Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

I will probably need to use this one soon

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Venus193:
Those of you who are familiar with the ongoing novela that is my friend Blanche know that she is hard up for money all the time.  This morning she called me to talk about her latest adventure with the phone company:  She apparently owes something like $300 over probably the past 5 or 6 months and they are threatening to shut off her service if she doesn't pay it in full.  The bill was dated the 7th, she received it yesterday (the 13th) and the amount doesn't match what she was told over the phone when she called.

"I was hoping you can help me."
"Did you ask to talk to a supervisor?"
"No."
"Call them back and request a supervisor.  If the bill doesn't add up you need to talk to someone who can fix it."
"OK."

She called me back a short while later and told me she reached someone who told her she needed to pay $X by tomorrow, $Y by early next week, and $Z by the 21st.  She doesn't know where the money is coming from because her current part-time job pays less than she would be collecting on unemployment (that's a whole rant on its own).

She seems to realize that asking me for money directly would be risky.  I think she's hoping I'll give her the money to pay her phone bill.  I may have way more money in the bank than she ever did, but I'm unemployed at the moment and facing COBRA payments of about $542 per month. 

That's the least of it, though.  The principle of the thing is that I would never get the money back.  Just before she moved to the butt end of nowhere she owed me about $50 for some Yves Rocher products and $25 for a rock music event ticket.  That was followed by about $120 in postage for the Dark Shadows VHS tapes.  I'll never see any of that money and I made the decision to write it off.

Then she started whining about how she may be totally out of the job market because of her credit rating.  She declared bankruptcy in 2004 and hasn't gotten any sales jobs despite her many years' experience in this area.

I brought up again the reality that she needs to relocate.  "But I don't even have money to move."

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

What would you guys do?

caranfin:
What would I do? Express sympathy.

"Wow, that's too bad. What are you going to do about it?"

"You thought I could help? I'm sorry, but I don't think the phone company would let me make payment arrangements for you. You're just going to have to do it yourself."

"Yes, it is unfortunate that you can't get a job in sales. Maybe you need a career change."

Don't even acknowledge her hints. And if she has the guts to actually ask for money... "I won't do that. The last time I loaned you money/fronted an expense, you never paid me back. You do realize I'm unemployed, don't you?"

nliedel:
"I wish I could help. but I just can't."

No ambiguity, no issue at all. I know it will be hard, but she's gonna keep calling you if you don't. If she asks why, tell her you have to run.

Minmom3:

--- Quote from: Venus193 on March 14, 2008, 10:35:08 AM ---Those of you who are familiar with the ongoing novela that is my friend Blanche know that she is hard up for money all the time.  This morning she called me to talk about her latest adventure with the phone company:  She apparently owes something like $300 over probably the past 5 or 6 months and they are threatening to shut off her service if she doesn't pay it in full.  The bill was dated the 7th, she received it yesterday (the 13th) and the amount doesn't match what she was told over the phone when she called.

"I was hoping you can help me."
"Did you ask to talk to a supervisor?"
"No."
"Call them back and request a supervisor.  If the bill doesn't add up you need to talk to someone who can fix it."
"OK."

She called me back a short while later and told me she reached someone who told her she needed to pay $X by tomorrow, $Y by early next week, and $Z by the 21st.  She doesn't know where the money is coming from because her current part-time job pays less than she would be collecting on unemployment (that's a whole rant on its own).

She seems to realize that asking me for money directly would be risky.  I think she's hoping I'll give her the money to pay her phone bill.  I may have way more money in the bank than she ever did, but I'm unemployed at the moment and facing COBRA payments of about $542 per month. 

That's the least of it, though.  The principle of the thing is that I would never get the money back.  Just before she moved to the butt end of nowhere she owed me about $50 for some Yves Rocher products and $25 for a rock music event ticket.  That was followed by about $120 in postage for the Dark Shadows VHS tapes.  I'll never see any of that money and I made the decision to write it off.

Then she started whining about how she may be totally out of the job market because of her credit rating.  She declared bankruptcy in 2004 and hasn't gotten any sales jobs despite her many years' experience in this area.

I brought up again the reality that she needs to relocate.  "But I don't even have money to move."

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

What would you guys do?

--- End quote ---

Be a sympathetic mirror with NO rescue offers!  "Wow, that's tough.  Dang, that sucks.  Yada Yada Yada..." 

The only people I rescue are my children, and even that is limited when it's their own damned fault.  One must be realistic when organizing one's life, after all.  Running up big juicy bills and ignoring them until it's do or die time isn't the way I run MY life, and I won't subsidize it in others.   ::)  I'm mean that way.

Scritzy:
I like what carafin said: "Wow, that's too bad. What are you going to do about it?"

Blanche needs so many kinds of therapy: therapy therapy, career counseling, debt management, more therapy therapy. She is pathetic, and I mean that in the sense that I do pity her, even if she did dig herself into this hole. (It's kind of the same pity I have for Jerkoid's soon-to-be-ex Squeeze. But that's another story.)

Unfortunately, I think she's going to have to smack rock bottom before she finally wakes up, and then it may be too late.

Stand your ground, Venus. And I hope you get a new position very soon. :)

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