Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dirty Laundry Not Welcome

I have to preface this post with the assurance that I'm one of the lucky ones. I have been VERY blessed with amazing co-workers at SHP. I seriously have some of the best editors ever. And all my brother and sister authors at SHP have been soooo friendly, soooo supportive, and instant friends.

I had to preface with that in case you guys start thinking this post is full of *winks* and *hint, hints* about my professional life with my publishing company. It's not even close.

But it is full of cautions because, sadly, I've come across some blog posts and facebook updates over the years with professionals airing their dirty laundry about people they work with.

And I mean work with closely. Not the distant cousin of a blogger you emailed once a few months ago. Or something along those lines.

I'm talking about editors complaining about their authors (even if no names are given) in public, on a post. Or authors complaining about their editors not emailing them back immediately in public, on a post.

Here's the shocking reality you need to come to terms with if you haven't started working with a publishing company yet (and of course there are exceptions. Like I said, I'm one of the lucky ones and I've met a few authors who really have wonderful relationships with their editors, too): It's a job and like any other job out there, it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

And honestly, be reasonable, too. Being upset because your editor hasn't replied to your email five minutes after you sent it? They work hard and have long hours, many of those being taken up with replying to the hundreds of other emails they get. You are a priority, but you're not a five minute priority.

Now ignoring the unreasonable expectations, let's say you have legitimate reasons to be concerned. Talk to the person you have an issue with. In private. Don't let everybody else see your dirty laundry because the result may be a lack of respect for you, not the person you were complaining about.

During my training in the Army, one of my Drill Sergeants gave some of the best advice I'd ever gotten. We'd had a problem with a few of the soldiers not getting along and, of course, they aired their dirty laundry for everyone to see. Well, in the military (and especially during training), EVERYONE gets in trouble when issues like these arise. She pulled us aside and said, "Look, do you honestly thing all us Drill Sergeants get along?" Honestly, we did. They acted like best friends when they were around us. "No, we don't. But we don't bring that stuff out in front of you."

Wow. I'd already respected the heck out of them before, but now I had a new appreciation for everything they did.

And that's just it. No one will want to work with an organization that can't get its stuff together. No editor will ever want to work with you if you have a habit of complaining about the people you work with.

Now, I'm not saying go out there and start smoozing up to everyone you work with and hope to work with in the future. Be real. People can tell when you're fake, too. But show respect for your coworkers. They're people with feelings and they usually feel like working at a better professional relationship with you if you're not complaining in public all the time.

That's my tip for the day. :) And I realize that I'm saying this to people who know all this already, but hey, it needs to be said as much as possible.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Alright, you've gotta tell us what led to this post...
    (remember I love ironic humor)

  2. Agreed. Public forums (twitter, facebook, etc) are not the place to air your frustrations. It will come back to haunt you.

  3. Respect is huge and like Keshia said, public forums are no place to get upset - talk to your family to do your venting.

  4. Right? How hard is it to keep your mouth shut? I mean, if you need to vent, then do it in private with a trusted friend. The internet is forever

  5. Agreed. It's amazes when I see something like that. Side note, I didn't know you were in the military. That's awesome!

    1. I know. It amazes me especially when I think of the fact that you have to press "submit" or "publish" before all that goes public. You'd think people would wake up before they pressed the button. *shakes head*

      And yes! Eight beautiful years. I was even deployed, too! In fact, I met my husband because of my deployment.

  6. There's a golden rule I've always followed in public forums and social networks that has always served me well. If you can't say anything nice....



Yay! Comments! Oh, how I do love them! :D