The Universe Takes Care of Itself

June 29, 2007 at 4:59 pm 19 comments

It’s becoming more difficult to find people who’s word is their bond, one of the hazards of a more affluent society.  I, however, believe the cliche that what goes around, comes around and I have nothing.  So if I tell you I’ll do something, you can rely on the fact that it will get done (but probably not quickly). 

You might remember the children’s book I spent four months and two weeks writing for Dr. Evil and his treachery once it was completed.  We had a hand shake contract, and I continued to believe that was good enough because he called me three times a day while it was being written, we met once a week to discuss marketing.   He spammed my e-mail box with letters of how much he loved each chapter, the places we would go, the things we would do.  Not just me…the illustrator, the music director and the web designer were equally treated and convinced this was a man of his word.  Once the book was finished and he fell off the face of the earth, we had few options for getting compensated for our work at this point.  No actual legal options.  We could bill him, but he wouldn’t pay.  So we’d have to sue him, but we’d probably lose (according to our attorney) because we didn’t have a written contract.  What we did have was every page of his original material and the rewrite, every e-mail, every note scribbled on a napkin, or scratched onto the back of a receipt.  We had plenty of evidence of the work we’d done in his behalf.

With no legal options, the three of us decided to let the universe sort out the mess, with one small interference.  Because of the man’s incessant yakking about who he knew and who he wanted to help him, I had an idea which agent he was goning to pitch this book to.  So I sent them a professional letter, for their own protection, saying nothing more than I suspected he’d given them work that was not his.  I clued them in on the secret to determing whether they had his raw material or our book by looking for a plot.  If it had one, it wasn’t his.  I knew I’d found the right agent when I received a certified letter from Dr. Evil’s attorney telling me to never talk to or try to contact Dr. Evil again.  I was satisfied with that.

We’ve gone on to work on new projects…after all, I will always be a writer, she will always be an artist and the Good Doctor, who IS a man of his word, will always be a successful doctor and musician.  The web designer didn’t like the project anyway.  Evil or not, the guy has kids.  I have no need to wish him ill will, I just didn’t want him to profit off our work.

But the universe had different ideas for Dr. Evil.  To date, he’s lost his position at the hospital (1/2 his income), his office space and is advertising for patients.  Around here, the only doctors that advertise are the ones that are failing.   

There’s a cautionary tale in all this.  You might think it’s “get a contract” before you start working with someone.  If you’re like me, it’s more “make your word your bond”.  Whatever protection is offered from our legal system is nothing compared to the power of the universe. 

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Entry filed under: Books.

The Weird, The Dumb and The Gift Opportunities and a Couple of Shout Outs

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nessa  |  June 29, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    I, too, believe the universe takes care of these things, but getting things in writing is good, too. It helps keep those on the border honest, but won’t do much for those who insist on never being honest. That’s when “reaping what you sow” comes in handy.

    Reply
  • 2. J.  |  June 29, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Karma is a beautiful thing.
    I’m sorry that happened to you guys Kat. But you’re right, he will get his.
    It’s the waiting for them to get it, that bugs me sometimes! *wink*

    Reply
  • 3. hammer  |  June 29, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Karma is good. There are too many Dr Evils out there.

    Reply
  • 4. katcampbell  |  June 29, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Nessa – You’re right of course, and I usually do get things in writing. But sometimes the whipping out of contracts just steals the creativity from the project, and this was one of those times.

    Jan – Its okay, he has been kicked in the ass by Karma in a very short period of time.

    Hammer – So nice to see you back from vacation! There are too many, great personal value in being a person of your word…but YOU know that.

    Reply
  • 5. Dave M  |  June 29, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    I am a firm believer in that people get their just deserts. As he has done the dirty on you then bad fortune will be his. You reap what you sow….. and as he has done “bad” things then “bad” things will happen to him.

    Reply
  • 6. Catch  |  June 29, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    i guess it is catching up to him that he is surely not a man of his word! i dont believe you can go though life being the kind of man he is and not having it catch up to you eventually! I am sorry you did all that work for nothing. but he will pay in the long run.

    Hey. did you see you won an award on my blog??? Look for the Rockin Blogger Award!

    Have a great weekend Kat!!!!!

    Reply
  • 7. katherine.  |  June 29, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    damn. Its tough to always have to cover yourself with legal agreements… but nice to know some of his own is coming back to him.

    Reply
  • 8. Dewey  |  June 30, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Wow, what an interesting story.

    Reply
  • 9. minx  |  June 30, 2007 at 4:01 am

    There are two pagan rules that I use regularly

    “And if it harm none, do as ye will”.

    The second is the three-fold law. If harm is done to another it will return to sender three times worse.

    The wheel turns, the universe winks.

    Reply
  • 10. Nessa  |  June 30, 2007 at 5:23 am

    Kat: Too true. And sometimes you just have to take a chance on trusting someone. The loss is definitely his and I’m sure it’s way more than he will ever fathom.

    Reply
  • 11. Mr. Fabulous  |  June 30, 2007 at 9:55 am

    I don’t know if I believe 100% in karma, as I see all too many people NOT get what they deserve, but in this case I am glad that he got what was coming to him.

    Reply
  • 12. Jon M  |  June 30, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Maybe it’s not so much Karma as ‘If you treat everyone badly then they’ll desert you in droves” or maybe that’s how karma works.
    Make your word your bond is a good motto 🙂

    Reply
  • 13. katcampbell  |  June 30, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Dave M – Yup, the sad part is, he hasn’t even recognized that he’s doing people wrong! Delusional!

    Catch – Rockin blogger? Cool! You have a great weekend too, hopefully it will warm up enough to get in the pool.

    Kat in CA – It can be an ugly world sometimes, so much easier to accomplish things without the lawyers over your shoulder.

    Dewey – Interesting only as a story…caused a bit of angst at the time.

    Minx – “If it harm none…” if everyone lived that way, we’d eliminate so many problems!

    Nessa – yes it is. I already have two books that will come from his evilness. All life is fodder for a writer.

    Mr. Fab – You may not see them getting their butt kicked by the universe, but it is happening.

    Jon M – That’s how Karma works.

    Reply
  • 14. Hayden  |  June 30, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    when someone is a blatant ‘taker’ and lies so freely it can’t be hidden forever.

    I’m sure he’s guilty of similar offenses against everyone he’s had contact with.

    Sorry you got used by him, glad you kept him from benefiting from it, and not surprised that his behavior is catching up!

    Reply
  • 15. colleen  |  July 1, 2007 at 2:59 am

    I do believe the universe is self-organizing. We just don’t always see it right away. I’d like a nice sail on the ocean after this too!

    Reply
  • 16. jackiesgarden  |  July 1, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Dr. Evil has no one to blame but himself. I was wondering how this turned out – glad you updated. What a bummer – after all that work you did.

    Reply
  • 17. guyana-gyal  |  July 1, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Good! Serves him right!

    I still hope he can’t benefit from your writing too! The nerve of his lawyer!

    You’d be surprised how you can’t find people here too, whose word is their bond. People are the same everywhere, Kat. Good, bad, ugly, beautiful.

    Reply
  • 18. katcampbell  |  July 1, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Hayden – So true, there has to be balance in all things.

    Colleen – It doesn’t even take drama for me to dream of a sail!

    Jackie – Its okay, I’m sure we’ve effectively stopped him and once I removed everything from the book that was his idea…most of the book was left. The illustrator and I are updating and forging ahead.

    GG- Funny thing, it wasn’t even his regular lawyer, just some guy he used for this one letter. That told me more than anything.

    Reply
  • 19. Janet  |  July 10, 2007 at 4:27 am

    I see I’m not the only one whose reaction is, “karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?”.

    Reply

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