Take a look at this scenario…
You are a piano teacher.
There is a student you like a lot, whom you’ve been teaching for two months. You first heard her playing at her performance recital– and you were impressed.
The mother is well-connected, and kind, but tough, a lady who knows what she wants and will ask for her change when it’s due.
You’ve agreed on an exchange of services. In fact, when it comes to her child, the mother’s goal is to proceed through life getting things sponsored and keeping the wallet shut when possible, on account of her volatile investments.
But mainly, you said yes because it’s a new experience. You’ve never been compensated this way before, and you think it’ll bring your career forward.
Feel free to use your imagination on how the mother offered to compensate you.
At this point, you’ve been teaching her child diligently for the past two months, without receiving the agreed compensation, except for continued promises to wait for another few days. And another.
The child has an important performance in four days, and the mother has asked for extra lessons. You can fit her in your schedule here and there. Some of her pieces aren’t ready yet.
You don’t give a concrete reply yet; you say, for the second time this week, “I am concerned about my ____________ [compensation]. How is that coming along?”
“I will get it to you in two days,” she says.
This compensation is time-sensitive and you must receive it by the end of the week because you’ve planned your next few weeks around it, plus it involves travel. So you will be compensated in two days, or not at all. She’s asking for extra piano lessons in this window.
a) Would you bank on the fact that the mother is a capable person, and dish out the extra lessons with, so far, promises that are empty? The child is delightful and her performance is so close; you can’t not help.
b) Or, would you wait until the compensation comes, before giving even one other lesson, let alone extras– who knows if they’re just wringing you dry? Fair is fair.
What would you do? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.
P.S. This scenario may be clarified next week with a new article.