Reacting out of love and empathizing

Getty images went after a past client of mine for ~$1,000 for a supposedly copyrighted image, and the client paid without investigating. I don’t believe the image was copyrighted. If you do a quick Google search you’ll see that Getty images is infamous for serving people out of the blue with weak cases.

The client lived in another state and I was in Pennsylvania at the time. I didn’t go to the hearing on 12/31/16 because it’s hundreds of miles away. I also don’t think she has grounds to sue based on the quick research I did. Small claims can only be done if you both live in the same state. Maybe I’m wrong. Anyways, she’s telling me the judge ruled in her favor.

But this part of the story doesn’t matter. What matters is how I reacted today to it. Since the client sent me the initial court papers, I have kept my cool, but then she sent this to me today:

Email from plaintiff about getty images lawsuit

I responded without taking a breath and thinking things through:

Email from plaintiff about getty images lawsuit

This woman has some sort of disease. She sounds like she’s 80-years-old when she looks like she’s only in her 40s. When I was doing a project for her, she always needed an assistant on the phone. The assistant always grew irritated with her, as did I. She was a pain in the ass, but a fellow sister human being nonetheless. We’re all here, and we’re all together. When it comes down to it, that matters to me.

I wasn’t very surprised by this reply of hers:

Response from my unthought-out email about small claims

I knew this would just keep going back and forth. It would be a waste of time. This is a concept I understand more than her, but who knows, maybe she has more time than money. Maybe to stay afloat it’s in her best interest to really fight for this money from me. There may be a good reason that I could empathize with. You just never know.

After thinking about all of this, I replied back:

A better email in my response to small claims shit

Even though I was a bit dramatic in the first line, I meant the second line with my heart. And even though I don’t like her, I do love her as a human being. I try to practice loving everyone. Looking back, I should have just not responded and sought out legal advice. Something to remember for next time.

The one thing that’s great about this whole experience is that I’m learning a lot of lessons.

Here they are:

  • Never work for someone you are having doubts about (the only reason I took this project on is because I needed money)
  • Never work for just money (there are other, better opportunities out there that are more meaningful and in the company of good people)
  • Never work for someone who has a weak product (she claimed to be a “life coach” when she was scatterbrained)
  • Continue loving people even when you don’t like them (this will help you react accordingly to their actions)
  • Don’t waste time on people who aren’t worth your time (I’m not worrying about this court ruling; I’m simply asking questions to my lawyer friends and taking it one step at a time. I’m not wasting my time Googling different legal scenarios.)

Next time around, I’ll remember all of this (though hopefully there is no next time around!) Anything can happen; just take things as they come. Every second, minute, hour, day, month, year, decade, and century. That is all we can do. Best not get out panties in a twist.