Thursday, January 19, 2012

Taking advantage

So I was sorely tempted to blog tonight about the blackout on wikipedia but then I decided, after reading an email I received that I would pick a different topic instead.

I have a very close friend, family in a way, whom I have asked to help me with some jobs around the house that need a handyman touch. Because he looks at me a lot like an adopted daughter he is not at all comfortable with taking money from me. But I am not talking simple jobs like hanging a picture, or assembling a cupboard (which I can do on my own). I'm talking installing a new kitchen, extending a carport etc. If I were to hire a handy man it would cost me a pretty penny so my integrity will not allow me to simply utilise his relationship to me to get it done for nothing.

It made me think of those people who would take advantage of this sort of predicament if they could. I recently caught up with a very good friend. We went on a road trip in my car because she chose not to hire one for her visit. I didn't mind using my car but I felt a little disappointed at the end of her trip when she didn't even make the offer to fill the car (since we burned through a whole tank). She was very quick to say paying separately for lunch that day but just as quick to say nothing when she sales lady assumed I was paying for both movie tickets a few days later.

I have to admit I felt like my hospitality was taken advantage of. It wasn't about her paying for something or giving me money. It was about making the offer, giving me the chance to say it was not necessary. I just would have appreciated that she thought it appropriate to make the offer, regardless of whether I took her up on it or not.

It seems to me, and I am sure I have been guilty of it, that it is easy to take advantage of people you care about or are close to. I don't really understand why that is but my gut tells me it shouldn't be that way. Perhaps it is just human nature? Perhaps we are all just inherently selfish individuals and that selfishness takes over some times? I don't profess to know but it is something I am going to make an effort to be more aware of.

now to just figure out a compromise so that I don't insult my friend by paying for his services but so that I don't let my own integrity be questioned/diminished by succumbing to his desire not to take payment. How to insist without insisting?!


1 comment:

  1. There's a lot of ways to make things right even if someone insists on not taking money for services rendered (favors done). While they're working casually get into a conversation about tools, subtly find out if there's any tools they'd like to have but don't.

    Prepare lunch/dinner for the everybday they're over helping out. The list really is endless in ways you can show your gratitude without putting them in a position where they feel like they have to take a cash payment when they really don't want to.

    Payment can just as easily be in the form of favors beget favors.