Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday, stop feeling awkward!

     Right after I was done with my blog entry yesterday I sat down at the desk and wrote out 10 late charge notes.  Some of these were for parents that paid tuition but no registration.  Some were for people who had not paid anything.  Some were for people who had registered but had not paid tuition ON TIME.  I felt awkward.  What if they just forgot (not likely as one paid late every single month last year)?  What if they bring money in today and I have just sent them a nasty gram?  I underlined and bolded the phrase "these charges will accrue until our next recital and your dancer will not be able to perform without full payment"  In other words, like American Express of Visa, I am adding this to your balance and you will pay the charges.
    Yes, two of the people I had billed came in with checks, one to fully discharge her debt and the other only a percentage. I felt awkward.  But then I asked myself, "Did I feel awkward when I let the studio insurance lapse last July?"  They billed me a $20.00 late reinstatement fee, as I was not seeing clearly I wrote a check for $72.36 instead of $79.36.  So the account went into default as they will not accept a partial lower payment.  It was not on purpose, I really had double vision.  My agent could have had the fee reversed, but I deserved it.  I paid it and I did not feel awkward.  Why do I let people or myself do this to me?

   I also had a grandmother call her daughter because even though the grandmother brings the dancer the mother had not paid.  The daughter told her mother on the phone that she had written a check on the 28th of August.  I told the grandmother I did not think I had any record of the check but I would go home and look at deposits after that time.  Sure enough no check (so she lied to her mother).  I then called her cell phone leaving a long message, as she did not pick up.  So I called her husband's contact # with the same story, he was obviously irritated and told me she was sitting next to him would I like to talk to her?  By all means!  Well low and behold she had not mailed the check.  So send check or your daughter sits out of dance. I cannot believe some people.  But what I can remember is, I was that young mother at one time.  I could not pay and I wanted my daughters to have those opportunities.  Enter my wonderful sissie who allowed my girls many wonderful gifts, of time, travel, art you name it.  Some people don't have a sissie, so I feel bad or awkward.

  I have to get over this, I am a business not a charity. 

     I have so much sewing to do today and I am happy, happy, happy about it!  Things seem to be picking up, I think.  I had a no spend on Sunday and Monday, but we spent $35.72 at the grocery store last night. Fruit, milk, yogurt, lunch meat, cheese.

     One of our local grocery stores is having a sale on butter for $1.99 a lb tomorrow so I am going to stock up on cheese and butter. 2 lbs of cheese for $3.99 plus I have a coupon for a $1 off 2lbs of cheese.  I can reprint this up to 5 times.  I am not a big coupon person but I love this offer.

    Well I am off to see the wizard!



  1. Ok lady, don't feel about about having to dun these parents of your students.
    You are a good person and you have a generous spirit, THAT I can tell from reading your blog all these months.
    But you are also responsible for your business and TO your business.

    And these non-parents have put you in a situation where the owner in you has to keep the business solvent but the human being in you empathizes with their plight.
    The thing is, instead of standing in their truth(there I go sounding like Suze Orman!lol) about how they can't afford to make the full payments on time, they have lied and ignored their debt to your business. Had they been upfront with you about money difficulties I am sure you would have worked something out or given them more time, etc. But by lying to you and obfuscating the facts they have lost any right to any goodwill you may have wanted to offer them.
    Don't feel badly about making them pay or else. You have nothing to apologize to anyone for when you do!

    PS. Awesome butter and cheese prices. Fill your freezer!lol

  2. I agree with slugmama-if somebody admitted to financial difficulties, you would find a solution that would work for you and that person. But if nobody said anything I guess they forgot (and this kind of reminder was needed so there is no problem) or they wanted to forget (then, as you said, you run a business not charity). It's your job and when we work we're paid for that :)

  3. Kim, speaking as a parent who pays for special lessons, I'd be mortified to have a teacher have to come after me for late payment so I always pay EARLY. I think it's horrible that these parents out YOU in this position! You have NOTHING to feel bad about!! They should be apologizing & making sure payment is never late again!

  4. I would probably feel like you do, too. But, try to remember that you NEED that money to run your business SUCCESSFULLY! The more financially secure you are with your business the better you will be able to run it and keep providing the quality that you do. Good job for getting tough!

  5. Like you said, it's not like if they don't know. Just like you got that reinstatement fee on your studio insurance, even if it was a mistake, you were still partially at fault. Same with the parents. Hold your ground! You're doing great sending the notes. And hopefully they yield! For the wellbeing of the dancers.

  6. I have to do my own collections, too. I honestly find, especially when they are people that I know, using a sense of humor gets the money in faster. Sometimes I'll write, "Baby needs new shoes. Please contribute to the Shoes for (Daughter) Fund!" on the invoice. Or when it's tax time I say, "Uncle Sam wants his share - please help!" I know it's so hard when it involves children to do things that penalize them because their parents are screwups.