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Re: Former freelancer stalking me?

dbad1ac1
Active Member
Christina W Member Since: Jan 22, 2019
11 of 25
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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12 of 25
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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. 

 

 

 

 

 

msublette
Community Leader
Michelle S Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
13 of 25

Hi Christina - Did you close the contract?  As a freelancer, I often check in with clients who have not closed contracts on completed projects.  I usually start with a friendly chat (Hi Chirstina, I hope this finds you well.)  Then ask if they are expecting or wanting to initiate anymore work on the open contract.  If they say no, I ask them to close the contract and tell them to feel free to reach out to me if they need my assistant with anything else. I also tell them they can always reach me again through Upwork or email (if we've exchanged emails) and that it's easy to open a new contract later if they decide they'd need my help again.  As as courtesy, I also sometimes reach out to my repeat clients to see if they have something coming for me before I accept something else.  These are peopel who have projects for me every couple of weeks and who I've been working for for quite some time.


I like to assume the best of people, so I'm going to agree with Preston that this is an awkward attempt at checking in.  He should not have been offended. If you've already closed the contract and told him that you don't have anything else right now, he should just leave you alone.  Don't feel like you have to answer him in the future.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
14 of 25

lol this is so sad and pathetic and desperate. I've actually had this happen to me back in the Elance days. They send you messages like "hi how are you doing?" Like desperate panhandlers but think you're dumb enough not to see what they're doing.

 

OP, just block him and he'll get the hint real quick.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
15 of 25

Freelancers are often given the advice to maintain relationships with past clients for the purposes of possible future work and referrals. It sounds like this particular freelancer is trying to follow that advice and just doesn't know how to do so gracefully.

 

It doesn't seem like it should be a significant issue, since you're free to simply not respond. 

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
16 of 25

I agree with Tiffany. There are a lot of FLs operating here with strong skillsets and capabilities in their particular discipline, but no experience on the biz-dev side of things. If they haven't freelanced in the b&m world, worked in a consulting firm, or at least had the benefit of a FL mentor, then they may know what they are supposed to do but be clueless about how to go about it.

dbad1ac1
Active Member
Christina W Member Since: Jan 22, 2019
17 of 25
Thank you all for taking the time to respond!

Yes, the contract was closed as soon as he completed it and got paid for it.

Sounds like it's not that uncommon then and that it may even be somewhat encouraged by Upwork. Which is something I suspected but didn't know for sure. I actually think it's a good idea to keep in touch with clients, but it has to have a purpose and context. Things like updates on the freelancer's skills or services on offer, important updates on someone's portfolio reflecting new or improved skills, well wishes on major holidays, all are valid reasons for getting in touch. Just not the idle, purposeless chit-chat for no reason and not even being direct that you're available for work at the moment. Also, much less weird if a client is long-term, repeat etc. when you know you may need to balance their needs with any new work offers.

I will follow your advice and just won't respond if it happens again. I've always been very nice to him, so blocking him out of the blue right now might come across a bit 'double-faced'. Of course, if it happens again even after I've stopped responding, then that would probably warrant a block at that point. Thanks again to everyone who responded!
martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
18 of 25

Christina W wrote:
Thank you all for taking the time to respond!

Yes, the contract was closed as soon as he completed it and got paid for it.

Sounds like it's not that uncommon then and that it may even be somewhat encouraged by Upwork. Which is something I suspected but didn't know for sure. I actually think it's a good idea to keep in touch with clients, but it has to have a purpose and context. Things like updates on the freelancer's skills or services on offer, important updates on someone's portfolio reflecting new or improved skills, well wishes on major holidays, all are valid reasons for getting in touch. Just not the idle, purposeless chit-chat for no reason and not even being direct that you're available for work at the moment. Also, much less weird if a client is long-term, repeat etc. when you know you may need to balance their needs with any new work offers.

I will follow your advice and just won't respond if it happens again. I've always been very nice to him, so blocking him out of the blue right now might come across a bit 'double-faced'. Of course, if it happens again even after I've stopped responding, then that would probably warrant a block at that point. Thanks again to everyone who responded!

If anything makes you uncomfortable, I don't see why you don't block him right away. You seem to be a nice person who does not want to hurt other's feelings, but only hurts him/herself in the process. It's about boundaries, and not having to explain yourself to anybody. 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
19 of 25

Martina P wrote:


If anything makes you uncomfortable, I don't see why you don't block him right away. You seem to be a nice person who does not want to hurt other's feelings, but only hurts him/herself in the process. It's about boundaries, and not having to explain yourself to anybody. 


Do you really think that as an adult professional, blocking someone is necessary to set boundaries? What if that person worked in the same office with you, or lived in your apartment building? 

martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
20 of 25

Tiffany S wrote:

Martina P wrote:


If anything makes you uncomfortable, I don't see why you don't block him right away. You seem to be a nice person who does not want to hurt other's feelings, but only hurts him/herself in the process. It's about boundaries, and not having to explain yourself to anybody. 


Do you really think that as an adult professional, blocking someone is necessary to set boundaries? What if that person worked in the same office with you, or lived in your apartment building? 


It depends on the person, in this case I definitely suggest to do it. Some others might just shrug it off and never think twice about it. 

The chance I'm living in the same building with somebody I felt stalked by on upwork are slim to non-existent, but thanks for asking...

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