Friday, November 4, 2016

Learning Tough Lessons

Speaking up and speaking out take courage. Too often I bite my tongue and let people walk all over me. Today I take courage to speak out, and while it may not be in the direction where it should go (that would take more courage than I possess at this time), I am saying something about what happened. I cannot let it continue to stew inside me.

I was asked to do a job for a guy in July. I was a little apprehensive because the subject is out of my comfort zone, but I was excited, too, because I would learn a lot. He agreed to my hourly price and at the first meeting, he paid me for two hours. We did the first interview for which I wrote an article. Then there was an event at which I took photos (which I sent to him) and wrote another article. 

I emailed copies for approval. There were multiple phone calls with changes, additions, and more changes after the original article came out. One call was 8:30 p.m. There were calls and emails about ads in the newspapers, more changes, and after working on an ad, he decided against doing it.

I emailed a final bill. He refused to pay! I told him my time is important. I have a lot going on and took time out of my busy schedule to take this project on. All the phone calls and the writing and then making changes take time. He was the one who kept changing his mind about what he wanted to say. As it was, I didn’t even charge him for all my time spent on this project.

A month went by and I got a phone call. He said he’d pay what he owed me if I’d do another article for him. He said he’d call with a time and place. I never heard another word. How low can one get? 

Needless to say, this whole issue has left a sick feeling in my stomach. My dreams have been haunted and his name keeps popping up to remind me. I put a lot of effort into the project. I always try my best to do a good job. My heart and soul goes into what I do and to be taken advantage of is crushing. But, I have to move on from this.

I’ve done a lot of soul-searching about how to handle the issue. Some say I should take him to court… but I can’t go through that. If I’m not willing to go that route, I have to let it go. It’s hard with so much going on that keeps reminding me of what happened. It’s a constant effort to force myself to not think about it. I’m angry and hurt and all I think is sleaze, scumbag, and creep. I don’t like to think this way about anyone.

One way to get it out of me IS to get it out of me and to do that means I have to talk about it. As you can see, I’m not naming names, although with all the political bashing that goes on, this would just be one more. Am I angry about it? Of course, I am. How can I not be? I’m out $200 and time I could have put into other projects. Plus, it’s the ethics of it. This incident just supports what I believe about big business and politics.

There is a lesson in this although I haven’t quite figured it out… yet. Maybe I have to get it out of me before I can see clearly the lesson.

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