Recently, I was invited to give a presentation to a group of professional medical office managers (and some of their physician-employers). This was part of a conference on health care in general, and I was tapped to discuss the future of health care financing. For those who are interested, the presentation (in .pdf form) is available here.
As part of the arrangements, I agreed to forego my normal fee for such events for the opportunity to sup with other speakers and the association's leadership at their pre-conference banquet. When that offer was withdrawn, I agreed (perhaps foolishly) to reduce my fee, motivated primarily by the opportunity to network with what I was told would be over 200 office managers. This seemed to be a good way to meet decision-makers and advisors.
Alas, this "golden opportunity" turned out to be more of a lead balloon:
Once I arrived at the conference center (which was quite nice), I wandered around for a few minutes, trying to find the folks in charge. I finally met up with a couple, who seemed to have no idea what was going on. I was invited to attend the keynote presentation (where I did sit in for a bit), and finally found the room where I was to give my presentation (again, the facilities were first-rate).
I should have known something was amiss when I saw that the signs which announced the topics of the break-out sessions had mine completely wrong, as was the notice outside "my room."
Nonetheless, I had a nice crowd (maybe 30 attendees), and the session seemed to go quite well (in fact, the keynote speaker herself stopped in, and ended up staying for the whole thing). We actually ran long, because there were a lot of (good) questions and discussion. I stayed for lunch, and departed.
And that was the last I ever heard from the "leadership" of the association.
Well, that's not quite right: the professional who had invited me in the first place sent me a very nice email, apologizing for the lack of professionalism, and informing me that the folks in charge had decided not to pay me for my services.
Or send me the results of the evaluations.
Or even a Thank You note.
I did send them a follow-up letter, asking for payment, but have received no reply.
There's not much I can do about any of this, of course. One supposes that there are legal remedies available, but I'm reluctant to go that route (who has the time?). So, I'll chalk this up to "lessons learned" and move on.
One bright spot: the luncheon was delicious.