Original email :

Dear Naina,
Greetings of the day. The heritage <product> brand, X and Wellness Expert & Author, XYZ cordially invite you to a beautiful afternoon of style and elegance over High Tea on <date> at <location>, Mumbai. The event will commence at 4.30 pm.
Hosted by XYZ, Managing Director, X, it will be an Exclusive Preview to X’s <redacted> Initiative and <redacted product range>. XYZ will share useful tips on how to set your table this festive season, and tricks to follow while dining out. Also, giving a sneak-peek into their illustrious ten books on fitness and wellness. Please find attached the E-invite for your reference.
Kindly RSVP. Hope to see you there! Thank you.

My response :

Hello ABC, I’d love to attend! Please provide flight options so I may plan accordingly.

Their response :

Dear Naina, Apologies but we aren’t looking after any miscellaneous expenses. Thank you.


Well, thank you for addressing me by name at the very least. Maybe you should’ve checked that I live and work out of NCR too? Flights are “miscellaneous expenses”? Maybe they are because an “influencer” is a “miscellaneous afterthought” anyway. The message is, “We want you to cover our shit for free so we’re greeting you for the day. But if there’s any indication of your asking for compensation to cover even your expenses at the very least, we don’t give a rat’s ass about that.”

Come and cover and do the work and we are very grateful for your efforts – because they were for free.

Ask for anything in exchange though and there’s nary a squeak. Influencers are just miscellaneous irritants after all.

I will repeat this forever and ever : Do your research. All you have to do is look at my Twitter timeline or even my blog and you will quickly find out where I’m based out of. Basic info. If you don’t know, ask.

And if you aren’t looking after “miscellaneous expenses”, don’t write to me.


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! )

(Image from Flickr. Creative Commons License. )




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