a Waitrose where I can park for two hours for £2.50. The rest of the day was spent emailing on my phone, trying to sort stuff out. Thank God for smartphones. I get so much use out of mine. If only my employer, Neil, was able to use his more in Turkmenistan on our behalf to chase the payment.