Need a quick answer to a career or personal dilemma? Career and life coach Marielys Camacho-Reyes will answer your concerns in her column “Ask the Coach.”
Last month, during lunchtime, I decided to pay for the lunch for some of the cleaning crew people. I did this out of the goodness of my heart because I knew these people do not get paid well enough and I decided that I wanted to do something good for them. The problem that I have know is that, they got used to me doing that and now, the “expect” me to do it all the time. I even had one person asking me if I was going to pay for his lunch today. Can you believe this? Do not get me wrong; I love helping people out, but in this case, I seriously think that now, this people are trying to take advantage of me. In your opinion, how can I deal with this situation without hurting their feelings or looking like I do not want to help anymore?
The Person with the Lunch Money
Dear Person with the Lunch Money,
I have to agree with you. It seems like this situation went from you trying to do something nice for someone, to these people thinking that they are entitled to your help. I am sorry that something that was meant to make a different in people’s lives turned into a nightmare. If you want this situation to stop, I will suggest you that next time one of these people come and ask you if you are going to pay for his/her lunch, to tell them politely that you will do it when you feel convenient. You can also be honest with them and tell them that you were just trying to be nice with them when you paid for their lunch and that, as much as you would like to do it all the time, unfortunately, you would not be able to do it because you also have other financial responsibilities that you have to cover. I am sure that when you talk to them, they will understand and will leave you alone. The important part here is to make sure they understand that you do want to help; but that you cannot do it all the time nor they should expect you to do it all the time.
Would you like to contact “The Coach” for a quick advice? Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org