Things That Make My Head Explode

What’s on the iPod: Easy Way Out by Gotye

Guaranteed more fun than root canal! 
Due to Hurricane Sandy, the 8 Top Tax-Saving Strategies webinar has been rescheduled for December 6th. As a reward for your patience, we’re offering the webinar at a $30 discount — just $39.95 for money-saving advice from a renowned tax expert. There are still a few spots left! To get the discount, register here.

What a week. It’s only Thursday, but I feel like I’ve crammed six weeks into one day. It wasn’t that I was busy — I was stressed. To me, stress is the writer’s enemy. You can’t get a stinking thing done when life is swirling out of control around you.

I won’t go into the reasons why (not that interesting, really), but I will say the stress got in the way the first half of my day. You wouldn’t think, given that it’s not my stress. Alas. Guess again. I worked sporadically on an article (finished it, amen) and started on another, so the afternoon was productive. And I took a call for an article interview, which was very fruitful. I now have a great basis for some research, thanks to this source’s comments.

Still, it’s been one of those weeks. We have family visiting this weekend (starting tomorrow sometime), so my work day will be a tad fractured this afternoon as I clean the mess that is this house. I’m missing writers group for it, but I think it’s where I need to put my energies.

So here are some things that are driving me ape this week:

“Me me me” people. It’s only Thursday and already I’ve had it up to here with people who talk AT me, not with me, and people with self-centered attitudes. One time — just one — I’d love to ask someone how they are and not have to listen to a monologue. Conversation. Two people. Both should talk, right? Yet no one these days seems to ask “How are you?” and actually listen to the answer.

Snake oil salespeople. Had an instance where I was able to sample a particular methodology designed to improve one’s internal processes. However, I came away thinking “Yea, the Emperor is still naked.” I’m a little tired of the latest “best” thing out there and how they shamelessly help you part with your money and create some odd little codependency among followers. Sorry — not into that Kool-Aid.

Blanket responses. My friend applied for two positions. She immediately received notes back asking for her to come in for an interview at a very specific time. The first note sounded very much like a form response, and proved to be when she said she’d need to reschedule the time. “Good luck in your future endeavors.” Huh? The second company responded, but said they would contact her after the first round of interviews should they still need her. I say run. Neither company is professional enough to work for.

Designer cupcakes. My daughter brought home some fancy cupcakes. They’re fantastic. And there goes my diet. I have no will power! Don’t bring this stuff into the house!

Unresponsive clients. I’m currently searching for a collection agency. It’s a small bill, but it’s one I will not ignore, and if the client can’t be bothered to talk to me, I’m done talking. I gave her three chances to negotiate a payment plan (for a tiny bill!), and she chose instead to ignore the invoices, use the material, and pretend I don’t exist. I’m done being nice. 

What has you in a fluff this week?

About the author




  • Allie November 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Conflicts! This week has been crazy with doctor's appointments and networking things and other must-dos that are all smack in the middle of the day. I feel like I've spent more time shuttling from place to place than I have spent actually getting things done, and that drives me bananas. Thank goodness this is not a typical week.

  • Kimberly Ben November 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    It's been crazy on this end too. Have you ever used a collections agency before? I'd be interested in hearing more about how this works out for you.

  • Lori November 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Allie, you sound like me. I HATE the little things that keep getting in the way! We have guests coming tomorrow, which is great, but my hair is a hot mess (haircut today), my car needs an oil change and I've no time to crawl under it, and I should get to the grocery store. Ugh! Somewhere in there, I have to work. 🙂

    I haven't, Kim. But today, it's about to occur. I have to find one and get the process going. I'm not chasing this woman, nor do I have time to hound her for payment. I'll let someone else do it.

  • Devon Ellington November 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Roller coaster, still trying to book some short turnaround/quick-pay jobs to make up for the bounced check. Everything for the longer projects is going smoothly, but I need to add in some quick ones — hoping to land an editing assignment or a couple of press releases to get that 50% up front in the next few days.

    Happy that HEX BREAKER is coming out in print soon and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK has the March 4 release date, but it puts more pressure on me for CRAVE THE HUNT.

  • Lisa Mulka November 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Lori, I'm a regular reader of your blog and I love the useful and REAL experiences you share. I would also be really interested in hearing more about how the collection agency works out for you. I just had a similar situation in which I was about to play that card, but the client finally paid after numerous notices. I wasn't really sure where to start and if it was worth bringing collections in. Good luck!

  • Paula November 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Sad to say it sounds as if we might be able to start a collection agency referral program. I'm down to two late-payers. One is responsive, the other not.

    My head is exploding today because of the lazy woman who answered a complaint call SUNDAY about the vacant house next door to me. The woman works for the company the title holder has contracted to maintain and secure the house. So when a neighbor noticed SUNDAY that the back door was wide open, he called in and the woman said it wasn't an emergency and hung up on him. I only noticed the open door today (it's inside an enclosed porch so I can't see it from outside), when I opened the drapes on that side of my house and saw sunlight flooding a room that should have been dark.

    I called the police, the checked out the house. Only later did I talk to the guy who tried calling the 800-number on Sunday. You know me. I found the company online and sent them a detailed complaint e-mail that I cc'd to our community police officer. Short version: Secure the property immediately or face the wrath of an angry neighborhood.

    Any coincidence that the guy discovered the open door the morning after the armed robbery down the street – when I heard a loud bang? I'm betting I heard the door being kicked open, not a gunshot.

    At risk of this being too me, me, me…good luck collecting that money, and have a great time with your guests!

  • answers to adult driver education November 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Schedule changes really got me stressed this week. It's just so frustrating to change all of your schedule for the day just because of one event, and it's not even worth it.

  • Lori November 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Devon, what a great roller coaster to be on!

    Lisa, I'll let you know. I've sent her a final note telling her I'm about to call an agency — we'll see if it moves her.

    Paula, keep on them. That's unacceptable.

    Answers, I hear you. One little thing can really put the screws to a well-planned day, can't it?