Friday, September 14, 2007

Another growth spurt

I always get thrown off kilter when I come across rude people.

I realize their behavior is about them and I've become better at not taking their rudeness personally. But still. It can really throw me off course for a time.

Since early January I have been working on some very high profile illustration jobs for a client who works with all the large toy companies. She warned me at the beginning that there will be short, demanding deadlines and she was right. Often times, I would get a call late into the evening requesting a turn-around by 8 that morning. I met every deadline without complaint.

When she emailed me last weekend asking me to complete two large projects within nine days, I knew it wasn't possible with my heavy workload during my day job. Going to bed regularly at 2 am and waking up early was beginning to take it's toll. So I wrote her back asking her for an extension to the deadline.

Though I was disappointed, I was not surprised she fired back some really ugly words toward me and basically told me to take a hike. She was asking me for the impossible and I knew it. And she knew it, too. I was perfectly willing to work with her, but I needed extra time to meet my deadline.

She would not budge and in that moment, after she fired me, I discovered that its up to me to take charge of my own work habits. To take care of myself.

By putting everyone else's needs first, I neglect my own. Every time I say YES to some thing, I say NO to some thing else. It's important for me to really examine what will suffer for every commitment I make. And, if I don't respect my personal time, no one else is sure going to.

I am grateful for these growth spurts. Though painful for a time, it only stretches me to become better to myself and others.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look once in awhile, you could miss it". - Ferris Bueller


ferris said...

mean people suck.

Doodlestreet said...

Sometimes when I read the things you write in here, I think to myself, "She really is The Comeback Kid." You know how to take a situation that can be pretty terrible and turn it around to make it something you learn and grow AND teach from. I've learned many things, and that is just one of the things that makes you special.

I'd be willing to bet, in many Freelancers graveyards are those one or two clients that have run us over with the truck, kicked us to the curb and ran off with out lunch money. (idiots). And those people should be ashamed of themselves. I don't know if they actually take the time to think about the 'residue' they create in the world, and I'm not so sure they would care if it was pointed out to them. I guess it's good we don't put too much energy worrying or wondering about THEM, but it really is a shame.

I would like to believe that in the creative world, people would be more sensitive and know, being fellow artists and all. I guess reality says that's just not the case.

So-- "THIS IS FOR THE PERSON" who fired such amazing talent, hard worker, experienced professional and a wonderful person too, SHAME ON YOU! And on a professional level, don't forget mean person whoever you are, out here on the west coast, in our field of work, we all kind of know each other. Reputation and words of your lack of professional courtesy is shared by others in the industry. Those Creative Directors (and there are many) with integrity will keep this in mind.

Michele Miles said...

Shawn,! Can I relate to this? Yes! As someone who's started businesses and freelanced, I know this all too much. You work your butt off - giving and giving, even against ridiculous deadlines - only to have the taker show absolutely no appreciation for your efforts... and want MORE!!!

Frustrating, yes. But, as you have seen, it's a great way to learn. Hey, you were doing this person a favor. Let them try and find someone as reliable, talented and dedicated as you have been. I have the feeling she'll (or was it a man?) be crawling back to you soon. If not - good riddance.

Sorry, that you had this sort of week. Just know, I can relate.

Michele Miles said...

Oh, I also wanted to say I admire you for seeing this as a "Growth spurt" so soon. For me, it takes weeks of grumbling before I can see that it was a learning opportunity.

doodlegirl said...

Doodlestreet and Michele: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your support and friendship has warmed me to my core this morning.

Ferris, you are so right! Mean people DO suck. They're soul suckers! (not to be confused with seersucker.. remember that ripply fabric in the 70s?)

roz said...

You know, I have to say I'm really annoyed at this clients attitude and blown away that she attacked YOU for simply asking for some extra time. Where do these people get off??

doodlegirl said...

Thank you Roz! And I love the way that rolls off the tongue: "Good RIDDANCE to bad RUBBISH!" (it's sorta like "ruffles have ridges"). Thank you for your kind support. I so appreciate you!

Rayne said...

I am so sorry you lost the job but in a way, I am glad you did get fired. That sounds weird, doesn't it? I mean, now you are free and you don't have to deal with that unrealistic witch and the health risks it involves.

platitudinal said...

Mean people makes the world a scary place. There’s a quotation that says “it takes courage to live.” And, (this is my own addition … so excuse the lameness of it) … it takes great discernment and strength to take care of oneself.