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June 24, 2011

Comments

Dani

Silly question - why are you not reporting *her* to the police? Sorry for what you've been through. While I put myself out there in a very different way, I can tell you that you will always meet crazy people, and you need to talk to other people who do this to find out how best to protect yourself.

Christine Garvin

Damn, that sucks. Does it just come with the territory? You wouldn't hope so. But I have no doubt that your process will be much more rigorous in the future. Is that a good thing? Don't know. But hopefully this is the worst you'll see because new systems will be put in place.

Like Dani asked, can you report her? Or is that the same thing as if she had 'reported' you - it'll just cause a lot of unwanted/unneeded commotion for you?

Ken

How awful! I wonder if you felt it was somehow worse that it happened abroad (beyond the mere fact that the threat had to do with immigration). Still, these kind of crazy people are hard to screen out. My dad tried to leave behind a caretaker that had helped him and his dad, and she started making crank calls to people badmouthing him. You can't always tell who is going to do something like that beforehand.

Alice

Sorry to hear about your experience with this woman. I think any time you do something different, there will be mistakes or challenges along the way. Unfortunately, everybody wants easy money these days and we all need to be aware of what is going on around us. Hopefully the things you learned from dealing with this woman will make it less likely to happen again in the future. May the coming weeks be less stressful for you!

Leigh Shulman

Hey Dani,

We are taking care of it in the best way we can. I just didn't want to post specifics of it online.

Part of the reason we trusted this woman, though, is because we knew her relatively well before starting work with her. She actually lived with us for a month. Everything was fine then. And actually all was fine until about two weeks ago when there was this massive sea change.

Quite frightening, actually. Even when I look back at the months we've known her, I still don't think I could have predicted this.

Leigh Shulman

I think because of this we will probably be more rigorous than is necessary (if you read what I wrote to Dani above, you'll see we knew her quite well before agreeing to do a project with her).

We decided that even if it makes it more difficult for us to find artists for the art house, so be it. Far better that then having this type of experience again.

Leigh Shulman

Hey Ken,

And thanks for saying that. This has made me seriously question my judgment. And as someone who has spent years relying on my judgment for work, Couchsurfing and so many other things, I really can't afford to question.

I guess it just happens sometimes. Law of averages?

As for it happening abroad... I think what makes it worse is that we don't have citizen's rights here, and we don't have as clear an understanding of the law or how it works. That and the feeling that this woman could come and potentially damage almost three years of effort we've put into developing our lives here.

Truth me told, she thinks she has a lot more leverage than she actually does. Her threats, as we've found out, are quite groundless, and the people to whom she wants to complain, mostly don't care.

But the fact that she so clearly wants to destroy our lives scares me. And how quickly she went from "everything is fine" to threats is also quite unsettling.

Leigh Shulman

Thanks, Alice, for the good thoughts and wishes. Since we started the Cloudhead project I haven't spent as much time blogging.

I am so thankful that those of you who know me and read this blog are so supportive and decent.

When I look at the big picture of my life, I most definitely see there are more positive and wonderful people than people like this woman.

Thank you for reminding me again.

David Cain

Hi Leigh,

Yikes. It's hard to understand what would make someone do something like that. I can only guess that people who do nasty things are having a hard time in some way. Happy, balanced people who have things figured out just don't turn on others like that.

I guess what I'm saying is don't take it personally, it's all because of her own shit, as easy as it is for me to say when I'm not the one being harassed. Hope everything words out.

Leigh Shulman

Hey David,

I totally agree with you. A good friend of ours here says that it's best to keep the mantra "It's not personal" on hand for just about any given situation. And it's very true.

How someone could truly want to hurt us for what seems to us to be no more than moving a logo on a poster (truly!) is beyond me. But then, I guess I'm lucky I don't understand what it's like to see the world that way.

Thanks for your comment. As with all the others, it's very much appreciated.

Horacio

Leigh (and Noah) I just want to give (from the distance) a kind of support. I agree with all the comments you received. You're very trustful, helping and, in my opinion, wonderful people. For sure you don't deserve to be trated like that.
But, anyway try to see the positive side of all this nusty situation. You have a lot of people who appreciate you and have nice wishes for you the both trhee. Just this posts give you a sommere idea of that...

Big hugs from Rosario!!.
Hora
P.S.: (I can't wait the time to go back visiting you)

Elizabeth

Oh that's a tough call. You can know people well but when a situation gets tense and personal and there's time, $$ and deadlines at stake, friends can turn into strangers.

Earlier this year I was renovating my studio in Sicily (into an artists residency too - focusing on creatives who work with paper) and had friends visit and help out, as well as a friend of my husband, who had very different ideas on why he was there (he thought it was a free holiday, amongst other things).

Never again will I allow a friend-of-a-friend into my life without some pretty clear ground rules (though I'd thought things were clear already). Crucial deadlines were missed, budgets were broken, and it put a strain on all of us.

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