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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2014, 12:59 pm 
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Joined: October 11th, 2011, 2:29 pm
Posts: 22
Awhile back, I went into a forum I'd decided to stay away from, as it's known for mudslinging, personality conflicts, etc., and a result was realizing I'd made some mistakes. Perhaps everyone else already knows this, but let me offer this advice anyway:

NEVER write for a client who refuses to tell you where he/she is located.

NEVER write for a client who will not tell you his/her real name, and the name of his/her company if the work isn't for their personal use.

NEVER delete anything- from the work projects you do for clients to communications between clients and yourself, it appears we need to keep everything indefinitely.

My mistakes: approx. a year ago, I deleted folders on my desktop that contained old work;
and thinking an email account might be reaching its storage limit, I also deleted communications from clients I figured I'd never hear from and had no reason to contact again.

How these mistakes "bit me in the butt" (can I say 'butt' on this forum?): a client posted on that forum, making false claims such as saying I did not write the extra material they'd asked for and didn't pay me for, that I have the habit of missing deadlines, and that I essentially make a pest of myself emailing clients. While none of these claims were true, I can't prove it because I deleted everything. So she's doing a dandy job of wrecking my reputation, and I can't do anything about it.

If anyone has advice, I'd appreciate it.


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 2:43 pm 
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Joined: March 4th, 2004, 9:36 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Murphy, NC Copy Desk
Hi starmom,
Perhaps worth a try would be to send the person something like the following.

"Dear <Whoever>,
I was surprised to see what you posted about having worked with me. While we worked together, I never got the impression that you were in any way dissatisfied. I try to please every client, but this is possible only if any concerns are conveyed to me. I wish that you had done this instead of venting in a way that doesn't do either of our reputations any good."

Dave

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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2014, 12:36 am 
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Joined: October 11th, 2011, 2:29 pm
Posts: 22
Thanks, Dave, but there's a complication:

I have two OS on this computer- Linux & Windows. Whenever possible, I worked in Linux; I made the mistake of deleting not only emails I thought wouldn't be relevant anymore, but also folders containing articles that I had on the desktop.
Recently, Linux decided to be difficult, and then quit entirely. So I had to go back to Windows.
As both OS are on the same computer, wouldn't that mean the files I deleted would be on the hard drive? And if so, is there any way to access them without buying special programs?
I already did a basic and advanced search, but couldn't find the files.
While it wouldn't accomplish anything re: the emails I deleted, if the files still exist somewhere at least I could show I wrote the material the client is claiming I didn't write.


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PostPosted: May 4th, 2014, 2:05 pm 
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Joined: March 4th, 2004, 9:36 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Murphy, NC Copy Desk
Hi starmom,
I quite understand wanting vindication in such a situation. However, I suggest that you forget about trying to show that you wrote the material that the client is claiming you didn't write. No matter how much evidence one party presents in an online debate, the other party can always claim it was invalid or irrelevant. And if such a debate were protracted, this would reinforce in viewers' minds the fact that you were involved. I think it's better not to even get involved in trying to prove who was right. Let the topic fade from viewers' memories.

That's why in my post of May 1, I suggested phrasing that would express your perspective without being confrontational and wouldn't depend on finding your old records. If the client is trying to goad you into a fight, my suggested phrasing would make clear that you're not going to let yourself be provoked.

Dave

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