Saturday, September 5, 2009

Feeling Used

I have been debating whether or not to touch this subject, because I don't want to hurt any feelings. But it has really been nagging at me all week. I don't know how to just come out and say it, so let me illustrate with a little story.

A few years ago, my husband and I ran into an old high school friend. We were really excited to see him because it had been like 8 years and kids later and thought it would be great to reconnect. So we exchanged phone numbers and promised to hook up and chat.

The next day he calls and wants to stop by and see our place and hang out. I thought it sounded a little fishy, and I wondered why he didn't want to bring his family, but I agreed, he was an old friend.

When he got to our apartment, he was dressed in a suit and tie and had a briefcase. When I saw him I knew right off, he was using our friendship to try to sell us something. It had happened before to us, and it breaks my heart every time it does. Sure enough, he was selling insurance and wanted us to by or join his company. Ben pretty much drop kicked him out the door... we don't like feeling used.

This happens all the time. Even more so with the economy the way it is, and everyone trying to make an extra buck. People like to play on our weaknesses and exploit our problems to make money. I get ofers about weight loss pills, magic medicine that will make Sammy normal (this one really angers me -- I don't like them to bring my child into it), insurances, and makeup and facial care.

Don't get me wrong, I like to do product reviews, that is totally different, and I don't mind people suggesting products to me... I don't like feeling used. I don't like feeling cornered and pressured into buying things... especially to keep a friendship! I won't. I think that is why I like the Avon lady. She gives you a book and leaves, no pressure. Know what I mean?

Needless to say, our old high school friend never called again. He didn't want our friendship, he wanted our money. Shame on him. And shame on others who do the same thing. People want to be treated like they matter, like they are worth being friends without money involved.

Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on this!


Jill said...

I think one of the worst cases of this is when family pressures other family into "getting into the business." Some multi-level marketing thing. I've seen this happen with people in my family. It's not pretty. I know a friend this happened to and she and her sister don't speak now because my friend refused to join her sister's "business." So sad.

I hope I've never made you feel used. :) But then again, I've never come to your house and tried to get you to buy magic "juice" that cures all or cleaner that "gets out every stain." However, if I have used you, let me know..... I want to still be friends. :)

Practically Perfect... said...

Yeah, no one likes feeling used. I've had old friends from HS try to get me to buy into makeup selling with them, or just buy their products. I'll look, but if I'm interested, then I will take the initiative to contact them about it - I don't need weekly emails asking me or promoting their product.

I've also had family who have briefly tried this (one who was selling vitamins). Thankfully, most of my family is pretty level-headed and don't get involved with that sort of stuff, but it's still awkward when it does happen. Especially when you know the economy is bad and you want to help people out (particularly family)!

DaveandRuth said...

We have a couple that lived in our neighborhood we thought we had befriended. However they always went to "meetings" and asked us to watch their kids. They started a new thing and wanted us to join, but I do not want anything to do with something that will suck up our money, especially when we have so little. Even now, they only call for me to watch their kids. They offer to pay, but when their kids come looking like orphans. I will not take their money. If they have money then use to help their kids.

Meagan and John said...

I don't know, i use to hit people up when i sold mary kay but I never ended a relationship because they didn't go along with it, I could care less, what use to bug me though was how my mom was super against me selling Mary Kay yet she was constantly hosting parties for my other sister who sold stamps--but that was a career for my other sister.

what gets me is a month ago i let 2 little boys come to live with us when the state stepped in and started investigating the family, we took the mother's word for it and didn't ever try to contact the state about anything until a week ago when things started feeling weird--mom quit calling and didn't come by, Dad came by a few times and the kids started acting up so much that I couldn't be mom to my son so i called the state to find out if they could send someone to help me with the boys, the lady told me to contact the case worker cause as far as records show mom could have the boys back--it took us days to get into contact with the case worker who told me he told her a week ago that the boys could return home with her, the boyfriend just had to stop staying the night--mom swears she misunderstood and that she wasn't trying to play us, but all in all I told her to pick her boys up by 10 pm and to find them another sitter--John talked to her when she came to pick the boys up at 9:50 pm cause I had already gone to bed

now needless to say, that made me feel a lot more used then when a friend wants me to buy stuff from them and not a stranger--do you think we ever got the groceries she promised us (she was getting food stamps for the boys that lived with us for over a month eating our food)? we spent so much on groceries this month trying to care for her boys that we can't pay our own rent.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that really sucks. I hate door to door salesmen anyway but this really reeks. Shame on him!

Tobi said...

The women in my old ward loved to chat me up, flatter me then invite to their house for a "party." I get to the party only to find out it's a Yankee candle and or a Pampered Chef sell-a-thon. I feel used after what I thought was a genuine offer of friendship turns out to be a just a ruse to gain more moo-la.

Amy said...

Since I have started selling Avon, that is has been one of my number one priorities- make sure that no one feels pressured, and to not "try to get" anyone to buy products. I sell them because I like the products, I think there are so many good deals if someone is looking for good makeup for a good price. But if someone isn't interested, or they have skin care products that work for them, great, glad they found something that works for them. I hope that I have never made anyone feel used,,, I know that I HATE that soooo much when people do it to me. I have had many experience with it... and it just sucks. Anyway, you will never get pressure from me Cat.. and I have not even talked to someone else about selling Avon too.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I completely agree with you. No likes feeling that people want to 'know' them just to get something from it. Thankfully no one has tried to sell me anything (even though I know my sister sells some sort of candle thing, she's never even asked me to buy it).

It's a shame when you feel excited to reconnect with someone and they just let you down.

Catherine said...

Wade is an agent with New York Life, and our friends have been some of his best clients! They trust him, so they're excited he's in this business because they're much more comfortable talking about their finances with him than with a stranger. He is VERY clear on the phone that he would like to meet with them and talk about their financial situation. And if they're just not interested, no big deal, they're still our friends, and still get invited to our annual New Years Party! ;)

In your case, this old friend from HS kind of tricked you guys into meeting with him. And that's just dishonest, which is too bad.

Pam said...

It's hard enough when people you ar currently friends with (or family) try to sell you stuff, but this is just obnoxious. The good thing is it isn't too hard to "show this type of friend the door".

Single Mama NYC said...

This economy is so tough right now; I feel really bad for people who feel the need to do this type of thing to family and friends just to earn a living. It's so sad.