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Old August 29 2013, 11:57 AM   #1
Flux Capacitor
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I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

And sadly it isn't the first time this has happened, but it's the most upsetting. Earlier this year, I was approached by a friend about whether I would be interested in donating my graphic design expertise to help promote a concert event that would raise money to help our wounded military veterans. Being a big part of my local veterans support groups, and happy to get my name out there as a designer I agreed.

In late June I met with the gentleman, George, putting the whole thing on, found out the logistics as they stood at the time. The concert was slated for some time in October, but other than that we had very little detail. The date, venue, entertainment was all to be decided. What he could tell me was that an event planning company would be taking the reins and that he would pass my info on to them. I corresponded with him a few times but the gist of it, as I understood, was that I would receive my "assignments" from the event people as far as what I would be creating. Sure, fair enough. I can't exactly start without my client giving me direction. I did tell the guy that I'd start with concepts for a possible logo, but I stated very clearly that I would await word from the event people.

In late July, I still hadn't heard anything from these event folks, but hadn't seen anything on Facebook (the main point of promotional media as I was told) and seeing as I had some actual paying gigs and my full time job going at the time, I didn't have it on the front burner yet. Then, early August comes and so does the Facebook page. Okay...still no emails from these folks. I have no contact info from them, and as far as I knew, George wasn't running the show. This is the point I realized I should have emailed him anyway to find out what was up.

And then today, as I have the concert Facebook page "liked", I see a post. It's a rather generic graphic, made with what I would guess was Publisher, giving all of the details of the concert. At the bottom it states "Design services donated by LonnyFoster.com"

Uh...what?

So I email George with the general question of what the hell? The last he had told me, and I quote, was, "I will contact the event people and let you know" after I had expressed the need to know what to create. This is what he came back with.

Sorry for the misunderstanding, James. Last we left off my clear recollection was that you were going to get back to me. You said you were still working on concepts. I was awaiting your response.

Given the short and critical time frames on this project, being that we are all volunteering, I just did not have time to try you back if you weren't following up with me. I assumed you had lost interest when you did not reach back out to me.

Obviously I was wrong about your interest and am sorry that we moved on. And I am sorry if you feel at all slighted. If there is a fault here I will accept it and offer my apologies.

James, this is a huge project, I am a volunteer as the organizer and I move quickly in the sole interest of benefiting our wounded. That said, the last thing I want to do is injure someone else. Please accept my apology for any misunderstanding I may have had.
So...you didn't have time to "try me back" but you had time to recruit an entirely different designer? Wouldn't it have been faster to shoot me an email, asking, "Hey, you still interested?" Because my reply would have been, "Yeah, of course. Just need to know what to make. Like I already said." Well, not with that much attitude, but it would have been that easy. I cannot comprehend the thinking of just dropping me without a word and going with someone else.

At first, I was disappointed but not angry. But as the day has progressed, it started ticking me off that much more. Not only that, but the work this other guy is doing is terrible. If you check out the Facebook page for the event, you can see the graphics as well as what looks like a failed attempt to crop out a cover photo for the profile. The "design" is just sloppy and generic. This event deserves a lot more and it's that much more irritating knowing that I could have delivered that.

So other than just venting, I have a question. I have a few elements that I had already worked up as well as some pieces I did today out of frustration seeing the poor work by the other dude. The question is...should I send those pieces to the guy just to let him know what he's missing? Nobody is getting paid for this so it's not like I'm trying to take this Lonny dude's paycheck (he would have taken mine if there was one anyway) but at the same time I don't want to come off as the ex-boyfriend trying to win his girlfriend back by showing her how great it could be. I plan on posting the images to my own FB solely for the purposes of promoting the show myself, but I wonder if it would be appropriate to send them to George. He clearly isn't concerned with dropping designers like a bad habit so maybe he'd do it again...? Who knows, and that is why I ask.

And yes, this has happened before in the form of my offering to help that Enterprise-D restoration guy with stuff only to be promptly ignored after corresponding for a few days and then to see someone else's work being used.
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Old August 29 2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

If it was me and I had some pieces already finished, I'd simply send them along with a, "If you'd like to use these, feel free."

I'm trying my best to let go of anger and be a better person.
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Old August 29 2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

That's annoying. It sounds like a miscommunication from a rather haphazardly done project. You have nothing to lose from contacting the other person, but I'm sure most would take offense by it. I wouldn't do it unless you can think of an extremely tactful way of phrasing it. Otherwise, just accept that it's their choice and leave it at that. Given the way they handled things so far, working with them was probably not worth the hassle.

More generally, I've had plenty of experience getting passed up for working for free, but this was through unpaid internships where competition can actually be pretty intense. I've gotten used to it.
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Old August 29 2013, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

Just let it go.. from the looks of it you told him to get into contact with you, he dropped the ball and has now found an excuse to not be blamed.

The only thing you could have done is to drop him a simple one liner email that would have taken you 10 seconds to compose and send but it is as it is.

Sending him now things you did just comes off as petty and childish in my opinion even if the replacement is not up to your quality levels. It's a bit akin to a bad breakup where the ex-gf sends you pitctures of herself in sexy poses so you can see what you're missing.. just bad style.
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Old August 29 2013, 02:50 PM   #5
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

Tosk wrote: View Post
If it was me and I had some pieces already finished, I'd simply send them along with a, "If you'd like to use these, feel free."

I'm trying my best to let go of anger and be a better person.

Well said.
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Old August 29 2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

Sounds like it was a misunderstanding that you're taking too personally. I'd let it go and not send him the images. It doesn't come off as helpful, it sounds angry and petty.
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Old August 29 2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

If you're going to publish them at all, send them to George first to do or not do with them as he pleases. Just be careful that your accompanying text is not angry or petty like Kestra is worried about.
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Old August 29 2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

This seems to be a not uncommon social issue though, where parties miscommunicate (intentionally or otherwise) over whose job it is to initiate contact next. Neither party ends up taking the reins and consequently nothing happens.

All I can say is that if you care, then go ahead and initiate contact. And if you're not willing to initiate contact, then accept that if you do care about the other party, you care about other things more.

There are people out there who will never initiate contact, and there are people who are proactive about it to the point that it can frustrate others who don't desire the degree of contact that they're experiencing. I think I tend to be proactive to a degree that bugs some people ("Why are you so clingy?"), but if I start to feel that all contact is contingent on my initiating it, you can bet that at some point I'll stop. Which opens the door to delightful conversations such as these-

"Hey, great to hear from you!"
"If you wanted to hear from me, you could have spoken up any time."
"Yeah, well, you could have spoken up too."
"I -always- speak up first."
"Why are you trying to give me a guilt-trip???!!!???"

et al.
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Old August 29 2013, 07:28 PM   #9
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

miscommunication, then they moved on to someone else because of it.

its not something to get bothered by really, it's just one of those random awkward things that happens in life sometimes.

and if you do decide to get in contact with them just remember its about the veteran group thing, not battle of the graphic designers
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Old August 29 2013, 07:31 PM   #10
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

It just sounds like there was a mixup on who should followup because the guy was swamped with organizing everything and that there was no slight toward you intended. You're not losing any money, and since he never saw your work no judgment was being passed on it in favor of the other guy, so I don't see why you would take it so personally or assume he wasn't being straightforward about the reason in his response to you.

Also, sending the pictures in as a sort of "nah nah, here's what you missed out on" thing is petty and sort of misses the point of the event and volunteering in general. Maybe another concert or event will happen in the future and you can send in the pics then as an example of what you're capable of, but there's nothing really productive about sending them to the guy now, after the fact, just to make a bitter point.
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Old August 29 2013, 09:39 PM   #11
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

Well the only reason I thought of sharing what I had already done was to at least give the guy *some* sort of professional looking work. But yeah, I wouldn't want to come across as trying to show him what he missed out on. He did say they may do this again next year and that he'd like to work with me if they do. I might just post my stuff on my own FB just to let my friends know about it. The important thing is to get the word out about the event.
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Old August 30 2013, 12:03 AM   #12
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

Kestra wrote: View Post
Sounds like it was a misunderstanding that you're taking too personally. I'd let it go and not send him the images. It doesn't come off as helpful, it sounds angry and petty.
Agreed. Clearly, wires got crossed. It happens, especially with busy people and projects on tight deadlines. Let it go and move on.
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Old August 30 2013, 07:47 AM   #13
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

This forum should have Like buttons.
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Old September 5 2013, 05:02 PM   #14
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

It sounds like you put him off in some way during the initial conversation and he was looking for an excuse to ditch you if he could find someone else more suitable. He found a more suitable person, and you supplied the excuse nicely by not checking back. Time to take a deep look into yourself because this is an established pattern.

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Old September 6 2013, 08:48 AM   #15
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Re: I got passed up for a job. A volunteer job.

An established pattern? Care to elaborate?
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