I just got an interview with this client over Skype. At first, the client was all too nice and we suddenly got into disagreement with rates. I tried to justify why I charge that much and I got an insult, coupled with the "F" word that I was lost for words and just hung up. How do you deal with this..if it happens next time?
Sadly, these unfortunate events will happen. Disputes and disagreements have been known to start wars. Fortunately, this one was only a verbal attack, without any apparent provocation or retaliation. Nevertheless, this (the client's) behavior is uncalled for, unacceptable and should not be tolerated. You were well within your rights to hang up, although "lost for words" gives the impression that you simply hung up, without (calmly) voicing your objection to the abuse. More about this in the suggestions later.
Firstly, as freelancers, we fall into the 'employee' role of the employer / employee relationship. Traditionally, it is a subservient role in which the employer wields the power and authority. And in a virtual environment, employers have even more freedom and anonimity to act inappropriately, without facing any consequences. There are also many more cross-cultural differences that employees (us Experts) respect more than the employers, generally speaking, of course. Coupled with this, freelancers need the work and thus tend to be less outspoken and confrontational, which is, on the whole, a good thing.
Secondly, until a relationship is established, your prospective employer is a virtual stranger. In all likelihood, you may never meet again, and in the case of an abusive situation, that is also a good thing.
So, when an employer decides to rant, follow these 10 golden rules:
Get up, stretch your legs, take a deep breath .. and forget all about it. There are far more good employers than bad. And the bad will quickly sift themselves out.