Be­ware of ‘friends’ who are af­ter your money

Tak­ing ad­van­tage of friend­ship is a big no-no

New Straits Times - - Opinion - The writer, a lec­turer at Sun­way Col­lege, is a Malaysian-born Eurasian with Scot­tish/Ja­panese/ In­dian lin­eage. She be­lieves in a to­mor­row where there is no racism and ha­tred

IN life we meet many peo­ple, but we al­ways have to re­mem­ber that not ev­ery­one we meet is a friend. Some only want to be ac­quainted with you be­cause of your sta­tus and/or pop­u­lar­ity, while oth­ers only come to you when they need some­thing from you.

Only a hand­ful can be re­garded as your true friends; the ones who will be there when­ever you’re in need of help.

I’ve come across tens of thou­sands of peo­ple in life — in school, univer­sity and at work, among other places. Some I’ve never had the chance to talk to, some sim­ply ac­quain­tances where a friendly “hello” is ex­changed when­ever paths are crossed, and some have ended up be­ing a very im­por­tant part of my life.

I’m aware that ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent, and ev­ery­one lives in their own dis­tinc­tive way.

That be­ing said, I must ad­mit that there are certain things that I do not ap­prove of and do not take kindly to. One of these are peo­ple who use friend­ship or sen­ti­ment to get your money.

Many a time this has hap­pened to me, but I sim­ply dis­re­garded their at­tempts and went my own way.

How­ever, a few weeks ago, I reached my break­ing point and I told my­self that enough was enough.

I was mark­ing some ex­am­i­na­tion pa­pers when I was ap­proached by a lady on Face­book. She sent me a mes­sage to ask how I was do­ing. I recog­nised her as some­one I knew from univer­sity years ago, and she was in my friends list on my so­cial me­dia plat­form.

I replied and she told me who she was, in case I needed re­minders, be­fore en­quir­ing about my mar­i­tal sta­tus.

She then pro­ceeded to de­mand (de­mand, not ask) for my num­ber so she could con­tact me on What­sApp, but I de­clined as I did not feel com­fort­able do­ing so.

Bear in mind that this lady had not spo­ken to me in a decade.

The next thing I knew, she asked me about a certain prod­uct which I im­me­di­ately recog­nised as com­ing from a pop­u­lar di­rect mar­ket­ing com­pany sell­ing health­care prod­ucts.

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She then prod­ded me about my knowl­edge re­gard­ing the com­pany, to which I ques­tioned its rel­e­vance.

With­out any ex­pla­na­tion, she sent me a truck­load of pho­tos and videos of the com­pany’s prod­ucts and ap­par­ently suc­cess­ful mem­bers, and claimed that they earned a five-fig­ure salary monthly, and that I should join her in ad­di­tion to buy­ing the prod­ucts.

That was when I lost my tem­per.

I told her off for be­ing rude and in­sen­si­tive as she had not spo­ken to me in a decade.

It re­ally ticked me off know­ing that there were peo­ple like her around, who do not re­ally care for friend­ships be­cause they are more in­ter­ested in tak­ing your money.

Later on, I found out from a few other mu­tual friends that they, too, had been ap­proached by this lady in the same man­ner.

Here’s a word of ad­vice to peo­ple in­volved in multi-level mar­ket­ing or di­rect mar­ket­ing schemes.

I am glad that you are happy do­ing what you are do­ing. I am glad that you are mak­ing money and fat­ten­ing your bank ac­counts. I am glad that you are able to drive around in fancy cars. Per­haps, this is your call­ing, and things are look­ing up for you.

How­ever, my dear peo­ple. How­ever, it is not ap­pre­ci­ated when you sud­denly call up old friends for the sake of mak­ing them lis­ten to you and buy your prod­ucts. It is not ap­pre­ci­ated when you force peo­ple into part­ing with their hard­earned money by us­ing friend­ship and sen­ti­ment. It is not ap­pre­ci­ated when you scam peo­ple of their sav­ings just so you can af­ford to buy an iPhone 7 for yourself.

Don’t go to peo­ple you call “friends” be­cause you want to use them for your own self­ish rea­sons. With “friends” like these, we don’t need en­e­mies.

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