Friday, November 14, 2008

Selfishness...and what would YOU do about it?

I was talking to a friend of mine tonight who has this sister that is a representative of a company that does in-home parties. So this friend's sister did this in-home party for my friend a few weeks ago. Anyway, I went to the party and decided that since my friend doesn't have a lot of money to be spending on luxury items and consequently has so little of the type of merchandise being sold at said party, I decided to put all of my own savings ($260+) towards merchandise from this friend's party so that my friend could get more stuff. I'll admit that I was having selfish thoughts beforehand about placing my own order through this friend's sister outside the party so that I could get the hostess benefits myself, but knew that was selfish and changed my mind. I'm no angel and I'm not trying to sound like one. I'm just saying that selfishness is not a good thing and it certainly doesn't help anyone--especially not the one being selfish. And it feels good to know that instead of helping myself, I actually helped someone else that has a greater need than I. :)

So anyway, this friend's party total was $50 away from her being able to get 2 free hostess items rather than just one, but was already at a level that qualified for an additional free item for hosting a show that met a certain sales amount. Her sister presented her with the following offer that went something like this:
"If I buy $50 worth of stuff so that you can reach the next hostess level, can I have the additional free item that is only available to hostesses with a $350 show? (which this friend already qualified for even before her sister pitched in the $50) You probably wouldn't like any of the items they have and there is one that I really want." Well, being the sweet and somewhat intimidated little sister that she is, my friend didn't know what to say and didn't feel like standing up for herself in this situation because her own sister is asking her and expecting her to say, "Oh sure, you can have the free item" like it's no loss for my friend, who, like I said before, is kind of in short supply as it is when it comes to these specific items. My poor friend unfortunately gave in to this request although she did NOT want to and so her sister took advantage of my friend and got a free item for herself. Now, if this sister was in financial hardship and had a short supply of these types of items (which by the way, she is NOT) I could maybe sympathize with the sister. But in reality, I think greed reared it's ugly head and my poor friend (no pun intended) is now at a loss. My friend later learned which free items she could have picked from (her sister did not make these items available to her to decide before she gave up her opportunity to get a free item) and found that some of them were actually really cute and that she would have liked to have had one of them. She could have had a very cute $32 item for FREE if her sister had not been thinking of herself in this situation. I just have to say that greed and selfishness can do a lot of damage to a person's soul, but they are also very damaging when they are used in a way that creates a disadvantage for someone else. If I had more guts, I would call the in-home party company and report this friend's sister's activity, as I think she displayed very poor business ethics. She would not have requested such a sacrifice of another hostess/customer. Taking advantage of family relationships is just plain wrong and I'm sorry to voice that opinion, but I feel that I must. Enough said.

P.S. By the way, the free item that the sister picked for herself is probably the ugliest I've seen. Too bad--because my friend could have had something really cute! :(


LisAway said...

Sheesh. I would be so frustrated. I'm not sure if I would have been able to keep from saying something to her about it. On one hand, it sort of makes sense, if her sister doesn't spend the extra fifty bucks she doesn't get a freebie anyway, so if her sister DOES spend that fifty bucks, she should get it herself. It is selfish, though, as you say. But I'm so selfish that I think my main problem would be (if I were you) that I had just spent so much of my own money, and the person really benefiting from it is this lady's sister. That would be hard.

Thanks for this reminder. I know I need to work on my selfishness. It's true that it is rarely if ever worth it to be selfish. (but sometimes so hard to stop yourself!)

Carlynn said...

All I can say is that REALLY SUCKS!

I feel bad for you and your friend. I have learned that you HAVE TO speak up for yourself or you WILL get trampled on. I just hope it is a learning experience for your friend and that she never allows her sister to take advantage of her again.

I sure hope you got some awesome stuff for your savings....besides just negative emotions.

Also if I were to ever do something like this to better put me in my place fast. :) Sometimes us no brainers (me) do really stupid things without even thinking about it only to realize it later, if ever.

Anne said...

That's a tough one. So, it's her sister who's the rep. and only offers to buy something when she gets something for free? That IS wrong. I don't think I've ever heard of a sales rep. trying to get in on the hostess bargains! Doesn't she already get a discount, anway?

As far as the greed thing goes, I've learned that what goes around comes around. One time I was wanting to get my baby bjorn back from a friend I had lent it to for 2 weeks before Seth was born for her to try out. After I had Seth she kept forgetting to give it to me. I was going to make a fuss but decided not make to a big deal of it and to let her return it when she would. The next week I found a brand new city black bjorn at the thrift store for $3 ( the other one was an older model I got at a thrift store). It was such a direct blessing. I really felt like God was trying to teach me something in that moment.