Monday, October 02, 2006

Think twice before hiring Aaron Payne, Inc.

In the spirit of ratting on bad business practices, as well as bad business policy, I want to share a bit of information about a guy who is a programmer in Indianapolis, Indiana: Aaron Payne.
Earlier this year, Mr. Payne expressed interest and enthusiasm about working with me on the eZine ScribeSpirit. I had recently moved to Indiana and had not set up a network of people. In fact, I still have not set up much of a network.
Mr. Payne agreed to develop a web site for ScribeSpirit at a much reduced rate.
In fact, the fee that Mr. Payne charged for the work he did do was about 10% of the cost he would normally charge to a company.
Scribe Spirit is a not for profit project started in 2005 by myself and 6 other people from around the globe. In January of 2006, after a failed attempt to create a site that allowed literary and visual art work to be published bi-lingually, I disbanded the project and looked around for alternative means of keeping it alive.
After Mr. Payne generously and excitedly agreed to work in collaboration with me on a new site, I agreed and committed to investing my money in same. We began to work together to plan the site.
An IT person, or programmer is just that. A person who develops websites and maintains them. At no time did I ever agree that Mr. Payne would have access to the content manager of the website. The website is devoted to literary and visual arts; I am, and have been the sole editor. As editor, one of my jobs is to make sure that all work presented on the website is correct. Additionally, that all work has been approved, or released for electronic publication by the submitting authors and artists through legal contract. As editor I do not tell the programmer how to do his job, and as expected, the programmer does not tell the editor how to do her job.

From the beginning I might have suspected Mr. Payne's motives as he would always remind me that in the past he has submitted work to ScribeSpirit which I, as editor, had rejected. When asked about the nature of the rejection, Mr. Payne agreed that the rejection was done compassionately. He also indicated to me at the time, that his reminders of the rejection were all in good fun.
Mr. Payne may be a programmer, but he is certainly not a writer. Mr. Payne may have some talent in the art of painting, but he is no Picasso.
These facts have little to do with him accepting a job, being paid for that job and ultimately refusing to fulfill his obligations as web developer.

Mr. Payne and I began our business relationship in February of 2006. Mr. Payne refused to do any more work for ScribeSpirit in August of 2006. This makes Mr. Payne liable for fraudulent representation. It also hints at out right theft.
In addition to accepting the job of web developer, Mr. Payne was offered and accepted the position of Vice President of Unity Illuminata, Inc., the parent company (also not for profit) of ScribeSpirit. This position was not forced on him. Misrepresentation of the position never occurred. Mr. Payne was informed from the onset of his acceptance of the position of Vice President that the position was non-paying. He was also informed that the position carried with it specific duties outlined in the legal by laws of the incorporation papers.
Mr. Payne, after accepting this position for less than 30 days, has neither submitted his legal resignation, nor has he fulfilled the obligations that the position carried with it.

Aaron Payne has dishonored a trust, broken a verbal contract, and technically has undermined an international project that enjoyed a readership of upwards of 10 thousand readers per month. Mr. Payne has proved that greed and unsportsman behavior is more important than human unity and collaborative efforts.

Aaron Payne has also shown his true colors on a personal level. When presented with the legal facts of the situation, Mr. Payne could only accuse me of "getting my legal pen out", and his comments about that were "Unbelievable". Mr. Payne has been in abject denial about his role in the situation which has developed since he refused to work on the website, and since his refusal to comply with the responsibilities of the position of Vice President of Unity Illuminata, Inc. Instead of using logic to work through conflict, Mr. Payne has resorted to name calling and has refused to acknowledge his part in the inevitable dissolution of the project known as ScribeSpirit and the fledgling corporation, Unity Illuminata.

It is the purpose of this entry to advise anyone considering using the services of Aaron Payne, to consider carefully what you are entering into and with whom. It is the advise of this person to anyone considering Mr. Payne as a web developer, to make sure you have a legal contract with him before paying him for any services. Also, anyone considering working with Mr. Payne, should be sure to have said contracts witnessed by either an attorney or a public notary.