I had a meeting with a client who needed some landing pages. I showed him my previous work, and he decided to go ahead.

Client: We are looking forward to see what you can come up with. 

Me: I will create a contract proposal, and you can look it over and see if you want something revised before we sign.

Client: Ok, we will talk very soon. 

Then, three days later, I send him a contract proposal with a description of the project and my terms. Since I work at very low rates I always require the first half to be paid before I start work. 

After the client didn’t manage to read his email for two weeks, I finally hear back from him:

Client: You’re wasting time. I was under the impression you would send us a landing page within a day or two, and then we could discuss payment. We never sign contracts with freelancers, and we never pay up front for anything from a freelancer.

Me: I never work for free. The fact that you’re expecting me to work for free, without any guarantee of payment or a contract seems unserious to me. I always work on a project to project basis with contracts and clear terms for both parts to ensure my client gets a high quality website and I get paid for my work. 

Client: It seems we can’t work together.

Me: “Seems” nothing. I don’t work for free.

> Want to know if freelancing is for you?

Let’s talk about Aberfan.

If that sounds like a Welsh name to you, you’d be right. It’s a small community in Wales.

Today is a special day: the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster. It happened on the 21st of October 1966, at around 9:15 AM (GMT). It was the last day before the children in the junior and secondary schools in Aberfan broke up for half-term (which, coincidentally, was today for my secondary school too). In a nutshell, when Wales was full of coal mines they used to pile up all of the waste from the mines to make mountains of dirt - simply because they didn’t have anywhere else to put it. One of these piles was next to Aberfan. The area had experienced unusually high rain levels and the dirt pile was blocking off a stream. The pressure built up until, on the aforementioned date, it started sliding towards Aberfan.

Cut to the school. The children had just left an assembly where they sang “All Things Bright And Beautiful”, and were in their classes. The wave of slurry crashed into the school and surrounding buildings. Many people were crushed immediately, others died of suffocation. Most of the 144 people who died were children (116 of them - 5 teachers also died, the rest were adults outside of the school). People from near and far came to help with the rescue operation, but about half of the schoolchildren of Pantglas School died.

Here’s a picture of the memorial graves, put on the site of the school:

Here’s a link to the names and ages of the dead.

Please spread the word.