So, today I’ve got $4 dollars in my checking account. Blessedly, got rent to landlord but am trying to figure out how to keep Tater (as in “Let ‘er rip, Tater Chip!”) from the car title loan people. I’ve spent a week critter-sitting in a house so dirty the halogen light caught fire because of the dust, dirt and animal hair laying on it.
In an effort to remove myself from situations like this, three weeks ago I responded to a random/not random email I got from a sorta local holistic health center. They approached me after seeing an ad in this quarter’s DC-Metro Pathways magazine and wanted to see if we’d be a good fit together. I went for a scheduled 2 hour meet-n-greet and left nearly 7 hours later because the chiropractor who runs the place agreed with my suggestion that he actually needed to a session with me to have an understanding about the work I do. He agreed with my logic and cleared his afternoon calendar and before I left–after giving the session–I was asked to join the practice as an independent contractor. Initially it seemed like a good deal. Then things started to feel hinky. I tried to play it off as if I were just mentally resistant to working with others but when I realized the business manager was uber-paranoid and believed successful marketing included trespassing to put flyers on windshields in the Whole Foods parking lot that was 45 miles away (that was not in the answer to my “So, tell me about your marketing plan” during the interview), I knew I’d not been smart.
I had fallen for my inner Sally Field. The one that said, “Ooooohhhh!!! They like me! They really like me!” That little bit of ego feed combined with what I thought were reasonable answers to intelligent questions led me to say yes to joining a practice that had the potential of increasing my client base and, thereby, my checking account. A novel idea these days that made me think getting that car title loan to pay for a huge ad was a good idea. That it had been a catalyst for bigger things, a larger adventure, a legal & safe car. Weeeeeeellll….
After receiving an email on Tuesday morning that outlined some requirements of my contract that weren’t, well, in my contract, I sent a simple email that said, “This is a business model that does not suit me. Good luck in your endeavors.”
I received an immediate response from the business manager who wanted to know if there was anything they could do to change my mind. I said no. Then she tried to feed my inner Sally some more with the “but you just have such an amazing, special gift” and more. I said no. Then she attempted the flattery in a couple more ways: “I was so impressed that you do work for free for military and police” (while adding a bit of conspiracy theorizing that only fit with the entire weird experience) and, the topper, “Well, the doctor saw that you would be taking over the practice” (moving hinky and weird into delusional).
Lessons learned: If I’m ambiguous about something, the answer is a clear “NO”. When instinct says “something’s hinky”, it is. Ignore my Sally. It’s as annoying now as it was then. Don’t linger over decisions, no matter what you think others will think.
So, I’ve got four bucks, a half tank of gasoline in Tater (who, btw, is an orange Mini!), and not a clue as to how to do what I’m supposed to be doing.