So you’ve been a naughty, naughty little freelance bunny – and that project is going to be late. How shall you explain it to your client, whose calls you’ve been steadily ducking? Have no fear – the Bad Freelancer is here.

Below are 5 convenient forms for you to send to your irate client… simply plug one of these babies into your email, and watch those hackles sink!

Option 1: Unfathomable Mystery of Internet

What?!! You didn’t receive my email containing the final draft of the project? Huh. It must have gotten lost in one of the many unknowable tubes of the Internet. Here it is, re-attached. Again, I apologize – this Web thing! It’s soooo unpredictable! Next time I will offer up a fatted calf before sending, to appease the Internet Gods.

hahahaohpleasedon’tfireme.

Yours in not-actually-lateness,

Bad Freelancer

Option 2: Weather Mad Libs

I know that we agreed that I would (verb) the (nouns) by (deadline), but regrettably, events beyond my control have interfered. I was on track to get you (assignment) by (deadline), but then (recent weather condition) aggravated my (made-up medical condition).

It is rare but not impossible that (recent weather condition) will cause a flare-up of (made-up medical condition); don’t Google it. Anyway, once the (weather) lifts and I recover, I will be able to send you your (project.) Unless it (weather verbs). Then all bets are off.

Yours in Convalescence,

Bad Freelancer

Option 3: Emotional Crisis

I’m so sorry I’m a bit late on this deadline. My favorite squirrel, Skippy, died. Don’t ask me about Skippy. It’s too painful.

Have you ever felt loss,

Bad Freelancer


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Option 4: Just Too Much Perfection

Please forgive me for my tardiness. I just wanted to make sure this project was ABSOLUTELY IMPECCABLE before I sent it to you – because YOU, and YOUR NEEDS, are what is most important to me. Let my children starve. Let my dogs howl.

For you, I am a master craftsman, working tirelessly, ignoring all worldly concerns, striving to create for YOU a project so perfect that people cannot look directly at it – And what’s a little deadline to THAT? It took Leonardo FOUR YEARS to complete the Sistine Chapel, and NOBODY COMPLAINS ABOUT THAT NOW.

Bad Freelancer

Option 5: The Best Offense…

Ooooh, is your wittew bitty pwoject not done? People are STARVING around the world, and you’re getting all worked up about this? Step back, man. Get some perspective. On your deathbed, will you care about this project? Cool your jets. It’ll get done.

Bad Freelancer

If you send one of these emails, you probably deserve to get fired. But it’ll make a good story!

Kate Hamill lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @katerone.