By: Ken Boone
I woke up last Tuesday ready to jump into a busy day. I posted my blog the day before, and was about to sketch out the script of my latest podcast episode. That venture is still very much a work in progress. But first things first.
Made a cup of my morning coffee. Check. Took my morning meds. Check. Hopped on my exercise bike. Check. Checked my email. Check. Wait, not so fast.
In addition to the typical message from AARP, NextDoor, and the guy who swears that they can teach me to mix like a Grammy award winning engineer for the low price of $250, I got an urgent request from a client.
I skipped over the AARP email, scanned over the NextDoor email, and laughed then deleted the sales pitch from the mixing coach. I don't have much patience these days for people's side hustles. Thanks for the free stuff, but I think I'll just move on.
However, the email from someone claiming to be a client piqued my interest. They requested that I purchase eBay gift cards that needed to be sent out "soon". Now, a person with a normal sense of suspicion would easily see this as a scam. I, however, thought this was another example of a client asking for extras.
Growing up, I was taught three things (among many others). First, before you place blame, know your part. Second, don't overstay your welcome. Third, put limits on your requests of others.
I soon realized that not everyone was taught the same things I was. In particular, the adage of "the squeaky hinge gets the grease" was recited at more dinner tables than I can count. So when people failed to keep track of the asks they were making, I would inevitably pick up a resentment, or four!
As I said, my rational self should have immediately got a whiff of a scam, but not this guy. In addition to feeling unduly put upon, it conjured up old feelings of "eBay Envy". That's what you get when you're the only one in your tribe who never scores on that online auction site.
What was really happening in my head was fear and jealousy ruling the day. I felt as though my client, among other people, was not playing fair when it came to helping each other fulfill their dreams. No mutual back scratching. So instead of making my asks, I'd stew then resent, then...
It took that life-altering event I've been droning on about recently, to get me to a point where I could comfortably demand my due. I'm still working toward being able to command my due. Based on how quickly I bounced back from my medical condition, I think I'll get there quickly.
Now, about the eBay portion of the story. Historically been as lucky with eBay as I've been with the lottery. In other words, I think I'm jinxed. I've been outbid at the last minute a number of times. I've had my credit card rejected one time when I actually won. I even got conned when I bid and one some baseball gear for my then 15-year-old son, which would have fit him when he was playing tee ball!
So, here we are. The sender of the email(s) was about to go in for the kill. I was busy ranting and raving about the client always asking for things that would take chunks out of my day. That, and recalling the how I've been constantly victimized by the evil forces at eBay, blinded me to what was really happening.
It took Celia calmly telling me to look at the sender's email address. Which I did. It wasn't the client's email address. Then she pointed out that the client always uses the recipient's name in the greeting. That too was missing. Then she reminded me that I did have some success on eBay. I purchased the recording equipment that got me back on the path I'm currently on!
With my wits collected, and the rage gone, I hit the reply button, asked how many gift cards and in what denominations. When they replied by asking for seven cards in the amount of $100 each, my grumbling turned to belly laughs. I let "the client" stew for about one hour before my reply.
Hitting the reply button again, I typed "NICE TRY" the hit send. I then waited for a change in strategy from my opponent. And I waited some more. That episode occurred last Tuesday morning, and I'm still waiting for him to make his next move!
But wait, there's more!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.