I was commissioned to make a cake for a family friend’s party that I was already invited to.
Client: Our usual bakery’s price went up and they really don’t do novelty cakes. Could you have this cake done by Friday night for the party Saturday?
Me: Sure, no problem! And honestly, we’ve known each other for so long, consider this my gift.
Client: Oh, don’t be silly. Of course we’ll pay you.
It was nice that even as I offered to do it for free, they valued my contribution. The client and I talk all week making changes to the cake. It’s Friday afternoon and I call her to make sure she’s home to drop it off.
Client: Oh! I honestly didn’t think you were going to have it done by tonight. Yeah, I guess you can drop it off.
I dropped it off, and the whole family are impressed and tell me how it’s exactly what they wanted. They paid me, and I left feeling pretty good about the whole thing.
The next day, I went to the party. My cake was sitting unnoticed in a corner while a cake from the “too expensive” bakery sat front and center. It undoubtedly cost 4-5 times what they paid me. The cake I made didn’t even get cut until most of the guests had left.
Is it possible to be paid for something you were willing to do for free, and still feel ripped off?