I thought long and hard about sharing this story online …
Okay okay … so the first thing I thought after I got all packed up after the accident was “I am so gonna blog about this.” But then later I began to ponder it more. In the end, I thought if for no other reason it may well be a good tale of caution to other artists who “run into” this situation.
So to protect the
innocent, rude jerk careless artist I will not use his real name. Because it would be just vindictive, he can’t handle the truth not be appropriate.
So I think I’ll refer to him as Dick.
The Reader’s Digest version
It was during tear down and I had finished putting all my small framed art and shrink wraps away. Since the neighbor artists were packed up in record time, I left all of my original and large works up and ran off to get my van. As I hopped out I noticed this large truck with huge trailer crossing from the far lane to the near and became horrified as it rolled into my booth, pushing it several feet. It came to a stop a few feet from where I stood next to my van.
Now Dick was very nice at first. He said “Don’t worry I have insurance … are you hurt?” I was not. My display was bent over at an angle so I ran over and pushed it up for fear it would collapse trashing all my original art. Dick promptly helped. He held up the panels while I removed the original work.
It was at this point that I think Dick began realizing he could be in some serious doo-doo. He started asking me what I thought my damages were. He began pressuring to provide prices for my stuff, the age of my stuff etc. From there he went on to say he wanted my tent. He probably said 4-5 times “If I’m paying for this I’m taking your tent home.” Followed by “This wasn’t my fault that other guy was trying to pass me …”
So there you have it folks. He had jumped from his truck to prevent another artist from passing him, and he failed to put it in park.
He continued to pressure me and I finally snapped. I told him his careless actions caused me to be damaged and he should be really grateful that the original work wasn’t destroyed or that anyone was hurt. I told him to leave me alone and let me get my original work safely packed up and off the street.
At this point I called the cops. I got the information exchange paper from the officer and it had $10 damage listed on it.
I’m like “$10 damage!” He kindly explained that he was not qualified to determine the cost of damages and that he just needed to put something in that spot to indicate damage. Despite this I drag the officer over and point out the obvious damage and explain how much the tent and display are worth.
Meanwhile Dick is feeling very smug thinking he’ll only be paying $10.
Everybody leaves and I am left packing up until well after dark alone downtown. That BTW sucks. I took many photos with my cell phone at various stages of breakdown.
So I contact my insurance agent first thing Monday morning. She’s like well his insurance should cover this.
I’m like “Well what if Dick isn’t an upstanding citizen and reports it.”
And do you think he did? Of course not. My agent called him a full 5 days later. While she didn’t me anything that was said I gathered through mind reading that she had a less than stellar experience with him.
Todays Game … So guess what would happen if…
This is not an uncommon occurrence. I have seen many many booths get backed into, awnings ripped off and artwork toppled. Artists get damaged by other artists all of the time. Most get nothing out of it. Sometime the other artist pays. Most of the stories I’ve heard they never come through.
So here’s the thing.
What if I hadn’t called the police. I mean Dick started out so very nice. Surely he will be good as his word right?
What if I didn’t have an insurance. My provider went to bat for me. I’m am positive Dick would never have contacted his provider and deal with it like a grownup.
What if I had let Dick take my tent?
Hard telling but I know this. Even with all of my precautions I doubt that whatever I get from insurance for the damages will cover what it is gonna cost me to repair and replace.
And that my dears, just bites.
Read Full Post »