In an other life, when money was plenty and companies did not count their pennies, I got this industrial photo project of documenting the operation of a "corrugator". A huge machine 250 meters long or around 750 feet long, that converts Kraft paper into "cardboard", just don't ever call it cardboard, the proper word is corrugated. It was part of a project of eventually upgrading a few million dollars worth of equipment.
The photo project was supposed to be a month long, but it could be more and I was being paid by the half-day, with me doing the lab work at their location. Nothing left the plant. The month passed, I wasn't finished because I had to do "more stuff". Since, you're here, can you also do... I didn't mind, I was being paid by the half-day. Another month and I didn't really cared since I was paid for my time, more work meant more $$$. By the third month, something wasn't right. Nobody was asking any question, they were paying my invoices, it wasn't right. Eventually I got a meeting with one of the VPs of the company. I explained my concerns...
Him: Can you wrap up your project by the end of week, and give us your last invoice?
Me: I'll make sure that I'm finished by the end of the week.
Him: We will not use your photos. This documentation was to stall John. Not his real name, but one of the other VPs of the company. He was in charge of the modernization of the corrugator. He has agreed to retire for "personal reasons".
Now I understand that my work was a "snow job" to confuse "John" to realize that he was going to be "turfed". That hurts.
My lesson is: be careful of these projects that don't have fixed deadlines or that people let go over budget. Why no deadline? Nobody's looking at the invoices vs. the POs?