Monday, 12 August 2013

Givers and takers

In our line of work you meet all sorts of people. The vast majority are very nice people, people we love to have here, people who are friendly and polite, fun and interesting. But sadly, every so often we have “takers”. Not only do they actually take our time and possessions, but they also take our energy as well. Constantly having to be aware that we mustn’t give even a teeny weenie bit, otherwise we will be taken for a very big ride. Every time I am surprised by these people, even though they make their intentions very clear from the start. We will say something like “Please don’t drive on to the campsite the ground it rather soft at the moment”  and that will be met with “I am only going to empty the car, then I will be off” and yet again, we know what we are in for - a week or so of “takers”. The slightest favour turns into a demand for more and more, spoilt little children who have never learned any manners or consideration for others, they take and take and take.

This last fortnight we have had such a couple on our site. We did them a favour when they first arrived. We do this sort of thing all the time, someone forgets to bring something with them, we lend them ours, someone has a problem with the car, we phone and translate so that the mechanic and visitor can communicate, and many small things inbetween.  We don’t expect anything in return, except a thank you and a little respect, we are after all just human. I won’t go into the gory details, but the favour we did this time was rather big and it actually cost us money, time and effort. Even so, we did it willingly and so we have given. On the return front, we did not even receive a thank you and I must say, even though it shouldn’t have, that did irritate me, as I said before, I'm only human. All the time they have been camping on our site, he has been very unpleasant, probably using his skills as a psychologist to manipulate us into getting what he wanted. I always thought that being a counsellor was a caring profession, I always thought that if you had your own practise you at least cared about other people, but in this case I have been very wrong.

Normally we would let it drop, life is too short to get wound up, but last night when they came to pay for their stay, we suggested that they should contribute to our expenses. Without even knowing how much we were suggesting, they refused point blank. Maybe they were afraid to ask how much it had cost, maybe they thought that for 7 Euros a night they were entitled to everything or maybe they just enjoyed the “taking”. Who knows what was going on in their minds.

This sorry episode ends here and now.  I am putting into practice something I was told a long time ago: "the events and people in your past can only affect you today, if you allow them to”. So Mr G K (no hyphen) H of somewhere near Rotterdam, to put an end to your taking from me, I give you the 20 Euros we were hoping you would reimburse us with. I hope that you set it aside to buy something that will give you pleasure, because I fear that all of the things you take from people like us, give you no pleasure at all. 

That's it - one taker sucessfully exorcised from my life.

For information on our campsite and gites, which are now restored to being full of lovely people, click here.

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