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How would you interpret this deadline?

(12 Posts)
PinkPolish Mon 12-Dec-16 22:06:46

I'm s/e and am about to take on a client but they aren't working to my deadlines (which is essential for their progress as is their enthusiasm.)

I gave a deadline two weeks ago for them to complete paperwork, needed 2 days before our meeting because I need to read it and do prep. I said in writing' please complete as soon as you can and no later than 'date'. (today)

They still had not emailed it by 9pm.

Would you personally think a deadline was end of play on a working day- ie 6pm latest- or midnight?

(There is a back history of them not confirming an appt within a deadline so I cancelled it and this paperwork is prep for the re-scheduled meeting.)

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 12-Dec-16 22:09:45

I'd take the deadline as ideally 6pm, but by midnight at the very latest.

It sounds like they just don't want to do this at all! Is it their idea to work with you, or someone else's?

BratFarrarsPony Mon 12-Dec-16 22:11:08

Deadline is midnight unless otherwise instructed.

PinkPolish Mon 12-Dec-16 22:16:07

Really? I also work as a writer and my deadlines are always COP- ie 5pm.

It's their idea they work with me -a kind of mentoring.

I agree they sound reluctant which is why I asked.

You see I'm not going to be reading work emails and attached docs at midnight- I expected their paperwork during a working day.

BratFarrarsPony Mon 12-Dec-16 22:20:52

well I am not office might be different.
You should tell them !!

PinkPolish Mon 12-Dec-16 22:24:39

I didn't give them a time of day purposely. I thought the time they got the paperwork to me would be a good indication of their commitment. (I know they have lots of time so it's not a case of them being really busy.)

I always interpret a deadline as within working office hours. I'm just worried that I'm being unreasonable .

Minikievs Mon 12-Dec-16 22:28:04

But if they send it by COP (i.e. 5/6) then you'd have to work on it after hours anyway? So if they sent it at 10pm, it's effectively the same, as it's still after business hours.
Personally, if it was waiting in my inbox for he the next morning when I switched on, then that's good enough.
I take your point about it showing their (lack of) commitment though

SwedishEdith Mon 12-Dec-16 22:30:52

I interpret deadlines as in their inbox when they start working on it next day.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 13-Dec-16 07:50:10

If they are self-employed too, they may well think that later in the evening/the next day is the same as end of the day yesterday. We don't always think 9-5!

Obviously you have to work in a way that is good for you...but having known they were a bit flaky, I think I would have given a time and also send a reminder - not sure if you did?

I can understand you might be annoyed at their lack of response/having cancelled before (did you charge them anyway?) but it sounds like they need additional 'management'. This might not be something you want to do and that is fair enough, but if you want to work with them, you probably need to send reminders/be clear about timings and/or work in a way that works for them.

I recently saw a business coach. She sent me a 2 page feedback form at after our session, I chose to write a couple of lines back in an email as I am really busy although not too busy to MN you will see but she just accepted it. I am sure she would have preferred I completed her form, but that isn't going to be how it with me.

Good luck. I know how annoying it when you cannot prepare/do your bit as you are waiting on another.

dollyollymolly Tue 13-Dec-16 09:44:37

I usually state close of play as my deadline but I don't expect to start working on it until the next morning. Close of play could mean 9pm to some people!

I would chase and say that you need it by midday otherwise you are not going to have time to prepare/will have to defer the meeting.

A lot of people are crap with deadlines. I usually set the deadline after the meeting, then remind them about a week before, then chase the morning after (if I haven't received anything from them). I call it the 'broken record technique'. It does work though.

PinkPolish Tue 13-Dec-16 11:41:49

Thanks for all the input.
The potential client has been unable to complete the paperwork at all, and I have decided to end the contract (which the paperwork was establishing.)
The type of support I'm offering requires a client to show some commitment and it's my policy/ professional code of ethics not to chase because their behaviour gives a lot of insight into what stage they are at and whether they are ready for the support.

crazywriter Wed 21-Dec-16 05:15:58

I know you've decided to cancel but I just want to put this thought out there. We're assuming your client was in the same timezone as you.

I'm 16 hours behind one of my clients. That affects our timings and we're always very clear re. Timings because of that. We put in the likes of GET, EST, PST etc to make sure we know which timezone we mean.

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