Welcome to Friday with Friends! Today we are going to discuss The One With The Baby on The Bus. There are two main plot lines in this episode; the funniest of which is the one where Ross leaves Ben with Chandler and Joey….
…But, the one I want to focus on is the one where Pheebs is ousted at Central Perk by a professional singer/guitarist.
Phoebe: Hey Rach, wanna hear the new song I’m thinkin’ of singing this afternoon? I wrote it this morning in the shower.
Phoebe: (singing) I’m in the shower and I’m writing a song. Stop me if you’ve heard it. My skin is soapy, and my hair is wet, and Tegrin spelled backward is Nirget.
Pheebs is excited about her latest composition which, to be honest, is bad but fits with her other works. Rachel, being a good friend, listens and is supportive. But then Rachel gets called to the side by her boss, Terry.
Terry: F.Y.I.. I’ve decided to pay a professional musician to play in here on Sunday afternoons. Her name is Stephanie… something. She’s supposed to be very good.
Rachel: But what about Phoebe?
Terry: Rachel, it’s not that your friend is bad, it’s that she’s so bad, she makes me want to put my finger through my eye into my brain and swirl it around.
Rachel is then given the task of telling Phoebe she’s been replaced. Pheebs doesn’t take it very well, but is grateful for her friend.
Phoebe: Yeah, ok. You probably did everything you could.
Rachel: Ok, you know what, lemme, let me just see what else I can do. (She goes over to Terry.) All right, look, look. Why don’t you just let her go on after Stephanie whatever-her-name-is. I mean, you won’t even be here. You don’t pay her. It’s not gonna cost you anything.
Pheebs’s confidence in Rachel going to bat for her leads Rachel to go to bat for her. Lesson 1: Our friends aren’t always going to do what we expect them to do right away, but if we show we believe in them as a friend they will usually step up to the plate. Hey, no one is perfect. Not us or our friends. Sometimes we need a little hint to realize what the good-friend thing to do is.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. ~ Hebrews 10:24 NLT
Rachel gets Pheebs her gig again, but Pheebs is not happy about it. Stephanie is going to get paid, but Pheebs is still expected to perform for free. Her pride blinds her eyes to the blessing she’s received.
Phoebe: Well, I’m not gonna be the only one who’s not getting paid.
Rachel: Well, but Pheebs…
Phoebe: No, huh uh, I’m sorry, no. No, I’m not some like sloppy second, charity band. You know what, there are thousands of places in this city where people would be happy to pay to hear me play.
Later at Perk, Rachel introduces Stephanie and stays for part of her performance. Pheebs is clearly visible through the window playing to passing pedestrians, some of whom drop change in her guitar case. Part way through the song, as Pheebs stops to count her riches, Rachel ducks out of the Perk to bring Pheebs a coffee.
Rachel: Whoa, look at you, you did pretty well.
Phoebe: Eight dollars and 27 cents. But not really, ’cause I put in the first two, just to, you know, get the ball rolling, and to make myself feel better.
Rachel: Do you?
Phoebe: No. This whole like playing-for-money thing is so not good for me. You know, I don’t know, when I sang “Su-Su-Suicide,” I got a dollar seventy-five. But then, “Smelly Cat,” I got 25 cents and a condom. So you know, now I just feel really bad for Smelly Cat.
Rachel: Well, you know, honey, I don’t think everybody gets Smelly Cat. You know, I mean, if all you’ve ever actually had are healthy pets, then, whoosh! (Waves her hand over her head.)
Phoebe: It’s not even that. I used to do my songs because it made me happy, but now it’s like, it’s just all about the money.
Rachel: Well, people missed you in there. And in fact, there was actually a request for “Smelly Cat.”
Phoebe: Really? From who?
Rachel: Well, from me. And I know it’s not your big money song, but it’s my favorite.
Through her stand against Terry, Pheebs learns a valuable lesson. She may never be a “professional,” but she does love to make music. Forcing herself into a paid professional status ruined the fun of making new songs and performing them.
One thing I’ve learned in my life and pursuit of writing success is that my writing (or whatever work) can’t just be about the money. If it is, it won’t be fun for long. I’ve written way more for free that I’ve ever written for actual dollars and cents. But I love what I do because it’s not about the money (though making an income is important), it is about the joy I get at writing these posts, the Book, and stories of my own. Do I hope one day that I’ll be able to do this and make a living at it? Of course. But I’m not going to stop writing or turn my nose up at where I am allowed to “perform” now just because I’m not getting paid very much. It’s not about the money (trust me, or I would have quit by now), it’s about so much more. For me, that so much more is a calling I feel I was given (or led to) by God. I love God. I can’t give up on Him or on the gift of a purpose he’s blessed me with.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. ~ Colossians 3:23 NLT
This verse has turned not only the struggles of writing but all the side-jobs I do into more than just working for money. My jobs have become my missions to help people. Whatever we do can’t just be about the money, it has to be about something more. For me and my house, that something is the Lord.
But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:15 NLT
**Transcript from: uncutfriendsepisodes.tripod.com