First, a story of dreadful betrayal.

The guy from Arizona contacted me, asked me to check out his stuff and give him an estimate for the work that needed doing, and called me on the phone. I spoke with him for over an hour, thoroughly discussing his project. He said that he was building a team, wanted ongoing work, was impressed by my background, would hire me if we could work out the details, and would I send him a proposal. I did so.

You’re foreseeing the ending here, aren’t you? You’re thinking that I was too naive and trusting, that men always say they have long-term plans, that I shouldn’t have put two hours into the relationship when I hadn’t even been given a corsage.

Yesterday morning, he posted the job as a fixed-price job, using the information I gave him to prepare the budget. Then of course he sits back to see how low the bids will go. I know this because it turned up in my “writer job alert” from

Now, so far this may not seem so bad. You may not think this is even a betrayal, since after all he might have been sincere and just found me out of his price range. Nothing wrong with using information, wherever you get it, and you might say that he gave me a lot of info about his business, too, which I might be able to use someday myself. And he hadn’t actually offered me the job, just expressed positive feelings on the subject.

Here’s the completely irrational part. Before I saw what this guy had done, I was feeling very optimistic. I wasn’t counting my chickens before they hatched, but I have eighteen billable hours for next week, and irons in the fire, and I was feeling as though I was settling into the post-modern economy pretty well.

After I saw this terrible betrayal (described above, in case you’ve forgotten it), I felt as though I might never get any more work. Again. Ever. And maybe I should … well, not go out jobhunting again and become a salesclerk somewhere, but maybe … ummm…. worry more.