Nothing really makes me angrier than so called friends who remember about you only when they need something. They just wait to get free ride from you – because what’s a point to pay, if they can get it for free instead?
It’s nice to be nice when you need something
Typical conversation looks like:
– Oh hi, we haven’t talked for a while, how are you? How’s your life? Still working same place? We should catch up one day.
Ekhm, stop here. Firstly, we haven’t spoken for a while, usually couple of months or even longer, and suddenly you need to know the story of my life. At least the recent one. Secondly, when I tried to get in touch with you – just because – I was ignored.
– Oh, did you try to call me? I must have been busy, you know, with stuff.
Yeah, spare me that. But hey, don’t think I’m a bad guy. I tend to believe in peoples’ good will. Actually, your intentions might be really genuine (honest) so let’s talk.
– Hello, all good thanks for asking. I’ve been here and there, done this and that etc. What’s your story?
Now, here comes the most anticipated part of the discussion. The essence of the intentions. The truthful intentions where selflessness disappears in the thin air…
– Ah you know, my computer been slow recently, maybe you could have a look?
Oh yeah, now I got you! I have literally nothing better to do than providing charity-based services. Quite often without any kind of thank you word.
I believe you can guess my answer easily.
I honestly don’t understand why people don’t respect others’ time and skills. It’s like going to a shop and asking for a free bottle of single malt. They’ve got plenty of them, one given free shouldn’t make any difference. But for some reason, we know that we cannot do it.
I learnt, that if you don’t respect yourself, nobody else will. And in this context, I mean value your expertise. There must be a reason why so called friend came to you rather than seek help at the local PC World. Don’t be stupid, charge them as much as you would charge anyone else. No mercy at this opportunity.
It’s all about time
Out of all the things I can offer to somebody, I value my time the most. It’s quite cliché – when it’s gone, it’s gone, I cannot get my time back, get younger or whatever. I can travel, develop my skills, have fun or earn money, and therefore I don’t see a reason why I should be wasting it because someone is greedy. Not free ride this time, not with me. Sorry. I am sure there are others out there who will either be cheaper, or more naive than me.
There are only few people who can have my time:
- My family, cause they are my family
- My friends who I spend time with. I help you, you help me. It works both ways.
- Pretty ladies, just because.
I hope you will understand and/or learn from my words. I really value my time, and in certain areas I spent years in mastering some topics. Sometimes it is better to relax and don’t anything, rather than let others to exploit myself for at the end of the day – nothing. Not a thank you word.
Why nothing? Because usually there’s nothing new to learn. Because you don’t earn anything. And the most annoying thing – you don’t gain a new friend. As soon as the job is done, and you close the door behind – your new so-called-friend just forgets you exist. They will be again busy with stuff, have more interesting things to do. Until one day, when they will need your knowledge and expertise again.
Providing free service you loose twice:
Firstly, as I said before, you literally gain nothing. Secondly, you loose your time. Thirdly – you make them think that this is normal, to get a free service, so they will keep trying to find another naive specialist. Therefore, you don’t gain anything, as well as others.
Oh, and coming back to the conversation it ended like:
Me: ‘Yes of course, but it will cost you £xxx for that kind of service.’
So-called-friend: ‘Really? That’s great, but look my lunch break is finished and need to go back to work. I will speak to you later.’
That “later” never came. Actually, it never comes.
PS. Imagine that you have provided someone with a free service, ’cause you’re a good lad. Imagine that this wasn’t good enough, or got broken or something like that. Therefore your new friend calls you again, and again and again. It’s like never ending story. Therefore if you are not in any of the above categories feel excluded from my service. End of.