Did something for the first time in my 30 years of running my own business yesterday, I formally resigned from a client. I’ve let them fizzle out before and waited for them to do the deed but this was the first time I’ve done it properly.
You’re supposed to enjoy these moments, my nearest equivalent of telling the boss to f*** off but I didn’t really. It felt like a cross between sacking and dumping someone – things I’ve had to do more often than I would have liked.
It’s going to cost me a significant amount of money but it will save me a lot of aggravation. I’ve worked for the client for just on two years and over that period there’s been nothing but negativity and not a word of appreciation or thanks.
I hated opening her emails to read the latest poisoned missive and dreaded the monthly conference calls. I used to tell myself it was a small price to pay for the financial return I got. Then after a particularly bad few weeks I decided I’d had enough.
I actually started the resignation conversation with the classic line: “Look, I think we can both see that this isn’t working.” I then went into the reasons why. Apart from the poor working relationship there was just no point or pleasure in the actual work we were doing.
We had no content to work with and no clear purpose or outcomes to pursue. It was a wonder why this public sector client was making the investment. Once I’d explained my decision it was clear that the client was taken aback and didn’t know how to respond.
Pride hurt, she soon decided the best form of defence was attack by saying that she was just about to finish the contract anyway. The conversation eventually turned to the practical considerations of the notice period and how they would transition to a new supplier.
She followed up the call with a somewhat caustic email seeking to ridicule the reasons for my resignation. I didn’t take the bait but might respond when the contract is over and we’ve been fully paid.
Like any important decision I’m now wondering whether it was the right thing to do. Do I really want to be working with people who make me miserable? I don’t think so but then the money would be handy.
On balance right now it feels like I’ve done the right thing though I got no pleasure at all from telling this boss to f*** off. It feels good though to be in control of the process, rather than waiting for the worst to happen I’ve dealt with it and can move on.
It’s given me more of a sense of direction and a little more urgency in my search for both purpose and pleasure in retirement. Just 10 hours away from the massive milestone of my 60th year it feels liberating, the right thing to do.