I’ve heard it said that we all demand justice, but ask for mercy.
For a year and a half, I’ve shown mercy to Mango– the client who has refused to pay me for work I did. I’ve tried to work things out, tried to reach an arrangement, tried to be patient as I heard (week after week) that surely next week the money would be there. At last, my patience gone, I sued in court, won, and now find myself in the frustrating process of collection.
And yet, even after all this, I was willing to show mercy. I didn’t want to disrupt Mango’s business, and I didn’t want to approach their clients to explain the situation and demand the money. It just seemed mean-spirited.
Today I interviewed someone for a potential position at my company, and in the course of the conversation I learned that he was doing contract work for Mango. I asked what sort of PHP development that involved, knowing full well that the PHP expertise of that company was extremely limited. He explained that he’d been tasked to enhance a slick back-end web administration tool that Mango sold to clients. Hmm. I asked him the name of the software.
My response? “I wrote that!” Yes, two years ago I wrote Forge from scratch, and explicitly told Mango that it was for that particular project, and reselling it was out of the question without my explicit permission. My files contained very clear legal instructions to that end, and I know they were aware of those restrictions.
And yet, two years later, it turns out that (1) they haven’t paid me for my work developing the software, and (2) they’re reselling it for a profit to their clients… and certainly marketing it as their own. As I thought about it, I was absolutely beside myself. Unbelievable.
So no more mercy. They shall have justice.