It is almost the end of the month and you receive a text or whatsapp message from a friend you haven’t had chat with in a minute. He or she is rarely available like your phone providers help line but on this particular day you get an awesome greeting. It is almost the end of the month ;).
They ask about work, your girlfriend, your pet and your family on that particular day.
Like, “Awww, I heard your dog is having a puppy.”
Or the one to really verify if you’re the one they are supposed to be texting.
“Arisei madhiri? Zvirikubhadhara here?” – “how are your deals, are they paying off?”
You will probably say yes to this, if you don’t want to look like the person who works for peanuts, after-all this question may also be asked by a “competitor” who’s checking if they are ahead of you (which is another story).
You already know they usually do not text, call or visit unless they need your help. Isn’t it easy to tell what they want? By the way it is almost the end of the month ;).
They happened to walk into town and saw that queue at CABS that exclaims “PAY CHECK SEASON!” (use Jim Carey voice). You already know, they are going to ask for some money right? Apparently one of their “madhiri” didn’t “fire,” and only you can rescue them. In fact they are expecting a lump sum of money by the end of the week but they just need your money today because they must quiet the landlord or pay something for the kid… or <insert something that would make you the evil guy if you didn’t give them that money>. The promise is that you will have it by next week.
It is really hard for you to say no, you know that very few will honour the promise and return that money. It has happened so many times to you (unless you’re the one doing it). There are 2 types of people that could be reading this; those who do not honour debts and those who are owed (yet honour theirs). There are 3 options for you in this case.
- 1. Honestly say you have no capacity to help, you’re sorry.
- 2. Lie that you do not have the money.
- 3. Give them.
If you choose the first 2, you’re safe if you go for 3 “der are many tings involved” (use Naija comedian accent). Firstly consider it as charity, do not expect it back in the time frame they promise. That money is no longer part of your budget. If you include it in your current budget, you will either run out of transport money to go to work or run out of electricity from you cashpower gadget. Guess who will be having electricity at their house? Did I mention, paying you back is not in their next month budget either? You will juice your air-time to ask for your money and they will soon start evading you and acting as if you’re a nag?
The, “taking it as charity,” option works; less stress for you. These guys use debt to cover another debt, they may give you the money in fractions or later (if you’re lucky). They mostly will return it to a person who is persistent and is now threatening to take measures (like extracting their teeth without use of local anaesthetic perhaps). You being the nice person you are, become a good candidate for a soft loan application. The creative ones get small amounts from a chain of ten or 12 people. For example if the guy asked for $5 from each of his 10 friends, automatically most would actually say ,”you don’t have to give it back,” and most would not go on all year asking for that money. A few individuals would burn-out over $8 in airtime to get that $5 back (this type usually also doen’t give money back if you notice #smh)
I am not asking you to leave your friends and relatives in desperate situations at the end of the month. I mean some of these people actually send you messages unrelated to asking for favours throughout the year and if they happen to be in a bit of crisis, it is your responsibility as a true friend to help them as much as they may help you in other areas… perhaps even emotionally, with relationship advice, company and good humour. Every one of those things holds value beyond the money they ask for.
My post is talking about that selfish contact (notice I didn’t say friend) who only remembers you whenever they need your help with money or votes for some model or rapper contest. So next time one of those people asks you for a loan tell them you have “zero interest”. Till then be nice to all your friends throughout the year and do not be one of the people I’m talking about. One more thing, this little piece talks about this whole blog post in a capsule.
When It Rains – by Mcpotar
They come for help in their times of need,
They tell sad stories cry and plead,
Touched by their stories you intercede,
You offer them help with your very last seed,
They say they’ll give it back then plant the tree,
In their mind they know they took it for free,
So the tree goes and they spend the leaves on a spree,
Balling and splurging to majestic degrees,
Forgetting their debts and any person they owe,
They are broke once again before you know,
They tore the umbrella when it rains it pours,
They ask again but I turned to snow.