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Tue, Dec 4th 11:21pm 2007: Bad People

In June this year Neil Evenden and I ran an e-Business seminar as part of a series of events run by Eastern Business Network. The seminar was aimed at people who already had a website but wanted to do more with it, and it was a bargain: EBN only charged the participants about $20 each for the 3 hour session, and we didn't charge EBN a cent for running it. I was just happy to be helping out some other local small business owners. It couldn't possibly have been any better value. Except it was. We also took along a pile of copies of How To Build A Website And Stay Sane and at the end we let people buy them for $20 / copy (they cost us $30 / copy, so we were actually losing $10 / copy by selling them at that price) and to make it really easy for people who didn't have money with them we even let them just leave their details so we could invoice them later. And since the participants asked heaps of questions and wanted to keep going, we ended up running well over the scheduled time rather than cutting it off at 3 hours. I gave people the option of ending there and everyone wanted to keep going, other than a couple of people who had other commitments and had to leave. So some time later we sent out invoices to the people who had taken books without paying, and they all happily paid their $20. Except one. 5 months after taking the book, and after being sent reminders of the outstanding invoice, Leslie Cachia of Letac Drafting Services emailed this response: "since the lecture was not complete due to the extra time he spent with other clients rather then the actual subject, I feel the book will be an excellent compensation for my time wasted" Aha. Right. So he needs to be compensated for the fact that I responded to questions from participants, donated thousands of dollars of my time for free, and sold copies of my book at below cost. And stealing a copy of the book therefore makes everything alright. As anyone who knows me will tell you I'm pretty accepting of people's differences and opinions. There have been very few times in my life when someone has really pissed me off. Leslie Cachia, you're now on that list, and all for the princely sum of $20.

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