Famously crotchety book blogger Edward 'Edrants' Champion has a bone to pick with Time Out New York EIC Brian Farnham, he declares via his website. "I wrote a profile piece for them in July, but didn't get payment for it until four months later. And the only reason I was able to effect payment that quickly was through persistent emails and phone calls, going directly up the ladder to Farnham," he begins. But according to Ed, that trip up the ladder was a rocky one! "This afternoon, I got a phone call from Farnham. It was an effort to try and shake me up. I had experienced this approach before by bullies in high school, but hadn't seen much action in my adult life outside of bars and law firms. 'How dare you!' he screamed at me repeatedly over the phone. 'Who do you think you are?' These were lines out of a bad melodrama. I responded with facts ... 'You'll get your check,' he seethed, sounding like a frat boy who can't get a new pledge to hand him his beer bong." Gosh, it sure sounds like Brian overreacted to Ed's "professional" insistence on being paid. Why was Brian so mad?
Maybe it had something to do with this, the email Ed sent to TONY editorial coordinator Amy Plitt, on Monday.
With all due respect, Ms. Plitt, (a) the last time we went through this nonsense, it took me four months to get a check, when I was given absolute assurance by EIC Brian Farnham, over the phone and over email, that I would get paid by Chicago, only to discover that his representations were outright lies, and I had to go down to your offices to collect a check cut by YOUR New York office; and (b) your office did not have the professional courtesy to respond to my email, sent almost two weeks ago.
So based on these two explicit communicative failures on Time Out New York's part, something which you are in large part responsible for by way of your responsibilities, I hope you might understand why I am more than a tad vociferous and why I lack confidence in your office's abilities to turn around checks.
If your financial director was on vacation, Ms. Plitt, why did you not simply tell me this off the bat? Why was I the one to call YOU to elicit this answer? Why must I be the one to expend my time because you do not have the decency to communicate honestly about the current situation? I have written for many publications, and the majority of them — indeed, the ones who keep me on board — have the decency to tell me what's going on and inform me, "Hey, we don't have the cash right now, but we can pay you next month." Do you honestly harbor the impression that I labor for your magazine out of some benevolence? I'm a professional, sweetheart, but I'm not a whore who works for free. What would you think if TONY suddenly withheld your regular checks as "Editorial Coordinator" and didn't respond to your requests for clarifications? I suspect you'd feel similarly. I suspect you'd probably be more indignant than me. Thus, it is not unreasonable for me to expect a definitive answer.
Whether or not TONY was late in paying Ed—and let's face it, they pay people late sometimes!—it is never, EVER appropriate to call someone "sweetheart."
Gah, why is it that the kind of person who calls a woman he doesn't know "sweetheart" is nearly always the same kind of person who uses multisyllablic words to sound smart and blogs about his problems?