This week, the theme that emerged on the blog is: Writers in Conflict with People Who Undervalue the Work and Try to Take Advantage of Them. In this tense video, a writer whose work has been stolen gets recompense from a newspaper. (Well done for keeping it civil and still getting paid.) I can’t help but wonder how this would have gone down differently without the camera running. Got a problem? Take a camera.
Failing that, keep all your emails and the paper trail so when people cross you, you can crush them if you need to. Don’t crush them if you don’t need to, of course, but be assured that at some point it will come up. Recently I felt I had to use a digital voice recorder when forced to chase someone over a bill. Even though I ended up only leaving a voicemail, I kept the recording to show how unfailingly polite I was if I needed to show the transgressor what reality looks like. It saddens me that these things are sometimes necessary, but after getting harassed by someone once, I now keep the recorder by the phone should anyone ever make the same mistake. When people get nasty, they inevitably hang themselves with their own rope.
What a downer. So we should also affirm that mostly? Things work out. Most people in the industry have good intentions. Most people deal in common, solid business practices. Very few people set out to be unkind. Usually, the problem is in a miscommunication, a misunderstanding or the person who is in the wrong is only wrong. A mistake is not the same thing as a sin. Also? When people are unkind, it often catches up with them. (Just yesterday, an old enemy fell due to the atrocity that is her personality. Am I unkind to taste the delicious schadenfreude? Yes, a little, I suppose. However, despite my efforts to stay pure and innocent, I’m still human so I have to point out that karma is a bitch and so was she.)
We have to believe that most people are doing the best they can. We have to believe that most people are good. To keep moving forward through our days, we have to believe it.
Believe it, even if it’s not true.
You don’t really want to be Dr. Gregory House.