I was peeved at his suggestion of being substitute for a show tonight. Seriously there's nothing wrong with that, circumstances do happen and people do fall sick.
But first I was asked to sub someone who was taught by me, N and fell out. Then it was the way this person, J, asked. What would you do if you needed help urgently ? You would first ask if the person is free or available to do so first right? But not J. The conversation was :
J : "Hey Suzie! I have a show tomorow night. Some RC thing and really small budget (so scared I charge a lot like that).
Me : "Ah huh."
J: "You know one of those really cheena cheena shows, ah peks and all (wah, sound like getai). So originally I had asked N to do the show (oh well, ok, not my problem). But then ah, N just called to say she is sick la (too bad). Some stomache flu or something (cheh). You know la, people sick what to do right? Cannot force them to do what (excuse me, lao niang here has been sick, sometimes seriously ill and still execute the shows, and many times singing on the pole somemore hor!)
And this point, you would think that J would ask the more important questions like if I was available or how much i would charge if I accept the job. But no,
J : "So, can you sing in ALL chinese a not ah?" (excuse me? I haven't agreed yet, and of course I can sing all Mandarin, I'm but SUZIE WONG)
Me : "Yes I can, but I'm not available"
J : " Huh? Not available? About 9.30pm you know?" (that's a prime time. Even if I'm available, I'd rather stay home to watch the Olympic table tennis semi finals match because you are so arrogant and presumptious and tactless.......)
Anyway, don't get me wrong. I have been a nice Suzie, sub-ing more than once. But I hate it when people put a quatifyer at the beginning like "hey I need your help but I can't pay your rates". You need help, you pay (just like the recent joke circulating, the gahment help you solve traffic congestion, you pay). Again , I have also helped people who sincerely need help & don't have the means to pay (more) and it's all in the tact.
Seriously for J's case, I could have worked with him a different time slot and advised him on how to shuffle the program so that I can still make the show but not necessarily at his "9.30pm slot". I have more than once helped event companies who forgot to place a booking with me and last min told me I'm "on". These companies usually panicked big time and big sister here will come to the rescue and work with them the program, shuffle around my other engagements and in the end deliver all, and all these without charging more.
Anyway just some history between me and N.
N was a close friend (she was like a lil sister) and a student many years ago. She had wanted to perform in gigs like me and I shared with her many tips and opportunities. This sub-ing thing is not new because when I was her mentor, I already "sub" for her a few times, got one time up to a whole month's (Dec) assignments because she simply declared ill and depressed. Honestly after that episode, I alienated myself from her cause I was too tired and she never showed her appreciation. And when she sprang back to action, she (I guess needed the money) and undercut me. Ah well