I work in the line of work where people will ask me to do stuff for them for free. I am hesitant to do this for several reasons.
1, It's my leisure time, and I want to spend it the way I want to spend it.
2. If I called upon these people to do stuff for me, they'd charge me the going rate.
3. That which has no cost is usually perceived to have no value.
4. I work for you for free, you don't appreciate it, but I'm seen to be a soft touch, and you'll hit me up for more freebies down the road. It never ends.
5. I saw my father work his ass off for the family every day, and then spend many weekends and nights doing pro bono work for non-immediate family members and alleged friends, who never reciprocated by doing free things for him. Not even once.
6. There can be a legal consequence. If I do something for you, for free or not; and it is buggy or flawed in some way, then I can be on the hook for that error.
There are other reasons, but you get the idea. Why should I work for free if I don't want to do it, for whatever reason? I am university educated. I had to shell out a lot of money to pay for my degree and work friggin' hard to earn it. I have had to work hard at jobs ever since. Nobody gave what little I have to me. I had to go out and work for it. Why, again, should I turn around and "dash off" a little system for you?
In Hollywood, there are lots of wanna be's who think they can break in to movies or tv (or whatever the medium is) by exploiting those who have already made it. These non-professionals are a scourge.
But wanna be's are in every line of work, from mine to carpentry to plumbing to pizza delivery.
How this guy handled the man who hit him up for free work is a classic, and I know you'll get a kick out of it and see the lesson in it as well. The man denies he did the hitting up, but the lesson for all of us remains. Don't work for free. Nothing good can come from it. No good deed goes unpunished.
Thanks once again to Mark Evanier's excellent blog newsfromme.com!