OK, so I have been owed residuals for a while from a TV show I did. I knew they were way behind so I called AFTRA. I was nervous about the tenacity that this was going to require because my new way of taking care of myself — "showing up and not being a victim" — means lots of calls and lots of uncomfortable feelings but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Well, they put me through to the person who monitors such things. She told that there are all sorts of penalties for late payments as well. I was so excited. Finally, I have learned how to take care of myself and also isn't this why I pay dues to belong to a union to protect me from this?

Anyway, this went on for months. I was great, I followed up, I called, I asked for what I needed and what I thought was right in a calm manner, all the while understanding that things take time and that people are only human and red tape can be a huge hold up. But I trudged on.

Finally, I got an email that my check had arrived. I was like "Yes!!" This whole “taking care of myself” thing does work, it is worth it.

I was so excited about the prospect of this check that I couldn't wait. I had to call to see how much it was for. I mean, with all the penalties and all my hard work I knew it was gonna be huge...

I call and I say "Hi so and so, it's Sue Costello. I'm so excited that my check finally came. Can you tell me how much it's for?" …like we've known each other for years or that she cares.

She says, "Hold on" and comes back on the line and says "Sue, I got good news and I got bad news."

I say, "Lay it on me.” She says, "Well the good news is, I got your check. The bad news is, it's for $20."

All I could do was laugh and my laughter was contagious, she started laughing too. I said, "Well 20 bucks is better than nuthin." And she said, "Yeah it is."

Well, yesterday I called back, I said, "Hi so and so, it's Sue Costello and I spent my 20 bucks, you got anything else for me?"

She laughed so hard and said, "Hold on" and came back and sure enough there were two more checks. She cared. She was happy that she had more moolah for me on account of I was so nice and I made her laugh.

You get more with honey than vinegar and Patience is a virtue and don't shoot the messenger and all that other good stuff is true.

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