Haven’t done one of these in a few months…but something I experienced a few days ago made me decide to write one.
When you tell someone that you’re going to help them with something, you should at least take it seriously. At least, that’s what I think. Apparently, though, some people seem to feel like this sort of thing comes with an unspoken, “If I feel like it” tacked on at the end.
I should probably give you a brief (Sort of) description of what happened.
I was part of an outdoor event that needed volunteers to help out, and we were seriously short on volunteers so I asked some friends who were planning on coming anyways to help out. They didn’t want to get up early in the morning, so I arranged it with the organizer so that they could come later. They helped out during the first part, and then told me they were going to explore a little bit. I wanted to get lunch, so I told them the time they had to be back and left.
A little while later, I thought maybe I’d explore with them, spend a little time with my friends, since they came to this event because of me. I text them and find out they’ve apparently bussed to a completely different part of the city. I asked if they were going to come back soon. You know what reply I got?
Something along these lines: “It’s too cold, so we don’t want to help anymore. We’re not coming back, we decided to go to the mall and we’re going out to eat later instead.”
It was so last-minute that for the next part of the event, where we needed more volunteers, some of the volunteers ended up having to take way too much of the work. And we scrambled to think of a way to make things a little easier on them, but didn’t have much time (We had less than an hour).
No apologies or anything, either. No, “Hey, sorry, we decided to bail. Good luck.” Just straight up leaving because they felt like it, and not even knowing they did anything wrong. Really?
One of the only reasons this gets to me so much is that these were people who I thought I could trust, because they were my friends. I thought, “Hey, we can all take care of ourselves here. It’s fine if they want to explore a little on their own”, not “Maybe I should babysit them to make sure they don’t run off”. I really thought that they wouldn’t bail on me just because they felt like it because I would never do that. Guess I was wrong.
Irresponsible people in general, though, have always bothered me. Sure, we’ve all broken promises. I have, too. But it’s things like this especially that irritate me. When people break promises on a whim, only thinking of themselves, and not of the people who may be affected by it.
When you commit to helping with someone, if you end up not doing it, then somebody else has to do it. So, basically, you’re being irresponsible and forcing somebody else to take up your responsibilities at the last-minute.
And this means that your friends will probably see you as much less reliable. That should be a given. But maybe having your friends think of you as reliable and dependable isn’t important to you. If nobody thinks you’re reliable or dependable, you’re never going to be asked for any favours, right?
I know I’m being totally cynical right now, and yes, I am exaggerating. But that doesn’t mean I think any of this is untrue or that I am any less annoyed than I seem to be with with this kind of irresponsibility.
Another thing that comes out of this?
Now all the people who organized and volunteered at the event (Many of whom I know personally) also know how…great my friends are.