Last week, I finally dealt with my first difficult person in the performance of my job duties. Since hired on last December, I have been correcting the mistakes made by my predecessor. For the first six months on the job, it was pretty much cleaning up his mess. Once I finished and got up to speed, I really thought I had everything fixed. Yet, occasionally, when I least expect it, I come across yet another mistake made by him. I'm always stunned by it. How can he have made so many errors? These are little mistakes that are a pain to fix. Mistakes like wrong codes, which affect the accuracy of the reports I have to print each quarter. It's obvious that the guy was not a detail-oriented person or had pride in his work. He was essentially sloppy and careless. He should have never been in that position. Nor should about four or five people before him. In fact, I think about how much better off the company would be and I would've been had we found each other in my first couple weeks in Portland in 2006, when I was looking for a job. We would have saved each other FOUR YEARS of grief!!
Anyhow, one of my clean-ups of my predecessor's mess is that many royalty payments were not made to songwriters because the guy was too lazy to send out an independent contract. In my job, I'd say that about 75% of the songs I have to license are done through an independent agency that sends us the contracts. Its all quick clicks of the button on the screen. For songs that aren't done through that particular website, I have to print up a two-page contract. This involves searching for the publisher online and typing over the template with the appropriate information and mailing (or emailing) the contract. A little more work, but nothing difficult. However, while I have never met my predecessor, I can tell that he was probably a lazy guy who had no pride in work. He simply did not care and songwriters did not get paid.
One of my joys in the job is contacting a songwriter who has no idea that he or she has money owed to them. They are generally thrilled to learn that they will be getting some money. Most of the time, its a small amount. But one guy got a nice three digit amount and was very happy and grateful for it, even though I wish his songs had sold even more so he could get a four figure check. But, when the songwriter is happy to get anything from us, it does make me feel good in my job. As I told people who've asked what I do, I usually say: "It's a good karma job."
Last week, though, I finally had my first difficult person. Instead of being happy to know that she has money coming to her, she was very demanding and rude. She wanted to know why she hadn't been paid sooner if the album had been out for a year. Because I had only discovered my predecessor's error during this month, it was too late to include what we owe her on the third quarter reports, which have already been run, printed, and tabulated. This woman wanted to be paid and she wanted to be paid NOW!!!
To make matters worse, my supervisor asked me to run a report on that particular song to see if there were other albums that it appeared on and did not have a agreement for. When I did that, I learned that there were five more albums that my predecessor neglected to do. So, that's five more agreements I had to send to this lady. As expected, her response was even more livid when she learned that we had five more albums in which we did not pay her royalties. Great, my predecessor has really made the company look bad because of his lazy ass. This pisses me off, especially when I was the one who discovered the discrepancy and brought it to the copyright holder's attention. Instead of being greeted by a thrilled and grateful person, I get chewed out for my predecessor's errors.
It's obvious that this woman has no sense of gratitude. She's all "gimme gimme gimme" like that ABBA song and "now now now!" This is nothing more than GREED, not gratitude. I actually feel sorry for her. In fact, she so ticked me off, and my supervisor off, and even the guy who worked in my job five years ago and is in a different job now. According to the files, he had requested several times an agreement from this lady for the same song on a different album. She never bothered to respond! Now, she wants her money NOW when five years ago, she didn't even bother? Wow. It's probably the result of the economy. She wants money wherever she can get it. What she doesn't realize, though, is that we don't have to use her song on any of the mixed CDs we produce. In fact, after dealing with her for three days and her rude, demanding tone, I have recommended to the company that we no longer use her song on any future release. Why should we help her earn money if she's going to behave this way? There is a reason why people should express gratitude. People will want to help you more and be on your side, rather than alienating people.
I take this experience as an important lesson, because when it comes to the principles of the Universal Law of Attraction, the one advice everyone gives is to show gratitude every day, in every thought and action. As the novelist Paulo Coehlo wrote: "the entire universe will conspire to make things happen" once you do. Oprah Winfrey had recommended people keep a gratitude journal every day. Counting blessings and thanking people for their kindness, thoughtfulness, and good actions is the way to get results. Not that you should expect anything in return, though. Its simply that having a grateful heart when others help you or do something for you, there is an energy boost or connection that makes this world a little bit better place for everyone around. Too bad that this greedy, ungrateful lady doesn't understand the principle of gratitude. Because of her attitude, she's losing out on future royalties. The company has thousands of songs to choose from in making CD compilations, so we can easily do without her only song.
Something to think about when you're dealing with others. Don't piss them off when they are trying to help you or to give you something!