Dear Mary Pat,
I recently did a remodeling job for a friend of mine and asked no compensation for my time, just payment for the tools and supplies. She smiled and said she liked what I was doing when she checked in on the way the ‘reading room’ was coming together. I even stenciled lines of her favorite poem on the wall.
A few days after the job was complete, I noticed she added a blog post clearly about me to her website, without actually saying my name: “I should have known better than to trust someone with different aesthetics than mine to create what I imagined. There is a word that pops in my head when I enter a certain room – ‘tacky.’ Oh well.”
I was appalled, hurt, embarrassed. Did she assume I wouldn’t see the post? Should I confront her about the post or write a blog post of my own on how rude and ungrateful she is?
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
Sister Bay, WI
Dear Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder,
One of the major downsides of social media is how people have come to communicate with one another. Don’t like how your meal was prepared while dining out? The logical thing would be to tell your server so that they can attempt to fix the problem. Instead, people don’t say anything while they are in the restaurant, go home, log onto a review site and launch into a tirade about how awful their meal was. If you have a complaint or grievance, it’s better to go right to the source, versus complaining about it online.
Either your friend didn’t explain exactly what she was looking for or you took too much creative license with the remodeling project. Only you can answer that question. That being said, your friend should have brought her concerns directly to you. Not only was it rude to post that online, it was petty and immature. I would definitely bring it up to her. You can tell her that your feelings were hurt and that you didn’t appreciate her sharing that with the world. I hope you can discuss this calmly and move on.
Also, the next time you do work for anyone, whether a friend or a regular customer, be sure you are both on the same page about the exact scope of the project.