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home : columns : dear harriette October 20, 2020

8/28/2020 7:59:00 AM
Reader questions asking client for money

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going through my papers trying to get organized before the fall, and I noticed that one of my clients never paid me for a job I did last year. It has been several months, and I only just now realized it. With quarantine and all, I didn't notice that this invoice had gone unpaid. Is it too late to remind him of the money I am owed? I know that this has been a difficult time for businesses, but it has been hard on me, too. I did submit the invoice back in February, but I forgot to follow up. What do you think? -- Overdue Invoice

DEAR OVERDUE INVOICE: By all means, contact this client and point out that you just realized that you never received payment on the outstanding invoice. Forward a copy of the original invoice and request payment. Be kind in your note. If you know the client personally, you may also want to pick up the phone and call. Check to see how he is doing. There is a chance that you may have to wait a little longer if this business is currently suffering. Your check-in should help you figure out what is realistic to expect.
Know that even if you need your money urgently, if the company is experiencing dire straits, you may not be able to collect it on the spot. Alternatively, some businesses did well during the quarantine period. You won't know until you make contact. Pay attention. Listen carefully and proceed with as clear an understanding as you can to ascertain how soon they will be able to pay you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I looked in the mirror the other day and had to gasp. This period of quarantine has been no friend to me. I have sat in my house for months, and I look like it. I don't even know how I put on so much weight, but it is not good. I feel like I have turned into one of my aunties who I pledged as a child I would never become. I always judged them for getting so big, and here I am looking just like them. I am horrified. But I am worried that I am too old to shed the weight. What can I do to reverse these months of lethargy? -- Overweight

DEAR OVERWEIGHT: It would be great to start with a complete physical at the doctor. Find out how much you weigh and the status of your body. Learn if there are any health conditions for you to attend to, and ask your doctor about recommended exercises that are safe for your body now. Ask for a referral to a nutritionist as well. Between diet and exercise, you can work to improve your overall health and lose weight at the same time. The key will be for you to be committed to the plan. No matter what age, you can pivot and make a tremendous difference. You deserve to be healthy.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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