Freelancing Stories: When A Neighbor’s Tree Kills Your Power

We freelancers have to be resourceful. Just how resourceful, however, our clients may never realize.

The fact is that Murphy’s Law is alive and kicking in the freelance world — anything that can go wrong generally will go wrong.

You’ve experienced it. I’ve experienced it. In most cases, we persevere. We get the project turned in on time and meet or exceed our client’s expectations. Things usually work out well.

It’s how we’ve dealt with Murphy’s Law, however, that makes for some really funny freelancing stories.

Just for fun, I thought it would be interesting if we all shared our brushes with Murphy’s Law. Here are two funny stories of things that have gone wrong for me during freelance projects.

The Neighbor’s Tree Killed My Power

I was sitting in our dining room (which I was using as an office at the time) working on a tight deadline when I heard a loud bang.

At first, I thought that someone had pounded on our aluminum garage door so I went outside to take a look. I didn’t see anyone in front of the garage, so I assumed that the noise had come from a bored neighborhood kid and went back indoors.

About fifteen minutes my lights started to flicker (an obvious sign to save any work on the computer if it should ever happens to you). Then the power went out.

The doorbell rang and it was the neighbor. “We were cutting down a tree in the backyard and we knocked your electrical box off your house.

Um, what!!!

I went around the side of the house to look. Sure enough – the box connecting the house to the electrical lines was hanging by a single wire (and that single wire was letting off sparks).

If you want to talk about bad breaks, surely this was one.

Needless to say, I was without electricity in my home for several days. Thanks to WiFi and the local library, I was still able to meet my deadline.

The Case of The Barking Dog

I love having my dog at home with me while I work. She listens without interrupting, and I feel much more secure with her there since she lets me know if someone is at the door.

She’s actually a very quiet dog. She only barks when someone comes to our door, and we’re somewhat amazed by how quiet she normally is. In some ways, she’s more like a cat than a dog.

Anyway, one spring afternoon I was rushing to meet a deadline (things always go wrong right before a deadline) when my dog started barking. Naturally, I assumed that someone was at the front door since that’s the only time that the dog barks. However, when I got to the door I looked out and no one was there.

Over the course of the next few hours, this scenario repeated itself four or five times: the dog barking, me checking the door, and no one being there.

Finally, I decided to wait by the door to see if I could figure out what was going on. I sat down beside the door and cracked the blinds ever so slightly so that I could see out, but no one could see in.

Sure enough, a few minutes later I saw two children (cute kids who couldn’t have been more than six years old) approach my door and begin to pelt it with pebbles. Just as before, my dog started barking. This time, however, I was ready. I opened the door before the kids could run away (while they were still throwing pebbles).

Please stop teasing my dog,” I said in what was hopefully my most authoritative voice.

Fortunately, once caught, the fun was out of the kids’ game and they stopped pelting my door with pebbles. The dog was quiet again and I was able to get my work finished and turned in.

Share Your Stories

What weird and unusual things have happened to you while you were freelancing?

Have you also done battle with Murphy’s Law?

Share your stories in the comments.