The picture isn't the best quality because I took it on my cell phone, but it shows a bunch of the damage. Let me explain.
On Wednesday, my mom borrowed my car (the one pictured) to go to a doctor's appointment in NYC. My car is by far the crappiest of the ones that my parents own, being a 1988 Oldsmobile, which is why they loan it to me for free. It's also a decent one to take into the city because no one in their right mind would want to steal it, and my mom's doctor isn't in the greatest part of Manhattan.
On her way home from NYC, on the NJ turnpike, my mom rearended a pickup truck. We won't go into the details of the accident because that's not appropriate to post on a blog. Needless to say, the car turned out looking like that. My mom, for those that are wondering, came out of it bloody and badly bruised, but is otherwise fine. Part of her injuries stemmed from the fact that a 1988 Oldsmobile HAS NO AIRBAGS, so she hit the steering wheel pretty hard. On the other hand, because it's a 1988 Oldsmobile and built like a freaking tank, it probably saved her from getting hurt far worse than if she had been in a newer, albeit more fragile car.
I'm going to use this as an example, however. Not about how you must drive safely or anything like that because that's not my point at all. My point is that once I found out she was hurt, I was out of the office on Wednesday. This is my mom we're talking about. I was with her and my dad in the ER until 3 am on Thursday morning. I got home, and I lost all of Thursday as a working day because I was so physically and emotionally exhausted that I slept.
I woke up this evening, and what do I find? One e-mail from a client who decided that they would fire me via e-mail (always a polite touch), and several other e-mails from clients, along the lines of: "Where the hell have you been? Why are you not doing work for me, NOW?!". I am so sick and fed up of being stomped on like this. Really, you get an agent, and this is not how you treat them. We are human. We are people. We have things come up in life. Accidents happen, people get married, life happens for us too.
I understand that writers can get anxious and that you worry about your work. I understand that it's a huge thing to finally have an agent behind you who will send out your work to publishers. I can see this from the point of view of an agent and a writer. But for god's sake, people, don't treat your agents like this. I have a SMALL client list, here. Somewhere between twenty to twenty-five people (I have to count), and I cannot and will not drop everything at a moment's notice for a client who thinks they're having a crisis. Unless your house has burnt down, you've been in a car accident, someone has died, etc, and you are not able to finish your book on deadline, YOU ARE NOT HAVING THE TYPE OF CRISIS THAT WILL CAUSE ME TO DROP THE WORK I AM DOING WITH OTHER CLIENTS AT THE MOMENT.
And I mean this in the general sense, speaking for all agents. We're all busy; we all have lives; we all have other clients. You, and this is the general "you", not directed at my clients, but at writers in particular, are not the end-all-and-be-all of our existences. Wait in line, especially if your agent is like me, and working in a semi-autonomous fashion. There are other clients besides you--as long as you realize this and cut your agent some slack, then you'll have a productive business relationship with them.
Please try to be considerate, and your agent will try to be considerate back.
Lori says that I'm way too nice to people.
Maybe she's right.
Maybe I should be a jaded, disillusioned old industry hack. Wouldn't that be fun?
At least it wouldn't hurt when I get stomped on, and accused of being a horrible person, just because I'm not working as fast as someone thinks I should be.