There aren’t too many things that frustrate me during the course of a day. If Mason potties on the floor instead of making it to the toilet, that frustrates me. When my computer shuts itself down before I’ve saved my current document, that frustrates me. And, when somebody asks me to Google something for them, when they obviously can very well do it themselves – and faster than it took them to email me – that frustrates me. The people that frustrate me the most, however, are the ones that send me emails like the one below. This is part of an actual email (edited, of course, to protect the sender’s anonymity) I received on Monday morning. I’ll call the sender GP (for Gullible Person).
Good morning, Angela,
I would be eternally grateful if you could share whatever current information you have about [notorious deadbeat]. I have been approached by her to [do a lot of work] for a film she has written, is producing, and intends to direct as well. [These projects often have budgets of] several hundred thousand dollars. That is why I am cautious when dealing with first-time producers. I’ve done a quick Google search on [deadbeat], and was quite taken aback by the sheer volume of negative commentary regarding her…
Okay, let’s dissect this a bit.
First, the economy isn’t great right now. People are looking for work and this may tempt some to make bad decisions. I’ll give GP that.
However, he did his homework and Googled the deadbeat’s name. He admits he found a “sheer volume of negative commentary” about the deadbeat.
Instead of thanking his heavenly stars that he Googled the name, GP instead contacts me and asks me if I think it’s okay for him to work with this deadbeat.
To us, this deadbeat in particular seemed a bit, shall we say, bizarre. She went from owning a so-called publishing company to seeking a live-in childcare position online (one of her victims alerted me to the posting and I was horrified that some family may end up hiring this individual to care for their children!). And, now she’s…producing a movie?!
Finally, Deadbeat still owes writers money. Yet, GP seems to think Deadbeat is singing a different tune now just because some time has passed.
All of this information was readily available online. Yet, still, GP was considering working with her? Um, hello?!?!
Sadly, I get these types of emails ALL the time. People write to me and say, “I know you featured this person in Whispers and Warnings…but do you think I should work for them?”
Good heavens, what do they think I’m going to say?
What I want to say to these people is this: “If you want to get SCREWED like the deadbeat’s previous victims, sure, go ahead and work for them!”
After I frown and grind my teeth for a moment, I instead respond with a bit more professionalism. This is how I responded to GP:
If you found one negative comment online about someone, it might be a fluke. Numerous comments? There’s obviously something going on. If (deadbeat) offered my worst enemy a job, I’d tell him to run away as fast and as far away as he could.
The last we heard, she went from owning a publishing company to looking for a live-in childcare job. And now she wants to produce a movie?
Did you read her own emails that were posted online? Her personality is quite apparent in those.
And, from what we understand, she still owes those writers money.
While we’d all like to think our fellow man (or woman) has turned the other cheek, and while everybody deserves a second chance, the fact is most deadbeats have more than one victim. They’ve already had their first chance, and their second, and their third. If they’re willing to screw that many people, believe me, they’re more than happy to screw you, too.