Dear Potential Collaborator

Dear Potential Collaborator,

I’m sorry, but it’s just not going to work out between us. I appreciate all the time and energy it took for you to copy, paste and send me the same “respectful request” email you sent to everyone else in town, but your public program idea is, well, terrible.

I know it would be the “perfect alignment of our organizations’ missions” and even more pointedly, “a guaranteed, easy way to garner media interest and earned revenue.” But truthfully, if I agree to do this, you would drive my staff absolutely bonkers before we even sign the MOU.

Now don’t get me wrong. Somewhere, in some corner of this giant metropolis, are a few people who would find this thing interesting. I wholly believe that. There is a cadre of hipsters, somewhere, who would actually spend their hard-earned money to come see this “cultural,” poorly conceived, far-too-lengthy imagination mind screw. But it’s just not going to happen in collaboration with me or my staff.

You might ask yourself, “How could you say that? Do you know who I am? Did you not see the critically acclaimed (well, one guy with a blog) ground-breaking event I did three years ago at my cousin’s nail salon? Have you even bothered to read the 12-page artistic statement I attached as a Microsoft Publisher file?” Well, no. It’s definitely a “no” to all of that.


Even if I, my colleagues and the community thought this was a good idea — which, again, we don’t — there’s the whole issue of funding. Specifically, how you want my organization to front all the costs, grant-writing and venue space (an investment, I believe you called it) only to then split all revenue equally. Seems totally legit to me…

And another thing. I know your brother-in-law works with the chairman of my organization’s board and, as such, you may be tempted to ask said board chairman to strong arm us into this collaboration behind my back. However, engendering goodwill that will not. I can’t stop you from doing such a brazenly unfortunate thing, though I will plenty mock you for it with memes on social media after this whole ordeal is over.

So let us recap, if you don’t mind:

  1. This is a bad idea
  2. You want us to do most of the heavy lifting
  3. You’ll probably find some sneaky way to make this thing happen, irrespective of blatant disinterest

In closing, I’m very much looking forward to working with you on this truly transformative partnership. It will be the bane of my existence, and the most effort I put into anything this fiscal year, for the absolute least possible return.


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