Jul 11, 2018

In case you missed that Jameson Blake incident, and are one of those who believe in free labor, here’s a reminder: for the nth time, no, creative work or service is not free just because people think it has no monetary value.

While other people, thankfully, understand the struggles for creatives, like this tita who offered to pay her nephew twice what he usually makes for a tarpaulin layout, still there are people who feel entitled enough to lowball, or worse try to get away with free stuff.

This bride-to-be is symptomatic of this bad mentality that continues to take advantage of creatives and freelancers in the industry.

While the service she was seeking was different from what Blake was trying to get for free, still the rhetoric used by this woman reeks of the same cheapskate mentality the former employed.

A beach wedding without a host

Her story begins with a referral from a recently-wed colleague who hired a friend who does events hosting. Needing a host for her sunset wedding in Batangas, she reached out to Althea Leonen. The text messages between them were cordial at first, with the supposed client, briefing the host about her wedding which would happen in September.

It was until the bride said the host would have to book a hotel room, presumably so she would have room to prep and stay in during the wedding, but it turned out Leonen was to pay for it herself, including the transportation cost.

And if you think that was the worst of it, it gets worse. You might think a bride who could afford a beach wedding in a resort in Batangas could surely splurge on essential services such as a wedding host, turns out she reached out to Leonel hoping to avail of her service for free.

“Not part of the entourage”

Leonel, trying to politely clear up the arrangement, confirmed if she was to pay for the accommodation and the transportation cost. She even offered to adjust to their budget but emphasized that she does not do hosting jobs for charity.

To which, the client replied: “My friend told me you do free hosting jobs. Yes, you will have to pay for your accommodation since you are not part of the entourage. Plus we no longer have a budget to hire a host that’s why we reach out to you.”

By the end of her message, she even considered shouldering Leonen’s travel expense, but the latter politely turned the “offer” down saying she only offers free service to her friends and that it seems unfair for her to do it for free since there are other expenses that she will be paying herself. She went on to explain that despite not being a big-time host, she invests in training to nurture her skill.

Turned down

Any self-respecting person would have stopped there and conceded, but not this client. She even ridiculed the host for not taking the gig spurting personal insults to Leonen and her hosting career.

Leonel kept her cool and instead of engaging the client, chose to school her about the usual fees for wedding hosts. She ended the message thread by apologizing for not having taken the offer.

Posting the thread on her Facebook wall, Leonel expressed her disappointment saying, “We invest for our skills, plus pagod sa pagdadala ng weddings and our efforts to doll up and dress up. ‘Di naman ako after sa TF lang pero sana makita yung value namin as events host. ‘Di naman po ako basta pinahawak lang ng mic then naging host na.”

In a private message, Leonen told NoliSoli that she didn’t expect her post to garner such attention. To date, the post has thirteen thousand reactions, more than five hundred comments, and shared over four thousand times.

Leonen said this is not the first time she encountered such clients, in fact, it happens quite often that she already has a standard reply to this kind of requests.

“If nakikita ko na naman na talagang short sa budget, I accept pro bono or free hosting basta sagot yung transpo ko and malapit lang or for a close friend and relatives,” Leonen said.

“But if I foresee naman na gusto lang talagang makalibre, I politely turn them down.”


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Photos courtesy of Unsplash

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TAGS: bride Jameson Blake wedding wedding host