Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Taking the High Road

I rue the day I ever told my children one of the following things:

  • "Take the high road."
  • "Be the bigger person."
  • "Let it go."
  • "You're better than that."

Because I'm not feeling it today. And of course, as God seems to do, He's going to teach me that I need to learn the same lessons I'm trying to teach to the PBA.


I'm really mad. And hurt. And angry. And frustrated.

And because I try to uphold a standard of not disparaging people (I also fall short on that one too...there's really nothing like having children to help you see the plank in your own eye. Can I get an "Amen"?), I am not going to name names or delve into too much detail (ok maybe more detail than need to, but I like to paint a full picture), but I am going to share this:

The article I wrote...you know, that paid writing gig...the first paid freelance gig I ever had in all my almost 40 years of life? Well, the article is possibly going to be pulled from the publication.

There's nothing quite like working on something for weeks (or waiting for feedback, input, answers, etc.), and stressing over it (yes, I stress over things...but you probably knew that) and then feel like you got punched in the gut.

Reminds me of this:

I may need some chocolate pudding. Or just some chocolate of some sort...if you happen to be out and about and feel like dropping some off, it would be appreciated.

And devoured tout de suite.

I'll back up: the whole experience has been strange from the beginning: difficulties in communications with the organiztion I was writing about, differences in information they gave me...things like that. Very inconsistent.

But I forged on. I can be tenacious.

And I was told ahead of time that "The Powers-The-Be" at the organization would all get to read the article before I submitted it to my editor; and that this was ONLY for fact-checking purposes (not by my choice but I was honoring the decision of my editor...and I did understand that. Obviously I did want the information presented to be correct.)

And before I even sent it to them, I had a close friend who is a fabulous writer and editor (and in fact she TEACHES writing...journalism, no less) read and edit it for me. She made a couple suggestions but said it was a "solid piece". That meant a lot to me, especially not having written in a true journalistic style for a long time.

I confidently sent my article to the wolves.

So after I sent them my final version of the article, I got one message from the CEO, one from the Director, and one from the Marketing Director.

The CEO "loved the article" (her words...notice the quotes), and the Marketing Director had a couple changes having to do with facts (which I made and returned to them before the Director of the organization read it).

And then the Director proceeded to rewrite about 75% of my article. And included a 3-sentence bio specifically about herself.


She's not a writer; I'll leave it at that.

But because I knew her writing was not good, nor did I even want to attempt making her edits (because frankly what could I do; she'd rewritten 75% of it...there wasn't much of my article even left to work with), and because I did not want my name even remotely associated with it, I sent both my version and hers to my editor, leaving the decision to him...to print one or the other as is or have a copy editor try to combine them.

I also told him that I did not want my name anywhere on it if he chose to go with her story.

And believe me when I say I wasn't using that as a threat in any way. This was my first freelance gig and I knew I could easily be shooting myself in the foot.

I simply think I've been around enough to know when writing is good and when it is not. And I don't want my name on writing that isn't good.

Which is why I don't use my own name in the blog...

So after little deliberation, he decided to go with mine (with only a couple slight changes). I felt vindicated.

The organization insisted on seeing the article one last time before it went to print.

I held my breath. And it was as I expected.

The CEO loved it, but had a couple small changes.

I actually didn't hear from the Marketing Director, but (one thing I failed to mention above) he's married to the Director of the organization so he would probably support what his wife said about it.

If he's smart he would.

And she was not pleased with the publication's final version.

I originally wrote what she said but decided to remove it. It just made my blood boil when I read it and I'm letting it go, right?

So instead of continuing the ridiculous discussion, the publication has now offered the organization the opportunity to either pay $1,000 for a "Business Spotlight" ad which will give them full editorial control (not just the fact-checking opportunity originally given) and allow them to print the Director's version, or accept the free advertising they would receive in the form of my article and it would cost them nothing out of pocket.

And if the article goes in as I wrote it, I get paid.

As far as I know, if they choose the ad option, I don't get paid.

But I am taking the high road, right?

That kind of made me throw up in my mouth to write that.

I'm keeping my mouth shut, even though I want to rail against that organization; I will confess that all sorts of venomous thoughts went through my head when I heard the news. I had a lot I wanted to say to them.

Which might be what God is teaching me.

"It's not as easy to take that high road, is it? Don't get so frustrated with your children when they want to spew venom. Keep your eyes on Me. Keep your focus on Me. Be a witness for Me. And keep your mouth shut."

OK God...but can I still have that pudding?

Editorial note:  If they choose the ad option, I still get paid. The editor just emailed me to assure me that I will receive payment, regardless of what the organization says. That is stand-up, right there. And thankfully I kept my mouth closed.

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  1. Since I never see you anymore, I've been wondering how this all ended up. Frustrating indeed. Glad you're going to get paid, though.

    And I loved the line about not putting your name on the blog. :)

  2. Ugh... what a mess! You're right---SO hard to 'practice what you preach'...

    I have a situation (from back in March!!) that took me months to sort through...rather for me and God to sort through... I'm still not completely 'there' but working on it. Time marches on and I have no choice than to just 'get over it' and trust that He has my best interests in mind (Prov 3:5-6)

    Shoot me yer address and the puddin's in the mail today!!!!! ;)