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Former freelancer bothering me?

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Active Member
Christina W Member Since: Jan 22, 2019
1 of 23
Hello.
Not too long ago, I worked with this freelancer on a project. He completed it and I was fairly happy with the end result, but later decided not to continue the project for personal reasons. We parted on very good terms.

He messaged me a couple of weeks after completion of said project, at which point I explained to him very nicely that I had decided not to continue the project. I told him I would keep him in mind if anything new came up that matched his skills. He seemed to understand, thanked me, and I thought it all ended there.

Fast forward to yesterday (about 2 weeks after our last exchange) when he messaged me again out of the blue, seemingly just to chat. I have other projects going on Upwork, so I log in often, and the message came when I was online. I know it might have been a coincidence, but it felt stalkish especially since there was nothing left to discuss. I was nice with him but tried not to move the conversation forward and didn't ask him any questions. He continued to ask general questions like how I was doing, how was work etc. It felt very awkward and made me uncomfortable because I didn't know the purpose of all this. I explained to him again that the project he had worked on would not be continuing, which was awkward in itself to have to repeat. He seemed slightly offended and said that he was just asking me in general. The conversation ended shortly afterward. The whole thing was weird. I couldn't tell if he just had too much free time in his hands or if he was trying to fish for a new project (he never asked directly) or if he was even trying to make advances on me. All I know is that the exchange was uncomfortable as there was no purpose in it.

So I've been wondering: is it typical of Upwork freelancers to contact former employers out of the blue? Is this a way to try and fish for more work? And if so, how do people handle it? I am by nature nice to people, but this has me annoyed. To the point where I wouldn't give him more work now even if I did have something that matched his skills. It seriously felt stalkish, so I',d rather not have to talk to this person ever again. Anyone have similar experiences?
Ace Contributor
Erik S Member Since: Apr 6, 2018
2 of 23

This sounds to me like a generally akward person who is somewhat desperate for business and wanted to try and build a nice client/freelancer relationship, but with zero clue on how to do it properly. There are a gazillion freelancers on Upwork...just ignore this guy and move on.

 

Also, "stalking" is a very strong word here...its not like he suddenly showed up at your house. There are people who suffer from actual stalkers who makes their lives miserable, this is not that. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 23

I agree with Erik.

 

Annoying, yes.

 

"Stalking"? I'm not sure about that word.

 

Just block them. Your Upwork Messenger tool has a simple menu option for blocking any user from communicating with them all. So do your other communication tools - Skype, email, phone, etc.

Active Member
Victoria I Member Since: Aug 7, 2017
4 of 23

Hi Preston -

 

I'm having a similar issue with a former freelancer asking me for pictures of myself. I do not see the blocking option in the messaging area for this thread.

 

Victoria

Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
5 of 23

Hi Victoria,

 

Have you tried blocking the freelancer who keeps asking you for a picture in Messages? You can click on their name and then select to block them in the drop-down menu.

 

Additionally: Check this help article for more information on how to report any inappropriate content within your messages.

 

Thank you.

~ Bojan
Untitled
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 23

Erik S wrote:

 

Also, "stalking" is a very strong word here...its not like he suddenly showed up at your house. There are people who suffer from actual stalkers who makes their lives miserable, this is not that. 


Eric, thank you for this. As someone who was stalked to the point of having to shut down a business and move out of state at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars and a two-year battle with PTSD, I really hate the casual overuse of that term by people who think someone texted them too many times or comments on all of their social media posts.

 

Stalking is a real problem that often ends in violence, and diluting the word this way makes it harder for actual victims to be taken seriously when they need help.

Active Member
Kunal M Member Since: Apr 2, 2010
7 of 23

I think when any client posts new job and if the category is the same as your previous freelancer have,then when he/she will apply on jobs and by chance he/she can able to find out the same job as you posted, then under that job, there is usually a blue color box there which says that the particular client is previous client with whom the freelancer already worked before, so I think by that he/she will able to figure out you have new job available.

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
8 of 23

Kunal M wrote:

I think when any client posts new job and if the category is the same as your previous freelancer have,then when he/she will apply on jobs and by chance he/she can able to find out the same job as you posted, then under that job, there is usually a blue color box there which says that the particular client is previous client with whom the freelancer already worked before, so I think by that he/she will able to figure out you have new job available.


 

Professional freelancers do not bug clients in this way. You can choose the "invisible" option when you're in a message room, so that to anyone other than the person you're communicating with will not know you're online. Block this freelancer, as Preston suggests.

 

You could use the "invite only" option for your jobs, so that the only people who can bid are those you've invited. I would also consider reporting the freelancer if they continue to pester you. It may not be stalking, but it's also something clients should not have to put up with.

 

 

Active Member
Christina W Member Since: Jan 22, 2019
9 of 23
Thank you all for the responses. I agree, it's most likely an awkward attempt to fish for more work. I won't be blocking him yet, but if he contacts me again, I will be very direct and will possibly block then.

As for the word 'stalking' -- I mostly used it because he has repeatedly messaged me at times when I'm online (I log in a few times a day, but I'm definitely not here all the time). Not just now but during the project as well, and not for any particular reason either. I just didn't think much of it then as he was working on a project of mine. But thinking back, there were some off behaviors even then. I agree, it's a strong word. I didn't use it entirely literally. 'Bothering me' might be a more appropriate expression. I've edited the title to make it more appropriate.

Kunal -- yes, I have other jobs going. But they're private. I've started making them by invitation only where I prescreen the freelancers I want to invite to apply. Every time I've posted public jobs, I have unfortunately been spammed a lot. So I don't know if he's able to see that I have private jobs. Interesting info though -- thanks for pointing it out!
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10 of 23
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Don't apologize for using the word "stalking". You said it felt stalkish - then it was. You said you knew something was "off" in the beginning, because it was. 

 

I might remind everyone, that cyberstalking is real and against the law as well. They do not always show up at your front door. 

 

 

 

 

 

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