Thursday, December 1, 2011

Give an inch and be pushed a mile

I may have to re-think this whole niceness thing.

And by re-think it, I mean it may have to be earned rather than freely given.

Here's why.

On Tuesday, I had volunteered for an actual shift at the Y in the child care room. The difference (to me) in offering to volunteer versus volunteer for a shift is simple. If I'm working an actual shift, I need to go in at a certain time and stay until a certain time. When I just volunteer, I show up and stay if they need me and leave when they don't.

I was supposed to work 4 - 8, but a friend of mine wanted to go to Zumba at a different Y that night. I told her that I'd try to get someone to take over that last hour for me, but I couldn't guarantee it.

Because I really, really wanted to go to Zumba as well, I offered a co-worker some money to work for me. I've heard her talking about how much she needs money lately and I thought it would be a win-win situation. She'd earn some extra money, I'd have my shift covered, and I'd get to go to Zumba. I guess in that way it was a win-win-win.

She wanted to think about it, which is understandable and agreed to do it at the last minute. I went to call my friend to tell her we were clear to Zumba, only to find out she had texted me earlier to cancel. She constantly cancels on me, so I wasn't surprised.

So then I wavered a bit about whether or not to go. My co-worker in all honesty obviously wanted the money but didn't really want to work that extra hour. By this point it was about 10 after 7, and I needed to book it if I was going to make it, so I asked her to make a final decision. She said she'd do it.

I left and booked it to Zumba.

The next morning, I went in to workout and to give her the money I owed her. The manager asked me about it because she heard me offer money to complete my shift the night before and I told her that yes, I'd offered the money and that my offer had been accepted. Her comment? I shouldn't feel obligated to pay her because she got paid for staying anyway.

Perhaps, but I offered and I was going to follow through. The co-worker heard this conversation and said she didn't want the money because we were friends and she didn't feel right about it.  I asked if she was sure and offered again. Her reply? She didn't want to take my money and she didn't want to get in trouble.

Alrighty then. Works for me.

Today, I went to the Y to workout, as usual. The childcare center was busy, so I helped out for a bit before I worked out. When I finished my workout, Sara was helping decorate the Christmas tree in the lobby so we hung around for a little while longer.

When I got in my car, I checked my phone since I rarely take it into the Y with me. I had a voicemail and a text from the co-worker.

She asked me for the money and wanted me to put in her bank account for her because she'd written a check that was going to bounce if I didn't.



I took umbrage over this.

1) I don't want to know anything about her bank account, especially the account number. That's just foolish and asking for trouble.
2) I showed up, money in hand, and offered it to her. Twice. She said no. Twice. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
3) I am not, now or ever, going to run errands for her. I have plenty of my own stuff that's not getting done because of my volunteer commitments right now.
4) On general principle? Girrrrrrrl, please! Do not EVEN try to make me feel guilty because that's just going to backfire. I may be too nice sometimes, but I'm generally not too stupid.
5) Don't write checks your account can't cover and especially don't tell me you only have $124 in your bank account, agree to work for me for a specific amount of money, then refuse the money (twice!!), then call and ask for the money and sing me a sad little tune about the possibility of a bounced check if I don't go put money in your account for you. I pay way more attention than you obviously think I do.

Hello. Good morning and welcome to the Judgemental Show. I'll be your host today. Whee!

I went home and got Sara sent off to pre-K. During which, I thought and thought and thought about this. Then I called Robert and expressed my irritation over this whole ordeal. I do realize that I had quite the hand in creating this, so I'm just as much to blame as anyone else. Lesson learned.

So here's what I decided.  I needed to go to the post office and do a few other things so I could easily swing by and leave the money for her at the Y. After all, I did offer her the money and was absolutely prepared to follow through. However, I'd be subtracting the $5 she borrowed from the amount I offered her because I'm pretty doggone sure I'll never get it back otherwise. And yes, she did ask for the whole amount. I'd then text her and let her know where (and how much) the money was and everything else was up to her.

I dropped off the money at the Y, went back to my car to text her, saw that she had phoned and left me another message. Since I hadn't listened to the first one yet, I listened to both of them.

To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman..."Big mistake. Big. Huge." listening to the messages, that's when I realized she wasn't asking me to go to the bank for her, she was EXPECTING it. By 4pm.

As if.

I wisely tried to busy myself because I was really, really, really irritated.  After I ran a few errands, I texted her letting her know that I left her the money minus the five she already borrowed at the Y and that I wasn't comfortable having her bank account number, I wish she had just accepted the money the day before, and that I didn't have time to go to the bank for her today.

And that was as nice as I could manage to be about it.

She texted back a few minutes later, but there's no need to go there. This post is long enough already.

And when she calls me next week and asks me to work for her? I'll be politely saying no.

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