I decided that along my adventure that I would promote people I admire Other authors, artisan bakers, fairtrade vanilla, organic chocolate from sustainable sources and local British food. I am a firm believer that you go through life just once and along your way you can share and encourage others.
Good people, kind people, hard working talented generous and passionate people - my journey is shared. I delight in lovely products and people.
So full of enthusiasm and courage of my conviction I selected a few people to ask to sponsor some key ingredients. This was it. I was going to speak to a chap was being promoted as a seriously ethical fabulous British bloke. I held my breath and dialled the number. The phone rang. This in itself was an adventure,he’d been on TV and was rather famous!
It was him .. how amazing ! I explained that I was full of admiration, That I used his products already and I'd just handed in my notice to follow my dream to write a recipe book and would he consider sending me some samples that I could use to develop some of the recipes. .... There was a stony science.
“… so what you are telling me is that you are actually an unemployed housewife writing a few recipes and you want me to send you some free stuff?”
I am nervous now. Gosh this wasn’t going very well at all. “ Well .. actually I am writing a recipe book and I was hoping you might consider sponsoring this ingredient. I’d only need a few samples and an acknowledged support and I think it might be great PR for you.” I am stuttering a little, but I brave it. My skin in prickling and I want him to say something to undo this uneasy feeling.
I go on.
“I could promote you on twitter and my blog and by using your product people will see your product though me using them in my recipes.”
Now he is practically shouting. His response punctuated with F’s
I don’t need to give you or anyone my product. Not to you or all the other 100’s people who are after free stuff. I mean who are you exactly? Let me tell you. You are no one. You are not even published. I have my own recipe books.. so why would I want you to use my products exactly ? If you want my products they go the supermarket and buy them. I’ve got more important things to do that talk to people after free stuff like you. Click.
Slap. It felt like a slap, hard right across my face. I am red. Heat in my face. It is worse as it was so unexpected this verbal slap from a scornful angry aggressive man. My eyes welled up. I am looking the phone as though it would change what I heard. I will not cry. I will not cry I will not. My tears ignored me and rolled down my cheeks anyway.
So this is how people would now to see me? An unemployed housewife writing a few recipes wanting free stuff? I feel humiliated.
I saw this person yesterday and waited until there was no one about so I could speak to him. I told him quietly and calmly that his response to me a year ago was not only unkind, but that it is completely unnecessary to be so rude to people. I am this person who phoned you. It is me who you were rude to and reduced to tears. Perhaps, I thought, it would dawn on him this voice at then end of the phone that he belittled was a person. A real person, me, with feelings. Perhaps he will say it was all a bad day and he didn't mean those harsh words.
Oh he said .. so you’ve come to gloat then was his response. He is not quite as aggressive in real life as he was on the phone, but there are people around to temper him.
No no no. This was simply not what I meant at all. I just meant that there are nicer ways to say we don’t do samples or sponsorship right now. I meant for him to see. I am not anonymous or indeed a desperate nobody after a freebie. I am simply not the type of person who feels the need to rub in a person’s bad decisions. He can't see me because he is an angry man. My kindness is invisible because nobody has been kind to him. It then dawned on me. He is unloved. Poor man. Poor sad man. No wonder he is angry and hurtful. I suddenly felt sorry for him. What a terrible thing. His life is not really delicious at all. Where is his joy? Where is his love? Where is the laughter, kindness and delight in his life? Poor chap.
What a bitter way to see the world.