Friday, January 9, 2009

Those negotiations...

You may remember I was trying to negotiate something on a project I've been involved with. This is just a little update on that. When I last posted on it, I was trying to talk sense into one of the funders.

I have since realised that was a mistake.

Some years ago, I was on a project that was created by someone who I felt was exeptionally talented. During the project, every time this person got some news they didn't like, or was given some direction, notes or a suggestion, he would go away, get drunk and then write an angry email.

He would throw a cyber-tantrum.

I'm sure back in the day, he probably threw plain ol' regular tantrums. The result of this was that everybody tip-toed around him, doing their best to keep him happy to avoid being on the receiving end of one of his attacks.

You see, my mistake was trying to be reasonable. Trying to actually provoke thought. Trying to show what should be obvious. But I found I was dealing with people who simply don't know enough about what they are talking about and just don't care to learn. They hired someone who they perceived to be an expert in his field, and then proceeded to sabotage any effort he made to do his job. Not through maliciousness. Just through a lack of understanding.

But the unwillingness to learn rendered the negotiations pointless. And being reasonable must have come across as, I don't know, weak perhaps.

So I was left with little choice but to live up to the 'creative' personality, throw a hissy fit, smash up the phone and refuse point blank to deal with certain people again. I am no longer in negotiations. I am mid-tantrum.

And, so far, it seems to be working.


Harriet said...

Tantrums feel good - you deserve to have one every once in a while. And who needs phones anymore anyway?

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir,

I don't know if you've ever seen a show called Mystery Science Theater 3000, but I've heard a similar story from them.

The basic stories: Joel Hodgson, a prop comic, came up with a show for a local station. When the station was about to fold he and the rest of the crew (Best Brains, Inc.) decided to try and sell the show to cable.

Joel had a pit-bull of an agent, an old theater man, who would scream insults into the phone (All the negotiations took place over conference calls because Best Brains is in Minnesota and the Comedy Channel in Manhatten) in a rough and powerful roar.

Though this embarrassed Best Brains, as a result of his dogmatism they managed to hold onto almost all of the rights to Mystery Science Theater 3000, which therefore managed to go on for eleven years across three channels.

I suppose throwing tantrums is not really so unusual.

Incidentally, former head writer and second host of MST3K does a similar service now called RiffTrax:

Red Pill Junkie said...

All creative types are sublimated neurotics. The suits understand that :)