DEAR HARRIETTE: I was courted by a former client for a contract for nearly three months. Then, after I made my presentation, nothing happened. When I reached out repeatedly to follow up, nothing.
Finally, I wrote to my client to ask if I had done something to turn him off, because I couldn't understand why his company suddenly went cold. He wrote back -- after months of silence -- to say that his boss had decided to pause the project.
I'm frustrated this was not communicated to me earlier. I'm not sure what to do now. Do I thank this guy for telling me the truth? How can I lobby for the work at the same time? -- Stuck, Los Angeles
DEAR STUCK: Welcome to the world of independent contracting. It usually takes a long time to secure a deal, and then if the deal falls through, contractors may not get fair warning. Companies move on to the next important project on their slate. Is this lack of follow-through rude? Yes. It also is very common.
I wish people and companies would recognize that endings are as important as beginnings. I believe that if a company representative has engaged someone in conversation about a potential job, the least he or she can do is to follow up and say "thanks, but no thanks," if that's the case. To say nothing is disrespectful. The person who was interviewed is waiting.
That said, about all you can do is mention one last time that you are interested and available for the gig. If there is no response, move on.
I implore potential employers to take a moment to close the loop by letting unsuccessful job candidates know that the end is here. Remember the Golden Rule.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter has very serious acne, and it causes her a lot of stress. Her peers at school tease her, and even other people who see her in the mall or wherever sometimes say something about her.
She saw a report about a teen girl with the same problem who started wearing what looks like stage makeup to cover up her acne. She even made instructional videos about it, and now she has good self-esteem. My daughter wants to start wearing this kind of makeup, too. I think it's a mistake because it probably clogs the pores even more. My daughter is set to do this. How can I dissuade her? -- Protective Mom, Miami
DEAR PROTECTIVE MOM: Dealing with severe acne can be traumatic, especially for the teens who are usually struck with it. I understand your concern about the makeup not helping to heal her skin. And you probably are right. Still, self-esteem is a real issue for people with acne.
I recommend that you take your daughter to a dermatologist to get medical insight regarding her condition. Ask the dermatologist about makeup coverage. You may get a recommendation that includes acne-drying properties as well as coverage.