But not even nicely.
I met a woman at a press conference sometime last year, the editor of some business publication.
She phones me up at my office a few weeks ago to ask me whether I could write an article for her on my industry.
She put me on the spot immediately, as my boss can hear this conversation 7 metres away. I told her to email me the particulars and I would take a look. Actually, I was just being polite: using information I have gleaned working for my magazine and writing for another would actually get me fired one time.
She sends me a brief. I pretend for a moment I am a freelancer, and imagine I am in another industry. Food and beverage, 6 000 words. That's a lot of money if I charged her the going rate per word (R2.00/$.33/£.16...actually it's not that much when you convert)
But she didn't even speak of cash. I would basically be risking my career to 'do her a huge favour because she is so swamped.'
Jezeez people have a nerve! So I left it. I get another call this morning.
"Are you working on my story?"
Actually, no I'm not. If you're swamped, then I am drwoning in paperwork bitch. You're poaching me and for no reward?
So I politely emailed her back and told her to get stuffed. Well not really. I can't back that up. I gave her the number of our competitor who quite frankly, has the journalistic flair of a moose on steroids. Her magazine is riddled in spelling mistakes, copied press releases (who does that?) and syndicated articles.
So either way, if she does do an article for this woman, which I highly doubt, it will probably be crap.
Moral: If you're going to poach me, or lead me astray, pay me. At least make the temptation worthwhile.