Let me apologize in advance for the muffled sounding text as I write this (mumble). There may even be a few crumbs that stick to your display. Again, I apologize (crunch). I’m finding it hard to write clearly with a mouth crammed full of dry Boo Berry cereal, and hard to wipe my mouth while typing. Oops! You didn’t notice that, right? Good! Onward!
What did you ask? Why don’t I just stop stuffing my face while I type? Good question. The answer is emotionally complex and would require a long explanation that you probably wouldn’t have the patience for (munch, munch). What it comes down to is, I am acting out like a little kid who has been told he can’t have a drum kit for his birthday. This may or may not have happened to me when I was young and I might have cried and then may have harbored resentment against my parents for the next 30 years. I don’t remember. In any case, today I am (crunch) comfort-eating to calm a bruised ego and an injured wallet. (chomp, chomp)
You see, I have been ghosted.
See what I did there? Ghosted? Boo Berry cereal? It is right before Halloween as I write this and the annual grocery store invasion of General Mills’ Monster Cereals is in full swing, so what could be more appropriate? Plus, it might be gluten free and according to scientifically verified popular belief, that makes it okay. Who am I to argue? (crunch, crunch)
Another good question
Did you ask what is all this drivel about cereal and why is it taking me so long to get to the point? If I had a psychologist on call I would ask them and they would say the problem stems from my childhood. Then I would explain about the drums and they would look disappointedly at the purple cereal falling out of my mouth (mumble). That would lead to my grudgingly admitting that I was self-medicating my dashed hopes with handfuls of thematically appropriate, dye saturated, vaguely ghost-shaped corn and sugar bombs. Then she would say “How is that working out for you?” because that is the only question phycologists ever ask. To dodge unanswerable questions and to avoid the bill, I simply try to avoid painful topics altogether. (chomp, chomp) Like I’m doing right now. (crunch) It works for me.
A perfect setup
A while ago I was contacted by a prospect that had heard my commercial demo. They represent a high-end client that I would love to work for – an area of interest I have had all my life. They asked me to audition for their project. (munch, munch) This was a direct invite because they thought I would be a “perfect fit”. I tried not to get too excited.
I did some research to make sure they were legit, then wrote them back. We traded some emails which were very friendly, complementary and enthusiastic. I submitted a custom audition to them and they loved it. This is one of those flag-waving, crowd-cheering portfolio pieces that we all love to get, so I was excited. (crunch, crunch, munch)
Then they asked for a quote. I tapped a few resources to make sure I was giving them an appropriate price, then submitted it. It would be the highest priced single job I have had to date, so I was even more excited. (CRUNCH, CHOMP, MUNCH, MUMBLE)
What could go wrong?
They were not excited. They replied, “We’ll get back to you”, a thinly veiled version of “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”. All of our communication to that point was friendly and fun. Then I ran headlong into a closed door.
Normally the door to my office isn’t closed and the fact that I ran into it had nothing to do with this story, but it does provide a nice analogy for how abruptly everything ended. I haven’t heard a thing from them since, even after gently reaching out with a very professional follow-up email containing the subtle use of ALL CAPS and lots of exclamation points. I don’t get it. (crunch, crunch crunch)
Then again, that’s the hard thing about being ghosted. You don’t get to know why. Was it something I said? (chomp) I am relatively sure they can’t smell through email that I haven’t bathed in three days, so that can’t be it. Was it the pricing? Voice-over pricing can be tricky and there is an element of risk when you ask what you think you are worth. But if that was it, and if they liked me as much as they said, why not come back with a different offer? (mumble, mumble) I mean, If I were them, I would have paid the full price, in advance, without question, with a little bonus on the side. It only seems right. But that’s just me.
So here I sit, sugary purple dust beginning to obscure my keyboard like an artificial berry flavored snowdrift.
I demand of myself that I learn something in every situation. Something. Anything. No exceptions. Except the whole drum kit thing. But if that hypothetically ever happened, I have hypothetically totally forgotten about it, which is why you’ll never see me hypothetically mention it.
Today I impart to you two lessons this situation has taught me (crunch, chomp). First, when a high-rolling luxury brand ghosts you because your industry-standard pricing is too high, step back. Don’t take it personally. They have constraints and burdens you and I can’t understand. Like million dollar advertising budgets.
Secondly, to maintain your sanity, resolve to be content to control the things you can. Nothing feels better than to reestablish your inner peace by choosing how you react to adversity. Like stuffing your face with sugary cereal whose branding matches your circumstance.
Excuse me now while I go back to my medicine cabinet/cereal cupboard and pick out some Frosted Flakes. I could use a “Yoouuuu’rrr Greaaaat!” right about now.