Will You Work For Free? Will You Pay Me?

Will You Work For Free? Will You Pay Me?

“Mr. Jones, you’ve always been a hero to me.”

” A hero, or a God?”

“I don’t know the difference.”

“Would you work for me for nothing? For the free meals?”

Yes.  Absolutely.  If I was learning, Yes, I would.”

“Would you pay me?”


“How much would you pay to work for me? Would you pay me £100 per week?  £200?  £300?

I’m trying to make a point.  Your résumé is great.  This lamb is fantastic, but you lack arrogance.  And to be in my kitchen, you have to defend yourself.”


“No. You mean, Fuck You.”

“Yeah.  Fuck you.”

From the very entertaining film, Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper as an iconic ex-Michelin chef.   He’s looking to hire a kitchen brigade for his new venture.

They need an attitude.  A sense of self-worth.  Arrogance, even.  To handle the pressure of a well-oiled but frantic Michelin kitchen.

That sense of self-worth is sadly lacking in some estate agencies.

Desperate, needy or worse.  Complacent.


“Our standard fee is 1.25% for sole agency.  Because we have ready buyers, I can offer you 1.0% today.”

We were looking for something lower?”

And, at that point,  a great number of estate agents immediately capitulate on their fee.


It could, as Oren Klaff says in his brilliant book, Pitch Anything, be about status.

“Status plays an important role….You don’t earn status by being polite, by obeying the established power rituals, or by engaging in friendly small talk before the meeting starts.

What these behaviours might earn you is a reputation for being ‘nice’. They do nothing for your social position – except reduce it.”

A nice estate agent?  One that immediately reduces their fee, on first request? The last thing that any vendor needs.

They “lack arrogance”, as Bradley Cooper demands.

It’s often a prerequisite of the very highest standards.

And if that ‘arrogance’ offends, as a vendor, find another agency.

One that can be bossed.  One desperate for your instruction.

Just don’t expect the best.

” You lack arrogance and to be in my kitchen, you have to defend yourself.” 

An amusing aside.  It happens to the best of us.

A LinkedIn message from one of my many estate agency connections.

Seems he read my blog posts; found some a little confusing. But did notice a ‘tremendous’ amount of punctuation and grammatical errors.  Suggested I proof read, before posting in future.

A twist of the knife to my exposed, soft under-belly.

Since I have a pedantic loathing of such matters.

A hastily scribbled reply to this ‘well-meaning’ estate agent.

Followed by an imploring message to that doyen of copy and proof reading:  Stuart Walton of www.getprocopy.com

“Can you help?”

When what I should have said to the estate agent (had I the arrogance) was:  Fuck You!

And for my troubles, the Jeremy Corbyn acolyte that is Stuart Walton responded thus:

“Get a grip, Chris.  I am embarrassed.  LOL.”

A few days earlier than April 1st. The early bird always catches the worm.

But a wake-up call, if ever, to practice what I preach.

“You have to defend yourself”.

Thanks, as always, for reading:)






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