Expectations Are Premeditated Resentments

by admin on January 22, 2015

My husband and I were comfortable financially. A dear friend hit hard times and we gave her some money. She did not ask but I knew it was needed. She cried and said we were lifesavers.

My husband lost his job a couple of years after that. We used our savings and credit cards up and just got by. My husband finally got a good job but we were deeply in debt and struggled to make our monthly payments.

My friend came into a large sum of money right at that point and they took a big vacation, and bought many luxury items. She knew we were struggling to make ends meet and while she sympathized, she never once offered to do for us what we had done for her.

We took steps to get our debt cleared up and are once again financially stable but I can hardly look at my friend these days. They live only a couple of blocks from us. We used to have coffee together almost every single day and got together a couple of times a month with our husbands for card nights but I have made enough excuses that she has stopped asking. We do still talk on the phone occasionally.

Do I let her know how hurt I am? 0119-15

The timing of this story submission coincides well with my intention to discuss the topic of expectations we all have in regards to our relationships with other people.   I had recently heard or read an interesting phase which I believe sums up the dangers of having expectations that people owe you something.

“Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

My mother used to say that we are not disappointed because we got too little but that we expected too much.   Oh, how true.   Expectations are unspoken contracts  we place on others and when they fail to live up to the demands of this contract, when our expectations are not met, we feel justified in resenting the other person for failing to live up to the expectations placed on them.

So, dear OP, you gave your friend a gift which had unseen and unknown strings attached to it.  Upon handing your friend money, you promptly placed a contract upon her that she was not aware of and when she failed to honor the terms of your expectations, you resented it.  Expectations are premeditated resentments because the bottom line, the harsh reality, is that people can, do and will let you down.   YOu set your friend up for failure because you assumed she would and should reciprocate in the exact same way should you ever have the same need some day.  In essence, you really didn’t give her a gift, you used her as a bank to store money with the expectation that your friend would return it some day when you needed it.   The problem is, she was not aware that your gift came with these expectations and now you resent her for not knowing the terms of your expectation.

You could talk with your friend to express to her how hurt you feel but what you will do is expose the fact that while she never asked for nor expected any money from you, you most certainly did have expectations that you not only deserved part of her good fortune but when she did not deliver what you felt she owed you, you resented her for not reading your mind. You won’t come out smelling of roses, OP.   I suggest changing your perspective and viewing your infusion of cash as a true gift and needed charity at a time when someone was needy and further, divest yourself of the expectation that this friend, or anyone for the matter, owes you money when you might be in similar circumstances.   You will be a happier person with no expectations that people owe you anything other than gratitude for the gifts you give.


The Missed Party Invoice – Updated

by admin on January 20, 2015

Alex Nash, 5, was invited to a friend’s birthday party at a ski and snowboarding facility, according to the Plymouth Herald.

Alex’s parents responded to the invitation and indicated Alex would attend the party.

Alex’s parents later realized they already had other plans for that day and he did not attend the party. The boy’s father said he did not have contact information for the birthday boy’s mother to let her know Alex had changed his mind and would no longer be attending the party.

Several days later, Alex came home from school with an invoice from the birthday boy’s mother for a $24 “child’s party no show fee.”

So many questions left unanswered.  For starters,  how is it that the parents were able to rsvp to the invitation indicating Alex would be attending the party yet later claim to not have that same contact information to alert her of the changed plans?   And unless the school administration gave Mr. Nash the hostess’ address (something that would have *never* happened in the US), how did he know where she lived to go knock on her door to confront her about the invoice?  It seems to me that the means were there for the Nashes to get in touch with the birthday party hostess but were not utilized until it became necessary to take issue with the invoice.  Bottom line, Mr. Nash, if you rsvp in the affirmative that you or a child of yours will be attending a party, etiquette requires that you honor that rsvp unless you are on your deathbed.   Having replied that Alex would be in attendance at this ski and snowboarding party, you had an obligation to honor that rsvp to the best of your ability which, by the way, means you go the extra mile to inform the hostess ahead of time that you must rescind your rsvp.

However, Ms. Party Hostess, you are not off the hook either.   It appears you planned a birthday party that was quite expensive per guest. Anyone who has extended any kind of hospitality knows, from experience, that guests cannot be relied upon to either honor their rsvps or even bother to rsvp at all.   It’s one of the ubiquitous yet annoying aspects of entertaining these days.  However, as much as guests can annoy their kind hosts and hostesses to the point of aggravation, sending guests formal invoices for failing to show up is a guaranteed, one way, no layovers trip to Etiquette Hell.   What is next? Invoicing guests whose birthday gifts are not sufficiently expensive enough to offset the costs of the party?

The gracious host plans a party he/she can afford with no expectation that guests have any obligation to offset the cost of entertaining.   Emergencies happen and guests who you were expecting to arrive have suddenly bailed due to some unforeseen problem.   Sometimes evil guests bail simply because something better has come up.   If you cannot afford to absorb the cost of an unused meal or entertainment, you have no business planning parties that are clearly out of your league.

The answer is not to invoice the guest but rather strike them from all future guest lists thus leaving them scratching their heads and pondering why they never get invited anywhere.

Update:   Ms. Party Hostess has chimed in with her side of the story HERE.    My conclusions remain the same except that I note that the Nashes missed an opportunity to teach Alex a lesson in honoring his word when they allowed him to choose an outing with his grandparents instead of having the integrity to stay committed to his rsvp to a birthday party.



A Very Expensive Pizza

by admin on January 19, 2015

A video of car dealership employees in Westport getting into a heated argument with a local pizza delivery man over $7 has led to Internet anger and a personal apology.

The video, posted on Liveleak, begins with a delivery man returning $7 in cash to the dealership that he had thought was a tip. By the end of the video, one dealership worker threatens to “put my foot in your ass” and another says he will call the delivery man’s manager and get him fired.

The delivery man in the video is an employee at Palace Pizza named Jarrid Tansey, according to two employees there. Lianette Hernandez, a cook and cashier, and Adam Willoughby, a manager, confirmed the video came from an interaction at the nearby dealership F&R Auto Sales on Saturday.

The total bill for the pizza and drinks was just over $42, Hernandez said, and dealership workers gave Tansey $50 in two twenties and two fives. In the video, Tansey says he confirmed that they wanted to give the whole $50, and then left with what he assumed was a $7-and-change tip.

However, the dealership then called the pizza place back and forced him to return the $7-and-change, and he was left without a tip, leading to the heated conversation on video.

You can read the rest of the article and view the video HERE.

This particular video came from the security camera of the car dealership and appears to have been originally posted by someone from the dealership as an example of how to treat pizza delivery guys.   Apparently the employees were so self righteous in their belief that they were justified in how they behaved that it never occurred to *not* publish the video exposing their abuse.  The pizza delivery guy was handed 2 twenties and 2 fives for a bill totaling a little over $42.00, he confirmed he was to keep the change as a tip yet the employees of the dealership called the pizza restaurant after Tansey left and demanded Taney return the $7.00 in change.   Tansey has a point….why hand him a five dollar bill if you intended to get it back?  Wouldn’t it have been more accurate to simply have handed him 2 twenties and *ONE* five.

After this video went viral, the public backlash against the F&R Auto Sales dealership was intense and targeted with the Yelp and Google review pages being inundated with negative reviews and the dealership’s web page being so swamped that it was failing to load.  It was an epic public relations failure, the worst kind of “advertising” a business can get.   Who would want to buy a car from a business who hires sales people who are willing to swindle a pizza delivery guy out of his tip that was already given to him?  That was a very expensive pizza indeed.



Theater Theatrics

by admin on January 14, 2015

Over the weekend, I attended a play at our local high school. It was a fundraiser for a theater in a neighboring city. It’s a very nice event, but in order to maximize seating, they hold it in an auditorium, rather than the normal theater. This was the first time it was held it my town. I have season tickets to the theater and was very excited that they were doing something in our town.

Having been to the fundraisers before I knew to line up early as all seating is general admission. We had five people in our party, and there were about 20 -30 people in front of us. As the doors open, all of the people went down the more visible, but longer, hallway to the right. Knowing there was a second door on the left, I went that direction, thus starting the split flow of people into the auditorium. This is important because it meant that my party was one of the first into the auditorium.

The auditorium is arranged with five rows in front, a large aisle way, with the majority portion of the seating behind that. Knowing the auditorium, I went to the first row of that second section, as it’s just about eye level with actors on the stage. Perfect viewing in my opinion. There was no one in this row yet, but someone had saved the first four seats (by placing jackets on them) so I moved past those to the center. (Saving seats this way is common at the high school, as the performers often save them for teachers, parents, and crew of the play)

Suddenly, this woman comes barreling in from the other stairway- literally running in the row. She throws up her hands and says ” these are ours”. She quickly turns to her party and asks if they have enough seat then turns back to me and announces that they don’t have enough. I checked with the last person in our party, and there were a couple seats between her and the saved seat, so we moved back. Freeing up two seats for the woman’s group. We sat down and she says ” We still don’t have enough. There are nine of us, you’ll need to move”. My only reply is ” I’m sorry. There is still plenty of seating in the other rows.” After grumbling, she sends her two teenagers in her group to sit somewhere else.

Now, being this is a family friendly play, I expect a certain amount of whining, crying, and other issues that comes with having small children in a three hour play. But I was not prepared for what happened next. The woman placed her 6 year old next to me. The child could not sit still. Up, down, up , down, up, down. It was really wearing on my nerves. Worse was the fact that she would turn in her seat and put her feet on me, getting my pants dirty. The mother did nothing. When they returned from the lobby at intermission and the process started to repeat, I asked the child if she could please try not to put her feet on me. The mother freaked and demanded to know why I was speaking to her child. I repeated my request. “She’s doing nothing wrong!”. I disagreed and told her that I understood that it was a long performance and some fidgeting was expected, I would appreciate it if my pants weren’t subject to her childs shoes. “Well, I never…!” she started to reply. In for a penny, in for a pound- I interrupted and told her that I though the woman behind her daughter would probably appreciate her remaining in her seat, rather than standing and obstructing her view. Much to my surprise a voice said ” I really would, it’s quite distracting”. I hadn’t realized she had been watching the exchange.

To her credit, the woman did try and keep the child somewhat settled for the second half. But midway through, the child needed to use the restroom, and they couldn’t get out of the row. So she started screaming. ” I need to go!”

After the play, the woman behind us thanked me for speaking up.

All in all, it was a wonderful play, but definitely tested my patience and my etiquette skills. 0112-14


Belly Buster

January 13, 2015

I have been reading your site for a couple of years now and I really enjoy it. I have learned so many great ways to handle awkward situations. Quite a while ago, there was a post about people touching others without permission. One of the main points of discussion was how people seem to do […]

Read the full article →

Lunchtime Larceny

January 12, 2015

I have a new boss who is a bit of a dolt…nothing alarming about this. His minor annoyances include calling me “dude” or “bro”…he’s generally disrespectful, egotistical and rude. We had an office luncheon a week ago to socialize before the holidays.  We decided to order-in rather than a potluck (to the last potluck he, […]

Read the full article →