Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Train Your Client

Yesterday my dear John made me rewatch both parts of “How to Train Your Dragon”. For the ninth time this month – I keep counting. Though I like the idea and the quality of animation, it starts getting on my nerves. There are too many dragons in my life lately.  Anyways, while I was looking at Red Death in the first part of this animated film, I suddenly recollected one of my clients – and yes, he was just that bad. That thought led me to the natural conclusion: most clients are just like dragons. You want to cooperate with them – you have to train them.
So, how should you train your client…

… if he is too picky?

First rule of clients’ training: train yourself. Look at your own work critically: perhaps, your client is not too picky; your negligence may be the cause of his niggles. If you looked through the whole work and still think that your piece of writing is like customer’s paradise on the Earth, try to find your client’s motives for his pickiness. Perhaps, he is just a perfectionist. It is also possible that he simply doesn’t want to pay you. In the first case – ignore his grunting (but try to write your best and listen to his criticism, if it’s on business). In the second case – apply for help to the administration of your custom writing service, or, if you cooperate with your client personally, just correct everything he asks… and never work with him again.

if he delays the payment?

When your client provides your salary a week later than he should, it’s not a disaster. Nevertheless, it’s still very unpleasant. Especially in the case if you were counting on this amount of money at a particular time. But don’t worry, there are two ways of solving this problem. Either your client gives you a partial prepayment, or you send him a half of the order before you get your salary and another half after. Both solutions are pretty fair, if you ask me.

… if he is not amenable to training?

Unfortunately, it happens sometimes. That was the case with my client – the one I called Red Death at the beginning of this post. He wanted too much for a very small amount of money, and he kept trying to find a cause, which would allow him to pay me even less. Besides, he was incredibly rude while communicating with me. I would like to give you a piece of advice – if you have to deal with such a client, deal with him only once and then find somebody else. There are many adequate people, who need qualitative essays and who are ready to pay for these essays. So… sometimes you just have to move on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Don’t Be Trivial About Cliches

Currently my daughter Amy is preoccupied with an idea of how to get into German summer camp next year. She has been studying German for 3 years now, and, well, this winter she is going to sign up for a special language exam in Washington, D.C. The preparations began yet in August - and yes, Amy actually does make me sit with her and help her go through the countless tasks and exercises.

Why do I even write about it here? Well, the thing is that in order to pass her exam (which is called TestDAF, by the way), Amy doesn’t have to use especially complicated grammar or to have extremely wide vocabulary. What matters the most - she needs to use specific cliches. If one uses them, it means that the biggest part of the work is done.

And while my daughter learns her cliches by rote, I would like to muse about the role of cliches in life of a regular academic writer. Tutors and professors in literature as well as in English class tend to prohibit their students the use of cliches (meaning both banal words, such as “therefore”, “however”, and sentences, such as “everyday life”, “pros and cons”, “calm before the storm” and etc.). That is why students, being our clients, forbid us the use of cliches as well. And that is why, in turn, we often do like this, when accomplishing our writing orders:

Is it a right thing, to exclude cliches from your writing completely? I think, it depends. If you are writing a literary essay or a paper for English class, then yes, you should watch out and avoid banal sayings. But if you are working on lab report, thesis paper or essay in a scientific subject, you can make your life easier and use cliches. Just don’t go over the edge.