22.12.04

Over the moon!


A funny thing happened to me this morning. As I was copy-editing an article about the Norwegian fascist leader, Quisling, I received a phone call from a colleague of mine in Portugal. I had recently completed copy-editing an article that this Portuguese colleague had written for publication in a forthcoming book. It just so happens that my colleague works in an area that is forever changing, meaning that it is exceptionally difficult for him to complete an article without it having been overtaken by events. This piece that he wanted me to check over is a case in point. He told me that he had promised the editors of the book that his contribution about the Portuguese political system would be in good time: unfortunately for him, however, President Sampaio decided to do what he really ought to have done back in July, and called fresh elections. Consequently, my colleague had to change his article to include these developments. My colleague's misfortune was my good fortune, however, as he asked me if I could complete the copy-editing within three days. I have done work for this person before, but I was more concerned with the goodwill I could accumulate by meeting this deadline: personal word of mouth recommendations from satisfied clients are a Godsend to the self-employed person. The deadline was met, and the customer was extremely satisfied. The strange thing that happened was, I believe, caused by a very happy customer: he called me and asked me to send the invoice by email today, so that he can get it paid before the end of the year! Normally, payment is a process that drags on until legal action is threatened... so this really was a novelty! Perhaps we are witnessing the beginnings of a trend. Then perhaps we aren't!

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