In January 2010, a recruiter I've known since the mid-1990s asked me to help him with a search. He said the client was a big American company and would pay in 30 days. We made the placement but they didn't pay, or so he said. Finally, at the 90 day mark, he said he received the cheque but, as the days went by, I didn't receive one from him. He said he didn't know what happened; his mother had mailed it (yuk, yuk).
I asked him to cancel it and send a new one by FedEx. He didn't. In fact, I didn't hear from him for a week. Then he said he'd been rushed to the hospital and had stents put into his arteries to protect his heart. He eventually did get around to writing a new cheque and then he had his neighbour mail it. So, I got paid 4 months after the candidate started.
In February 2010, soon after the first placement was made, this same guy asked me to work on another search. It turned out to be very difficult but at long last it was filled. The candidate started on June 1, 2010. My split partner said that the client was a long-time business buddy and we would get paid right away. We didn't. Then, in August 2010, I lost contact with my split partner. He didn't call me and he didn't reply to my attempts to reach him.
He had told me that he had been recently diagnosed with diabetes and, as I said, he'd been rushed into surgery to keep him from having a heart attack so I thought that he might be very sick or even dead. So I just let it go. I didn't pursue it. I sent the odd email - which didn't bounce - but nothing more. Then, on Friday February 11, 2011, out of the blue, he called me. He wanted me to work another search. Can you believe it?
I said, "How about paying me for the last one?".
He said, "Oh, Animal, I never got paid!"
"Why not?" I asked.
"The candidate didn't work out," he said.
"He didn't work out?"
"That's right," he answered.
"He's not there?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said, "he's not there.".
"Couldn't you have called me?" I said.
"Oh, I've been very sick," he moaned.
"Well, I don't think I'm interested in another search," I said.
"Oh, please take a look at it," he begged. "I'll send you the job description and you can call me back Monday."
I said okay but as soon as I got off the phone I did a search on the name of the candidate we had placed in June. The client had a big picture of him on its website along with a bio. They also made mention of him on their Twitter page and his Linkedin profile said he was there. I called him up at work.
"Oh," he said, "Your split partner just called me up yesterday.
"Is that so," I replied.
"Yeah," he said. "He was looking for referrals."
Well, whaddaya know," I said. "I haven't spoken to him for awhile."
I immediately emailed my split partner the relevant links to Twitter, Linkedin and the client's site and on Monday morning I sent him an invoice.
I didn't tell him I knew he'd been lying to me even though it was quite obvious. At first I said, "We've got to get that guy to pay us," and I offered to call the client myself. My split partner asked me to leave it to him so I said, "Okay, but if you won't get the money from the client, you're going to have to pay me yourself." We've been corresponding regularly since then.
February 16, 2011 1:23 PM
Animal, sorry in getting back to you so late, i will have this issue done by Thursday Feb 17th. I will back to you tommorow. Regards
February 17, 2011 4:38 PM
Animal, i have everything taken care of, funds will paid & recieved next week. then we can move on. Regards
February 22, 2011 11:47 AM
Animal, i will have a date for you later this afthernoon or Wed. morning. Regards
February 23, 2011 2:49 PM
Animal, we are receiving the cheque on March 1, then we can move on. Sorry for all the problems. Regards
March 02, 2011 11:09 AM
Animal, sorry i have been hard to reach the last couple days. I had to deal with a health issue. This issue will be resovled by Friday at the latest & will get the funds to you. I will send you an email to you on Thursday. Thanks for your patience. Regards
Does he have the money? I don't think so. But, still, why would he take my fee? I was making money for him. It's totally crazy. And why would he call me back after I had left him alone? That, I think I know. He was probably drunk. He often called me - sometimes late at night - with slurred speech. He was slurring when called me 3 weeks ago and he even addressed the issue. When he was moaning about his poor health he pointed out that a girl had asked him that very day if he had been drinking and he had to tell her no, he was just not feeling very well.
Sounds bad, doesn't it? But, listen, this guy often told me about how successful he'd been. He said he'd made tons of money as a recruiter and bragged about how loyal his clients were. So, it's possible that he does have some cash or, at least, investments. He told me that he owns a townhouse. His ex-wife is living in it. That must be worth 150 or 200,000. And he's living with his mother and working out of his home office and that house was purchased in the 1960s.
So, he has no overhead and it looks like he's got some assets. And remember that he tried to pull this on me before. He witheld the fee on the first order but eventually came up with the money from somewhere so shouldn't he be able to do that again?
I sent him a harsh email on Saturday. Here is the reply:
March 05, 2011
Animal, sorry to get back to you so late. On Wed i went to see one of my specialist & they sent me directly to the hospital for a bladder problem. so i'am responding to my emails now. The past year has been a roller coaster. I'am sorry that have put you under distress. I will make all the arrangements on Monday & just move on Regards
"What does that mean?" I replied. "When will I receive a cheque in my hands? I'm getting frustrated with your nonsense letters so please be very very clear.
Animal, you will have the funds on Tuesday. It will be express post. also certified. Regards
Update August 19, 2011
Animal, the reason i have not back to you, i had very seriuos health issues, I will be able to get back you until Septemer 30th. i have not work since May. I have hardly work since i last spoke to you. i going thur a serious of test next week & i don't know what is going to happen. This not a lie. Regards, Alan