Monday, May 4, 2009

Are You Sam? (Part 2)

Perhaps one of the best ways to determine if I have written clearly is from reader response. If that's the case, I really goofed yesterday.

You see, I misread my old friend Bill when I thought he had showed up to sell me something. And I'm glad that perhaps I can help him find the person he is looking for in his business.

But...

Bill is the exception. C. Beth mentioned that it would be "frustrating" if the "old friend" came along to recruit for the latest network marketing scheme. Well, perhaps I'm a big jaded on this one. Why? I have had more "old friends came along to recruit me or sell me something" experiences than I can remember. Like the old college friend who wanted to take me to coffee -- and recruit me for Amway. Or the couple Cathy and I knew from college that wanted us to sell Amway.

Or...

Perhaps this hits me extra hard because I naturally like people. I cherish the friendships from my past. I love to sit down and catch up on old times. So, please, don't call me up and offer me coffee or lunch...just to "use" our friendship to build your business.

I hope what I wrote is as close to a "rant" as I ever have in this blog. But I wanted to make my struggle clear.

Now, what do you think? Am I too calloused on this one? Those who know me, know that I appreciate honest input.

5 comments:

CHEWBARKA said...

When I first read yesterdays blog, I felt the same way as I do today. I HATE it when people use "friendship" to get me into their marketing schemes. I, too, have been dragged into that too many times. Now EVERYtime someone says "it's free and there will be plenty of food" - I say NO. If this friend truly wanted to HELP someone find a "real" job, then wonderful. I'd be honored to help. But... NO YOU ARE NOT too calloused on this one. Don't lower your standards for anyone. YOU GO SAM!! yeah

C. Beth said...

No, I've gotten very jaded on this too. I'm very glad that Bill was the exception!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I can't say I've had old friends connect with me with an alternate motive. But I have connected with old friends and then had them invite me to participate in things- like fund raisers for their kid's school. Or when I ask an innocent question on a message board about work from home options and get inundated with private messages about direct selling this, that, or the other.

Is it frustrating? Absolutely. Does it discount that person for me? No. Because maybe it is something that has changed their life so they truly are passionate about it (I can think of 2 mommy friends that have personally had this happen- direct selling has truly changed their lives and been profitable for them).

I also think about how I come across to others as a Christian. No, direct selling isn't at all like Christianity. Or is it? When I talk about my love of God and my belief in the Holy Spirit and my profound appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus... when I invite friends to church or talk about my daughter's passion for choir and Sunday School... aren't I doing a version of direct selling?

Granted, I'm not out on Facebook, looking up friends and sending random messages full of Bible verses and Thee's and Thine's and Thou's.

But when the time is right and the subject fits, I take the opportunity if it applies.

So maybe the direct selling friends aren't so good with timing. And certainly the product isn't one you want to buy into.

But why let it stress you or disappoint you? I'm more personally inclined to let it roll off my shoulders. A polite "No thanks" and move on. If the friendship ends... then they weren't really a friend to begin with, right?

Sam said...

Thanks, Chewy and Beth, for making me feel better.

Liz, yours is one of the most thoughtful comments I've ever had on this blog. Thank you for writing it! One reason it made me think is that I can remember times when I WAS pushing Christianity in just the way you described. The tragedy is that (I'm sure) I made people feel exactly as I feel when it seems the only reason an old friend gets in touch is to sell me something. May God help us be more loving than that!

CHEWBARKA said...

Liz really points out the "good side" - what a blessing when someone sees these things. Thank you for that very insightful response. (Wish I'd thought that way - maybe I will next time!)