:: heart ::
sometimes i don't post here because i don't have a picture to share. i like my posts to have images with them. i've been wanting to write about my week but i haven't been able to come up with the right image.
i did finally come up with the right word. disheartening.
you know, i want to be able to be all detached about the things that happened this week. i know i'm not supposed to take it all so personally. but you know what? this business of mine, it's personal. from the reasons i started up up creative to the ways in which i try to grow and nurture it. because i'm still a small indie business, every single detail is mine. like my business card says, i'm the designer, the owner, the accountant, and the mailroom operator. when there's a shipping problem, that comes back to me (and the U.S. postal service, of course). when someone is displeased with her purchase, well, i'm the one who designed the product, the one who printed it, the one who cut and packaged and prepared it.
i had my first unhappy customer this week. someone who didn't like what she got in the mail. from me.
i know i've had probably a thousand customers by now. i know that this shouldn't upset me as much as it does. but there it is anyway: i'm bothered. apparently in addition to being chief operator i am also head of the complaints department and the feeling bad department. i'm the brains and brawn of the business, but apparently i'm also the heart.
and this heart is feeling a little discouraged.
but in my defense, it's not just one unhappy customer. i think the unhappy customer stung all the more because of what happened the day before i got that displeased and displeasing email.
someone ripped me off.
she copied my feelgood list™ exactly (by the way, that feelgood list is trademarked. it seems annoying and pretentious to put the little ™ after it all the time, but i guess that's what i'm going to have to start doing).
and then she bragged about it on her blog and in her flickr photostream. she went on and on about how nice it must be for me to charge $16 for a list she could copy all by herself. an artist and etsy seller herself, she showed absolutely no respect for what i do, saying that her art, because it's not done on a computer, is inherently worth more than something that is done on a computer. and therefore she can just copy my work and slap it up on her blog and act all superior.
i told someone that the copying, that was a paper cut, but the bragging and the condescension, they were like pickle juice poured right over that tiny little cut. they were what really hurt.
fortunately, a few redeeming things did come out of this experience:
(1) someone who reads this woman's blog contacted me to let me know what she had done. there are people out there in the world who don't even know me who are looking out for me. that's nice to know. because the woman didn't name me or my shop, i probably wouldn't ever have found this otherwise.
(2) enough people left comments on the woman's original post and flickr picture that she took them both down without my having to contact her.
(3) all of my friends and peers on twitter rallied such support for me as i boiled and seethed and floundered. i didn't share the links because i didn't want to start a war with the offending woman, but it was nice to know that if i needed them to go leave comments in my defense, i had plenty of people right there all ready and willing to go to bat for me.
still, though. it's going to take a little while for me to put this whole week behind me. it was a rough week. i'm afraid my heart's still stinging.