Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How NOT To Run A Business...or How to Get on The Angry Redheaded Lawyer's Shit List

Well, at least in the doghouse. Not redeeming yourself pretty much means you'll be on the shit list. Being on my shit list means "Pray that I never hit hard times or you're going to need a 24 hour bodyguard & even that might not be enough."

I don't put people on my shit list or in my doghouse for no reason. You don't get there by giving me a weird look or doing something small. No, you have to do something extreme, something that would make a rational person dislike you. Sincere apologies will also get you out of there.

However, I encountered more instances of appalling behavior that makes me wonder how these businesses & people are going to stay alive with good reputations.

First off, a warning about an entertainment scam artist. I saw the following Craig's List ad last week during my husband's vacation:

Prominent Management and artist development company is seeking interns (Midtown)
Date: 2010-07-09, 3:44PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Prominent Management and artist development company is seeking interns to work closely with the Senior CEO on exciting Fashion,TV and Music accounts. 

The ideal candidate will have a strong desire to work in the Entertainment Business as well as a basic understanding of the public relations industry. 

S/he will be equally passionate about assisting in media pitching and planning major events. A positive, can-do attitude is a must, as well as strong writing ability. Previous internship experience is a plus. Must have reliable transportation and be able to work flexible hours 

Candidates without resumes will not be considered. Only those who fit our requirements will be contacted. Send inquiries to with a PHONE number so you can be contacted if you dont leave a number we cant call you back. THIS IS A 4 MONTH NON-PAID INTERNSHIP AFTER YOUR 4TH MONTH IS UP YOU WILL START BEING PAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO IF YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE PAID NOW AND YOU DONT NEED TO LEARN ANYTHING THEN YOU SHOULD NOT CONTACT US WE DO NOT WANT TO WASTE YOUR TIME THIS IS NOT FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!! 

Thank you for your interest! 
Lisa Rosenburg

* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 1834297844

Here's what I wrote in response to this ad, as someone who knows plenty of industry people & knows this isn't the normal sort of ad you'd see:

Sounds like you know nothing about business or the down economy. Furthermore, you apparently wish to insult people who have references & the people who work or worked w/them.

If you want the benefit of someone's prior experience, you need to PAY them. Otherwise, just take the newbies that you can get & pay for the training.

I'm also willing to bet that you're just trying to extract free labor for 3 months + make someone pay for their transportation to be at your beck & call only to say after the 4th month that you're broke or make up some excuse not to pay someone.

Do you work for a man named Bennie Barnes/Bennie Balbonie/Rico Barnes??? That's what this ad sounds like, especially when you get all demanding about a freaking INTERNSHIP. You should be running a law firm w/your unrealistic expectations & demands.

Rule #1 in good business: You NEVER pass up the opportunity to speak to someone w/experience. I have gotten many a gig & contact this way. Every legitimate business person I've met appreciates dealing w/people who have experience.

Not talking to them is the exact same thing as turning down an actor with years of experience to work with a total newbie. Or rejecting SAG actors for projects that are exempt from SAG coverage to work with a non-union actor without considering either person's resume. There's a common premise that union actors are more serious about acting + have more experience that non-union actors. Whether that's true or not is a different story.

But as a general life principle, experience trumps newbie, agreed?

So this is what I get in response to my rationally written, polite e-mail:


The only other person I knew of who wrote e-mail in this way was my former scam artist boss whom I asked about in my e-mail. I noted the all caps, bad spelling & cursing; all signs of a scam artist.

Furthermore, how would this "jason williams" speak to one of his artists or their people? Try speaking like that to a music exec or one of their interns sometime & see where it gets you. I had to post this little exchange on Craig's List to warn potential interns that some people in this business have respect for their interns & employees + this screams "scam artist." Some do not behave like ghetto trash, which is what I consider this person to be based on that little exchange. Talking like that to total strangers is a good way to get your head blown off or become disfigured. For all this schmuck knows, I'm a raging lunatic who's been following him for months & just waiting to hire someone to kill him.

Rule #2: Use professional writing when you speak to anyone on a business matter. Otherwise, your scam artistry is not just showing but screaming at people. Legitimate business professionals do not curse at total strangers or send out messages like that one.

If this guy is legit, he will never last.

Aside from this little exchange, I'm also pretty pissed off at an attorney I contacted to see about interest in product placement. An attorney named Lev Ekster started a business called Cupcake Stop that just opened a location in Chelsea. Since I'm working on a project where I'd like to see about product placement but don't have $ to pay anyone for it, I wanted to see about a fellow attorney who is one of my LinkedIn contacts. Since I work in this business, I like to try helping people in my boat & who might appreciate more exposure.

So I decide to send an inquiry about it, figuring it couldn't hurt me to at least ask. He sets up a meeting w/me a few days later. I explain that I won't be available the next week b/c my husband will be out of work & I like spending time with him. Mentioned not having tried the product yet but that I'd explain why I contacted him in this meeting. Well, the meeting never happened. I was dressed in business attire, which I normally don't since no one's paying me the $ for it. I had to stop by the court house that day to investigate my former employer & make sure I couldn't continue working there.

Apparently, he got interest from the Food Network in getting a reality series about his shop. I read about the story through the ABA's website. Since I could care less about anyone's celebrity status & sort of fight that struggle myself, I'm the last person you'd call a Johnny Come Lately. If there's anyone who doesn't need to ride someone's coattails or won't bother groveling to you, it's me.

I've tried contacting this guy to no avail. His employee even got my cell number & business cards; I should have demanded his # & did ask for it as a fairness since I don't normally give mine out + was kind of forced to in that situation. I sent an e-mail + Facebook message yesterday asking point blank if he was still interested in meeting with me. I appreciate the free cupcakes I got but responsible business people follow up personally on things. He's yet to do so.

Quite frankly, that has me pissed. Does he think that now that the Food Network contacted him, he can treat me like shit? Better think again. Reality TV doesn't make you a real actor; I also think getting 2 feature films that will be in the marketplace THIS MONTH & my company getting more known before this reality show gets on the air means it might pay to be nice to me. That doesn't even cover other stuff that I do or people I know.

Oh, and being on a national show is not the same as being in an ABA story. MUCH bigger audience, more BS to put up with & unless you've had to do it yourself or had a stalker, you don't have a clue what it's like. I had local celebrity status, a stalker ex + an ex who made me apprehensive after the break-up.

I also know a bit more about this business & it benefits anyone who's not been in it to know someone w/that knowledge. Those people could use others to talk to who don't have an angle or want to ride coattails. Smart people would never want to be famous; they'd want to work behind the scenes.

Rule #3: You miss a meeting, it's your mea culpa. You'd better be doing everything in your power to rectify that situation or you're going to burn bridges.

Rule #4: If you don't want to do something for someone, tell them directly. Don't be a dick job interviewer who never follows up w/an interview candidate. That's something else I've told people off for.

This guy has simply confirmed why I don't give a shit about doing anything for attorneys as a group. If you're a friend or at least someone who has respect for creative types, I'm much nicer but that loyalty I feel to fellow creatives isn't one I share w/fellow attorneys. The ditching doesn't make me nearly as mad as the lack of follow-up.

So for any attorney entrepreneurs who don't already know me & get pissed b/c I dislike them on sight, you have Lev Ekster to thank for that. He's not the first attorney to piss me off but his acts have definitely added to my general dislike & lack of sympathy for attorneys as a whole. If he bothers to redeem himself to me, I'll be completely shocked.

He's also the one who friended me on Facebook after setting up this meeting he never showed up to or personally apologized for ditching but the fact remains: I didn't take shit from people in high school when I worked in retail so why would I do it now?

Honestly, I think that's why attorneys aren't getting sympathy when it comes to the loans & "law school scam". Maybe if some of you were more likable to the general public, they might give a damn. Most of you make me look like Simon the Likable from Get Smart & I definitely have my share of detractors.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    This post was entertaining to read to say the least. Entertainment lawyers lead interesting lives, but it feels like it's not for me.

    Anyway, the reason I am contacting you is I am looking for some information on Bennie Barnes/Bennie Balbonie/Rico Barnes that you mentioned in your reply to the Craigslist ad. I would appreciate any leads.

    My email is

    Thank you in advance,