Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nothing like starting the day...

...with some early-morning, pre-breakfast grief.

Back East it's almost mid-day, of course, so people are well into their work days, so I shouldn't have been surprised to hear from people on the Other Coast early.

This requires a bit of preliminary explanation. I spent considerable time in December and January working on a story meant to appear in two magazines. Circumstances kept me from getting all the preliminary work done within a single day or even week; suffice it to say the number of hours I put into getting information, arranging for photography and holding the editors' hands (not literally, I assure you) through the whole thing was excessive when compared to what I could expect to get paid.

Both magazines are apparently on the stands now. I haven't seen them. Nor have I seen checks.

But one of the people involved with the project I was writing about has seen them, and he's not happy.

He has a particular quibble with a couple of the photo captions which he feels are a bit insulting to his product (one is simply inexcusable), and he's absolutely right. Unfortunately, I did not write them. He laid the blast on me, however, as my byline appears on the story.

Yes, I did make one small error in the story, which he pointed out. While it makes me look like an idiot, it's relatively small and may pass without comment from the fussier readers.

So I have spent the morning sending out and replying to messages to the editors and to this guy, have talked to him twice on the phone. All while acid boils in my stomach.

Meanwhile, the line of people who want all of the money I have not yet received (and more) are figuratively lined up at my door, and they are getting loud and nasty about what they want. I don't blame them.

Screw this. It's another day when the only thing I can think of doing is taking another aimless drive. I can't work today.


lowandslow said...

Scribbs, I'm just amazed that these publishers can stiff people with total impunity. Is supply and demand so out of whack they can screw you and then have another writer ready to step in and keep the magazine filled with new stories? Is this common publishing industry practice? I'm sorry, friend, that these a**holes are messing you up the way they are.

MrScribbler said...

l&s -- Sadly, quality is given lip service. There are hundreds of would-be "writers" out there who can turn out the right number of words and let the editors make sense of 'em. They don't complain when the checks are slow because it's such a "glamorous" freekin' job....

betty said...

I'm sorry. Hope everything works out all right and you get paid what you're supposed to. That's terrible!

Anonymous said...

I"m so sorry Scribbs. *HUGS*