Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sauce And The Consequences Thereof

I am seething, gently simmering here like a rich French sauce that you are going to use to cover your slightly turned fish so that no one will know the meat is bad.

An interview that was supposed to have taken place last week has been cancelled/postponed for the third time. Each time this was done at the last minute. The very last. The first time it was cancelled, I received the call just before I left the house.

Well and good.

But if that wasn't bad enough, I get a call from the PR guy of the regulatory body who has commissioned the book to ask if I can come to his office instead, which is all the way in the boondocks, at a very inconvenient time (it's far away, I have to pay a toll getting there and back, I will be caught in a jam getting back and best of all, I will be compensated for none of this as I didn't think to ask for "expenses" in my contract).

And get this: he wants me to come to his office on the off chance that I will get to interview the lady in question who has a meeting there. He hasn't checked with her yet. And going by his track record, she may just have to rush off for something else making my whole trip a complete and absolute waste of time. For which he will smile and treat me to some inane anecdotes and questions...such is the book coming ah?

Well not very well, considering that I'm sitting in your office wasting my time when I should be writing it.

Isn't that just the Malaysian way?

Since I am an underling, a "contractor" so to speak, they can dick me around as much as they want to and the creeping deadline doesn't matter.

Except that it does. They do expect the work to get done in time. No matter how many spanners they throw in the works. It's called "magical thinking". The notion that no matter what the circumstances everything will work out magically and there will be a shining manuscript at the end of the process.

Let me correct that.

It's called utter bullshit.

I asked Martin once, how he put up with all this. He said, you have to be very patient.



Anyone who's known me for more than an hour will know that patience is not my defining quality. Unless I happen to like you very very much, in which case I will overlook a multitude of sins, slights and downright rudeness. But only for a while. Once I've stoppped liking you (and it will happen, it's just a matter of time if you're dicking me around) everything will rush back with added force and I will hate you forever. And not speak to you for about that length of time.

In this case, it's not the inconvenience I mind so much as the lack of respect it implies.

So I've sent a message to Martin that I will not be going today or in fact, entertaining any calls from the PR in question. If they want to deal with me, they can deal with me through him. I tried to be respectful in the text I sent him because I realise that all the frustration I feel for these clients, I take out on him. Which is not fair. Because it only means that he has to manage hysteria on both ends.

I will be working on the chapter I was talking about.

And if they want to get a new writer I will gladly finish what I'm doing and hand him everything I have at the moment.

Money is one thing. But there comes a time when you just have to take a stand.


Nessa said...

That kind of behavior, well, it makes me mad. I'm like you. I take it for a long time and then I become a brick wall.

Jenn said...

I feel justified for not having gone, being told at the last minute as I was. But now there's a deafening silence all around. I'll just stick to doing the work in front of me, and give it all up when I'm told to.