A few days before Christmas I was involved in a “curious incident” on Twitter. I’d finished Jane Caro’s book ‘Plain-speaking Jane’ the night before and went to check out her website. No such website existed so I thought “I’ll tweet her in the morning telling her how ace I thought her book was and make the suggestion that I build her a site”. As you do.
Now, if you know about Twitter, you’ll know there’s only 140 characters available so I tweeted this:
And Jane came back with this:
I mentioned they can be a bit of work but that I manage Clare Bowditch’s Big Hearted Business website enquiries for her and that they can be managed – and that was that. Or so I thought. I checked into the convo a little later and found this:
Wait, what?! As you can see, another web designer has plugged into our convo and offered to build Jane a site for a donation to their women’s tackle football team in the US. (I’ve blacked out their name because it really doesn’t matter who it is.)
Now you see it’s a few days before Christmas. It’s very hot here in Melbourne, we’re having 25 people over for Christmas Day, I’m in the throes of cleaning and preparing the house and I may have been a teensy bit hot and bothered. And given I can barely cater and organise the 4 of us there was a little bit of stress involved. Oh what the hey, I emailed this web designer and told them that their professional morals were lacking!! Yep, I emailed them. Sigh.
And in response, they let me have it – basically telling me they didn’t know who I was before I emailed, I was being petty, if I wanted to get in touch with Jane I could have emailed her and it’s unprofessional of me to try and gain business through Twitter (which, ahem, they’d just tried to do). Another thing about Twitter is that unless you are following the same two people, you can’t see the conversation in your Twitter feed – so they must have been scrolling through Jane’s Twitter feed to actually see our convo as they certainly weren’t following me.
Anyway, a couple of emails went back and forth…me saying it’s a bit disingenuous of them to say they didn’t know who I was when a cursory look would have seen that the tweet was to me, not to the wider Twitter world (yes, I acknowledge Twitter ain’t private). Them saying I should grow up and I’m too much up there on my moral high horse. And so on…a winner there was never going to be (thanks Yoda).
Basically, emailing someone like that was something I’d never done before and I’ll prolly never do again! Here’s 5 things I could have done better:
- Yep, I should have emailed Jane rather than tweeting her. I really wish I had because I’d love to build her a site and manage it for her. I wasn’t thinking straight (see above hot and botheredness).
- Every Buddhist and peace loving person in the world would have said “don’t email them, don’t email them, don’t email them, don’t email them, DON’T EMAIL THEM…” I was annoyed enough to do it but I knew it wouldn’t get me anywhere. I mean who’s going to respond nicely to someone who is accusing them of having bankrupt business morals!
- Ignored them and kept the conversation going with Jane.
- Calmed down a bit and THEN emailed Jane. Too late now probably.
- Stuck my head in a freezer to cool down.
But here’s the crux: I’m shitty at putting myself out there and the minute I do, some opportunistic person spoils the party. A party that may have petered out to nothing but at least I’d started the party! *foot-stamp* 🙂
Yes, probably petty but seriously I would never do that to a fellow designer – good business sense or not. It just felt wrong.
Thankfully I promptly forgot all about it and got on with the business of Christmas. I’m happy to report Christmas Day was a huge success as you can see from the smiles below.
Here’s to a happy and successful (whatever that means to you) 2016.