In the last two weeks, I pretty much got dumped twice. Once by the babysitter and another time by my last commissioner.
The babysitter one was actually the most frustrating one. Mainly because we’ve had three in almost three years. The first had a child, so it made sense why she stopped her home daycare. The second just flaked out but dragged it out for almost a month before SMWM finally “fired” her. This one… just stopped showing up. She didn’t answer any of SMWM’s phone calls, texts, or emails. No notice, no message, nothing. That is probably the most frustrating part of it is the completely stop.
I know that cutting off communication is easier for one person, but it is hard on the other. We spent weeks wondering what we did wrong? Did a check bounce (not likely)? Did they not like my books? My computer? The house? One of us? And, those questions will never be answered because they just… walked away.
The same thing happened to me in high school. A girl and her friends just stop talking to me. “You know why” was the only answer I got a year later. The problem is, I don’t know why. I still don’t know why over twenty years later. And, as much as I’m fairly good at letting things go, it bothers me that someone would just walk away without giving the courtesy of a reason or even to say they are going away.
The other dumping was my last commissioner. Since the economy tanked a few years ago, I lost most of the people who commissioned stories from me (well, ones that I felt comfortable writing). One was left and they gave me a new commission every 4-6 months which is nice.
I’ve been having some trouble with the last commission (not the commission, but everything going on in general), and I had to give them a second email saying I was going to be late (I hate being late). They told me that their life was changing and they probably won’t make another commission again. And to cancel the one I’ve been working on for a month.
That one hurt, but it made sense. Dropping $200-300 for a story commission is a major thing. And, with the economy, it is a luxury not a essential. I know that being late didn’t help, but it was also an excuse for them to change our relationship. It was painful, but they explained why and we talked. We ended on good terms and there was no screaming.
I don’t get upset when people need to change their relationship with me. I don’t scream or yell, but I know that other people do. The fear of rejection is a nasty one and some people stand up and explain why while others just slink away in the shadows. One reason I’m forward is because of that last one. Just walking away hurts people. It leaves them with doubt, confusion, and scrambling to recover. It does mean that occasionally, I’m rough or blunt, but I’d rather be forward and uncomfortable than hurt someone.