I recently went to see the movie Unsane in theaters which is in a genre that is one of my favorites, the psychological thriller. At the very beginning of the film the main character goes to see a counselor at a hospital to discuss things going on in her life. The counselor advises her that she will need to sign some paperwork that has standard disclosures and liability information before she would discuss future visits. With that assurance she signs the paperwork without reading it and it ends up causing her all of the problems. If you can get over the poor camera resolution (It was shot on an iPhone) and the silly ending (the last 5-10 seconds cheapen the film) then it is an entertaining B-movie psychological thriller with a very good performance from Foy as the main character.
The film made me think about some of the things that are currently going on in my life and how people tend to scroll through and agree to things without reading any of it. Most of us do it every time we download a new app on our phones. People seem to be even more trusting than they have been in the past when it comes to certain things, and other people are finding new ways to take advantage of that trust. Whenever you sign or agree to anything, you should read what you are agreeing to.
I am currently in the process of purchasing a house. There has been a lot of frustration on every side of things and the main issue at the heart of things comes down to trust. My realtor has been frustrated at the amount of time I have taken to read through things before signing anything, and I do NOT care. There have been things within the contract that needed to be changed, and they would not have been changed if I had not caught them. When the home inspection was completed we found that there were 4 major issues that needed to be addressed before I would proceed with the purchase. I was told that the sellers had agreed to do all of the repairs.
My realtor sent several amendments to the contract that I signed and sent back. This past week I got copies of the receipts for the work done, and it looks like the work was either half way done or not done at all. I don’t know for sure because the work hasn’t been inspected, but I don’t trust the sellers. They have been changing their minds on what repairs will be or won’t be done for the past 3 weeks. I also got word from my realtor that the sellers have not signed ANY of the amendments. They have only given a verbal maybe on the needed repairs. One of the receipts stated that the damaged duct work was removed and then a list of materials. It doesn’t say on the receipt if those materials were removed or if those materials were used to replace the damaged duct work. I am hoping that the duct work was replaced, but I don’t trust the sellers enough to take their word on it. I am going to have someone check out any repairs. The closing date is supposed to be 3/28.
As with anything else I want to tie in writing or storytelling into things. This has more to do with something I don’t talk about very much on the blog, and that would be the business side of writing. When it comes to any business contract, it is important that someone who has your best interests in mind to read it over. That is why I would always always always (add a few more here) have a lawyer, that is familiar for these types of contracts, look it over. There are plenty of predatory practices that are prevalent in the business (YAY alliteration). Anything from Vanity Presses to contracts that make it so publishing rights never revert to the author even if the publishers are no longer printing it. Traditional publishers are always trying new things to take advantage of authors, so it is important to have someone familiar with the wording to look it over and discuss these practices with you. If the contract doesn’t make sense then walk (or run) away.
In conclusion, if someone says “Trust Me” that immediately raises red flags. Don’t ever sign anything before reading it, or you could be admitted into a mental institution. As the prophet Ice Cube once said, “Protect yo self befo you wreck yo self.” Do you have any horror stories or situations dealing with contracts that were kind of shady? Share them in the comments!