Hoggin’ 4 Blogs (Appetite for Destruction)
I’m in a hotel room in Osage Beach, Missouri, preparing for a conference and I get an email telling me that my access to my own system has been taken away from me.
Access to a system that I pay for.
Access to a system that I have had for over 6 years.
My access has been taken from me by a person who I gave access to only a few days earlier, and now they took it from me!
And my only thoughts are, “How in the hell did I get here? How have I allowed this to happen? What have I done?”
Let’s take a step back. This happened because I let my guard down and I trusted someone who I should have never trusted. Had I never given them access they would have never locked me out. They even locked my back administrator out!
Why did I give them access? I thought they were my friend. I thought they could be trusted but I was very naïve. As my webhosting company told me, NEVER GIVE ANYONE ACCESS TO YOUR SYSTEM.
I gave them access because there was an opportunity to collaborate that I thought was in the best interest of the PIC team and quite frankly, myself.
I gave access because I thought we were going to work together (that’s an important word “together”). I thought we were about to create something exciting and new for the future.
When this opportunity was presented to me, I was genuinely excited. I thought, there is no way to mess this up. I was ready to move forward. But that’s just the thing, in hindsight, I believe we had very different expectations. I quickly learned that I was looking at the future and they were looking at the past.
They asked for access to check some stats and I gave it them. I had no idea this person would take that access and create an account for their developer, stage my site, and begin cyphering content over to their site prematurely.
Once that was brought to my attention and I realized what was REALLY happening, they would not stop. I pleaded for them to stop. But no. My requests were met with silence then insults followed by threats.
There I was locked out of my system. My phone and emails were blowing up from my past contributors who wanted to know why their content was moved without any notification. And why was their work attributed to other writers (insult meet injury). I can’t apologize enough for my lapse in judgement, I should have known better. I am not the first person that has been fucked over by this person, but hopefully I am the last.
It was one of the ugliest displays of greed I had ever seen. It became clear to me they didn’t give a shit about the future or me.
The threats and insults let me know a future working relationship was impossible. There’s no way I am working with anyone who thinks I am a coward, questions my leadership, and lies like a rug.
Through this whole process, I learned some valuable lessons and here they are:
- Trust no one (something I should have learned from the X-Files)
- Get things in writing, first rule of HR (document, document, document)
- Don’t ever give anyone access to anything (never again)
- Your character matters (my character was tested but I passed)
- Your reputation speaks for itself (my rep is not perfect but it’s pretty strong)
- Stay woke (never let your guard down)
- Your true friends will always believe in you (even when they are upset and disappointed in you)
- Our content was/is very valuable (like gold, seriously!)
- In the darkest moments, you are not alone (lots of folks reached out to me to share their stories)
- You can’t always turn the other cheek, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself
We survived this bullshit and you know what they say about survivors? They won’t give up, they won’t stop, they will only work harder!