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Am I just too sensitive?


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Old 25th October 2017, 5:23 PM   #1
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Am I just too sensitive?

Hey folks,

Sorry in advanced for the long post, I'm bad at keeping things short and sweet haha.

If you haven't read a previous thread of mine, I've decided to make the leap and move across the country to the city I've always dreamt of living in! I've had a lot of promising job interviews, none amounting to anything and most of the time the reasoning I hear back is because I'm out of state.

Anyway, I'm getting ready to move next week without a job. Scary. I do have some more interviews lined up. I am a graphic designer, so I have been working like a mad woman doing some freelance side work in addition to my full time job where I currently live.

I also have been trying to find some freelance work in the new city I am moving to. Seriously freelancing to me is 100% more ideal than working another 8-5 job. Anyway, I decided to put up a post on Craigslist advertising my services to see if that would get any bites. I never had done it before but saw some other people posting (and was not impressed by their scope of work) so I thought why not.

Well, surprisingly a comedian/author reached out to me shortly after posting and said that he had some digital marketing needs. He didn't clarify much more than that, but just sent me a link to his website so I could get a feel for what he does. Of course I looked over it enough to get a better understanding of who he is and serve as some inspiration for what I could assist him with. I mentioned I wasn't in the city yet but would be in a week and could set up a phone call in the meantime. I had some radio silence for a while, he randomly called me at work but my phone was on silent. Then we set up a phone call for today over my lunchbreak.

I called him, I felt prepared after looking over his website, had some notes and talking points I wanted to address and several questions. However, in my mind this was just an introductory conversation which would lead to meeting up in person when I'm in the area to discuss more in depth what his business needs are. We chatted for a bit, though it felt a bit awkward as I could barely get a word in and then he started hammering me with questions.

I tried to lead the conversation best I could, but I felt pretty out of my element.
Then this is where things started to get a little bit more uncomfortable....

He asked me if I had read through his book at all that he was writing. Let me say that his website was not set up the best and I didn't even see that there was an option to peak at the book. I had my laptop in front of me though so I was able to figure out how to look at it and skim it a bit. I told him I hadn't looked at it in depth but reviewed his website prior to our conversation.

He asked me the same thing if I had watched all of his stand up comedy shows on YouTube, and I said no but I definitely would check them out after our phone call.

He went off on a tangent about how he would never work with anyone who doesn't do research about him, how good marketers should be doing all of this stuff. He talked about all of his previous interns and how he is looking for the best of the best. He tells me how we are constantly branding ourselves and that this portrays me in a negative light and how I must be new at this. Then he tells me how he doesn't think we should work together. This is the condensed version of what he said, but I'm not kidding when most of the conversation was him firing off criticism after criticism at me for not reading his book or watching his comedy stand-ups. Then he tells me he's interviewing a ton of people but that we should try this again tomorrow. (?? after telling me he doesn't think we should work together??)

Granted, I'm not trying to place the blame all on him. I was very respectful and kind to him, but I'm not kidding when I say he was so harsh I could feel myself tearing up a bit. I told him I appreciated the feedback, that I had thought this was just an introductory phone call getting to know each other and that I tend to do more extensive research when I am getting into the nitty-gritty of things and proposing actual ideas.

He then emails me afterwards with a link to a listing he made on Craigslist that says he is looking for a PR/Social Media Intern.

I'm just in a world full of confused at this point. I have experience working in advertising with clients, clients with multi-million campaign budgets. I've also worked freelance with small local businesses and have helped them meet their business goals. I'm good at what I do, and I am confident that I could help him. I don't say that to sound like a huge egomaniac, but to be belittled like that really bothered me. I recognize that yes, I guess I should have done some more extensive research before chatting on the phone with him. But when I meet with potential freelance clients, I think of it more like a conversation...not someone interviewing me and drilling me with questions.

I suppose I'm taken aback, 1. by how harsh he was, and 2. that he reached out to me seeking me as a freelancer, and then tells me that he's actually just interviewing me to be an intern?? I thought this was an introductory phone call, not an interview!! Sheesh.

Not sure how to proceed, not sure if I'm being a big baby. I welcome constructive feedback but don't appreciate being insulted.
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Old 25th October 2017, 6:35 PM   #2
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I don't think you're sensitive, I think this guy was being an ass. You reacted by apologizing, doubting yourself, tearing up, and being "submissive" (can't think of a better word.) He liked you're reaction because he's the type of person who likes to yell and go off on people and they just take it and blame themselves. So, he thought, ok let me try to get her to work for me as an intern where I can yell at her whenever I feel like it.


Anyway, he's offering an internship and you need a job, I don't see any point in responding to his job link and I would make an effort to put this guy out of my mind. He was a jerk, that's it and that's all. No need to question yourself or wonder about his motives. You couldn't have done anything to make that phone call go any differently.
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Old 25th October 2017, 6:49 PM   #3
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he was putting you down to get you cheap, not on the one phone call you had, but over time, more whinging would come, imo
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Old 25th October 2017, 8:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I don't think you're sensitive, I think this guy was being an ass. You reacted by apologizing, doubting yourself, tearing up, and being "submissive" (can't think of a better word.) He liked you're reaction because he's the type of person who likes to yell and go off on people and they just take it and blame themselves. So, he thought, ok let me try to get her to work for me as an intern where I can yell at her whenever I feel like it.


Anyway, he's offering an internship and you need a job, I don't see any point in responding to his job link and I would make an effort to put this guy out of my mind. He was a jerk, that's it and that's all. No need to question yourself or wonder about his motives. You couldn't have done anything to make that phone call go any differently.
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he was putting you down to get you cheap, not on the one phone call you had, but over time, more whinging would come, imo
Thank you both for the responses, and reassurance that Iím not completely out of my mind for feeling a bit belittled by this man. Like I said, I do welcome criticism (when it is constructive) but I feel like he was a bit out of line.

I think you are probably right that I shouldnít pursue this. Though itís adverised as an ďinternshipĒ itís 8-10 hours a week (remote) and the pay is pretty decent. Itís also short term. That is why I think Iím feeling conflicted. Iím worried that Iím going to move and not be able to find anything and regret not pursuing this.

At the same point, I know I shouldnít settle and that this isnít really the type of person I would want to work with. So I guess thatís my answer.

My question is, any thoughts on how to respectfully decline his offer via email? While I do not appreciate the way he spoke to me, I also do not want to burn any bridges by ignoring his emails and phone call.
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Old 25th October 2017, 9:56 PM   #5
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Yeah, do a lot of research like when you're getting paid! He sounds nuts. He's probably looking for the kind of work only a big agency can give him by hiring one person and calling them an intern so they're cheap. I would run.
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Old 26th October 2017, 3:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MajesticUnicorn View Post
Thank you both for the responses, and reassurance that Iím not completely out of my mind for feeling a bit belittled by this man. Like I said, I do welcome criticism (when it is constructive) but I feel like he was a bit out of line.

I think you are probably right that I shouldnít pursue this. Though itís adverised as an ďinternshipĒ itís 8-10 hours a week (remote) and the pay is pretty decent. Itís also short term. That is why I think Iím feeling conflicted. Iím worried that Iím going to move and not be able to find anything and regret not pursuing this.

At the same point, I know I shouldnít settle and that this isnít really the type of person I would want to work with. So I guess thatís my answer.

My question is, any thoughts on how to respectfully decline his offer via email? While I do not appreciate the way he spoke to me, I also do not want to burn any bridges by ignoring his emails and phone call.


Any work you do for him wonít be good enough and heíll make up imaginary reasons to berate you and get out of paying you. I think you should steer clear of this guy.

Just write something like, thank you for the opportunity to interview, Iíve decided to pursue other options.
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Old 26th October 2017, 8:46 AM   #7
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I agree with the above. This guy sounds really full of himself and like he would be a total nightmare to work with. Just email him thanking him for his time but you don't think the position he is offering is a good fit for you.
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Old 26th October 2017, 9:55 AM   #8
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Yeah, do a lot of research like when you're getting paid! He sounds nuts. He's probably looking for the kind of work only a big agency can give him by hiring one person and calling them an intern so they're cheap. I would run.
I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought that! And had I known he was treating this phone call like a phone interview, I would have approached it a lot differently, because in those cases there is more on the line.

That I think is what bothered me the most. He told me it seemed like I was at new at this and asked if I have ever worked with clients before. I wanted to be very defensive and tell him his marketing budget is probably microscopic compared to the clients I've worked with but I kept my cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Any work you do for him wonít be good enough and heíll make up imaginary reasons to berate you and get out of paying you. I think you should steer clear of this guy.

Just write something like, thank you for the opportunity to interview, Iíve decided to pursue other options.
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Originally Posted by anika99 View Post
I agree with the above. This guy sounds really full of himself and like he would be a total nightmare to work with. Just email him thanking him for his time but you don't think the position he is offering is a good fit for you.
I emailed him thanking him for his time but that I didn't think it was a good fit. We will see if he responds something snarky LOL. I guess at the end of the day, while yes I do want to be getting these freelance gigs and growing my client base, it is not worth it to work with crappy people. And yeah, if feeling that defeated and belittled after one 15 minute phone call is any indication of how it would be working with him, I'd say I dodged a bullet.
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Old 27th October 2017, 7:38 PM   #9
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You definitely dodged a bullet!! Be glad he showed you his true colors now instead of when you were already working together. Have faith in your abilities & don't settle. My 25 year old daughter picked up & moved from Orlando to Los Angeles last year on her own with no job (she did have 7 years serving experience in high end restaurants). The first couple of months she struggled a little finding her rhythm but she stuck it out & started her own business. It's going well now & she loves it out there. Just have realistic expectations & don't doubt yourself!
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Old 28th October 2017, 6:24 AM   #10
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It sounds like he was bawling at you down the phone in a not very nice way but I feel there's another side of this to consider as well.

You've taken a look at his site (that is your domain after all) but his domain is his writing and his comedy.
It kinda baffled me somewhat that you wouldn't have taken a good look at his stand up at least.
The writing maybe not so much - if at any point in initial interactions he said there was stuff he had written on the site and I couldn't find it I would have asked him to point me in the right direction.

His need is help with his site - which is what you do - but also the type of work he does is quite specific and a different thing entirely to big corporations and the needs they would have.

For me comedy isn't just comedy - I don't find all of it funny. Some comedians I love, some I hate.
Eg. - Michael McIntyre - I could easily sit through hours watching his stuff, Jimmy Carr I wouldn't even press the play button. For me it would be as painful as being forced to watch episodes of Friends, Frasier or Sex in the City - I can't think of much worse ways to spend my time watching TV.

If this had been something I was going into, my research would have been on getting a feel for what the guy does, what his work is like and whether I 'get it' or like it (not so much as the 'getting it' part) as well.
It's an art and we all know art is very personal

If I don't 'get' his form of humour and writing then I would be no good at all at helping him achieve what he wants to achieve with his site.
If I do 'get' it then it would give me a huge gauge as to how he wans his site to take a better shape.

I wouldn't take his 'new to his' comment as harshly as you have. It sounds like you are quite new to this different and specific type of customer/market.

So yeah, I do understand his passion for his work and also that he would have expected you to view it. His abrasiveness, not so much as he could have been less harsh in his approach.

Take it as a learning curve for future freelance work you might take on - just be aware that if someone gives you a website to view that your approach may have to be tweaked on what to do research on and you may need to dig a little deeper than just appraising the website alone.
This guy is not a big company nor a huge corporation and he has totally different needs to those kind of customers.
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Old 28th October 2017, 6:42 AM   #11
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Is Craigslist the right forum for you to find quality freelance work? Perhaps it is different where you live, but where I live it is a hotbed of liars and con artists. Is there a more reputable and professional publication you could use? Or perhaps an agency for freelancers? Forget about the comedian, goodness imagine trying to work for him if that is just what an interview was like.
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