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Need some input ASAP!

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Need some input ASAP!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Thu May 01, 2014 5:24 am

The current issue:
Email today from a face painter i know let's call her Linda (not her real name). I've sent her a few gigs in the past that i wasn't available for, and I've been back up for her before at a large gig.

So...
face painting gig this weekend little girl's birthday  9-10 kids

She wants to know if I can do it. I'm actually still available at that time, I have something booked at 3:30 so i said sure.

She said great and that she'll send me the details ASAP (3hrs later and still no details *cough*).

I'm guessing I won't be playing backup like last time since it's only 10 kids so it will be my gig. I thought nothing of it until I read the email over again...

Her wording struck me as a little odd.
"I have a face painting booking I need to cover this weekend"

Not "Hey I'm totally booked" or "something came up" or "I can't make this gig so i'm sending it your way".... no it was "need to cover"

What does she mean by that? cover?

I'm wondering about this....  I get the odd impression that unlike what i do for her (referring clients to her when i'm busy) she instead wants this booking to be THROUGH her business, as in... she gets a cut, or I don't get my full rate or like I can't hand out my own business cards kind of deal. Which I am NOT ok with.

Could this be what she means? I should wait for the details I guess then ask more questions.

But what if that is what she means? I think I'm going to have to talk to her about this if that's the case. Because I'm not asking her to 'cover' for me, were i book the gigs and send her. No, when I can't make one, as a service to the client I refer them  to another artist, or entertainer.

But still the word "cover".... what if she booked this gig, got a deposit already and something came up where she would have to cancel? and by 'cover' she wants to not cancel but send me instead?

Well if the shoe was one the other foot, I would inform the client that I couldn't make it, tell them I arranged a replacement and that it was taken care of. In my case my rate is $5 less then hers, again if the shoe was on the other foot I would pass that savings on to the client. Send the deposit over to the new painter and tell the client to pay the total to the replacement artist. That's what I would do.

But heck even if she keeps the $5 as a fee of something fine, but I'm not doing a solo gig for some one else at a lower rate, and not be allowed to hand out my own cards or something foolish. I have my own business and my own company, and I'm not her employee.

Oh gosh... I don't know what to do if this is what she has in mind. Not fair either because I didn't do that to her with the clients i sent her way!

Advice or input anyone?


------------------------------------------------------


The Background:
(don't have to read this part if you don't want to)

I met Linda last year when she moved here from out of town. She's very nice and her work is nice too, so I asked her when we met if she would like to refer clients to each other when one of us is booked or busy. She seemed to like this idea and agreed.

Since then I have sent a number of things her way, though she had not sent me a single thing in over a year. Which was expected as she was new and building her client base, however the first time I got an email from her a few months ago I responded the same day and she said she already gave it to another face painter she knew.  Shocked 
I was none too pleased as she was the only painter in town i sent work to, and I thought she might do the same for me. I wrote her that I was a little disappointed because I did respond the same day to her email and I felt it wasn't right to ask more then one at the same time. She apologized and promised me the next one.

Next time running into her was through an event company she works with. They contacted me late at night asking me to be a last min face painter the next morning at what ever my rate was because they accidentally double booked or something. I responded right away with 'yes' as i happened to be free at that time and it was insanely close to my next gig! I got back a message that was one letter 'k'. So on this i was a bit hesitant... but since it was so close I went. Showed up early, set everything up and was painting for a half an hour when Linda walked in the door! Apparently there was some mix up with the event agency and the 'k' they sent me was not a confirmation. I was furious, but remained professional and understanding. Linda told me repeatedly that I was not officially confirmed with a tone that it was my fault. She wasn't quite or private about it either, given she was flustered from being late, and probably more so after seeing me there already set up, but still. I told her I did get a text from them, but i don't think she heard me.

I had a display board of choices on it that also had a small pic with my company name on it and she told me to take it down immediately since this was not my gig. Not a very necessary quip since I was packing up anyway I thought, oh and by the way you are welcome for showing up last min early in the morning, and covering for you since you were late. *rolls eyes* To her credit when she composed herself she did offer me $50 for my trouble that she would send me later. I thanked her and was on my way. I also took my chairs with me leaving her with some big bulky lounge chairs, as she hadn't brought her own.

Didn't see that $50 until...

There was a party she needed an extra painter for, as time was tight and the client wanted her to do painting balloons AND magic for 20 kids in an hour. (she sent me the $50 in her first email, glad she remembered). The party wasn't my full rate of course, but I agreed to do it as I didn't have anything else that day, and didn't want to appear sour over the last events mix up.

The party went fine, but it was a bit obvious from the start how different our setups were. I had a rolling crafters tote, she had a hand held tool box, my setup was clean and neat, while she had her setup on a stained towel. I had also had brighter colors, rainbow cakes, stencils and jewels where she did not... and soon the girls she had painted were lining up for me to add jewels to them too. I felt a little awkward...
She then did a cute magic show and balloon creations while i painted the numbered children who were left. All it all it worked great, until the end  when a parent asked me for a business card. I referred her to Linda as I was just helping that day. Another mom then came up and asked for my card, and I said again "oh this is Linda's gig, I'm just helping out today." but she said "yes but I want your card" she said more softly. SUPER awkward... I handed her a card... I should have insisted 'sorry but this is her gig' but i was totally on the spot! Muscle memory kind of took over.... I figured maybe one wouldn't hurt as I was taking a pretty big pay cut to help her out.
Wrong. You bet she called me on it, confronted me almost as soon as the mom walked away to tell me to only hand out her cards at her gig. Agreed and fair enough, I smiled and continued to pack up. I don't know if she heard what the mom said to me, but i wasn't going to embarrass her by telling her, that's for sure. Her gig her cards is fair, but I DON'T work for her, legally as a private contractor I can hand out my own cards, but wasn't going to just to be nice about everything. That was the last time I saw her, until now.
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Forest-Fairy

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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by eviedejesus on Thu May 01, 2014 7:40 am

I think if this were any different than before, she would have specified that (and that you’re worried for nothing) BUT if it is not, and you’re not interested in representing her, then just say NO. I personally would do it if it were my full rate.
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by anniel on Thu May 01, 2014 1:20 pm

I think I would ask what the deal on it is, can she please explain/send a contract or whatever?
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by leapinglizards on Thu May 01, 2014 1:52 pm

IF (Big if) you have any interest in maintaining a referral /networking relationship with this person.... I would ask her to lunch, and sit down and discuss the how's and what not's of how you both want to handle it.

That could be "Hey, when I send you gigs, I just give them to you no commission or strings- so, if you want to do the same, cool and we can share our overflow." Or maybe "Hey, I enjoy our networking, and the last couple times there have been some confusions, so I'd like us to just agree how we want to refer to each other so we don't lose our friendship over a misunderstanding. So, from now on.... should we just share gigs if we get them, or do you prefer to hire each other as a sub contractor? If so, let's make a contract."

I'm kind of like you... if I get a call where I need 5 additional entertainers, I will quote a price and hire the others- sometimes I get a fee sometimes not. BUT other than that, my preference is- simply refer to someone that does work I am familiar with and trust and let them book the gig.

In this instance it sounds to me like it's already not a positive relationship for you, so, maybe better to just skip it in the future.

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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Thu May 01, 2014 6:15 pm

UPDATE:

ok so I've been out of the house all day prepping for another gig i needed a new event tent for. Came home to email from 'Linda' where she says great and she'll introduce me to the client via email.

So after giving me all the details in a 3 way email with the client, which i confirmed with the client. And telling me she'll be paying my rate at the party, Linda then sends me a private one line email saying:

"And if you can say you are with -her business name- that would be great!"

O.O

I'm pretty ticked to be honest. I sent her overflow work for a year before she finally sent me a solo gig. I never asked her to represent me. Mainly because we do different designs, I feel my quality is better, and my set up is MUCH cleaner and hygienic, so i don't want her representing me; but also because it wouldn't be fair to have her go to a gig, get her rate, work her way then ask her to represent me. Because she doesn't work for me!

Honestly I'm a bit fuming at her nerve for even asking.

*sigh*

Also I now find out that Linda wants me there for 2hrs not 1hr, but at my 1hr rate.

I'm getting all this after we confirmed of course. She did not give me proper details and her emails were a bit misleading. *face desk* She said at 1pm and 10 kids, so my brain goes 1 hr for that many kids, but she didn't give me and end time, and only now reveals it to me.

So what now, I already confirmed with the client, and we made the arrangement. I know I need to talk with her and have a chat about this and how we deal with overflow gigs like this or 'helper' gigs. But there is no time before this gig to sit down in person and chat.

Should I call her? or should I do the gig, do my thing represent myself and connect with her after?

I'm afraid if I call her she might attempt to cancel the gig and call a different friend. That would make us both look bad i think.

What do I do?
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by rthling on Thu May 01, 2014 7:27 pm

Time to be straight. You are very articulate and you have valid complaints.
Tell her exactly what you need from her and what you are willing to do for her in return.
Let her know that you would be happy to "cover" this event for her, but that she didn't make the details clear and you can't do two hours for that rate.
She may cancel and never talk to you again. But would that really be a problem, considering the fact that she is not reciprocating what you are throwing her way?
After this is sorted, if you are still on friendly terms, you definitely need to take Dean's advice and have a sit-down with her.
Expectations should be very clear between the both of you. It can be a mutually beneficial relationship, if you are both on the same page.
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by eviedejesus on Thu May 01, 2014 9:28 pm

I would write her and state that since she mentioned it was for 10 kids, you will be leaving after the 10 kids are painted and that you will not be working as her employee, as that was never discussed ahead of time or agreed to. This lady is trying to take advantage of you and you’re letting her - time to set her straight.
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by eviedejesus on Thu May 01, 2014 9:29 pm

and if she gives the gig to someone else. so be it.
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Thu May 01, 2014 9:51 pm

I think it's past the point where she can give it to someone else anyway, I'm already in contact with the client and everything is confirmed. She asked me to represent her AFTER all was said and done. It would make her look REALLY bad to pull out now as I've already confirmed with the client.

eviedejesus you are right she mentioned 10 kids and the start time but not the end time. So I will be done after 10 kids are painted. I like the way you put it

"will not be working as her employee, as that was never discussed ahead of time or agreed to"

This is the wording I have been searching for. Thank you!
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by eviedejesus on Thu May 01, 2014 10:07 pm

I wouldn’t get too into detail about everything. I think sometimes it’s better to just be bold and to the point.

Thank you for the referral, it is greatly appreciated, but there appears to be a misunderstanding. I agreed to do this gig under my company name, not as a representative of your company. Furthermore, Since my quote was for 10 children, I will be leaving after the 10 children are painted and have no intention of staying for two full hours. (My rate for two hours is $___, not $_____.) If you are not in agreement with these terms (and prefer to have someone else do the gig), please let me know within the next few hours, Otherwise I will be there on time and work the gig as I agreed to. Sincerely...
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Mon May 05, 2014 8:03 pm

So I emailed her this

ME wrote:I'm sorry -Linda- I wouldn't be comfortable with that.
I already sent my invoice to the client as my company and made the arrangements for the day.
I think we should meet some time this week to discuss our working relationship so we better understand how we want to do things in the future, as I still feel it can be mutually beneficial to both of us.
Let me know what would be a good time for you to meet for coffee or something. Smile

She didn't get back to me until today, so I did the booking yesterday and everything went well.

She responded today with this

LINDA wrote:I wasn't expecting that. I represent several other companies with ease, as do other artists for me. I really believe in cooperation over competition and feel the client relations that are crafted in the development of a booking are so important to honour. I think a convo would definitely be best. Unfortunately I'm working a ton right now between all my jobs so it will have to be via phone. Would be great to do so though because I would like to continue working with you and want to be sure we're both feeling a mutual sense of trust and clarity down the road.
Let me know if you have a moment tonight to connect.
Thanks

I told her she can call me tonight. I'm planning on putting her on speaker phone so both my partner and I can talk with her.

What on earth do I say to this woman?
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by eviedejesus on Mon May 05, 2014 10:39 pm

Just be honest and tell her what you are, and are not comfortable with. Your initial letter to her was perfect.
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Mon May 05, 2014 11:04 pm

So we had a talk on the phone. It went well I think. We told her how we do things, and she did admit she was not upfront about it and saying it was an after thought. But she also said that she's wanting to lean into being more of an entertainment company that sub contracts artists..... though this was totally news to us.

We told her we wanted to work like we did in the beginning when we referred our overflow to each other (actually she didn't really ever refer me that i know of or had turn into a booking).

She said she's passed my name on to lots of people but i highly doubt that. When ever I reffered some one to her I sent her an email saying so "Hey, i got a call today, lady wanted 1 hour booking on -date- sent her your way, let me know if it turns into anything. Smile " I also tell the client to please say i reffered her. Bit 'Linda' has never done the same for me that i know of. In a year I have not had a single referral email, phone call, or anything turn into an actual gig. Just her word that she's been passing my name on.

Any way we came out on good terms. But I get the feeling she's not going to contact me about gigs anymore if she has other artists willing to represent her. So I don't think I'll be referring her any more.
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

Post by Creabella on Tue May 06, 2014 3:50 am

I'd say follow your guts....
If it doesn't feel right to put in effort FOR her, when you don't see anything coming back in return, just leave it.....

Don't waste your time on it, if it doesn't feel right....
Do what makes You happy!
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Re: Need some input ASAP!

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