A message was passed to me on a stick-it note yesterday.
Some old fogey by the name of 'Bobby' wanted someone to write a profile about his group of bird lovers.
"The government will evict us from our present spot. We wanted a new place and someone to take pictures and write a profile about.
"We are willing to pay."
Now, that kinda struck me as interesting. The place this fogey had mentioned - is in Kajang which is quite a distance away.
I agreed to help. But had some after thougts about this whole thing. First, he mentioned about paying in lieu of services.
Today, I rang him up and gave him the low-down. I told him that he wanted three things: photographs, a record in writing and correspondence with the authority.
I can do it and offered him my professional service. He gave me details on how to meet him in Kajang.
Before he could finish with his sentence, I laid down the word. I told him that he expects a lot from a stranger and asked what kind of budget he had.
"We are senior citizens, we can't give much and its up to you."
I was firm and told him that I called him not as a reporter, but a hired gun. I will do the job professionally.
The old man was adamant. He wanted things done and from the vibes, it sounded like he wanted to be jerked off for a song.
I told him that for a job like such, its gonna cost him $5K or more. And that was the turning point.
He was in a rush to terminate our conversation and from the sound of it, this guy is running for his life with his tail tucked between his legs.
I don't think I will hear from this guy again despite his: "I will call you" response.
Why did I slap him with such a high price tag? Its simple. I don't want to get ripped off by some old people who use symphaty as a leverage.
Being sceptical and jaded, I can feel that even if I went to Kajang and did everything, this guy is going to stiff me and hand me a $50 note. So, fuck it!