Waad Al-Baghdadi: Freelance design hero
The big news story of the day is the jailing of Metropolitan Police Commander Ali Dizaei for assaulting and falsely arresting a man in a dispute over a £600 web design fee.
Clearly, it's a serious story with big implications, all of which you will find explored on a proper news site. But we can't be the only self-employed creatives in the world whose immediate thoughts on hearing the reports were:
a) £600 for a website?
b) Way to chase an invoice.
Whatever else happens as a result of this case, the name of Waad Al-Baghdadi (the web designer in question) will surely become the stuff of legend in freelance creative circles.
While some of us are content to send increasingly testy emails and make the odd strained phone call in pursuit of a late invoice, Mr Al-Baghdadi confronted his client in a busy restaurant and demanded immediate payment. That's a brave move at the best of times, let alone when your client is being lined up as the next Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
We can only hope this acts as a rallying cry to creatives up and down the land. Next on the list: Sir Ian Blair banged up for requesting free pitch. Baroness Scotland QC cautioned for over-complicated tender process. General Sir Richard Dannatt jailed for fourth round of copy amends.
As for the £600, hopefully Mr Al-Baghdadi's newfound (and entirely unsought) celebrity will mean he can raise his rates in future. He'll certainly be able to set any payment terms he likes and count on a prompt response.
Unless anyone has a problem with that?
Update: The good people at Zerofee have brought to our attention some more details on the fee dispute. Mr Al-Baghdadi was apparently commissioned for a fortnight's work (for £600?) which turned into "several months of demands to continually alter the site with speeches, pictures and articles concerning Dizaei." Sounds vaguely familiar.
Ali Dizaei also alleged that Al-Baghdadi used a 'strange' Farsi quote which translates as: "I will take the money out of your throat." Whether or not it's true, the phrase will be appearing on all our invoice reminders from now on.