Last year I picked up some freelance work with a Brisbane-based glossy magazine. I was getting semi-regular work, which was lovely, but I was - well, concerned - about their pay arrangements.
Sadly, it turns out I wasn't the only one.
It's disappointing for me, and not just because they owe me close to $1500. There's also the fact that the March issue, which features an article I'm quite proud of, may not be distributed (although you can still see my article, if not actually read it, on their website); and the potential for future earnings and portfolio-building has been drastically reduced.
OK, so it's mostly about the cash.
I've got some reason to rejoice though. After hearing John Birmingham's tales of trying to get money out of reluctant magazines at the MEAA dinner a few weeks back, I got the feeling that you're not truly a freelancer until you've been stuffed around by a publication's accounts department. I feel like I may have joined that club now.
But it does make me think about debt. There's plenty of people (well, banks & utilities mostly) that I owe money to, but there's not many people who owe me cash. In fact, there never really has been.
So how does one go about getting the money one's owed? Pester power? Donning boxing gloves and storming their offices? What's the biggest amount someone's ever owed you, and how did you get it back?