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Author Topic: Need Immediate Advice!  (Read 976 times)
LooneyBallooney
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« on: July 23, 2012, 06:01:28 PM »

Please take a moment to read this and leave any advice or opinions you might have. 
I'm new to balloon twisting (about 18 months, professionally) and it is my main source of income.  I happen to meet a facepainter online a few months ago.  I was called about a job, couldn't do it, suggested my new facepainter friend, "Sue", and the company hired her and told me that she was fantastic - so much so that the same company called me again and asked for us both once more.  She couldn't make the second event, but I did.  Technically we've never worked together but nothing seemed suspicious about her.  We're friends via Facebook and that's the extent of it.

Anyhow- here's my problem. I have a long running gig at a local pizza place and for the month of July I am scheduled there every Tuesday (as opposed to every other Tuesday normally).  I just realized that I have to be out of town on the last Tuesday of the month.  I've never cancelled on them, but wanted to offer an alternative.  So I texted 'Sue' with the details of the gig, my rate, and the average amount of tips I receive.  She asked for the name of the location and I gave it to her.  She agreed and said she was happy I thought of her and that she was excited to get work in that part of town.  The restaurant also prints out flyers for me and passes them out to customers the week before I arrive, they asked for her to send a flyer over so they could do the same for her.  A few moments ago I received a call from the manager of the restaurant and he tells me he just received a call from the facepainters husband stating that her rate is $30 more than what I receive.  The manager was a little miffed and honestly I was mortified.  I've called 'Sue' and she wouldn't answer.  I left a message but she hasn't called.  I don't know what to do at this point.  Should I just cancel the gig?  There aren't many other types of artists in this area (balloon twister or facepainter) and I have NEVER experienced anything like this.  I'm still new and naive and simply in shock!
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LooneyBallooney
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 09:34:06 PM »

Maybe I'm out of line here, but it's midnight and I just received this email from 'Sue'... 
*****
Hey, I just got in, and figured it was way too late to call.
I was with my Mom today, who has Alzheimer's, at doctor's appointments.
I talked to my husband, Bill, and there was a mixup with who he was supposed to call (new contacts). But, I was also mixed up because I thought you meant $xx per hour, not $xx total.
Facepainters overhead is SO much that I really won't be making anything at all, considering gas and supplies. My labor will be almost free.
When you do parties, what's your rate? Mine's $ an hour, and I'm undercutting *everyone,* the usual is at least $ but can go as high as $! The reason I ask, is because $ an hour might be a good investment if I book parties out of it, but no one's going to want to book me if they can book a balloon wrangler for $/hr.
Is the traffic high at this restaurant? What's the flow?
Since you already set this up, and it was a communication snafu, there's no way I'm going to leave you hanging. I'll still do it, you can smooth your contact's ruffled feathers and tell him it was just a misunderstanding. If you would rather us call back, let me know.
But yeah, that's why Bill was so surprised--$/hour is what we'd charge a charity to just cover supplies and nothing else.
One pot of the paint I use is anywhere from 8.00-24.00 depending on the maker and type (metallic, regular, split cakes) and I have easily got 1500bucks in materials with me when I do a gig, always. That's why I'm sure to be insured--I can't afford not to.
***
The rate that I gave her is an EXTREMELY fair rate for restaurant work in this area (North of Cincinnati).  It's NOT what I would charge to do a birthday party, but I wouldn't be accepting tips for a birthday party. I had begun to respond to the email, but became so angry with the 'balloon wrangler' comment and then the idea that she assumes balloons are FREE... well, let's just say that I was as angry and confused as Evander Holyfield when Mike Tyson bit his ear off.  Yeah, that bad...  So I'm going to be an adult- breathe - and wait until the morning or tomorrow evening to respond.   
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dougy
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 02:10:37 PM »

I myself would have them call the manager back and explain the miscommunication, and I would call them myself as well. I would also no longer recommend the face painter again after this stunt. She may say it was a mistake but it sounds to me like she was trying to get more out of what she already had. That is just my honest opinion on the matter. I don't like people that charge a price just because they can. I met another professional that told me that when they are able to see the person that is trying to hire them they base there price on appearance if they look like they got money he will increase the price because they can pay it. That is shady in my opinion and I definately don't do shady.
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Dougy's Twisting
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 10:13:42 AM »

The face painter should not being viewing the restaurant as a regular gig, nor should she expect her pricing to be met.  She is doing it as a favor for you, so that in the future, you two will have a good working relationship, referring gigs and helping each other out of a jam.  There is an artist here where I live who covered my weekly gig, he agreed, knowing that the rate was 30% less than what he would charge a restaurant.  We are constantly sending business each other's way.

I recommend that if anything happens like this is the future, make sure you send a detailed email.  Also, maybe sit down with the face painter and talk about how you two can help each other by promoting one another etc.
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funfacesforu
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 08:55:10 PM »

I think it costs more to do balloons than to face paint.  When I face paint and I usually do full face designs, I don't go thru much paint at all.  I would charge more to do balloons than to face paint.
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LooneyBallooney
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 09:03:31 PM »

Well I thought I should go ahead and update this post...  I spoke with the facepainter (by phone) on Tuesday night.  She explained that it was a misunderstanding and that her husband was calling clients to confirm their bookings.  She also said that she was only joking when she called me a balloon wrangler.  I explained that she didn't know me well enough to make a joke like that and that I didn't find it the least bit funny.  We talked it out and clearly we do not see eye to eye on the situation.  At this time I have decided that I will not need her services, I thanked her for the conversation, wished her the best of luck in the future and promptly removed her from my cell phone and my facebook account.  Good riddance.  First tough lesson learned I suppose. Sad

I actually did find someone to come into the restaurant and fill in for me (with glitter tattoos) on Tuesday.  The owner of the restaurant also called me and asked if I would come in to host Kids Night EVERY Tuesday, as opposed to every other Tuesday.  So Wooo Hooo for that! Smiley
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Nat
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 09:05:09 PM »

Glad to hear things worked out to say the least.  Sorry you went through that whole mess...
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Nathaniel
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