Today I received a request from a client for a suddenly-urgent job with a short timescale.
I need to interview five different people and write an article about The Subject, get approvals, make amendments, get approvals again and submit by next Friday.
Ok, that's do-able with a little juggling of other projects/priorities already scheduled.
I just received a further request to submit the draft by 9am Monday. I'm doing the interviews this afternoon and I'm out of the office tomorrow, so planned to write the draft on Monday. I explained why I'd have trouble meeting their deadline but said I would of course supply the text as soon as possible.
The one-line response from one of those involved: "I don't see why you can't do it over the weekend."
It's not unusual for me to work weekends - in fact, I've done so every one since New Year.
I like to meet my clients' needs and I think it's fairly standard for most of us who are self-employed to work out-of-hours. But I don't tell them when I've done so, and I certainly don't believe they have a right to expect it.
I've also worked late three nights already this week and have spent no leisure time with my husband (we work together but it's not the same thing!) or my daughter, so we have plans for a family weekend.
I was also a bit miffed by the response, so for once I didn't hesitate to say: "I'm afraid that won't be possible."