So I just had my first violent freelance client!

Badge on my list of freelance and travel experiences!

Public Domain photo of someone yelling for effect.

(Background: As I travel in Colombia, I barter my design services to hostels in exchange for stay.)

The co-owner of Tropica Hostel in Cali, Colombiaapparently, by his own assertion if I can trust it, pays off the police in San Antonio.

He agreed to 5 days of shelter and food, and laundry for 2 extra hours in exchange for 4 hours of graphic design work each day, then the next day told me

“Only if I like your work, and on only 2 kg of laundry. Stay tonight and if we like your work, stay the rest of your days.”

Of course I asserted myself, saying I want us to honor our agreement. I realized it was negotiation or nothing, so I negotiated for 4 kg of laundry and said I can’t work with someone who changes their mind so much. Please be more consistent going forward, but I’ll show you my first draft tonight…

He said okay.

He and his wife own the place. I told him I wanted to show them both together since he kept saying his wife didn’t like my stuff and she’s part of the decision.

He held the availability of shelter over my head. It was around 10pm, and I couldn’t find another place, so I had no choice. He liked it but had to check with his wife. I told him I can’t work like this. I would give him my laundry and then leave the next day. We got into an argument, and I knew I made the right decision.

This morning, after receiving my clean laudry and breakfast, when they gave me less than they did the day before, I was approached by a staff pressuring me to leave 4 hours before checkout time, which I brushed off. And then him, demanding I send him the flyers I made. I told him we broke the agreement the night before. If he wants to continue working with me, I am happy to provide him the flyers given we recognize our original agreement. I don’t want to provide him something that is unfinished, and I want us to honor our original agreement.

He proceeded to intimidate me, yelling and getting in my face, upon which I stood my ground.

Then he started pushing me…

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