1. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas

    Help Me Fire My Artist

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by No-Name Slob, Jun 5, 2016.

    First of all, let me say that I'm terrible with boundaries. I have this awful obsession with being liked, which leads me to say yes to almost anything, and causes me to allow myself to be completely taken advantage of time and time again.

    Here's the backstory: I opened a salon studio in March, and part of my schtick is that I adorn the walls with artwork created by local emerging artists on a 60 day rotation. I don't take commission from their sales, nor do I charge rent for using my wall space. Already, that's an opportunity I offer which is relatively unheard of in my area. I give emerging artists exposure and potential sales, and I don't ask for any monetary reward in return. The way I envisioned it when I decided to do this is that my benefit is in the form of free and ever changing wall decor, and a unique way to set myself apart in my industry. Eventually, I hope to expand into a standalone loft space with a gallery on the first floor and a salon on the second.

    Well, I'm on my second artist, and she has royally pissed me off. First of all, she asked for an artist reception, which I was happy to do. I even offered to fund 1/2 the cost for food and beverages, as I figured it could be a good marketing opportunity for me. It ended up that she completely took advantage of this. I created the flyers because she didn't have time, I decorated by myself, I lost money because I had to take most of the day off in order to do it. She agreed to show up at a certain time to hang her work. I coordinated this time with a massage therapist whom I share a wall with, and to have enough time before my client to get it done without disturbing their appointment. She showed up about 2 hours late, and instead of getting to work, she disappeared to get the things she was supposed to bring for the reception. She came back with 3 24 packs of beer, and that's it. I ended up spending $300 of my own money to provide her friends and family (it ended up being 50 people, well over what I expected) with food and drink, having to rush after my appointment to grab more items because she didn't hold up her end of the bargain. My reputation was at stake as well, since I hope to grow this, and handing out crappy beer is not exactly what comes to mind with an artist reception. When I arrived back, she left to drive home (45 minutes away) and change. She ended up late to her own reception, while I awkwardly greeted all of her guests, informing them she'd be about 30 minutes late. Then I had to rehang her work because it was a complete mess as she didn't even bring a hammer.

    Secondly, she and I agreed that she would inform any customers who wanted to purchase her work that they would need to wait until after her feature. Except on Wednesday, she calls me while I'm in meetings and is insistent that I meet her at the salon because she sold some pieces to a woman who is going out of town and needs them. I asked her about our agreement and she reneged, saying that it was imperative that she get these prints right away. I had not heard anything of this until a couple of hours beforehand, but she sold these paintings two weeks ago. She didn't even bother to tell me that I needed to be at the salon to let her in. So against my better judgement, I agree to drop my whole day and meet her there at a certain time, as long as she bring me new prints within a couple of days, which is what she promised. Guess what happened when I arrived? She was 30 minutes late. I live and die by my schedule and this is the 4th time she's been significantly tardy, and intruded upon my day or my appointments which degrades and undermines the integrity of my business.

    Lastly, I get a text from her today saying that she gets paid on Friday, and she can bring me new framed prints then -- a full week from when she ruined my planned day so I could rush up there and help her renege on our agreement by taking the original prints. I'm now going to be left with empty wall space for a week, and I am booked with eager artists through April. Something about that feels completely wrong.

    I have to pull her work. Like, every fiber of my being says this has to be done in order to maintain my business integrity. The problem is that I know I have to, but I don't want to damage my reputation. Three of her friends are currently in my artist rotation, and I fear that if I pull her work, I will receive a backlash in the local artist community.

    This is where you come in. Help me wordsmith this delicately. I don't know how to tell her I can't work with her without risking my vision in the process. On one hand, I can't have her continually making me jump around in circles. On the other, I'm so scared of making her mad. I'm not good at boundaries -- I'm way too nice. Help me stop being a door mat! :meh:
     
  2. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,828
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    Hire a contract killer, you can find them easily on the Deep Net. :superlaugh:
     
  3. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,911
    Likes Received:
    10,104
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    A billion years ago I was the South-East Regional Customer Service Director for Bassett Furniture. I fired lots of people. My way was always to sit at my imaginary DESC. (yes, it's spelled wrong, just wait...)

    D - Describe the event. Absolutely no emotion words. Flat facts. Like a detective in an old hard-boiled movie. I'll explain why no emotion words in a minute.
    E - Explain why this compromises the job/project/agreement/whatever. Again, no words that relate to emotions or feelings. None. BE STRONG!!
    S - Suggest alternative modes of behavior that fix the above. You sound like you're past this already, so you may need to skip to the next.
    C - Consequences are laid out for the aforementioned if they have not been corrected.

    The most important part about eschewing emotion words in these cases is that they are a weak point in any argument. They allow a chink in your armor, a place for the other to get a claw in and try to work the situation to their favor.
     
    Catrin Lewis, jannert, Lewdog and 4 others like this.
  4. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    This is great, Wrey. Thank you! I'll have to apply this to positive emotions regarding the artist, instead of negative emotions regarding my anger in this case. I have a tendency to apologize for my decisions ... "your work is really great and it's been a lot of fun, but ... "
    "I really respect you as an artist, but ... " "I really don't want to hurt your feelings, but ..." and on.
     
  5. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,911
    Likes Received:
    10,104
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    It also allows you to remain in control and composed, and that's important. If there are no emotive hooks for the other to engage, then they can't try to work you that way, and they most definitely will given half a chance. No one gets to describe the "crazy, raving bitch/asshole" who fired them because you were none of those things. This last part speaks to maintaining connection with the rest of the artists.
     
  6. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,636
    Likes Received:
    1,731
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    As a new manager who may have to fire people in the future, this is wonderful information. Thank you! :)

    You should do this, No-name. :p
     
    No-Name Slob likes this.
  7. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Trust me, there will be enough local artists wanting your wall space - you think exposure, and free exposure at that, is easy to come by? This tardy artist doesn't know the whole community. If her friends decide not to go to your salon, it's their loss. Just say, thanks for the effort but I have since offered the space to another artist because you've not held up your end of the agreement.

    Also, it might be a good idea to get them to sign a contract of some sort - if nothing else, it's just physical proof with all your agreements written in black and white so the artist can't come back and say you cheated her.

    Personally, also, I'd have some back-up artwork for your blank walls. What if something like this happens again? It could. You need to cover your bases and have some nice designer-esque artwork to fill the space. You could even have printed on these back-up canvases "Want to showcase your art? Take this space! Speak to X or call at XXXX number."

    Point is, you don't end up with actually blank walls. That doesn't do favours for the aesthetics of your salon.
     
    edamame, jannert, JoetheLion and 3 others like this.
  8. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    @No-Name Slob
    I don't have any advice for this (since I suck at confrontations)
    But.. damn, I feel for you. I'm ready to throw her off a cliff myself.
    Like... how was she raised that she thinks BEER is an alright drink for an artist gallery? Wine is acceptable but it should be champagne, colorful non-alcoholic drinks, and water!

    /fliptable
     
  9. Auger
    Offline

    Auger Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    20,000 lightyears under the sea
    Tell her that you work with professionals, and professionals meet deadlines - something that she has failed to do on multiple consecutive occasions.
     
    No-Name Slob likes this.
  10. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Oh trust me, I plan on making everyone else sign contracts. It's sad that I have to do that, as I wrongly assumed that grown adults could act like such and remain respectful without signing their name to paper. But alas, I've learned my lesson.
     
    Lilly James Haro and Mckk like this.
  11. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,425
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Want me to fire 'em, that way you don't have to? I will. I know that their are people on Fiver.com that will do it, but I will do it for free.

    Or you can just go and tell them straight up that it ain't working out, and that they gotta go. After all they are using your space for free so you have the right to pull out their stuff at any time, without much if any reprisal. But it is a good idea that you have decided to add the layer of protection with a contract, that way you got your hiney covered. That way it makes it far easier to keep the bad ones out of your shop. You could always charge a small fee that you give back if they fulfill the contract till its end. Just throwing out an idea that way it keeps things more in your favor since it is your space that you're offering to them. But ultimately it is up to you, cause you're the boss. And as the Boss, sometimes you gotta get rid of the riff raff. :twisted:

    So you got this whatever you do, but know this: Do it like a Boss! :cheerleader:
     
  12. ArQane
    Offline

    ArQane Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    23
    For me I would just say "You're fired." If someone isn't doing their job properly, they should learn it the hard way.

    Personally, I would settle with a nice digital artist. I have tons of them that I know :D
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  13. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,425
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    I like the whole: "Get you're shit and get out." thing you got going on here. That and you can't fire somebody 'renting a space' per se. But I know what you mean.:supergrin:
     
  14. ArQane
    Offline

    ArQane Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    23
    She sounded pretty ticked off at her artist. To be honest, continuing to provide anything for her would just be a waste of resources. This would be the easiest way to convey the message across.

    (A part of me says this because I genuinely am an arrogant bastard so I shut people that I don't like down.)

    TL;DR You might not want to take my advice :D
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  15. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,425
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Thanks for the Pro-Tip. :superagree:
     
  16. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,911
    Likes Received:
    10,104
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Something I forgot to mention yesterday:

    Regardless of how well you stick to just the facts, there is always that person who will force a segue to an emotional engagement. When this happens, and they start to tirade, let them. Don't try to stop it. It's a trick to get you to engage the way they want you to engage, which is emotionally, so that they can then work their tricks of placation, amelioration, denial, or invalidation of your emotions. Just let the person blow through his or her steam.. When you feel the tirade coming to an end, or if it just stops, the most you should say is, "I appreciate that you feel that way. (pause) As I stated, this is what happened and this is the result...." The first part is completely noncommittal. It acknowledges the tantrum without engaging it in any way that either denies it or upholds it. The pause is extremely important. Never, ever say "but". But links the emotional tirade to the facts. What you are now doing is demolishing that link. The tirade is a complete non-sequitur and has nothing at all to do with the facts. Say it both ways to yourself in the mirror and feel the difference. Feel how that pause is a wall. You may need to repeat the original steps I gave or you may wish, if you feel it necessary, to simply state that the conversation is now over. At no point do you give the other person the power to decide that.
     
  17. Diane Elgin
    Offline

    Diane Elgin Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    England
    As rightly pointed out by Wreybies, mastering your emotions is essential to the effective dispatching of people who will try their damnedest to tug your strings and pogo your nerves. It's a shame you didn't have any of this put into a written contract as with the right wording, you could've swept her in a Small Claims case (or at least settled out of court for a tidy reimbursement) for the funds she caused you to lose. Stop displaying her wares. Give her an appropriate time frame to collect them. If she fails, keep them in safe storage as if you destroy them or throw them out she might try to bring you to court. She'll lose, but it's a headache avoided if you can present them when she turns up with an officer.
     
  18. JoetheLion
    Offline

    JoetheLion Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    22
    Can't add anything more than has already been said with regards to your current predicament, but I agree that you need to get your future artists to sign some sort of contract outlining their obligations, it'll save you a whole load of ball-ache down the line, though even then it's not guaranteed.
    I live in a city with a huge international artistic reputation, even a couple that are household names. My other half is a web developer, and runs online galleries/e-commerce platforms for a good few of them. While many are perfectly professional, a good number are flakey as hell, a couple are just plain arseholes. You need to protect your own interests as far as possible, you will be messed about.
     
  19. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,820
    Likes Received:
    7,344
    Location:
    Scotland
    There is another plus to standing your ground and not allowing yourself to be pushed around by an expert manipulator. Word WILL get around. The more she tries to make you look bad, the more people will realise you are not to be trifled with and you mean what you say.

    Tell her she must have the work OUT by ...whatever date or time you pick. Tell her if she doesn't, you are going to put the pieces ...wherever you are going to put them ...and she can collect them there at her leisure. (May I suggest a park bench, just before a rainstorm?) It might be a plan to give her this command in writing, and have somebody else witness the exchange.

    I do like @Mckk 's idea of having something cheap and cheerful to put on your walls, if this ever happens again. Just posters will do. Nice ones you like, and maybe one advertising the wall space. Or a few whiteboards or chalk boards, which you or your clients could scribble on? Something like that could be the quirky touch that makes your salon memorable.

    I really hate that this has happened to you, but these people exist. Folk rent houses to them and get into long-term bother. People take them on as roommates and can't get rid of them. People lend them things or money which they'll never see again. Folk get stuck storing their bicycle and piano for 5 years, when it was only supposed to be a weekend.

    It's a shitty world out there sometimes. And unfortunately there are folks out there who make a habit out of this kind of caper. They are generally referred to as "users."
     
    Mckk and No-Name Slob like this.
  20. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,828
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    I have to agree with some others, you need to get them to leave you a couple extra pieces of artwork so when one sells you have something to replace it with.
     
  21. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    That's not really how it works. Most of the time they've created a set number of works centered around a theme for the feature. What needs to happen is that there is a written contract saying that if art sells, the client won't receive it until their feature is over. And I need my artists to comply with that.
     
  22. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Geez, what a complicated situation you got yourself in No-name. This person has obviously cost you more money then they've made you. The most sensitive part of your story is the fact this person is close to a few of your artist. Worst case scenario is they all pull out because you decide to fire this person but I wouldn't let that control my decision. The chances of that happening is really low unless they are all trying to take advantage of you. You need to have confidence in your business model and not let people like this take advantage of you and your business even if you end up losing more than one artist at a time. It will be good news for some of those artist you have booked till April so it is not all bad even if it comes to the worst. It's better to take the hit by dealing with it sooner, rather then letting more money be lost by keeping this person around.

    What most likely will happen is that your so flexible and accommodating that the people who know the artist you speak of will understand the decision. They wouldn't want to lose a spot in such a great gallery with a wonderful host. :bigwink:
     
    No-Name Slob likes this.

Share This Page