Don’t Talk To Me About Beads
Sometimes, I have the feeling that people are manipulating me. Sometimes I don’t see it coming and even when I do, I’m not always sure how to deal with the situation.
I run an online bead shop, although I don’t make any jewellery myself. I have recently been pressured into making up a bead necklace free of charge for someone I’ve never met. Here’s how it happened:
I received a text from my friend Bea asking if I had ‘anything to thread beads on’ and I had no choice but to say ‘yes’ because anything else would have been a lie.
A further text explained that an acquaintance of hers had bought the beads online thinking that he was buying a ready made necklace, but they were actually strung on a nylon temporary string. Although I was not specifically asked to make the necklace up for him, this was clearly implied by her words ‘he will pay you for it’.
I had no idea how to deal with this. I have absolutely no desire to make a necklace for a complete stranger, but I was put in a position where I couldn’t say no for the following reasons
- I was never actually asked if I wanted to make up a necklace in the first place, so I never had the opportunity to say ‘no’
- I do not operate a bead-stringing service. It is impossible to give a price for a service that I do not provide.
- The cost of the components is negligible, so it would seem petty to charge him for these.
- I have never discussed or agreed a price for bead stringing with this man, so I can’t just do the work and then demand payment afterwards.
I have therefore decided to do the job free of charge, as it is the only way that I can think of to make this uncomfortable situation go away.
My friend will gain kudos from this transaction. Her social standing will increase because she has done a favour for someone. Her reputation will go up, as she has demonstrated that she has useful contacts. I however, will get nothing.
I have been manipulated yet again…