Monday, October 30, 2006

everyone has issues

A friend and I were talking last week and I used the phrase "has issues" about a third person to kind of answer a question about that person. The friend responded "but everyone has issues don't they?"

I've been giving that comment a lot of thought lately. First off -- yeah, I agree we all do have issues. That bit was very easy. What I've been pondering though is how to deal with those issues. Does the understanding that everyone has issues allow for greater leeway when someone is a jerk or does it elicit a "get the fuck over yourself" response? It depends on the situation for me, but it can be either or both.

Here's an example:

An acquaintance started a business of art reproduction. No she doesn't paint copies, she photographs artwork for jury slides, images for the web, prints and cards. She also does the printing of the prints and cards. In fact her starting that business was a big factor in me approaching Steve about setting up a small exhibition of his work in 2004. It allowed me to offer prints and cards of many of his works at that first exhibition, and when that was fairly sucessful allowed us (well, me, but for Steve) to set up a website and sell prints and cards as well as originals.

She's relatively close to me (only about an hour's drive) so I can drop off and pick up the work myself instead of having to ship it. Her prices are excellent which allows us to offer prints and cards of a great many of Steve's pieces instead of just a few. And her work is generally quite good (it's been a learning process and I do notice that the pieces she has photgraphed and colour corrected more recently are quite a bit better than the first couple of batches. I'm happy with her work. Steve is happy with her work.

However, there are some problems and they can be pretty major at times. She did do a good job getting a large print order ready for the band's US tour this summer and she also did well getting the print orders finished for the SK birthday sale. But I took a small group of original paintings to her July for initial set up. She was to get them finished before she went on vacation in early August. Something came up and she wasn't able to do that. I said that's fine I don't really need then until after I get back from my vacation in late August. Well that didn't happen either. So I said ok, I need them by Sept. 10 (so I could have them up for SK's birthday celebration sale). Nope, didn't happen. All right. September 27 then. I was in town that day anyway so I could easily pick them up and it was the last day of the SK sale so I could add them to the site when I changed prices from the sale. She still didn't have them.

By now I'm getting a bit irritated. Ok, I'm getting a lot irritated, but she swore she would have them by the coop meeting Oct. 2. Fine. It's only a few more days. Oct. 2 comes and I'm getting ready to leave the house to drive to the meeting. I get a phone call. Guess who? Yep. Her pc crashed and she won't have them for me that night. I think I talked to her once more -- later that week and she said the pc was still not working but her tech guy was going to work on it over the weekend. She hasn't returned my calls or emails since.

Three fucking months. I am seriously pissed off now. I have called every single day for the past two weeks and left messages for her to call me. And the chirpy little "leave a message and we'll get back to you soon. Hope you're having a good day!" message on her answering machine is becoming exceptionally grating now.

So what does this have to do with "everyone has issues?" Well, this woman is dealing with a very bitter child custody battle (and earlier had an equally bitter divorce) so she has a lot of shit happening. She also holds down a full time job. So I know that there are times when things will happen and a order will be delayed. I accept that from her -- because I know her, her prices and work are excellent, and also because I know she needs the business. So I'm willing to let things slide a certain amount because she "has issues." But there comes a time -- well past now -- when she has to get the fuck over herself and deliver -- either the work she has promised or at least a phone call to tell me that she can't do it and to arrange for me to pick up the paintings.

That was a pretty major example, but it happens in smaller ways too. Fairly recently I was talking with someone online and almost every single thing I said was met with a surly, bitchy response. Because this person was going through a rough time I was making sure NOT to snap back, but apparently that meant my responses weren't quick enough or suck-upy enough and she sent one more snotty comment and then logged off before I had any chance to respond. That online version of slamming a door in my face always irritates me, and I immediately stated writing an email detailing just why I was taking my time responding. As I was doing it I thought wait a minute, I don't need to explain that I was taking time to think about my responses because I didn't want to be a bitch. Hmm. Then I thought about several other times I was either individually or as part of a group snapped at by this person over the past 9-10 months and it dawned on me that I don't need this shit. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy many of the conversations with this person, but there came a time I felt I couldn't say anything without being in the wrong somehow. This was supposed to be a friendship that is positive for both people -- and it got to a point it was no longer positive for me. So I've made no effort to connect with this person since and I'm content with that decision. I suspect the other party feels much the same since I've received no attempt at contact lately either. Probably best for both of us.

I've had similar situations over the years too. One that makes me laugh in retrospect (because it was just so trashy) was when a friend of mine wanted me to lie to her husband (I was supposed to say she was with me) so she could go out with her boyfriend. I said "No. I don't want to be shot." And then I told her that I was no longer comfortable being around her. I mean if she would lie to her husband (#3 or 4 I might add -- she met and moved in with him just a couple of days after moving out on the previous hubby) just to fuck around with someone else, she would have no problem lying to me if it suited her. Besides I really did think her husband (or if not him, a future guy) might let the shots fly, and I would be really pissed off if I got shot because of her. And she was furious with me! haha! Gad. It sounds like something off the Jerry Springer show!


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