I bet with my boss’s lousy car that as you’re reading this, a conversation like this is happening somewhere in Singapore.
Here’s a brief context: Ms Wan SueKhay is a university student in Ipoh, a city in Malaysia that looks like Singapore in the 90s, whereby every Chinese speaks Cantonese so fluently, they can converse with your grandparents like a boss. She is also a freelance graphic designer, and seeing that she actually studies Graphic Design in university, we can say that she’s a professional.
So one fine day, a long-time-no-see-who-the-heck-are-you friend messaged her on WhatsApp all of a sudden. Here’s the conversation that Ms Wan has posted in Facebook, which has so far garnered well over 2.6K Shares:
From first screen, we can presume that they know each other through NS. In Malaysia, select citizens would have to do a three-month NS, but the objective is very different: in Singapore, it’s to protect the country but in Malaysia, it’s primarily to build unity for the conscripts.
We’ll call the “friend” Ms Freeloader instead because it sounds apt.
So, Ms Freeloader started the conversation in an innocuous manner: polite greeting, and even a “just want ask how are you now” (if I were to interpret that, I’ll see that as “you got insurance liao?”)
Ms Freeloader then cut to the chase and told Ms Wan her intention: She needed a logo. Best of all, she asked Ms Wan how much she charges.
Pretty sure Ms Wan, at exactly 8:49 p.m. then, has this expression:
But not for long.
Ms Wan’s happiness lasted for less than two minutes as Ms Freeloader wanted it free.
It didn’t end there. Ms Freeloader must be a skilled negotiator as she continued, focusing on the benefits that Ms Wan would get after doing the free job.
And when Ms Wan rejected her?
“You’re not my friend if you talk money”
No wonder our boss is never our friend.
The reason why this has gone viral is simple: it’s very relatable. Even for organizations like Goody Feed whereby it’s very clear that we have office rental, staff payroll and well, even this app (which, by the way, cost a lot of money despite its simplicity hor), there are still people offering to pay with exposure instead of cash.
Our boss has said that if we accept payment in exposure, he’ll pay us in exposure as well.
So you can imagine how many “do for free lah” offers freelancers often receive.
Now you know what Singaporeans (and Malaysians, in this case) are talking about today.
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