Have You Lost Your Mind?

If you look at the last seven days , you’ll see that unprofessionalism is something that has been popping up all over the place. Most recently, there was Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards. I didn’t watch the show, but I saw the replay of his “classlessness” by interrupting one singer’s acceptance speech to announce Beyonce having the best video ever. Then, there was Serena Williams throwing a fit on the court, which could cost her a lot of money and have her banned from playing at the tournament next season. And don’t think for a second that publishing is immune. When Quartet Press announced their closing before they were even open, there are some naysayers on the internet who spouted things like Angela James got what she deserved and lots of angry finger-pointing. Sadly, I feel that karma is going to be a bitch for those people.

So where am I going with this? Regardless of QP’s reasons for shutting down, that doesn’t give people the right to act like a bunch of hooligans with torches and pitchforks. Sure, authors are left without their books being published and it strings. But it’s better they know now, rather than wait months/years down the road when QP needs bankruptcy court to settle their debts.

It doesn’t give Kanye West–I don’t care how much money he makes–the right to steal the spotlight from Taylor Swift who has obviously earned her moment to shine. And before you ask, no, I’m not a country music fan. Thank goodness Beyonce saved the day by showing some class and letting Ms. Swift enjoy her spotlight while she was on stage receiving her award.

And no, it does not give Serena Williams the right to turn into a potty mouth when a judgment was called against her. She’s entitled to be angry, but leave the spewing sailor talk for closed doors. I don’t need nor care to see that.

I know people are going to chalk it up to their passion getting in the way and clouding their judgment, but that’s not a good enough excuse. I have a passion for writing, but I don’t let it turn me into a three-headed jackass with fiery eyes and snake-like hair. Unless it causes physical harm, you’ll never see me act a fool in such a public arena. I’m not trying to drive away fans when it’s hard enough trying to find them.

For me, writing is a business as much as it is a pleasure. Therefore, playing the part of an ass isn’t in the plans I’ve learned how to switch between my business cap and my fun cap without batting an eyelash if it means keeping my career moving in the right direction. That’s how I show my passion. So when things aren’t working out as planned, instead of throwing a temper tantrum, I reevaluate until I come up with a solution that saves both time and face.

Nothing turns me off faster than a lack of professionalism. I don’t care who you are. There are some lines you don’t cross. And if you do, you’ll lose me as a fan. I’m just one person and one mind, but I’ve discovered over the years I’m not alone in my thinking.

What do you think about unprofessionalism and how do you react when you see it?


24 thoughts on “Have You Lost Your Mind?

  1. You forgot to mention the arsehole who yelled “Liar!” during our President’s speech. Where was the “Liar!” shout when Bush and Cheney got us into the Iraq war on lies?

    Now that I got that out of my system … That was mean of Kanye West. I haven’t watched any of their videos, but Beyonce is one classy lady. And Taylor Swift has connected with a lot of young stars. So more power to her.

    As for Serena Williams, that was not cool. I’m sure it’s going to hurt her career. It was a stupid thing to do.

    • I knew there was someone I was missing while writing this post. Talk about an idiot in the making. The only good that came of it was he apologized for his outburst. Sadly, the deed was done and we ALL know where he stands. He should’ve taken his issues offline like a professional instead of shouting like a big mouth in the middle of a movie.

      I haven’t seen any of their videos either, but I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who rolled their eyes or cringe with embarassment when Kanye opened his trap at the wrong time. And while it’s common for tennis players to lose their cool during a match, they come off as spoiled divas who missed their last diaper change. For heaven’s sake, get pissed. It’s only human. But don’t becomes a jackass in the process.

  2. I totally agree with you! I loathe lack of professionalism.

    There’s no need for that and I feel bad for Taylor Swift for how awkward the moment was for her. Can you imagine she was feeling pretty crappy when it was her ‘moment’. What a jerk!

    • The thing that I find most amazing about this is everyone wanted to roast Kanye on a spit. It didn’t matter what side of the musical arena a person was on, for once, everyone was united in that Kanye made and ass of himself on national TV. Again.

      It just goes to show that no amount of money necessarily means good manners will follow.

  3. It’s upsetting naturally. After the whole Wright thing I lost interest in ever reading the man’s novels, because he targeted homosexuals in such vile manner that it was distasteful and no matter how well recommended his novels are I wouldn’t touch them.

    This is the reason, why I am reinventing social networking for me. I am currently making private all the blog posts on LJ, where I whine and will eliminate the possibility for an agent/editor/publicist to read something that my harm my future perspectives.

    I plan on opening a blog particularly aimed at writing and a Twitter and start mingling appropriately.

    • Oh man. Harry, I knew I’ve seen this somewhere before where an author vocalizes their opinion and in such an insipid manner that it makes everyone want to reel back in sickness.

      I don’t have a problem with a person or their opinion because everyone has one. It’s the way that it comes across that bothers the heck out of me. I expect a child to not always practice good manners, but a adult? No excuse. Period.

      I don’t blame you for keeping your “whines” under wraps. It’s okay to have them. Seriously. I think it makes us human. But at least you’re taking measures to not make a public embarrassment out of it. That is the way to go.

      • Of course. This is my practice, when it comes to life. Each coin has two sides and I get that people can’t accept homosexuality and would like to pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s what I do with some things in life, but I won’t approach such topics with such vile tone, when I know that it will affect a lot of people on a personal level. But I am not sure, whether I am a hypocrite or not cause I have been guilty of rather snappy commentary.

        Yeah, because I do have some stupid shit there. All the divorcing and family drama… I hate my teen stupidity of two years ago…

        • I won’t approach such topics with such vile tone, when I know that it will affect a lot of people on a personal level.

          This is why you’re smarter beyond your years, Harry. πŸ™‚ Snappy/snippy comments come out of my mouth all of the time. I think that’s the case with everyone. After al, nobody is perfect. But it’s when they trail along the lines of hatred and outrage that I have problem with. Nothing will shut me off from listening faster than someone with a big mouth and who’s more than willing to let you know. At that point, it’s gone beyond snippiness to shear idiotic jackass. I could be wrong, but you’re a long way from that. πŸ˜‰

          • I am smarter, because I look up to smart people, yourself included.

            [God, that felt almost too greasy to even type, but I value as the truth]

            Yeah, I agree and the sad part here is that idiotic jackass moves get people attention and guess what. The vast majority of people like receiving attention with disregard for what prompted it. Gah! I am envisioning Kanye right now, but it’s the general trend.

            • Aw, thanks, Harry. πŸ™‚

              Sadly, people who like showboating are covering up for something else. Heaven forbid they have to shut their traps for two seconds or not talk over anyone to get their point across.

  4. I think people have a right to express their thoughts, as long as it’s done with common courtesy. Kanye West is a show-boater. Although entitled to his opinion, he could have withheld it until after the show, or perhaps whisper it into someone’s ear.

    Serena Williams is another story. She expressed her feelings about something that affected her personally. But, common courtesy and manners obviously was lost on her. Her actions won’t help her career, especially in tennis, a “gentlemen’s” sport. Now, if she were wielding a hockey stick or baseball bat, then actions such as those she exhibited are expected. In tennis? Not so much.

    As for the publisher, well, I can relate. πŸ˜‰

    In essence, I feel that many people today lack common sense as well as simple manners. They aren’t concerned with the feelings of others. They’re “me first, screw you” people.

    • I agree 100%. People have a right to their opinions. How they express them is another story. Kanye had to stop the whole show like a moron and express his opinion, which he obviously thought was more important than anyone else’s, and make an ass of himself on national TV. Kudos to Jay Leno for breaking it down to him last night with the question, “What do you think your mother would say about this if she were here?” The silence from him had said it all.

      As for Quartet Press, their lack of business sense drove them into the ground. At least, that’s what they say. Personally, I’m glad they went out of business before they got into it. But the part that kills me is there are certain people out there blaming Angela James for this when she had nothing to do with the decision. In fact, she had been left completely out of it, so it had come at just as much a surprise to her. If that’s how the owners of QP are treating their Executive Editor, then they need to close shop. Heaven only knows what other things they might have “overlooked.” I have no sympathy for the owners when it’s all tied up with the authors, editors, and anyone else who’s trapped in their mess and not getting paid as a result of it. All I ask is that people put the blame where the blame is due instead of taking on the childish stance of “she got what she deserved” without knowing all of the facts. Their waving fingers at the wrong people and it’s coming off more like a grudge than an informed opinion.

  5. I forgot to mention Angela James. I didn’t know people were being nasty about her. I’m so glad I’m out of that loop! Liz Kreger, who was one of her authors at Samhain, has complete respect for her. And she likes her, too. LOL

    • I have the utmost respect for Angela, too. She rejected STRIPPED the first time with enough feedback on how to make it better. I took her comments to heart, mulled them over, and turned out a better book than before.

      Not only that, but Angela is well-respected in the industry because she’s the most knowledgable person when it comes to digital publishing and helping make Samhain one of the most respectable epubs out there. It shocked the daylights out of me when some were practically “dancing in the streets” at the failure of a company that she had nothing to do with starting. All I can say about that is I hope they’re wearing armor. Karma will be a bitch when it bites back.

  6. People are always out looking for a scape goat, which to me sounds like what is happening to Ms. James. Here’s hoping that she holds her head high and moves on with grace and dignity. After all, things could be worse. The place could have sold all the rights to a hack literary agent/publisher wannabe. πŸ˜‰

    • That’s exactly what’s happening to Ms. James. The thing I found most amazing about her is that she didn’t lower herself to the people making the accusations. She responded on her blog in a factual, logical tone and left it at that. Though she has plenty of reason, she never shows her ass in public and that’s what I like about her. She’s a constant professional and that speaks volumes to me. Those “hack literary agent/publisher wannabes” could stand to learn a valuable lesson from her.

  7. Drat! You beat me to this blog, Marcia. I was thinking of doing a blog along these lines over at MagicalMusings on Monday. You probably did it so much better than I could have, IMO.

    You are absolutely right about unprofessional behavior. I’ve seen it in other authors at conferences and can only cringe. Believe me … those people and those moments will be remembered by others. I’ve quit reading an author’s books because of unprofessional behavior that I’ve witnessed.

    As far as Angela James goes … kudos to her for taking the high road. There is no way she could be blamed for the misfortunes of Quartet Press. She’d barely been there long enough to unpack her stuff much less have anything to do with their closing.

    • πŸ˜† Liz, sometimes you and I think so much alike that it’s scary…or fun…depending upon how you look at it. πŸ˜‰

      Like you, I’ve dropped a couple of authors because of their rude or irrogant attitudes. I don’t care how well they write. If they want to be the diva or make complete asses of themselves, then why would I support their behavior? I have no problem with having fun and having a good time, but like everything else, there is a limit. I’ll cringe, then walk away making a Note-To-Self to never buy their work again.

      And a huge EXACTLY with Angela James. The ink was hardly dry on her contract when people started blaming her for QP’s debacle. I’ve always admired her, but my admiration has gone up tenfold with the way she’s handling this.

  8. Let me just say this. Manner and behavior have gone by the way side. For those of you who have no had the West Indian (Caribbean) up bringing. I mean that etiquette has become a foreign word to many people.

    Now I’m one of the first people to admit to foot- in- mouth- itis. But people like Kayne West and the others mentioned. Seem to think that it’s okay to say whatever and then apologize. then it will all be ok.

    The truth is words have power. And as my grandmother used to say manners maketh the man.

    Time for ettiquette to make a come back. Time for the politicians and the celebrities to figure out that they are infact held to a higher standard, and while people understand they are human. they will not be forgiven for the fourteenth outburst on a awards show.

    As for the quartet Press matter. If you weren’t there don’t run your mouth you have no idea what happened, don’t assume. You know what they say about assumptions. (I don’t know any of these people personally)

    If you can’t say anything nice say nothing at all.

    • Amen! Your grandmother is a wise woman.

      Everyone suffers from foot-in-mouth. That’s a given. But high-profile people need to take extreme precautions against stuff like this because the backlash can be devastating. I’d much rather be remembered for my work as a writer than as a moron who showed their ass in public. Things like that don’t go away even with an apology. And after that umpteeth time of showing one’s ass, they’re asking to be black-balled.

      And a double amen to the QP thing. I don’t know what people get out of running their mouths or trying to be the first to point the serves-you-right finger. At least, aim it at the right person and be ready aimed with all of the facts beforehand.

  9. Marcia:
    It is a shame about QP. I thought their website looked professional. And it’s best to take the high road, but I have a feeling some of the situation there (as far as feelings) likely has to do with what I’ve observed about professionalism and snark and superiority on the part of a couple of people involved. So I will leave it at that. I have no vested interest in its failure or success. But I have observed from a distance and, indeed, wonder about the karma thing. Just not in the way you are wondering.


  10. Lack of professionalism is one of my biggest peeves. It turns me off. No matter what be professional.

    Looking around at what has been going on in the last week or so I was thinking people seems to have loss all sense. Oy.

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