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Simply Kind Tuesdays : Week 5 - Screwed.

Last week, I contracted with a woman to create a book cover for the Denver Cereal. I was very excited about this woman. She had just the experience I thought I needed and said she wanted to get into doing book covers. I waited three weeks until she was free. In my mind, we'd work out the kinks through the Denver Cereal, then be ready to work on the next two books.

She offered to do them for a professional rate.

I started the week with so much optimism and excitement.

Until I saw her first rendition.

It was horrible. I mean, I could post it here and we'd have a good laugh. My name was wrong. No binding art. You couldn't even read the title or my name in the chaos. It was a mess.

What's a kind person to do in this situation?

Striving to rectify the situation, I made clear, concrete suggestions about what I wanted - simple is better.

And received sarcastic imagery in return. She specifically fixed what I asked, but no flair, no interest and really no effort.  I've worked with a lot of graphic artists over the years and I've never seen such awful, lazy work.

I was shocked.

What's a kind person to do in this situation?

I wrote another email and received an incredibly nasty, sarcastic response. In her mind, it was my fault.

Seeing this situation as untenable, I asked to end our working relationship. I would pay her for what she had done, but clearly we weren't going anywhere.

She sent me another nasty note saying we should 'just get through this.'

Just get through this!?! Just get through this?!? My first book cover? The first book cover for our new publishing company Cook Street Publishing? And we're just 'getting through this'??

What's a kind person to do in this situation?

I requested the invoice. She invoiced me for the week.

Screwed. It's a lot of money. I saved for almost six months to get this work done.

In an attempt to be kind, I asked her if the invoice was correct.

She sent me a diatribe back.

What's a kind person to do in this situation?

Here's what I wanted to do. I wanted to show you the art. I wanted to demonize her, lash out in the way she had lashed out. I wanted to drag her name around so that no one would use her again. You see, I know that if I showed you the work, you'd be as stunned as I was.

It's really that bad.

What did I do?

I paid the invoice.

In my mind, only a person who's life was really messed up would behave so poorly.  I can either add to her madness or let go and walk away.

But to be fair, she has blocked my email. She has said that this is entirely my fault. I contracted for her time and chose to not use her.

And maybe it is entirely my fault.

So why did I pay it?

Because there's no way to negotiate or even interact with an angry person. Angry people are just angry. Angry people need kindness. What's a book cover in the face of such misery?

I believe that kindness is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Hopefully, my efforts to be kind to this person in distress will help.  She'll probably never know it.

In turn, as a kindness to myself, I don't have to work with sarcastic, righteous, nasty people. Thank God.

We are all confronted with these situations from time to time.

What would you do?


I'm putting together the Simply Kind Tuesday blogroll this week. Please let me know in the comments if you would like to be a part of the blogroll