After the most riveting nine-minute phone chat with the photographer who overcharged my web design client for photographs of her paintings, the photographer sent me an email. It was most appropriately titled ‘Im calm and do not want any ill will between us.’
It’s not that i am mad. i was already planning on lowering the price for her because it took a significantly less amount of time then i expected to take all the photos and edit them for her. So i am more then willing to discuss this and do want to help her.
what bothers me is how you approached this. your aggressive way felt like you were attacking me personally and put me on the spot to have to defend myself and it shut down our ability to communicate and resolve the issues, which is Dee’s financial situation. all you needed to do was call and discuss the situation and even if the work did take me a long amount of time i would still be very willing to work with her on price. I run into similar issues myself and have always found ways to work with clients and with people i hire for work.
You automatically assumed that I was being a dick instead of talking to me and seeing my side before placing judgement. Thats not a friendly way to be.
in the future all i ask is that you please talk to me first about issues because i am always willing to collaborate and work with people to make things work.'
Considering she didn't come to me at any point and discuss the work I found for her, the statement in the above email 'i am always willing to collaborate' is rather contradictory.
The way she handled this made it seem like she was hiding something, which led me to believe, further, that she knew she was doing something...crappy.
So I responded:
'Well, this is simply a case of someone who was in the wrong and reacted poorly to a situation, and is trying to turn things around and make the other person look bad. But, it won’t work; I simply called, calmly stated my point and wanted to let you know my thoughts. You seemed to have no trouble communicating; I’m sorry that you were so defensive, yelled repeatedly, and felt the need to react so strongly to my very calm statement. Blaming me for your reactions and your words is immature.
There are no two sides to this situation.
You’re definitely taking one out of [Loon’s] book here, [K]. I wasn’t at all aggressive, in voice or in action - you were. Also, I’m surprised you edited the photos - I had much work to do on those. 'In the future,' I do not think we will not be working together.'
I had told her I wouldn’t be referring her to others, and, somehow, this surprised her.
There's no reason to think someone who did this once won't do this again. And, based on our previous phone conversation, it didn't seem like she understood that there was a problem with her actions. You can always be discerning and decide if you want to give someone the benefit of the doubt, and a chance to regain your trust. However, the doubt I would continue to feel was enough for me to call it quits.
Therefore, I received one final email to which I didn’t respond, and I haven’t heard anything since.
'ooohhh nooo come on,
I didnt say you were, I said I felt you were, thats not attacking you directly thats saying what your words (very calm words) made me feel!!!
And why I felt that I had to yell and that I wasnt being heard! Which I still feel that way, I’m not blaming you, I’m trying to get you to see why I reacted the way I did which was very poorly.'
The second email is clearly the opposite of the first email, as if she said to herself, 'Oh, Geena caught what I was trying to do in that first email, let me play it off...' Regardless of her true intentions with her tone and attitude shift between emails, it doesn't make her look any better - but rather, fake.
My artist website client later told me she'd received a disc of images from the photographer, and no bill - and no return address. So, I told her not to worry about paying it, then.
And that was that.