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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Friday, Mar. 12, 2004 - 2:10 a.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

A Bad Client is a Good One gone Sour

I'm just tired.

I'm fedup with companies that act as though I am their free meal ticket. The Bear people haven't returned an inquiry call last week, asking when I can expect payment for the drawings they were supposed to pay me for in November, according to our contract. They haven't even replied when I asked when the book would be out in print. You'd think they'd at least be excited about that.

The other book I am working on I signed the contract for in November 2001, if you can believe it. Thankgod they paid me half up front, and when they did contact me this January, they didnt ask for it rush, after waffling for two full years.

But now the US client is just fucking around. I was supposed to do two books for them. The first I shouldve had the sketches billed (ie $2500 US) when I handed them in March 2, ie a full week ago and more. But after I did a week of online research, they said their client had postponed the first book, til July sometime. But that the second book would go according to schedule. They told me on Thurs 26 Feb that they would give me the new deadlines on the "start of next week", ie March 2-5 would be the start... but I didnt hear anything from them. Despite the fact the SECOND book's rough draft should've been on my desk March 3.

Now on March 10, at 5pm, they dump a new schedule for both books on me. They are going ahead with both, and going to send the manuscript on Monday.

I wrote to say that I didn't even have time to look at my schedule til today (which I did during breakfast)... and it is crazy... I have the Nov 2001 book, as well as le Grand Nord book (24 pages color) to do, as well as taxes etc.

Two years ago I decided to let the tax deadline slide to meet work deadlines. Bad idea. You get super duper huge fines levied to which they add a penalty of a percentage of taxes due. That year I remortgaged the house. yup.

So, they just ignored all the problems it made in my schedule and now are acting as we are just going ahead as usual. But it is NOT usual. For the first time, they are not giving me layouts... I have to somehow guess how big to make each drawing and they'll "work around it". Now imagine... usually I look and see, do I have two square inches or eight? If I have two, I put the main person, if I have eight, I put the main person in a setting etc. How am i supposed to decide? Hehe, easiest would to give them no decors. But the point is, they are cutting out one step that saves THEM two weeks work (making the layouts), BUT during that two weeks, I normally did the research online so when I got the layouts I could go to sketches.

Suddenly I am supposed to compact research and sketches into one step half as long.

With two days notice, after giving me no news for two weeks, and after having reserved my Feb and early March, without giving me work. Ie no $$$ if no work.

I bitched on the phone today, after she said she could only call me back tomorrow. That's it. Dump things on me. Ignore what I wrote. Then say you don't have time to talk. So then it will be Friday and I am supposed to start on Monday. Duh. You'd think if you want someone to work for you that you would listen when they are upset that they might not make schedule. It might be a huge problem for you.

If I had a rush printing job to do and the printer called me back about whether he could do my job or not, esp if he had concerns, I THINK i'd take the call.

Anyhows, at the end we were both fed up. Sounds like they are being squeezed by THEIR client, worse each book (we are up to #14 now), and just passing it onto me. So now I have the choice to be stressed out and not enough sleep. No time to practice for my flamenco show. No time to clean up for spring (you should see, all the garbage from redoing the balconies when my Dad was here is still under the snow... cuz I didnt have time in the FALL to clean up), No time to do my taxes. Basically, I'm already exhausted, and ready to keel over by 10pm.

Tonight in flamenco, my teacher gave me a speech about how I was falling asleep when she was giving her all to teach. Hmmm.

I am torn in half. Half goes "I need the money, and maybe I CAN manage to juggle everything, take the contract". The LARGER half says "No, this client is getting worse and worse. You work like crazy for the money, and then they take three months to pay you and act like you are a whiny child when you ask where the checks are. They don't have time to answer the simplest questions when you need them for their work. They are changing the schedules. When you are overworked and stressed out, you bitch, you pass stress to everyone, you talk incessantly about your work, you break committments to friends for social things"...

You can see, right now that second half is being way more vocal. I dont know if I am just stressing too much. I need the money. But money is a bad mistress. If my house is dirty, I have no social life, I do everything from my comics to my garden to my dog to my flamenco half-assed, if time flies by in a blur of deadlines and trying to get enough sleep... that is just dumb.

So, tomorrow I will call the people of the rainy day poster and see if they have more work. Then, if they do, and probably even if they don't ... I will call the US client and tell them, that I cannot work in these conditions. IF they do more books later with less flakey deadlines, and paying in thirty days not 60 not 90, they can call me back.

This makes me worry I am not doing the right thing. But right now my shoulders are near my ears. My health (AND TAXES!!) must come first.

Forward and onward to the next more interesting entry, which will be about the film I watched tonight.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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