Advice on bad working situation(long)

Greetings all,

It was hard to make a title for this post, and also maybe it should go in Employment, I will leave it up to the mods…

Here is the situation:
I do a very specialized type of design/engineering, I am an ID guy with a more than a fair share of engineering/prototyping work experience. I have the contract from a very good client and a very high profile design firm is involved as well. The design firm got me the contract to produce this product. I have had a past history with the design firm and it has all been very positive.

I can go so far in engineering but need help with the hard core stuff, plus this project has a large amount of electronics that I can’t do at all. Enter one of my best friends, who I have known since 1975 and have had a business working relationship with since about 1988. A flawless relationship I might add. Ask him to pull off something complicated under ridiculous deadlines and he meets and exceeds every time.

I contracted him to do the bulk of the work on this project, including fabrication. The project had a deadline of August last year. The client made some changes and was slow to respond to questions at first, so we all agreed it would drag on. With these agreed on delays we added another month to the project.

You see where this is going by now I’m sure. We are still not done and he keeps delaying it further(“I need 2 more weeks”)

He has made great progress and the work is first rate and the client is happy(with the work, obviously not the deadline)

He has destroyed my relationship with the design firm, and since what I do is so specialized word had gotten around that I screwed up.

I have not billed the client since the project started up since the 2nd payment was tied to him having a working unit to demonstrate.

I know never work with friends…I know he is upset and very sorry, but has not made much of an effort to make good on this.
Today was our “OK LETS MAKE A FINAL DEADLINE” date. Guess what? When I asked for an update on where we stand I got this response:

“It will be later this afternoon because this morning is booked”
He also took 3 weeks off in January to do volunteer work in Africa(I found it on his FB page)

Right now I am not sure the client will even pay me, I am embarrassed to even ask. I have NEVER missed a deadline before, so this is killing me. I feel like if they do pay me that my friend should forfeit his payment, but I don’t know how to handle that. It is a gigantic mess…any thoughts on what to do?

Frustrated in NJ

Honestly I don’t have much to say besides “Call your friend and yell it out.” Sometimes a show of anger is necessary. Vent everything you just explained here. If you lay it out firmly and logically I don’t know what defense he could possibly have.

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