Wednesday, August 5, 2009

When you've been taken advantage of . . .

Disclaimer: By posting this, I am not doing this. Let's just get that straight.

For some time now, my little boy heart has had the desire to fix social issues. No, not fix, just get rid of social issues. But now I no longer have to search, ponder, and pray for the solutions! I only have to hop on to the "intergoogleweb" (as penned by this fellow blogger) and log onto my new favorite website I don't want to come right out and say exactly what I wanted to get rid of. So, let's play a little guessing game. I'll give you snippets of what I read and you can then guess what the topic is.

  • No matter how generous you are or how magnanimous you want to be, everything you have has its limits.
  • Send a clear message that helping him or her out means that both of you have to make some sacrifices.
  • A friend in need is a friend in deed, and it's good to help out a friend when he or she is down and out.
  • They strain not only your own budget, but put an unneeded strain on your friendship. Like many things about friendship, generosity should not be abused. You too have needs and wants that need to be fulfilled. They take up a lot of your time, and ultimately test your patience.
And finally:
  • Whether it's a free lunch or a sleepover that extends from two weeks into forever, they can irritate even the most generous and level-headed friends. It's OK to be helpful and kind, but not when your generosity is abused and taken for granted. With these tips, you can send even the most annoying and persistent of these social junkies back to their own homes, where they belong.
So, did you guess it? If you guessed "freeloaders", you were correct. Like gophers in your garden or ants at your pic nic, it is difficult to feel okay about being taken advantage of.

So, how do you get rid of them (because isn't that the whole point of this website)? The suggestions are many but I like these few:
  • Cut the phone line when you're leaving the house. You can also contact your phone service provider for a security key or activation code, or call divert options.
  • Lock up your TV sets, radios, video game consoles, computers, and other electronic gadgets in a cabinet or a drawer. That way, the freeloader will have absolutely nothing to do and will only end up bored. (Also prevents theft, a common characteristics of freeloaders.)
  • Turn off the electricity when you're leaving the house. The freeloader will then be pressured to leave because there's no air conditioning or electric light.
  • Sometimes there's no other way to get rid of a freeloader but to pack up the duffel bags, and turn him or her away. It may seem cruel, but it's still your house. Besides, you've been more than generous, and you've been doing a good job at being a good friend. Turning your friend out may ruin your friendship, but you have to deal with the situation as rational adults who have lives of your own. (But if only one of you is a rational adult, the other may be called mean names or labeled a {edited for 'g rated audiences'}).
And if you STILL have a problem there may be one last way to deal with it. Issue an official edict: The Forced Exodus of said freeloader. The Holy Order of the Gilded Beaver may be of assistance.