How to screw a supplier, slowly

I’ve been negotiating a contract with a customer for the last two months. That’s a bit of a problem because even though a piece of the work was due last week, I didn’t receive a signed contract until the day before the original due date, mostly due to delays by their legal department. Now, their accounting department has some as-yet-unexplained problem with the contract, and when they were informed that they are holding up a critical project, they replied “please note this only affects the payment not the services rendered”.

Does anyone else find this quote hilarious? I may not have an MBA, but I’ve been in business long enough to know that I don’t render any services on a contract without the promise of being paid. Meanwhile, I’ve spent two months (off and on) of unbillable time trying to get this contract signed for what is not, in the end, a huge amount of money. Needless to say, I didn’t discount my rate for them.

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