The faster communication's getting, the longer people take to get back. The closer the world's shrinking, the further people are drifting. Phones, pagers, cell-phones, e-mail, text messaging- the closer it gets, the harder it becomes to put your point across.
The other day I met someone with regards to a writing job. Don’t you just get bad signals while talking to someone; I don’t mean on the cell-phone! The more we talked it kept getting tangled. I had decided that I’ll not work for a price lower than what I’d set for myself. I stuck to it. The person had decided what my worth was and he stuck to it. Though finally we came around and agreed to come mid-way; from where I stand, I now realize that I did most of the walking! We agreed upon the price and the work. I was waiting for an advance; don’t commence till I don’t get half of the money. One week later I was still waiting when I thought of checking what’s causing the delay. Nothing was causing the delay; according to the gentleman we still needed to meet and iron out the rough edges with regards to money and work, etc. We met again and agreed upon the mode of payment etc.
Guess what? Three weeks later we are still e-mailing back and forth to decide what the matter really is. All this while the deadline remains the same which ostensibly means it doesn’t make a difference even if I get the advance three weeks prior or two days before the deadline- it remains fixed. I then made up my mind to get all corporate and stuff like that- don't get mad, get even; don’t loose your cool; for every 1 minute of anger you loose 60 seconds of happiness! All these age old proverbs swarmed my head for had it been any other situation till now I’d have lost the zeal to do any work but my friends advised me not to approach this job like any other job and be calm. This being the financial year’s first job, I agreed to let it become a new start, a fresh beginning and I continued to be Buddha like.
Some people just don't learn! What ultimately happened was that after three weeks and a million e-mails later- I finally lost it.
I made it very clear, crystal clear; explained it to the person that it’d be best to get someone else to do the job. Why did I do it? Frankly I lost all the eagerness to read, decipher and reply inanities sent by this person in the garb of e-mails. And also I had a bad cold; only Gods and creatures from science fiction remain unaffected.
The minute I hit the send button on the mail I realized that I have opened a new can of worms! Now allegations and counter allegations will follow. Well you can't blame me and even if I tried, I can't blame me! The first time we met we discussed the price and the job. The second meeting we discussed the price and work. Third meeting we discussed price and work. But like they say life has a way of working out and in this case it did work out. Only not for me as much as it did for the other person here! For as of today more than four weeks have passed- the deadline hasn’t changed, I didn’t get paid my full advance and I’m still writing the article!
You ask why? I realized it’s easier to do the work than to try and explain to the nut case the reasons why I said no in the first place! And also that I had thought about the work so much in my head that it felt like I’d already done it even before I started! So I have received a part of the payment and am almost done with the writing. I have duly informed my client that I shan’t part with the work till I get the remaining part of the payment and that too in cash no less!
The funny thing about everyone is that when they narrate an incident they are the protagonist! Can’t blame anyone for wanting to dramatize, why wouldn’t anyone want to be the nail instead of the hammer. I’m fretting about people’s attitude towards work and more importantly the inability to communicate. But I’m sure that there exists another, hopefully as interesting if not more, side of this tale. Wouldn’t I love, just love to see what’s on the other side?
Some times people just don't get it. You quote a price and they will evoke the friendly ghosts of your ancestors to get a discount. This gentleman in context cried his heart out and poured it in an e-mail (Grrr) that I wasn't dealing with the situation as a friend should. Now, considering that we never met before how the hell could I treat him like a friend? And I thought I was the only one who over-dramatized things. He should have known better for at times my friends bear my brunt way too much and he’s lucky to have been spared. Like my father would have summed it up for me in a way he does best; what did you learn from this experience? Well…I learnt that I’m crazy and I ain't the only one.