I always say that when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them. And I generally follow that advice. But recently, I was duped, in a big way. I should’ve followed my instincts and avoided this person, and I didn’t.
Trusting this person meant I wasted a lot of my time-fine, I’m self employed and I have a lot of that at the minute, and I did manage to do some things to write about for this blog so it wasn’t COMPLETELY wasted. Sadly though, trusting this person also cost me money I didn’t have to lose. This post is really a cautionary tale of why you should be more careful than I was. Here’s a couple of lessons I learnt from what was a really awful weekend.
Don’t arrange work through anyone but the client directly, or a reputable agency/job site. I broke this rule and let someone else arrange two jobs for me, which were rearranged or cancelled at the very last minute, and I’d driven a very long way to do the work.
Always take a non refundable deposit of at least 10%, and more if needed to cover travel. Send something DIRECTLY TO YOUR CLIENT, IN WRITING stating that if the job is cancelled you will be keeping the deposit, and if the job is rearranged they will need to pay your travel for a second time. I didn’t do this and have ended up paying the entire deposit back to avoid the hassle I knew I’d get if I didn’t-despite this person knowing how far I’d driven for the work.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This person had wanted me to visit them for a while (I’m not entirely sure why!) and so when these jobs became available it seemed like the perfect time. Sadly, however, I’m not sure that these jobs ever existed.
Work to your own timetable. I spent a chunk of time doing things I hadn’t planned to, including running errands as I was the only driver. I’d gone down to see the city, with the person-and so when they needed to run errands I should have gone off exploring by myself. If I hadn’t been there, they would have presumably found other transport.
Leave when you don’t feel safe or comfortable. I should have left Saturday evening, when I felt uncomfortable and not very safe. I didn’t, because I didn’t want to cause a scene. Instead I spent the night laid in bed not sleeping, when I could have been driving home. Idiot, Laura.
Be aware that when someone offers to do something for you, they often want something in return, and if you don’t know about that you’re going to be seen as a bad person for not giving that. In this case, it was a meal I didn’t want to go for, that was booked and paid for before I knew about it. I ended up going, but I couldn’t afford it and so I didn’t offer to pay for it. This was later commented on, about how ungrateful I had been.
To cut a long story short-despite cutting this person out of my life once before, I fell for their lies and let them back in. I tried hard to be friendly to this person as, like lots of people, I’m sure they have their own problems and issues. But in the end, I lost out. Since arriving home I have removed this person from social media, from Whatsapp, and blocked their number-because I know from past experience that there WILL be drama at some point. Removing myself means the drama will still happen, I just won’t see it. I also declined the Facebook friends request that came from their relative a couple of weeks later *raises eyebrow* because this person has never met me, so has no need to be my friend on Facebook.
I just want to reiterate guys, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Don’t be me.