Back in September, RPGNow was getting ready to split into two sections: one for the top-selling publishers, and one for the hobbyists. It was a fairly contentious plan, with lots of part-time wanna-bes getting their panties in a bunch that they weren’t going to be offered the same amount of exposure as the larger full-time operations.
During the period when discussion was occurring in the private forum for ePublishers, before the official announcement of the change, one of the publishers (a small start-up outfit, largely run on a day-to-day basis by a stay-at-home housewife, partnered with her husband with a day job) had a fucking melt-down that threatened pretty much every vendor on the site. The wife flipped out, registered an anonymous identity at ENWorld (the largest d20 forum online), and proceeded to violate confidentiality and rant about the forthcoming change….as she saw it (which was somewhat…..let’s say “reality challenged”). This gave the competition heads-up on what RPGNow was doing, and pretty much pissed EVERYBODY off at RPGNow, from the site management to the publishers who sell there (since it impacted sales as the public who read her rant adopted a “wait and see” attitude towards the site — forcing the roll-out of the changeover onto a faster schedule, etc.). I argued that the publisher in question should’ve been shitcanned, but they weren’t. They were moved to the small-guy section.
Over the past few months, they’ve released product that was pretty good — so good, in fact, that I recommended them to be moved up into the main section again. It looked as though the freak-out of late last year was an abberation….truly behind us all.
I did an open call in January, since I was needing cartography for one of Adamant’s releases. The husband-and-wife team responded, saying that they provided that service as a side-line to their publishing operation. So, I hired them.
In retrospect, this was a HUGE mistake.
First of all, they turned in work which was OK, but nowhere near the quality of the samples they had shown. I was willing to let that slide, though, because I was on a deadline, as it was intended for a licensed product that needed to go to approvals before release.
Then, they turned everything in a week late, with the only notification being an email on the day everything was due. Again, I let it slide. (Stupid, I know.)
So, the product gets released. I never receive any invoice for the work, and so I miss paying them when they were due (which was 5/15). I screwed up.
The wife of the pair (again, who apparently handles the day-to-day communications, with the actual work coming from the husband), apparently had been trying to get ahold of me, but I never got her emails — she ended up contacting me via Private Message on the RPGNow forum. Fine.
I ask for an invoice, and she provides one (90 bucks — no big deal). They would be paid in the next pay period from the one they were supposed to be. All’s right with the world, right?
Today, she asks when they’re going to be paid. I point out to her that I do all payments on the 15th of each month, because that’s the only time I have a Paypal balance — our vendors pay us, and I pay contractors. I had explained this before, back when we were first in negotiations.
She replies, lecturing me on the missed payment. At this point, I’m getting a bit annoyed, but write it off with a “You’re right. You’ll have your payment next week.”
She won’t let it go. She keeps poking via email, about “IF we choose to do business again, next time be up-front with us.” That seals it — I tell her we most likely won’t be doing business again, for the reasons of late delivery, etc. She then goes off.
This whole thing culminates in her posting a PUBLIC FUCKING THREAD ranting about me and my business, including quotes of private emails (taken out of context, to make her appear to be completely blameless, naturally.
Jesus Fucking Christ — apparently this sort of thing is a habit with her. I cannot believe that I was stupid enough to hire these fuckwits.
I almost feel sorry for the husband — his work wasn’t bad…..but he’s got to be tired of coming home from the day job to discover that Honey has had yet another psychotic break, and publicly flipped out, further damaging their company’s reputation.
I’ve sent multiple emails now to both of them (copying my legal representation as well, just in case), asking what they intend to do to rectify the fact that she’s violating contractual confidentiality and smearing Adamant publicly…. the only response I’ve seen is a public post on the forum thread in question which says that I’m “Horrible” and that I’m “harrassing her.”
Sometimes, just sometimes, a Precious and Unique Fucking Snowflake needs meds. This is obviously one of those times.