A reader writes:
I have a friend, Frank, who I met because we both enjoy certain sports. I only see Frank when I am involved in this sport, but it’s a small community so everyone knows each other. Because my business caters to this sport, Frank decided he would like to use my service. And because he is a friend, I gave him a discounted price. My business is appointment-based and I can only see one client at a time, so we have a strict 24-hour rescheduling policy. He has cancelled his appointment many times without proper notice, leaving me in a lurch. I explained that I am unable to see other clients when he does this. When I confront him about this, he gets very angry and says he is not a “client” (he is “more than that”) and I should not treat him as such. He refuses to pay the cancellation fee.
Meanwhile, an ex-employee who was fired for insubordination and stealing clients is siding up to Frank — disparaging my name and my company, all the while trying to steal him as a client. Because of Frank’s flaky nature, I’m not too sure this wouldn’t be a bad thing.
The problem is that Frank is very good at certain athletics and is a featured client on our advertising campaign. He also knows many people in the sporting community and word gets around. Should I suck it up? Or set a boundary, change my campaign, and let the chips fall as they may?
I answer this question — and three others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.
Other questions I’m answering there today include:
- My vendor fired my son unfairly
- Will my new hire feel uncomfortable being the only team member without a graduate degree?
- A friend interrupted my job interview in a coffee shop