I have this problem. I’m really actually too nice, generally. When someone asks me for something and frames the request in the sense of a favor, I can seldom say no.
It isn’t that I’m too timid to stand up for myself, it is just that I do endeavor to try to be an okay human being. I think of the number of times I’ve been fixing a car or lawnmower or building something – and how that extra pair of helpful hands is sorely missed. Many hands, light work and all that jazz.
Early in the year, a friend of a friend opened a pawnshop near my old house. I stopped by, I’m always looking for used tools, camera stuff, computer things or electronics I can dismantle and use for a project.
I talked to the shop-owner for about 45 minutes and our action items from that discussion were that
A)It would really help him out if I sold some of the stuff I was about to put on Craigslist as a spring-cleaning endeavor, on consignment. Essentially giving him “inventory”
B)It would be really really extra helpful if I didn’t mind taking some photos of his shop for his facebook page/website.
I did both.
The consignment sale was… a bit of a nightmare but I’ll go into that later.
One afternoon, in favorable light, I found myself in front of his shop with my camera. It was a bad week, I was super-busy and behind on all sorts of “real job” tasks. I really didn’t want to be there, I really didn’t want to provide commercial photography stuff for free, I was really annoyed with how the consignment stuff was going and I was generally starting to feel used.
Still, my word is what it is, so I put on my smile and walked around the shop for about an hour photographing things.
Camera work, really is therapy for me and before the hour was out, I got some pretty neat shots, like this one, which – looking back now.. is all the payment for the inconvenience of it all that I need.
..and maybe on the great Karmic scoreboard of my life, “the day you helped out the pawnshop” will work to negate the less-helpful things I do in life.
Not that I put too much faith in works but ya know, that’s a different topic as well.