IT'S 3PM on a Friday afternoon and the phone rings. "We'd like you to contribute to a discussion tomorrow night. You'll need to go to Broadcasting House and you'll be on air for 15 minutes," says the enthusiastic member of BBC Radio 5Live's production team. "No problem," I reply, "but only for NUJ rates." "Your contribution is not covered by that agreement - is £50 ok?"
So, after the show, I go to www.londonfreelance.org and, lo and behold an expert guest (me) should be paid £125 for a 6-minute contribution - plus a £20 fee if it is past 8pm: total £145, shortfall £95.
I call John Toner at the Freelance Office. He contacts them.
It's 5pm on a Tuesday afternoon. "Hi Andrew, this Radio 5Live. We've adjusted your payment. A cheque for £145 is on its way to you."
I put the phone down and wonder if they'll use me again.