Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I woke up this morning before Sage started his kapaalabhaati on me. Thats rare these days. I usually wait till I get mauled and only then reluctantly wake up... cursing the man snoring next to me... I think my first instinct is to want to kick him in the shins...but I just let out a very bad cuss word to begin my pre dawn morning and get on with it. Not so today! I woke up with a very vivid visual in my head... I was in a room, a very well decorated room with beautiful large windows and light and breeze flowing in... billowy curtains and lots of pretty things around.

I jump off the bed, and twirl around... into the arms of a handsome man... we hug, he whispers into my ears, I blush and we hug some more....

then we break into a song and dance! I woke up with a start... and realised I was dreaming that I was in a movie, it was kareena with imran khan (i like the guy, judge me!)

And with that my morning came crashing into reality and I just woke up and got on with the day.... the first task is to check my emails and messages on FB.

The last couple of weeks have been super busy for me with reference to my cooking classes. I have been teaching small groups of people to cook and bake for almost 6 years now... yet the attention I and the classes are getting all thanks to fb has meant that I get more specimens than before.

Sample these emails/messages

  • I want to set up a chocolate business. Help with where I can buy the required equipment, what will be the requirements and how to do marketing
Basically wants me to sort out a business plan, put it in place and run the gig. Wow.... and no 'thank you' nothing!
  • I want to attend your class, give details
I teach an assortment of 6 classes, err which one are you referring to? and if you do not leave an email id for me to respond to, how am I supposed to get in touch? surely you do not expect me to put all the information on my FB wall?
  • Why can't you have classes in 'proper' city
Because this is a home based business. And from where I stand, this is 'proper' city. If you really want to learn, travelling 10 kilometers like several others have in the last 6 odd years should not be a problem. Also, if it is really an issue, by all means find a class closer to you.

  • Calls and messages from people in the same line of work, enquiring to check price ranges. 
Err, if you are stupid enough not to protect the information on your social network profile, do not assume I am idiotic enough not to check. I wrote back to several of them asking why they would be interested in attending a rudimentary class when they are already experts in the said area, needless to say, didn't hear back from them.
  • I am a large corporate, we operate in a very niche market, we have very high profile clientèle. Would you be available to develop recipes and do a recipe demo for xx number of people? We are looking for someone with exactly your profile and expertise.
Thank you for getting in touch and yes I would be interested and here is my effort estimate and this is the expected compensation. 

"what? you will be on our flyer and your blog will become famous and that is very expensive, etc, etc, etc"

If you had a strict budget in mind, it would have been easier to just state that upfront and get on with not wasting my time. And the email I sent with the scope of work, well stop using it to mail others if you have half a brain and any spec of self respect. Bloggers are not sitting twiddling their thumbs. They put in a lot of hard work to develop a skill and nurture their talent. Do not expect it to come for free or peanuts. And hello, what exposure will you give me that I already do not have. I am quite well known without your help thank you very much. 
  • Enquiry from someone who intends to attend my baking class
"I want to know what oven you are using. I plan to buy one, please let me know the make, mechanism, capacity, price and energy consumption of the same"

Err, these are questions I will answer in the class.

"ok in that case, I am still thinking about it and will get in touch, I am actually out of station on the next class schedule"

Huh? You didn't know your travel plans 12 hours ago when you sent in the email?

I get calls, texts and emails from past students. Sometime to update me with what they are doing, sometimes to ask a question. The most annoying is when they just seem entitled to my time or information. an abrupt message asking where they can buy a particular item, or help them source packaging material or why their cookies didn't turn out right when they followed my recipe to the T. I really don't know sometimes how to answer, especially the last question, because every oven behaves differently. And it takes time and practice to understand it. 

Or a student who will sign up for a basic chocolate making class and ask questions or want recipes which are taught in the advanced class. How do I tell them that information is not accessible?

I am mostly amused and only mildly irritated with people who do this. But when you encounter this on a daily basis, it helps build patience and character. I was chatting with another blogger friend and sending her screen shots of emails and messages. She told me to tell them to %uck off. I said, if I really took your advice, I would be out of business very soon!

I try and answer all questions patiently. Often, people want a lot of assurance and information even before they have committed to attending a class, but I understand that and am happy to help where I can. I find it a very selfish tho, when people simply try to mooch off information. Narrating long drawn stories when all you want to find out is a price point. 

I spent a large part of this morning wondering if  I should write this at all. But I had to get it off my mind, so I did... now to hit the publish button!