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A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

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A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Gamezgirl on Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:26 pm

So, I was royally screwed by an event this weekend. My mistake, was not insisting when they didn't give me a contract with exclusivity....I show up, they have 6 FACE PAINTERS! A small street fair. A couple of free hacks, a free so so talented mom-type painter, and then a newbie level 'pro' Last year at this event, I was still painting an hour after the event ended, people loved me, had great feedback. This year i was bored in my booth and packed up at 3pm and left. This is the letter i want to send...I REALLY want to send...to the lady at the BIA who has been dealing with me for 2 years.

"I just wanted to let you know that I am extremely disappointed in the disrespect shown for me and my business at this year's event. Cathie, you KNOW that I do NOT work with sub par, uninsured, weekend warrior painters. I have told you that every time we speak. I gave in to having the 4h kids... but I NEVER would have come with the load of painters you booked in for this event. Even the fair with one million people thru the gates knows better than to bring in 6 face painting booths.
I invest heavilly in my business, and the safety and well being of the children are my priority. What I saw were uninsured people using craft paint, people using latex sponges, and people trying MY designs and doing a horrible job at it, making me look bad. You guys put the free painter inside the gate, people get their kids painted before they even saw I was there. I am shocked that after the events I have supported in the past couple of years that you would do this to me. And the topper for me was that you wouldn't come talk to me face to face about it. In a word...that was cowardly. If you screw someone, you should have the professional courtesy to face and them and fess up. The other vendor told me that when he said you needed to come see me, you turned and took off in the other direction.
This is a very angry letter because I feel this goes beyond business, this is personal. Had you been honest with me, and let me know what you had done, I could have taken the ONE weekend I had without parties this summer, and spent it with my familly. Instead, I honoured my agreement to be in CP. I wouldn't be nearly as angry if you were some random co-ordinator who didn't know me and my policy. But you do know.
Have I burned a bridge by writing this to you? who knows...but I pride myself on being honest and upfront with people. So there it is."

Tell me to send it or delete it? Can I show my anger without being so..angry??? This one is not getting better with time, it is festering....help?? This town has been an untapped market for me. But, I don't want to work with the BIA again because I don't trust them now. What do I do?

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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by debranewmanart on Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:28 pm

Do you want to do this event in the future? Does this person know others who might blackball you on her behalf? I definately would send A LETTER, but not THIS LETTER.

If it were me I'd give it 3 days and then write another letter, more diplomatic and business like. I'd let her know that "due to the situation at a recent event I now require an exclusivity contract." This doesn't say it was her event, just a recent event you did. I think you need to leave the door open IF you want to do this event in the future.

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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Psalmbook on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:15 pm

I know your angry, but it might not be a good idea to burn your bridges. Your goal is to inform & your letter is more anger & will just turn them off & close you out. Maybe come up with a letter explaining that while you've loved working with them in the past, your insurance will not allow you to work in a venue that allows acrylic face painting. Show pictures & documentation on why these paints are so bad & how it could make their festival look bad. Information can go along way & help you still look the professional. There's a great artical by Susan Billings on craft/acrylic paints.

http://woodbridge-va.patch.com/articles/face-painting-is-beautiful-but-is-it-safe

Very few venues will allow exclusivity, but you can try for it.

I don't demand exclusivity. I respectfully request that I not be anywhere near other face painters & let my painting talk for me. So far it's worked & people know where my booth will be(same location always) and they seek me out.
I'm sorry this is happening to you, relax, take a breath & cool down before you take any actions Very Happy
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Geekophile on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:47 pm

Delete it and start from scratch. I know in your mind it would be so satisfying to send this, but in reality it wouldn't improve how you feel at all. You'll be waiting for a reaction from her that you probably won't get, and continue feeling yucky about the whole mess.
Think about the highlights that she needs to know. Basically that she booked way to many painters- and low quality ones at that- and that you will not be able to continue working with the organization under these conditions. But be helpful and let her know how she can improve both for your benifit and her own- Provide her with some numbers as far as what is a reasonable attendance vs. Painters- and some info on why it is benificial for them to only allow vendors using safe products etc. Trust me- she already knows she messed up.
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Pilareta on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:47 pm

I can feel your anger and I'm so sorry but I agree with the posts above: you should let them know your disappointment but you should do it with diplomacy and "business sense" (?????). Breath deeply and write your letter again. If they're clever, they will recognize their mistake. That's MHO
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Griffinblue on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:49 pm

Wow. I completely understand your anger. A free cheek art painter would be bad enough. It doesn't make sense that they booked so many painters.

You need to wait until midweek, and write a new email. What was done to you was disrespectful, but don't follow suit. something more informative might get you further, and that's always the goal when creating and keeping connections!

So sorry for your ruined weekend Sad
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Gamezgirl on Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:08 pm

I know you guys are all correct...that was why I posted it here instead of send. They do know about the dangers of the other stuff, they know about insurance but don't require it, and I really believe that they don't care about safety or quality. And at an event this size, it is rediculous to have more than one painter anyways, wether it is me or someone else. Ho hum...
Thanks for letting me vent. I know in my heart is is innappropriate...but...grrrr...LOL I actually had to walk out of my booth Saturday because my anger got the best of me. Someone walked up and said "What's this stuff here?" Their kids had the crappy free painting. Before my self censor kicked in, I said "This is where the good face painting is" Thankfully they were kind and agreed...but I knew at that point my professionalism had gone out the window so I shut down and left. And I will say that the events that afternoon made the night time event even more amazing. I had the best gig ever for me that night. So, it balanced out.
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Tash on Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:11 pm

I sent something like this to an event co-coordinator.
They were not happy as they thought I had turned it into a personal attack on him instead of handling it business like.
Yeah well he didn't handle it business like in the first place hence my response.
I understand this letter completely. The only term I would remove is the "screwed" and look for another term to say the same thing.
If you don't want to do the festival ever again.... I'd send it, but that's me... I have always been taught that you get treated as you allow yourself to be treated. In other words you teach others how to treat you.
If you allow this to go over and come off like "oh well, that's life" what's to stop it happening again?
I know the lovely ladies above me are saying " two wrongs don't make a right" etc etc but I don't see it like that....
I live in a big city and I will be run over and trodden on if I do not stand up for myself and my business. People have treated me like a joke untill I have stood up and demanded respect and that they do the right thing... 90% of the time they do.
If you can re-write it do - but I have a feeling that that letter says exactly how you feel, so it will be very hard to remove the personal side to it and even harder to remove the pissed offness from it....lol
Maybe put in a reference to how offering low quality services brings down the quality of the event which you thought you and her were working together to offer the best event possible.
I would put at the bottom that I had tried to re-write this email multiple times to lessen the harshness of it but have not been able to as I am so upset by your behavior.
My guess is she knows she deserves it.
( I may be the only one who feels this way - I can be a bit of a hot head sometimes - but at least you have one supporter if you decide to go ahead! Smile )
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Manabanana on Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:37 pm

I speak my mind, sometimes too loud and at the wrong time. I always am making myself count before I speak to give me a second to calm down. I would be livid too. What a complete waste of time, money and talent!

I would sit on it another day or two before you send anything. Still feel the same, then use the base of your 1st letter, change a little wording, then send it.

Sending or saying anything when I am in the heat of the moment has bitten me in the @$$ before. I'm 'trying' to learn. Very Happy

Good Luck and keep us posted on what you decide to do and the outcome.
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Gamezgirl on Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:53 pm

Thank you Tash! I do need to find a slightly better way to say what needs to be said, but I certainly will not let it go. I agree with the 'you teach others how to treat you"
I will repost once I have the rewrite in a few days. Everything I said needs to be said...but yeah, in a slightly more professional manner LOL And I really expect to never work for them again...so burning that bridge is not what I am concerned about. Just my own integrity, and by sending off a harsh response, I am doing myself a disservice.
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Lynnie on Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:04 pm

Tash, you aren't the only one. I completely agree with Tash and Manabanana.
Event organizers are complacent and the only way they will take us seriously is if we stand up for ourselves. I've had to do that for the first time this year a couple times. Firm, honest and diplomatic are what you need.
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by anniel on Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:04 pm

Wow, good for you to vent to those who understand your heart and frustrations, and who agree with every point!

I also agree with editing it--to speak the truth in love, knowing that it will be an opportunity to train this event coordinator in being ethical.

I had a similar experience on the 4th of July where I accepted a bid way below my normal rate because I was booked for so many hours, and also because I got to pick the balloon artists & other painters.

A few days before the 4th, I get the site maps to pass on, and see a woman face-painting that I have not contacted.

I e-mailed the coordinator to let her know I don't have this persons contact info & try in a nicer way point out the situation. She fritzed on me & "couldn't remember" our agreement.

At this point I have 6 artists working with her, and know I have to paint 10 hours with her buzzing past. I can't paint with tension, and I realize it's going to affect others' contracts if I react the way I feel justified in doing. I ate crow, and apologized that it must be my misunderstanding, I could be mistaken--have been before, for sure will be again...and let it go.

I was pleasant at the event when we met--and within the week, this person referred me for another 2 full day gig, at a little higher rate, with a sister organization.

You want to train, not demean--no matter how frustrating it can be. Maybe you could suggest using people you refer to her that uphold professional standards, so she won't have a liability issue...

You could also educate the painters--I whispered to a girl-scout leader that had her troupe using Caran d'Arc watercolor pencils that she was setting herself up for problems, and explained why---sure enough she went out and got Paradise palettes for them right away! Two weeks later we painted at the same event together...and they helped ferret out the kiddies that just needed a little something so that I got to be more elaborate, and still had to turn people away at the end.

Somebody was loving enough to educate me...and there's still millions of face left to paint at the end of the day I love you ...

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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Tash on Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:18 pm

As nice as this post was to read - I found myself wondering things...
1. What happens if they aren't looking for an education?
- they can resent your best intentions - I'm glad in the instances you mentioned above that it worked out for you - but it can so easily go the other way. There are too many unscrupulous event organizers who just want as much booth money as they can get and don't care what they are doing to you in the process.

I have a friend that trys to educate everyone everywhere he goes and he honestly thinks he is doing everyone a favor... people can't stand him... most of my friends ask me to not bring him with me or won't come around if he is here. If people want to know something they will ask.
Sometimes it is very necessary that they get an instant forced education... or a wake-up call which is what I think is the case here.. but for the most part people like to learn the hard way and like to get away with whatever they can and need to be called on it.
EVERY artist I have contacted or kindly spoken too about product has shut me down. Event co-coordinators should care ... but in the end it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by anniel on Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:41 pm

Yeah, I understand--it would have to be gently done if you do it, and it has to be according to your own leadings. I hate nagging/legalism too!
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by Geekophile on Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:08 am

The thing is, that if they aren't looking for an education on this, then the event won't last. Ok, ok, they probably don't care about the safety stuff... But quality should be on their mind, and variety of services. If a festival doesn't have these things people won't want to stay and spend, and they will write it off for next year- as will the vendors who were mistreated. The coordinator should care about that. YOu absolutely should send something- don't lie down by any means! I didn't mean that at all. But people really only respond to anger with more anger, if you want any chance of a productive response then it needs to be toned down.
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Re: A Nasty letter that I want to send.....

Post by helena on Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:08 am

Send it, but a modified version - take out any 'personal attacks' - times when you say *she* is a certain way - such as cowardly etc. and don't mention 'burning bridges' - you don't want to give her any ideas.

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying you felt disrespected, poorly treated and that you felt that they were making you look bad by painting poor replicas of your designs and that it was hazardous to the kids' well-being having non-facepaints being used. Let her know how much you've enjoyed working for/with them in the past and say that you hope that this situation will not reoccur in the future.

Best of luck!

(And what a PAIN that happened!!! :S)
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