Thursday, April 15, 2010

The "no" experiment: I said no!

I haven't had an opportunity to say no to a favor asked to me this month... until last night. But honestly, when I said no, I wasn't thinking about the "no" experiment I am doing. I was just thinking about how much I didn't want to do it and just felt unwilling to make that sacrifice.

Our phone rang just before 10 pm, which is no big deal when Joe works the late shift, but it is very frustrating and annoying when he has to get up around 3:30 am to go to work. He'd been sleeping for about an hour, and I was just starting to fall asleep when the phone rang. It woke him up and he was about to answer it when I told him to give it to me.

I answered the phone and it was someone who knows Joe better than me (we've only talked a couple times very briefly) but talks to me like we're best buds anyway. He asked for "two favors," one of which was to have Joe call him when he got home from work. I told him Joe was home and asked if he wanted to talk to him. He said he did but after he talked to me. Then he basically gave the phone to his sister, someone I don't know at all. Before she started talking to me, she asked me for a favor. I didn't agree. I asked instead, "What's up?" She started telling me about a job she just started and wanted to set up a demonstration of a product she is trying to sell. She said I didn't have to buy anything, but I turned her down for the demonstration. She tried to push it still, but I said no again and she finally said, "I understand" and hung up. So I have no idea what her brother ever wanted to say to Joe.

I don't like the social pressure of buying things from friends. It's like there's some unwritten rule stating, "If you are my friend and you really like me and want to see me succeed professionally, you will help me do so by buying what I'm selling." Even if I only had to give up an hour or so of my time to listen to a sales pitch to help someone get practice or feedback or an opportunity to sell me something, I'm buying something by just agreeing to that, because it's costing my time.

So, I didn't allow myself to feel guilty for saying no, but I can't help but wonder if it would've been harder if I would have been friends with the woman or man who asked for the favor. I was mad about them calling so late, and I felt as though they were trying to take advantage of an established relationship he has with my husband for their financial gain. If I ever work in a sales position, I will let my friends know what I'm selling, but I will never PUSH a product or service on them. I know how much it sucks when someone tries to do that to me!


Elizabeth Larson said...

How weird for someone to call that late at night and have someone you dont even know ask a favor of you! that is totally crazy and you should NOT feel bad about it at all. Good for you! I would have said no too!
As far as having parties go, I totally understand what you are saying. If I hosted a party for all my friends who I know sell stuff, I would have a party every weekend and never have any other life. besides, I'm with you, I hate asking people to buy stuff from a party or feel pressure. It's even hard for me with my own business to host things- I never want to pressure anyone or having someone buy something out of obligation because they came.

Good luck with the no experiment!

Jahn said...

I never answer the phone that late at night. Problem solved.

The Leithead Family said...

lame. and lame. I try to not call people after 9pm, and I don't like party sales. Yes, I used to do them, but not well. :D 'Cause I don't pressure friends to support my kitchen gear habit.