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I was rumbling in my closet searching for a specific pair of pants this morning when I suddenly thought of my client John. John was a gentle, shy, and super careful man. He had experienced a very difficult childhood that had left him with trust issues; he was smart enough to have realized this and was working on creating a change.

We connected; we talked a number of times – because of his issues, John needed to make sure that his many questions were answered – not 100% but 150% – before he was ready to commit to a working relationship with me.

I liked John; he had amazing knowledge and insight, worked in a profession that very much appealed to me and had a nice character – as much as I could determine during our talks; in short, I was sure he was going to be a wonderful client. So, we decided to work together, I sent out my Welcome Packet, and he started handing over work. I was surprised how easily he adapted to my being his VA. We worked well together for 2 months; in month 3, he cancelled two of our standing phone calls – that’s all I heard from him for the first 2 ½ weeks, despite gentle nudges.

I was at a loss; what to do now? Things had gone smooth and I thought we were starting to find our groove. Plus, there was only 10 days left in the month to work on his tasks.

By the end of week 3 I still hadn’t heard from John Iand decided that he was very aware that I had hardly been able to do any work for him and that he had his reasons; not that I liked it one bit. The situation, in fact went on pretty much like this for another month; he paid his invoice as per our contract, yet didn’t hand over work.

After that month my conscience no longer allowed me to take any payment from him so I wrote and told him I was cancelling our working relationship. Well, no sooner had I written that he called. He had, in fact, a valid reason for having been ‘offline’ and we resumed our working relationship.

Being deep in my closet and remembering John and his disappearing act, I finally came across my pants, hanging innocently on their hanger staring at me.

Have you had a client who disappeared for quite some time and suddenly resurfaced; if so how did you deal with the situation and why/why not did you continue to work with him?