Friday, 12 November 2010

A Day in the Life

I've had a weird day today. I was supposed to be doing a reading for the Creative Writing students at a university who shall remain nameless, and when I turned up at the place the course leader told me to meet her, she wasn't there. I went to reception and the receptionist didn't know anything about it, or me, or indeed the number of the course tutor. I sat patiently and waited for a good half hour, before sending her an email telling her I was leaving and still expected to be paid for my expenses.

I had actually agreed to do the reading and field some questions after free of charge because I'm a Leeds boy originally, and though I didn't attend that university, I felt a sense of loyalty to my hometown and its emerging writing talent. Forget the fact I now live in Manchester and came 40 miles to do this (I had another meeting in Leeds this morning, which was the only reason I didn't have a meltdown there and then).

Normally I charge a fee for an appearance like this, based on the Arts Council's minimum day rate (which hasn't changed in about ten years, by the way). I would only have made money through book sales--which reminds me: I lugged a big sack of books 40 miles too! I feel pretty inconvenienced.

This is totally unprofessional behaviour, especially since I've yet to receive any response to my emails. It's yet another example of writers not getting the respect they deserve. It's especially troubling since many students who wish to become writers are putting their careers in her hands, and yet this is how she treats writers.

I'm going to persue the expenses at the very least, although I'm half inclined to slap them a bill for wasted time as well, along with a strongly-worded letter of complaint. But maybe I'll feel better in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment