Reviving this thread to share this gem:
I recently signed up for private lessons at a martial arts academy. It's something that's always interested me, and the private lessons fit best with my schedule as opposed to the group classes. This school advertises a special in which someone who is paying for private lessons can "invite a friend" to join in those lessons for free. The assumption, I suppose, is that the friends will settle splitting the fee between themselves. As long as the martial arts school gets their money, they're happy.
I mentioned to a friend, Carrie, at a social gathering that I had started my lessons, and entertained her with the awkward incidents from my disastrous first session. (It was bad. So very bad. But I had fun.) Another woman, whom I barely know, piped up and said, "Oh! I have always wanted to take the private lessons there, but I can't afford it. The school has that "invite a friend" special. And now you can invite me to join your lessons for free! I'm sure it wouldn't be any trouble."
There are a few problems with this:
1) Yes, it would be some trouble. I don't want to take a class at a physical activity at which I am pretty terrible, with someone I barely know. Having the instructor see me stumble through is awkward enough.
2) Don't voluntell me to do something.
3) No. Just, no.
Carrie responded, "So you would split the cost of the lessons with Weeble?"
And the lady looked aghast and said, "Well, no. I told you. I can't afford it. And what's the sense in me paying when Weeble has already paid?"
"So what's in it for Weeble? Other than not getting the instructor's full attention?" Carrie asked.
The lady insisted that I still got the lessons, plus the feeling that I was helping someone.
I shook my head and said, "No, that won't be possible."
This lady simply could not believe that I didn't see the benefit helping this random stranger out by paying for her (not inexpensive) lessons. I was selfish and spoiled, she said, and she didn't want to spend time with selfish people.
Fine with me.