What do you do, when your HUGE client in Hong Kong won’t pay your agreed fee, leaving you with 4 euros until the end of the month?

I know that Richard Li, massively wealthy owner of this mega-corporation won’t take notice of a small blog like this.
This is a good thing in some ways.
We’ve been waiting to be paid our quarterly agreed fee since April. It’s 1500 euros, not a massive amount, but it keeps us afloat.
It’s not as though this fee can’t be paid – it’s purely due to a manager ignoring fee requests from the assistant manager who is the client liaison.
This person, this manager, who has no idea of life in rural Spain, no idea of how stress affects people with MS, no idea of what it feels like not to have enough money for food, won’t even reply to emails.

So here we are, yet again being forced to borrow money for food from our grownup children, as though we were somehow in a Dickensian novel. It’s humiliating.
I was in tears in April, as we hadn’t got the money to buy our lovely son a birthday present and he had to wait until the end of the month. This feels awful.
It was a risk, moving here. But as I was housebound in the UK and felt well here, my health came first. All of this is my fault, in a way. So now we live here, with no safety net. Can we live off eggs and lettuce and the odd courgette for the rest of the month? I don’t know.

Now, I could work or rather I will be able to, when my voice is back to its full strength. I work out to gain physical stamina and I do my vocal exercises, but as I have Multiple Sclerosis, this process isn’t smooth. I have to stop and rest and recover my stamina for a couple of days a week. This makes me a potentially unreliable employee, but I will persist and keep working so that I can contribute – if I can. There are no guarantees with MS. Life can be very difficult indeed.

We can afford to buy food on my husband’s small pension – but with bills, each month is a struggle. He was dealt a massive injustice in 2002, when he and many other managers, partners and directors were booted out of PricewaterhouseCoopers, by the ‘Coopers’ side, who promised no redundancies for two years, that it would be an equal partnership and who, at the 2 year mark, struck like cobras. OUT.
Had he been working in the UK, he’d have had a decent redundancy payment and would have received a better pension.
But, weasels that they are, the accountancy firm cheated him and as he’d been working abroad, he’d been denied the chance to make payments into his UK Pricewaterhouse pension fund. This drastically reduced the pension –but it gave us just about enough money to survive on, around 300 euros per month. Things could and should have been different. But like all huge firms, they screw people whom they know can’t fight back. Here is a warning to any other people who go and work abroad for a global firm. If you are booted out, due to takeover, you don’t exist. You have no employment rights. Watch your back.
So someone could say – pay into a private pension fund. We did this and what happened in 2001? The market collapsed, reducing our pension fund from £60,000 to £14,000. Wow! More bad management.

Right now, with the increasing stress from hoping that the payment will arrive this week, (this week? No, this week? No…this week?) a situation that has been ongoing since April, I’m living with stress hormones. These hormones make the MS symptoms worse. The shaky hands, wobbly legs, the adrenaline and subsequent exhaustion is not good for people who have a incurable neurological disease. DO YOU HEAR ME, HONG KONG?????
If your outrageous incompetence persists and I suffer a relapse, I will, in my dreams, fly to Hong Kong, walk in to the office and stand in front of the desk of Ms******* and demand payment, in cash, on the spot. Yeah, right. I know this isn’t going to happen. It’s in my dreams.

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2 Responses to What do you do, when your HUGE client in Hong Kong won’t pay your agreed fee, leaving you with 4 euros until the end of the month?

  1. Sugarplum Valkyrie says:

    Shouldn’t there be some kind of late payment charge you can impose? This kind of corporate indifference make my blood boil – if this was me I’d be bombarding Richard Li with emails on an hourly basis.

    • jayblewes says:

      Asian business practices. They’ve replied to the emails and now we wait. Oh, finally – a proper reply! 3 months late on a much-needed payment is bad business practice. They should be more honourable and have apologised and fixed it on the spot.
      No tiny business should be pushed to the point of wondering how to buy food for the rest of the month.

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