We totally understand that it is always beneficial to go for licensing and we really are keen on associating with you for a long run. However, we are kind of in an initial stage of starting this new campaign on our publication and it would be great if you can understand. We would therefore request you that, we can work on credits to start with and in the long run we can work out on the licensing fee.

So, you TOTALLY understand it but you’d rather not do it anyway. And you would like to engage in a long-term association based on the foundation of asking me to work for free. Who do you think I’m likely to want to associate with? Someone who respects my work and considers it worth enough to invest in or someone who is going on-record and telling me that they don’t want to pay for my work?

As a publication, including my work is going to help you make your publication look good, which is how you’re going to sell it and sell to advertisers. So, I help you sell, and I get no compensation for it except your “goodwill” I presume. But please consider that you’re a random stranger on the internet, writing to me, asking me for a favor. What reason would I possibly have to do this? Maybe try and build a relationship first? At the very least.

I was an “initial stage” person too. Twelve years ago. I’ve done my time. You do yours. But do not tell me that because you are new, that I should roll back twelve years. No. Fuck you. Pay me.

And if you totally understand how this works, then make it work. “I know this is wrong but I’m still asking if you’ll be complicit.” is what I hear. Money to start with, not credits. Then after a few years of money, we might look at credit when you’re in a bind and can’t process a 100% advance – then maybe I’ll consider accepting payment a few days later.

I will never understand how anyone who is attempting to build a business / product / company can write anything like the above. You are trying to create value and you are expecting someone to walk the mile with you, help create value for you and you expect them to not get any value in return except some pie in the sky? Fuck off.

“But Naina, they are requesting only. You can say no, instead of bitching about it.”

Well, I did say no. And I will bitch about it as much as I like on my blog. I didn’t invite their email, they wrote to me and I am free to use the material as I wish. There is no identification or naming although Hood knows how tempted I am to do that too. And there are people who leave comments on the stories and identify their own selves. More than happy to publish those comments. Because this kind of bullshit is unending. Which is also precisely why I don’t think naming the people involved will change anything except maybe get a few people fired. And it might not be their fault either. When a senior person in the organisation fosters an environment where it is ok to disrepect someone’s time, effort and work, that’s what the juniors learn and practice.

And the wrong people will get fired for it.

Besides, I don’t really want to put an end to all the awesome material I get for my #WTFNaina series. So bring it on. Show me what you’ve got. Sure, you can ask if I’d like to work for free, there’s no harm in asking is there?

 

More anecdotes and stories in the #WTFNaina series. ( These are all inspired by true stories. Some written emails, some from face-to-face meetings. They have all been piling up for years now and I’ve decided to put them to use! )

( Photo from Flickr. Creative Commons License. )