24. March 2011 · Comments Off on An Essay in Frustration · Categories: General, Literary Good Stuff, Rant

I am trying not to loose my temper over this, and lash out indiscriminately – because I have done that before and probably cut off a potential source of income from freelancing for a local magazine through having given way to anger-driven impatience a couple of years ago . . . but honestly, my fans and fellow scribblers – is it a bad thing to want to get paid/reimbursed for services rendered and goods performed in a timely manner, and without having to hector, and send emails and make telephone calls and even show up in person for weeks and months on end, in the expectation of a payment? Don’t keep stringing me along – that’s actually a sign of instability in your enterprise, to keep it going for more than a couple of weeks. Either that or truly epic incompetence in the financial administration of your enterprise, and I really can’t decide which is worse. And I speak as one who actually worked for a slowly-failing business in the early oughties. Over the last six months of its life, I was the one who had to stall vendors and suppliers, to make excuses for the owner/management. Oh, and hector the owner into triaging the various bills due, and apportion out the payments that would actually keep the doors open for another day, week and month. Look, I know the peculiar smell of that situation – so don’t you dare piss on me and insist that it is raining, or spin me the tales of personal woe. I’m frankly not all that interested – besides, my own family loss was of the same magnitude but I’m not using that as an all-purpose excuse.

Yes, I know that life is rough for various indy commercial enterprises, and my heart pumps pure piss for your sad situation, but honestly – I’ve also worked for enough others in the same condition and degree, both corporate and individual, in the last couple of years who were totally straight and paid up on the dot of when payments were due – to have all that much sympathy for those who can’t. Lately, I am less in sympathy with those who seem to be of the notion that because of being a local/indy, I have no choice but to suck up this kind of treatment – just because. This is serious stuff to me, as well as being quite frustrating. I have bills, too, as well as a strong desire to plow some of my royalties into additional inventory of my books for resale or consignment. They do sell, BTW – and very nicely, too. The places which do have them in stock usually have them flying out the door, double-quick.

The trouble is that one of my author-expectations is – that when I put books on consignment in a particular place, I’d like to be reimbursed for sales. Either that, or have my inventory returned to me. It’s just business, thanks. I don’t write for free, I write in the expectation of eventually making back my expenses and then a little more. I bought that stock of consignment books out of my own resources – and now this particular enterprise later turns out to be too strapped or disorganized to actually write me a check to reimburse me for those sales? Gee, that really puts a hiccup in my whole cycle of get paid for sale of books- purchase inventory-place on consignment- sale of books (yay!)- get paid for sale of books, und so weiter.

OK, I feel better now. Not paid by this particular creditor, but better.

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