Please Don’t Give me Free Money!

I was raised to believe that when someone offers you money for something, and it’s really not necessary (i.e. helping them move, doing something within your job description and you’re really not going above and beyond) it is customary to decline.  This rule is usually fairly easy to follow, I’m the type of person that never expects much more than a simple “thanks” now and then.  But I’m also not a very good negotiator/arguer.

Generally, when someone offers me a “tip”(for lack of a better word) the conversation goes something like this:

Generous person:  I really appreciate the job you are doing and for that, I wanted to give you this.  (Pulls money from pocket)

Me: Oh, you really don’t have to do that.

Generous Person: Are you sure?

Me: Yeah, I really enjoy (helping people, my job, taking care of things)

Generous Person: Okay (Puts money back in pocket)

 

This scenario plays out perfectly leaving both people feeling good about it.  The Generous Person feels good because they got to keep their money (there’s always a risk that someone won’t decline) and I feel good because I didn’t take some poor saps money, and I feel like I’m doing something good for the world to boot.

A problem occurs however, when the generous person is more persistent and the conversation always ends up like this:

Generous person:  I really appreciate the job you are doing and for that, I wanted to give you this.  (Pulls money from pocket)

Me: Oh, you really don’t have to do that.

Generous Person: No, you’re right, I don’t have to do that but I want to.

Me: Are you sure?  (Notice how that switched around?)

Generous Person: Yes, Take it!  (Shoves it sternly in my hand)

Me: Oh, Okay, well thanks! (walks away feeling slightly dejected that I didn’t try harder NOT to take the money)

 

So let me just end by saying.  If you ever want to make me feel good about the things I’m doing by “offering” money that you REALLY don’t want to part with, always end the negotiations after the first decline, because otherwise, I will falter and awkwardly accept the money.

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