professional

No matter how old I get there will be certain things about human nature that will completely surprise me, no matter how many times they happen.

I’m sure the sort of thing I’m going to talk about happens in all professions, but I’m not in all professsions, I happen to be immersed in the publishing world. I am always surprised when agents or editors post blogs and hints on professional behavior. (But doesn’t this sort of go along with this blog post?)

Every day you can find blogs on how to submit manuscripts professionally. Like don’t include glitter in the envelope with your query letter. Don’t send brownies with your submission. Don’t tell an agent/editor how much your mother liked your story and how you’re the next Nora Roberts. And to all of that I want to say … “Well, dur.” But unfortunately editors put it out there because it’s actually happened.

How about acting professional at writer’s conferences … Like don’t slide manuscripts under the bathroom stall door and recite your well-rehearsed pitch while an agent is trying to pee. Or dissing the editor you pitched to in the bar while you’re having a couple of drinks with your friends. Don’t ambush your dream agent when she’s sitting down to dinner. Again … dur.

And remember not to post negative Facebook or Twitter updates because you’re upset about a rejection. Don’t disrespect other authors and for goodness sake don’t blog something about someone you wouldn’t say to their face. But puh-lease, isn’t this all obvious? Yeah, well, since I keep hearing it, probably not.

And here’s the one that has completely blown me out of the water and the reason I’m blogging about this today. I received an INTERNAL email from my publisher through our business loop. Someone then turned around and sent the email (either in its entirety or huge chunks) to a public blog. Of course the owner then turned around and published the information. WTH?? I felt guilty telling Mr. Nina about the proposed changes. What kind of balls, chutzpah, ,stupidity, unprofessional behavior could someone live with in order to do something like that? I just can’t even wrap my head around the lack of ethics. Fortunately Ellora’s Cave has had this happen before and they were not unprepared and have already commented publically.

But I am speechless. I don’t even know where to go from there. This ranks right up there with talking smack about an editor or complaining about your publisher in public. This industry is hard enough without doing any of those things.

So how is it in your corner of the professional world? Have you experienced anything like this?

Yes, it’s true I always have an opinion. I mentioned on more than one occasion that I can’t understand how people can get uptight about how others are dressed.

I had the discussion again at my recent writer’s retreat. Mostly because it was just our chapter and we’re all friends. I know they’re professional writers.  How they choose to hang around at the tables we had set up at the conference is up to them.

But now I need to qualify. *sigh* That’s my way of saying … I’m wrong. Gosh, that hurt!

So I mosey into the bank on Friday. Friday is dress down for hunger. All the employees donate money and they can wear casual clothes. I’m good. I don’t care if they have dress pants and skirts … they can still move my money around very efficiently. (Not that it takes much … there’s not much to move!)

Anyhoo…

Two of the tellers had on faded blue jeans. One of them was younger and had frayed bottoms on her jeans (like many of the young adults have these days) and a wind breaker. I must admit, she looked like she ran in from the garden. Even casual, it didn’t look right in the bank.

The other ladies had on khakis and cargo pants or colored jeans. Casual, but neat. That’s it! The woman in faded blue jeans looked somehow unkempt. Now, if I had seen them at the grocery store after work, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. But I did a double take in the bank.

So now I must qualify. When I say I wear jeans to be comfortable, I always wear colored jeans and a dressier top to writer’s meetings and conferences. Does it make a difference? I have no idea, but obviously to my eye … it did.

So, tell me I’m all wet. Tell me I have a double standard. Tell me you all were right, that clothes do matter and quit nannering about it and just live with that fact!

I just needed to admit I was … well, I already said it once. Twice would kill me.  

Connect