Last week I had a client who refused to pay me, and I spent several days being pissed off about it and dreaming up plans for revenge. But in the end, all I can do is try not to make the same mistake next time and make sure that I get paid up front or in person in the future rather than trust someone to mail me a check. For tutoring, most clients pay me for the month in advance, so it’s not an issue, and for editing, clients pay me 50% up front and the other 50% afterward, so that’s not an issue either. But this particular instance was a combination of tutoring for a couple of hours and editing for a couple of hours and rather than insist that the UC Berkeley student pay me when I met with her, I trusted her to send me a check once the editing was completed. Now she’s not returning my e-mails or phone calls and I don’t have her home address, so there’s nothing I can do but let it go and hope she got a terrible grade on her paper (not that I’m spiteful). The reason she is refusing to pay me is that, after she waited until 10 p.m. the night before her paper was due to send it to me for editing (when she was originally supposed to send it to me two days prior), she wanted me to rewrite it for her, and I refused. I copyedited it for grammar, spelling, punctuation and continuity and sent it back to her, and she was pissed. I should have known when she came to me complaining about the incompetence of another editor that she’d be bad news. So now I’m letting go. I’ll still e-mail her an invoice from time to time with a reminder that she hasn’t paid her bill, but emotionally I’m giving up on getting anything out of her. C’est la vie.