About five months ago I ran into an old friend. He and I met many years ago. Although, I only worked with him for a brief time we remained friends throughout the years. We maintained steady contact as he grew into adulthood. The day we ran into each other he was very excited to see me. He told me about his new job and his new car. And then, in the next breath, he asked me to borrow some money. The amount is hardly the point. My rule is never to lend money to friends and family and especially the young people I have worked with. The reason is simple; money can cause some deep problems. The best answer is to teach money management skills.
My young friend, whom I will call Ted, has a deeper problem; he is manipulative and has always gotten his way with people. When I first met him he was in middle school. Even then he openly talked back to his mother. Every time she asked something of him he was quick to set a condition. Getting his way was his only desire. At one point, during our initial meeting, I asked his mother, in front of Ted, “Why is it that I get the impression that he expects to get his way?” She gave me a sheepish grin and said that this was her fault. Based on their conversation, it was hard to tell who the parent was.
Presently, Ted is working a dead end job and trying to live the life of someone with a large income. Although he’s very pleasant and can be very polite he is always looking for something. We have spoken a few times since our chance meeting five months ago and every time he has an angle. On a few occasions we’ve been able to get together but every time he is late. He always has an excuse, he doesn’t respect my time only his. Am I judging too harshly? The world will judge him with much greater harshness and with no hesitation.
The future is not too bright for him. Employers, no matter how nice, need production, not excuses. They need promptness and they need straight answers. People with issues, drama, excuses and poor production are quickly unemployed. At the end of the day a business must turn a sufficient profit.
We last spoke several weeks ago. He was unhappy with me because I wouldn’t lend him any money. He couldn’t understand why I was making a big deal. Again, my views don’t matter to him; only his desires matter. I believe that he understands this, but he chooses to ignore it.
Sometimes an unhappy child is a healthy child. Giving a child his way to keep him happy or to make your job easier will produce some very negative results. Hopefully, he will see reason someday soon before he ruins too many relationships.