For no reason I could think of, I woke up feeling uncommonly cheerful this morning. The last two days couldn't have had much to do with it; I got no sleep to speak of in Vegas, by the time I made it back to L.A. I felt as if I'd been pummeled repeatedly by angry orangutans, and when I got home, I laid my hand open on the trunk-lid latch of my friend D's car, which led to a night of bleeding all over the damn apartment until the blood clotted (or I ran dry).
But the good cheer and optimism didn't last all that long. At 7:15 I called an editor back east. This is the one I have been trying to reach via phone and email since sending him the urgently required second version of an article that blew his assigned word count to smithereens (and took much more time, therefore, than it should have). Naturally, he called while I was away.
PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: For the following to make any sense, you have to understand that I stopped working for this outfit some years back over some major differences of opinion about the size and arrival time of payments. I was assured not too long ago that "new policies" were in effect.
When I got this clown on the phone, he said something to the effect of: "what do you want? I was returning your call." (insert sound of warning bell here)
I mentioned the story, to which he replied that, though he had been in a ripping hurry for it, he now wasn't planning to run it for several months. I reminded him that I need to know what numbers to put on an invoice so I can get, well, paid. He said "I'll get back to you in a couple of weeks with that."
A couple of weeks?
DANGER, WILL ROBINSON: I am about to boil down my thoughts about him into a single word some may find offensive.
He's a fuckweasel.*
What's worse, he's only the latest in a line of them I have to attempt to deal with.
The rest were, as usual, hiding behind their voicemail systems today.
I hate it when the very people for whom I'm working put me completely and irrevocably out of the mood to do any work at all.
Part of yesterday was spent in a car with an executive of the company that invited me to Vegas. At one point, he said "I've wanted to meet you for a long time. You're one of the very few in the field who has made a success and a good reputation as a freelancer."
This is success? Mother of Pearl, I'd hate to know what freekin' failure would be like....
* I never ran across this term, now one of my favorites, until I started reading Carl Hiaasen's wonderful novels. Aside from entertaining me immensely, the good Mr Hiaasen has expanded my vocabulary, too!
49 minutes ago