Originally Posted by txcupcake
Wow... I guess I'm in the minority. I always try to help people when asked. I've been PMed on CC about techniques and recipes, and I am always more than happy to lend a hand in what ever capacity I can. I even started a cake club in my area so that local cake decorators (and whoever else that wants to join!) can learn more about baking and decorating.
I can't even count the number of times I've read about people here on CC emailing Marina Sousa/Elisa Strauss/Mary Maher/Bronwen Weber/etc. asking them for advice and the "how tos" of a particular cake. Hello!
Like someone said a page or so back, just because you give someone instructions doesn't mean they can do anything with them. Baking and decorating take a certain level of skill and talent. Yo-Yo Ma can give me all the free cello lessons in the world, but that doesn't mean I'll ever play like him.
What goes around comes around. At least that's what my momma always taught me.
There's a little difference between telling someone on CC how to do something and giving instructions to someone who emails you and says, "I'd love to have that cake for my daughter's birthday, but my budget for the cake is $20 and I know you would charge me about $200, so could you please tell me how to make it." In the time it would take to type out instructions to tell a total novice how to bake, level, ice and decorate the cake, along with instructions on supports and recipes for icing and fondant, and a list of equipment they would need, someone running a business could get a lot of real work done.
If I call up a mechanic and say, "My car's air conditioning is broke but I can't afford to pay you to fix it, will you tell me how to fix it myself?" he's going to say no because it would probably take him an hour to tell me, and he could make $50 in that hour doing real work. If I called up a plumber and said, "My sink is clogged but I can't afford you. Can you tell me how to fix it?" he's going to say no too. And nobody would even blame them for saying no or think it was mean or unreasonable. After all, they had to learn those skills and those skills are how they support themselves and their families. Can I learn how to fix my air conditioner or unclog the drain myself? Sure I can. Am I going to learn it for free from my friendly local professionals? No. I'll have to read everything I can find on the internet, maybe get a book from the library, maybe go to Auto Zone or Home Depot and ask the guys there, etc...