Last Friday while relaxing at home, a FB message through my business page for Texas Twins Events/The Pawning Planners notification flashed on my iPhone.
Since I respond to all of my emails or phone messages, I finished feeding my sassy Beagle before walking into my office to review the request for services. As usual, Foxy followed me and found a comfortable chair.
It’s odd to get a message after 10:30 and had my husband still been awake, he would assuredly tell me to wait until Saturday to answer because my husband thinks anyone calling or messaging after 9PM is being rude unless of course, it’s an emergency.
Since I was awake and winding down from a long day, I opened my messages and tried to understand what the FB Lady was asking me. She had added her zip code but no other information. I replied to the incomplete message and asked how we could help?
For the next four hours, the messages would range from logical to illogical but also involve threatening suicide along with asking me to do this or that for her.
Intrigued and alarmed at this stranger who dropped into my life via FB messaging, by Saturday morning I was more than a little convinced that nothing I could do or say would’ve helped the FB Lady. Why? She wasn’t willing to help herself.
Cindy is the only person who calls at all hours of the night and occasionally, my son.
I can do almost anything from my phone except transfer photos from sd cards or Skype because I hate Skyping by phone or FaceTime. If I’m Skyping, I’m on my fancy laptop my husband thought I would love that I don’t. Who wants to carry a laptop around?
Unless I’m with a client, I’m pretty much always on my phone. When I’m driving to a Texas Prison, Cindy is on my phone.
Liking and retweeting is done in our spare time and liking or sharing on FB or writing my blogs for four sites often done while waiting on a client in the paring lot.
My website manager, Michael can’t believe that I regularly “whip out” blogs on my iPhone but, I’ve never used a computer or laptop for blogs.
Many times, my blogs are actually a diary of sorts relating to business and sometimes family since my family members all work with me and occasionally, we agree to disagree on Location.
Working with your family brings a few head butting contests now and then because I’m bossy according to everyone except my twin sister.
Family meetings are essential to unique requests. Finding a solution to problems works best when Cindy and I toss ideas around. If it happens to be a larger scale event service, throwing my nieces, grandnieces, son, stepdaughter and daughter in law into one place at the same time often adds arbitrator to my responsibility list.
I may be bossy but, I’m OCD and have a particular way of wanting things done. My daughter in law is often running late which drives me crazy.
At one event, my son and his wife argued publicly regarding their camera equipment. I sent them both to their cars and told them that the last thing anyone needed at an event with arguing Inlaws was to see arguing Event photographers.
I have a strict set of rules that include absolutely no drinking at an event. For my daughter in law, it’s a very necessary rule.
Only once have I found my daughter in law drinking on location but, once was too much for me. Everyone in my team is expected to be professional at all times.
Whether clients offer an alcoholic beverage to my staff or not, I strictly forbid drinking at events. Working isn’t a social event with cocktails or highballs in hand.
My son calls me “The Captain” on location and knows I’m rigid about how I want everything done. I love my son dearly and I try to limit arguments with his wife but, it’s a real challenge.
My daughter in law has her way of doing things and I have mine. We have disagreed so many times over the years regarding where they live, her housekeeping and more that I’ve learned to “zip it” or risk alienating my son.
We only have one shot to get everything perfect because a Life Event meant to happen only once.
A few years ago at a Pawning Planners Event, my son took the photo below of me arguing with my daughter in law regarding lighting for photos. It’s not just me that butts heads with my daughter in law.
My nieces, my husband and my grandnieces have all had their fair share of run ins too. Stephanie is opinionated, strong willed and so far…childless. Their four dogs are their children.
I’m fairly certain that one day if my son finally has children that Stephanie and I will disagree on how to raise them too.
I’m a “do everything right the first time” type of person. I don’t approve of half hearted or sloppy attempts to accomplish any task. The picture gives you a better idea of how much Stephanie doesn’t love my direction and why I now bring Leigh Ann to handle photography needs at my Bookings.
Cindy is with me at client meetings and events but, being twins, we’ve never had a disagreement. Throw in 3-5 family members and a caravan of suvs and you’ve got someone complaining about where we eat, where we get gas, what radio station they prefer and more.
Destination events require hotels and more complaints about where we are staying. Since I’m in charge of travel and coordination, I make the rules.
Stephanie and I argue more than I’d like and everyone is expected to get along well on Location. For Stephanie and I, that’s not always “easy.”
My son and daughter in law book their own clients separately from my bookings which is why for the past two years Leigh Ann handles much of my event photos and why unless I’m Coordinating, Officiating and handling floral designs that having the entire Team on site with me is rare.
Splitting up the photography teams was necessary because my niece Leigh Ann prefers to work alone while Robert and Stephanie work well (most of the time) as a team.
Robert and Leigh Ann are also Officiants so it’s not unusual for Stephanie or Robert to handle photography at a booking for Leigh Ann and vice versa.
Although anyone contacting us prefers for me to Officiate, my schedule is so heavy that taking on new clients mid season isn’t possible.
Bumping clients wanting an Officiant to Cindy, Leigh Ann, Robert, or my dad is necessary when I can’t take on a new booking.
I’m hoping that one day it will be all unicorns and rainbows for my Texas Twins Events Team around here. An entire family of four generations trying to get along well with each together is a hurdle and a few of my relatives need to put forth far more to find peace.
A few years ago, I wrote “Too Many Chiefs And Not Enough Indians” regarding my who is in charge and who isn’t. I’m honest. I’m blunt and occasionally, I’m bossy. My “rules” aren’t so rigid that they can’t be followed. In fact, there are not that many. Work well together and act like a family.
Answer your phone in a professional manner. Arrive for work early and dressed appropriately. No exceptions.
Cindy is my backup boss if I’m already tied up and handles directing the team with a dash of humor that I don’t have.
Friday was a long day of stacked Prison Weddings for me. I knew Cindy was already asleep or I would’ve called her about this FB message. We tell each other everything.
Foxy watched me in the hopes of returning to the kitchen but finally gave up. My dog can hear a wrapper from the other end of the house even when he is in a deep sleep. It’s amazing how he can know somebody somewhere is getting food but, he can. Now and again I’ve had a few surprising requests that weren’t in anyway, shape or form related to the list of services at Texas Twins Events. From the family that lost everything to a house fire to the family that couldn’t afford medical treatment to the lady who wanted graduation photos for her grandson (the first high school graduate in three generations) to the lady who needed fence panels and poles- MANY of these requests are (obviously) not listed on our services page BUT, I’m open minded. I will CONSIDER anything.
On occasion, I’ve suggested this or that organization and a few times free Counseling or even suggested other solutions to a strangers problems with insights they hadn’t ever thought of.
Perhaps because I’m willing to respond to all messages although a few of them don’t fit into any services we offer, I’ve learned who really needs help and more importantly, who is looking for a Handout.
It doesn’t take me long to spot a few holes in a sob story and although I would like to help anyone, a few of these sad luck Sam’s eventually bite the hand trying to feed them. Why? You can’t help someone who refuses to help themselves.
My generosity was similar to that of a withered branch on barren tree and has run out over and over with moochers.
Today I’m going to explain why we don’t buy items submitted for trade, why I don’t give money to people, why we also don’t promote other businesses unless they are connections and why listening to your problems doesn’t shift the weight of your problems on my shoulders simply because I cared enough to listen when no one else would.
Many folks have emailed me regarding bartering or my “Pawning Process.” We don’t own a Pawn Store and we don’t pawn items in exchange for money.
What we do is take items of value and refurbish them while exchanging services. For more information on how the process works, visit this link– Bartering & Event Services Through The Pawning Planners.
My sister sums up these types of situations frequently with her #Cindyism Quotes.
One of these #Cindyism Quotes came to mind last night when someone from FB that I had referred to a job at the cleaners sent a new message demanding that I bring her money to an address of West Freeway because “I’m in trouble, I need your help, my husband just took all of my money!”
I couldn’t believe that my friendly advice at well past midnight would lead the FB Lady to believe that I was a Fairy Godmother but, it happened.
“TALKING the BARN door OFF the HINGES, ain’t never FED the ANIMALS!” Giving insight an advice to FB Lady for hours ended with her assuming that I was a sap.
Simply put, If I will listen to your problems and attempt to find a solution when no one else will it doesn’t mean that I’m going to solve all of your problems.”
Spending hours messaging this lady and trying to help her with suggestions or solutions turned into a three day escapade in futility.
Since I wasn’t willing to leave my home at 3AM I’m the morning to take this Stranger money and otherwise “help her,” she decided to threaten to kill herself? I was horrified.
How did my answering her initial message go from listening and offering suggestions to bringing money to a dangerous area of town and when politely declining to do so, a suicide? Them change to “my husband is beating me. I need you over here now!”
Shocked. I suggested she call 2-1-1 Emergency Services in Texas and, the police. Being a Counselor with Two Together In Texas, I have lists of emergency assistance contacts as well as numerous women’s shelters phone numbers.
After all, I’m not going to leave the security of my home to take someone money in the middle of the night. My husband would be upset about meeting a stranger during the day to take them money. I’ve been robbed during a mugging twice. It’s something you don’t forget.
What had started out as an innocent response to someone who had originally contacted me regarding event services through my FB page Friday evening quickly escalated to this FB Lady claiming to be suicidal, being abused by her husband, needing money late at night and a car as well as a place to live. I’m not kidding!
Reading her message, I was taken back to my childhood and the first actual suicide that I had even encountered.
For the rest of my life when someone threatened suicide, I would do whatever I could to talk them down or find them Counseling. FB Lady really knew how to pull my strings.
Suicide is a scary thing. Cindy and I were eleven years old when our neighbor, Melinda Hodges, used her fathers gun to shoot herself after walking home from school. It’s something we will never forget and the most horrifying thing we have ever seen.
Years of watching the Nightstalker, Night Gallery and the Outer Limits were nothing compared to seeing a thirteen year old girl lying on the ground with a gun in her hand.
I have no idea how police responding to a shooting sleep at all with the emotional burden of dealing with tragedy on a daily basis.
Running outside to see what had happened, we found her first by her fathers shed. All of the horror movies we had watched up until that point were nothing in comparison to what my sister and I found as we yelled at our little brother to “go home” and spare him seeing what we had.
Another neighbor came outside and called the police. Our dad came home to find the police asking what we knew and what we had seen?
The only thing we remembered other than her knocking on the door and asking for matches was that she seemed upset on the bus. The bus ride to and from school left everyone on a corner a few blocks from their homes.
We hated riding the bus and after moving to Oklahoma and being forced to ride the bus for over a year, finally started walking to school. The mean kids threw things at us and called us names.
Bus rides were so bad for us that we never allowed our own children or grandchildren to ride the bus. Ever.
Melinda was two years older than us and also popular but my sister and I were far from popular. Hand me down clothes and being transplants from California to Oklahoma along having no mother, we were easy targets for bullies. My buck teeth and stutter most likely didn’t help either.
Back then a father raising three kids was very unusual. Our dad was at work so much in Oklahoma that when he was home, the last thing he wanted to hear was a problem much less, a suicide.
The entire school shut down for the funeral and our dad took the day off to go with us. I’m fairly certain that the shock of a child committing suicide shook our neighborhood to the core as it had our family.
We were nice to Melinda but she rarely talked to us which is why it was so odd that she came to our house to borrow those matches. How did she know our dad even had matches? She had never been in our house because we weren’t allowed to have friends over while my dad was at work.
My dad asked if we had seen her before Melinda went home and found that gun? We had. Cindy and I were the last people to see Melinda before she shot herself.
Melinda had wanted a pack of matches but, they were our dads matches and we weren’t allowed to touch them. We told her that we couldn’t give the matches to her or we would get in trouble. When my dad told you not to touch something, you didn’t!
The last thing she said to us was “it’s okay. I’m not allowed to play with matches either.” No mention of suicide or finding her dads gun or planning to kill herself. Cindy and I went back to cleaning the house and were wiping the counters when we heard the shot.
For the rest of our lives, we wondered if we had just given her the matches would Melinda still be alive today?
Over the next year, Melinda’s suicide tore her family apart. Her younger sister stopped going to school and her parents divorced after blaming each other.
My dad eventually moved us away from the neighborhood we would never forget.
The tragedy of those left behind when someone chooses suicide is a scar that never heals.
My niece has mental issues and an addiction problem with self medication. Stephaney constantly threatens to kill her self. If you aren’t doing what she wants, she’s suicidal or so she says.
After sixteen years of “trying to save Stephaney,” my sister and my entire family have given up.
It’s sad but, my niece has caused so much anxiety to our family, Stephaney could care less how much drama she brings to us.
The FB Lady reminded me of my niece. Do this or do that demands or someone is going to commit suicide are not my idea of a relaxing evening.
Stephaney constantly makes demands on our family. How bad is it? We’ve had her committed three times in six months. That’s how bad it is. Stephaney ruined my carefully orchestrated Christmas last year as usual.
We can be on location and someone will call about another “Stephaney Emergency” over and over again. It’s happened more times than I could count which is why we don’t answer our phones on location.
Although Stephaney is bilingual, she’s only worked two Events the last six years because she also works as a waitress. When she’s “off the wagon” she doesn’t work at all.
My sister and I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on saving Stephaney. Eight rehab stints later, our money was far from well spent.
With two husbands planning to retire, we can no longer afford to save Stephaney. At thirty one years old, my niece is finally learning that the Bank Doors of Wendy and Cindy are now closed. We love her but we are raising her twin daughters and have been for fourteen years WITHOUT CHILD SUPPORT.
No matter how many times we’ve told Stephaney “this is the last time we are helping you because we have the responsibility of raising both of your daughters.” My niece continues to run up traffic violations and other legal issues. We aren’t hiring an attorney or paying any more of Stephaney’s bills. This last slip up was it for both of us. Our husbands have no idea how much money we’ve actually spent on Stephaney. They’d both have heart attacks if they did. Saving Stephaney has cost Cindy and I tens of thousands of dollars.
Eight months ago, my niece Stephaney “fell off the wagon” again which has caused Cindy and I along with my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna great sorrow. It’s devastating to have someone stable for a few years and then lose them again.
We had Stephaney stable for four years and thought we had her back for life but, we were wrong.
An addict will find any excuse to celebrate even if the “grand opening” they are celebrating happens to be a pack of cigarettes.
At some point over the past 6 months, I gave up patiently begging my niece to straighten up and take her meds and go to work. When my niece continued to disrupt the pleasant afternoon I had planned for Christmas last year, I lost it and told her to shut up or leave my house.
I’ve never kicked anyone out of my house before but, if you’ve never dealt with a family member struggling with mental illness OR addicted to meth, you have no idea of how difficult it is to “act normal.”
Trying to keep a holiday get together happy with my family is far more trying than orchestrating an event for a client.
I’ve decided to skip Christmas this year and travel. Cindy and I are taking the twins to California and leaving the drama of Stephaney and my dad behind in Texas.
For years my dream of the perfect holiday gets screwed up. The shopping, the cooking, the planning and the expense of trying to have one (just one) drama free family event is something that I’ve never been able to achieve WITH MY OWN FAMILY.
My nieces argue with my daughter in law or my daughter in law giving political views to my husband that he strongly objects. My “no politics” speech at WorthamWorld is there for a reason.
The reason? Arguments. Everyone in my family have different views on politics and Religion, Prison Weddings and LBGT Marriage.
If I had a nickel for every time a few of my family members have questioned or challenged my political views OR my client base- I would be rich by now. It’s an all out argument if THEIR view in MY house that never ends well.
Many of my family members disagree with LBGT Marriage and Prison Weddings. I don’t care. Their opinions don’t dictate my beliefs or my client base either.
People in my family will argue a point to such an extent that I will refuse to speak to them for months. Opinions don’t altar my views or my client base. Some members of my family are Baptist. Others Methodist. Others Mormons. All of them think their religious view is better than someone else’s.
Political Views or Religious Preference “rants” are as unwelcome in my home as they are on my social media accounts. I never comment on anything political or religious. Everyone has their opinion but, I keep my own to myself.
My husband is thankful that after sixteen years of trying to plan the perfect holiday get together with our families and having my niece or daughter in law effectively “screw it up again,” we don’t have to muddle through the unpredictable behavior that a person struggling with mental disorder OR drug abuse or even a self involved and opinionated relative bring to our otherwise calm and perfectly executed planned holiday get togethers. Matthew has given up and I have to. No more family gatherings at our house. We will meet you at a restaurant or the movies for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.
Perhaps because the FB Lady messages were so varied and I couldn’t sleep worrying that I might be the last person she spoke to, I continued to answer messages from the lady on FB.
I wanted to make sure the lady contacting me wasn’t suicidal and if she was, I wanted her to get help.
For most of my life I’ve tried to help anyone for any reason but now and again, my efforts were similar to spinning my wheels.
I responded to this suicide threat message by sending the FB Lady contact links to Suicide Prevention and she responded by saying she was jobless. It’s really difficult to converse with someone who doesn’t make any sense. Jumping from one thing to the next, I wondered if perhaps she was on drugs or struggling with mental illness herself. God knows in my life I’ve encountered both varieties.
Was she suicidal because she was jobless? Frankly her messages were missing words and misspelled so badly that I began to wonder if she was struggling with mental illness or drunk? After all, her first message was after 11PM.
Knowing my cleaners was needing help, I suggested contacting them as well as Goodwill. These were valid suggestions and within walking distance from her apartment.
By 4AM Saturday morning, she had finally stopped messaging me. Not knowing whether she would message again, I went to sleep for a few hours before things took a turn for the worst and the messages continued to roll in like a demanding child wanting candy.
Rather than acting on my advice and sling initiative, the FB Lady wanted me to solve all of her problems myself.
The FB messaging back and forth continued throughout the weekend from this lady constantly disrupting my schedule from Friday to Monday.
Ironically, in order to keep my quick response rating on FB, I was literally forced to respond regardless of where I was or what I was doing.
By Sunday, I stopped responding at all and by Monday, my patience and sympathy had flown out the window. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my twin sister regarding phone calls. It’s not well known that my phone rings over fifty times a day.
People calling me expect me to drop everything and take their calls but, I don’t. Why? I’m busy with clients and in my opinion, if you can’t bother to leave a message, I’m not going to bother to call you back.
Please don’t expect me to drop everything to answer my phone immediately simply because you decided to pick up the phone and call me having no idea what I’m doing at the moment you decide to “drop me a call.”
If you’re going to get upset that I don’t immediately take your call, you’re going to be a bigger problem once you are a client. I prefer to skip Bridezilla behavior and if you are that demanding, wish you well.
A few months ago, someone was calling me about a Texas Prison Wedding. Since I was at my surgeons office, I sent the call to voice mail.
She immediately sent a reply text saying she needed me to call her about a Prison Wedding. I responded to her that I was at the doctor and would have to call her back. Angry face emoji response from her was the answer she gave. I blocked her. I don’t have to take every client and, I don’t. If you are that demanding, find someone else. I have a life and occasionally commitments that prevent me from answering my phone every time it rings.
Don’t get me wrong I’m reasonable but, I also juggle a very booked out schedule and if you are an “instant gratification” type of person who expects everyone to drop everything to answer your call immediately in order to please you, I don’t want you on my schedule. No one can answer everyone’s call all of the time and I can’t either.
These types of “I want it now and I’m the most important” folks call and email constantly and always assume that they are your only client.
On any given day I’m juggling clients from four different groups. From Texas Prison Weddings to Texas Twins Events, & The Pawning Planners to Texas Twins Treasures.
Weekdays are spent either meeting clients wanting to barter or booking through Texas Twins Events for Prison Weddings or other services as well as traveling to Appraisal Appointments for Pawning Planners Clients. To say “my schedule is tight” is an understatement.
“YOU can’t LEAD a CONGREGATION, without TURNING your BACK on the CHOIR, focus on WHAT is in FRONT!”
I’m experienced enough to know that saying no early on saves me aggravation. I will never forget the Bitchy Bride who had only hired me to Officiate her wedding.
Over the next four months she also expected free photographers for eight hours “because you have a team. Bring them with you because I can’t afford to hire a photographer and I really want two.”
Hiring an Officiant doesn’t include a Team. The option is available of course but, it isn’t free. Last year, a client who had hired me to Coordinate and create all of her floral designs added on two more team members and two security guards at the last minute.
This wasn’t a problem because we had staff available and the client was happy to pay the additional expense. Needless to say, the client was thrilled and my staff were happy to spend 11 hours on Location getting PAID for their efforts.
The other “I want it all but don’t want to pay for it” aka The Bitchy Bride was so spoiled rotten and needy that when she wasn’t calling, she was emailing and “adding on” expenses over and over OR SHOWING UP UNANNOUNCED AT MY HOME.
One day, after I was hospitalized for kidney stones, the Bitchy Bride even showed up at my home office and wanted to tell my husband the type of flowers she wanted along with two photographers and additional staff that she wasn’t paying for. Yep, he was as shocked as I was. “You DON’T have to work. You don’t have to deal with these types of people. If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries or value your time or even bother to make an appointment- I strongly suggest refunding them immediately. You have people that you enjoy. Get rid of the ones that you don’t.”
As usual, I ignored this sage advice and thought that I could work through this unbearably demanding Bride. Muddling through months of her consistent interruptions and praying for her wedding to be over and done with, I finally suggested calling the florist she had hired regarding flowers. Not my luggage- not my trip.
If you have NOT paid me to provide floral designs, I’m happy to loan what I have IN STOCK. I do not create custom floral designs for free. No one does.
My husband was (as usual) right. Telling her no was a game changer. Finally “losing my patience” regarding her expecting me to “whip up” 42 centerpieces “because you are a floral designer” sent me over the edge.
I have 10-25 Clients in ANY given month. Custom floral designs are not free to me or anyone else. There isn’t a flower fairy stopping by my home.
The Bitchy Bride finally stopped sending me more photos of “what she wanted” and adding on services that she hadn’t paid for.
Drawing a line in the sand put an end to more surprises down the road. Trust me, she would’ve never stopped. Narcissistic People never do.
My sister told had told me to “bust the Bitchy Bride loose” within a month of agreeing to Officiate and, I wish I had.
For some reason, I thought that if I just accommodated this request or that one, she would realize how generous I was being.
Instead, she decided that if I would “do that that I would do this.” Moochers suck. People who think they are better than everyone else or deserve more than anyone else actually suck more.
“Don’t PAY for an APPETIZER, and EXPECT a BUFFET!” Trying to solve everyone else’s problems at your expense isn’t going to help you. Instead it will hurt you. Financially and emotionally being taken advantage of “because you help people,” has taught us to advise them that first they need to help themselves.
The experience of muddling through months of more, more, more from a Demanding Diva or, Bitchy Bride wore on me.
Dragging myself through her idiotic demands, add ons, phone calls and emails wore me out. I will never do it again. If you want to add on services, expect to pay for the additional services.
My other Diva started with hiring an Officiant ended with an Officiant, loaned flowers, two photographers, two set up teams and eight hours on Location. Her expectations never ended until I advised her of what everything she wanted would cost. It was an eye opening discussion.
Demanding clients cost you money and time. I have moved on from outrageous people and my business literally boomed.
No more free “add ons” no more ridiculous demands. No more feeling sorry for everyone that didn’t have anyone else to help them but expected my family and I to help “because you help people.”
If you hire an Officiant, that’s what you get. If you hire a photographer you don’t get Two unless you pay for them. No more of this hire an Officiant and get everything else you want without paying for it.
The fact that none of these Demanding Diva’s had anyone else to help them should’ve opened their eyes but, didn’t until my song became no, no no or “it actually is all about the money!”
At the end of the day, we aren’t volunteers. If you can’t afford something, don’t ask someone to just give it to you.
If we are helping you when no one else will, you need to be thankful not Demanding. The fact that both of these brides were so demanding and ungrateful will never cease to amaze me. Really. I was taught to say please and thank you. Why wasn’t everyone else?
“IF you WANT the HONEY from the HIVE, don’t COMPLAIN about the STINGS that COME with IT, sometimes getting WHAT you WANT is PAINFUL.” Nothing is free for you or me. If you want more, expect to pay for it.
Cutting loose the “want it all” Diva’s gave me far more time to address more clients. It was the single best decision that I’ve ever made to kick to the curb anyone who thought they were making the rules but, paying for the fringe benefits they expected for free and move on.
Too bad I didn’t realize it years ago. Thinking that customer service and exceeding expectations would benefit me instead backfired and brought a wide array of people wanting something for nothing. “I heard you help people” was the song they were singing but, the people we help were offering something in return that benefited us which is how bartering works.
If you are booking through Texas Twins Events, you pay for services. If you are bartering, you have something of value to offer.
If you just want something for free, go find someone else to solve all of your problems. I can offer you advice but, we aren’t volunteers for endless hours on Location.
I have a Team and my “Team” consists of four generations of my family. We never work together at an Event unless I’m Coordinating and the Client has hired photographers or additional staff.
Hiring me doesn’t come with the fringe benefit of a team. Dependent on what your needs are or what you’ve hired us to do is how I decide how many Team Members are actually required on site at an Event.
Listen ya all, the last type of referrals that you don’t want are the Diva’s who want it all but don’t want to pay for it.
Months of dealing with the “Bitchy Bride who wanted it all” taught me yet another lesson. Cut em loose and let these “problem people” find someone else to harass.
Bitterness is the worst quality in someone who makes everyone else miserable and enjoys doing it. Ask me, I’ve met a few.
Bitter or Bitchy, Demanding or a Diva types of clients are ones that we don’t want. We’ve had them before and we no longer take them on. The Risk isn’t worth the Reward. The worst kind of referral you want is someone who thinks you work for free or have a magic wand to “make all of their wishes come true.”
At yet another Dream Event for a Pawning Planners Client, things got so out of hand over a four month window that when Cindy wasn’t with me, I called her to complain about how this Dream Event was turning into a disaster. We were actually filming this Event which only made it worse.
When it rains it pours and the timing couldn’t have been worse. Why? I had three Demanding Diva’s and Dream Events all scheduled within the same month. Because of this, I juggled all three for months leading up to their event.
For months when one Diva wasn’t calling or sending me photos of what she wanted, another one was. This was way back when I believed that doing everything for everyone would expand my business. Thousands of dollars and demands later, I should’ve “Just Said No.”
Have you ever noticed that when someone wants something they go through three stages to get it? First they ask nicely. Then they try guilt. If guilt doesn’t work then they get angry. It’s best to let them get mad and move on but, I’ve had to learn that.
I had committed to renting the tables and chairs, Officiating and providing photography for a bartered event to one Diva based on the value of her trade. She thought an Officiant/Photography Package and chair rental included everything her heart desired. She was wrong.
When you hire an Officiant, the timeframe involved for a ceremony only is 1-2 hours. An Officiant for a Wedding Ceremony and Rehearsal? Two to three hours.
If you’ve hired an Officiant on my team, you DIDN’T hire a coordinator. A coordinator spends MONTHS on an event and the fees associated with Officiating or coordinating are remarkably different.
Hiring an Officiant doesn’t include photographers, set up/tear down teams or anything else. If you want a additional services for your event that weren’t in your original contract, expect to pony up and pay for them.
Over the next four months, the list of services that she expected grew and grew. Wearily, I trudged on.
I now require a contract from anyone for any service based on what happened.
Juggling three Diva’s in the same timeframe was taking the life right out of me. The Pinterest photos they kept sending and what they wanted were literally “beyond their means.”
Cindy summed it up “Don’t shake the TREE unless you are WILLING to eat the FRUIT that FALLS.”
My Tree shook with not only providing the wedding cake but also the groom cake, clothing for the flower girls, flowers for the Bridal party, a band, and more.
By the time I finally did say no, I was so sick and tired of hearing “I want this or that” the Diva got mad. I should’ve cut her loose too but, I learned to have a contract and set limits from the start.
Contracts outline exactly what to expect and are the best investment you can make. Without a contract, I had these Diva’s adding on and on after our initial agreement. I don’t have that problem anymore.
Requiring A Contract solved everything for me and my new rule became “No Contract? No Deal.”
My sister drops everything to run to her phone. Frequently, the caller is trying to sell her something. For years I’ve suggested letting it go to voice mail rather than jumping because someone called.
Why upset your day and your schedule to answer a phone simply because someone has called you? I have low blood pressure while Cindy has high blood pressure. Why? Because there is only one of me and I refuse to be stretched in every direction.
What I’m not willing to do is take a call while I’m already with a client and direspect the client standing in front of me by prioritizing a phone call.
I’m also not willing to leave my dinner table and answer a call either. If you call three times and hang up in a row, you’re a problem.
Assuming that calling me over and over is going to move you to my priority list gives you an idea of how demanding some people actually are.
Someone once called me fifteen times before blocked them. I don’t need those kind of stressful people who have no idea that they are harassing you to death on my roster.
Perhaps people calling me assume that their phone call is urgent but, if it was so urgent, why didn’t they call sooner? Email actually gives me far more information but, if you don’t leave a message, I’m not going to call you back.
By Saturday morning while running errands with my husband and discussing the solution that I thought I had found FB Lady. But, I was wrong.
My husband wearily looked at me getting out of his SUV and said “the job market is better than it’s been in years. Look even the liquor store has a help wanted sign on the door. Tell her to go find a job.”
As my husband got out of his SUV to go buy champagne for my Saturday evening wedding ceremony, yet another message came through Texas Twins Events FB Page from the same woman.
This time the FB Lady wanted to know if I would drive her to the cleaners to fill out the application because she didn’t have a car.
Why couldn’t she take the bus like anyone else who doesn’t have a car? I was concerned about this because I knew the area she lived in when suggesting a job within walking distance. If I’m afraid to go to a known high crime area, it’s for good reason.
My husband returned to the car and asked “is that her again? You’ve answered at least five messages from her since 6AM between making breakfast, taking client calls, walking Foxy and paying attention to me. Doesn’t that lady know you’re busy?”
Ironically, my husband was right. For some reason the FB Lady had managed to interrupt me although she wasn’t calling me. In three days time, she had messaged me 47 different times.
What was wrong with me dropping everything with a full weekend of commitments to address her needs? Sympathy. I felt sorry for her.
Maybe I believed that I could help her on Friday but by Monday I knew better. I’ve been unable to help my niece for years too. I hate that I’ve failed her but, no amount of attention or counseling or drug rehab has changed my niece.
Feeling sorry for someone doesn’t require driving to their location or picking them up or putting myself in danger.
I told my husband that she wanted me to pick her up Monday and take her to the cleaners to fill out an application.
Alarmed, my husband was instantly furious. “You don’t know her and you don’t know anything about her. From what you’ve told me, she has no car and no job and obviously nothing to lose by knocking you in the head stealing your money and taking your car. Are you crazy? Tell her to take the bus and stop answering her messages. She’s manipulating you and your kind heart. Snap out of it! This lady isn’t a client and you don’t owe her anything. You’ve given her direction and insight but she continues to want more. Before this is over, I promise she’s going to ask for money. I refuse to allow you to involve yourself further because I see danger where you see yourself saving her. You can’t save everyone and I can’t either. Let her go.” I didn’t bother to tell him that she had already asked for money.
Pulling into the grocery store and answering my Saturday Bride about the timelines of her Event, another message came through from the FB lady who was quickly becoming a stalker. “Where are you? I need to talk to you. I need some money right now. What’s your phone number? Give me your address.”
None of these messages made me feel like I had helped her. She was wanting to attach herself to me and the last thing my husband wants is a stranger calling me or asking me for money or worse, showing up at our home.
After I didn’t drop everything and go take her money, she sent another surprise message through FB that read “My husband beats me and I need a place to live.” I suggested the Women’s Haven. It’s not unusual for me to refer someone in a dire situation to a shelter.
Years ago, I was a resident myself. Cindy and I were both residents of the Women’s Haven at fifteen years old for six weeks. After six weeks, you are expected to have found work and move out of the shelter.
Homeless at the time, we would learn that working is the only way to haveour own home and left Women’s Haven to never return. We were “down and out” but, we weren’t looking for a Handout.
At fifteen, we took our hardships and made a life for ourselves by working. We didn’t ask anyone to give us money. We didn’t ask anyone to give us a car or a place to stay. We went to work and made our own way in life. Luckily, we had each other. We were also smart enough to know that if we wanted something, we had to work for it.
I didn’t bother telling my husband that the FB Lady wanted to move in with us or that she needed a car or the any of other surprising requests or demands. He would “lose it!”
If he knew how far answering a FB message had gone aside from suggesting a job to this lady, he would’ve been up all night watching the video monitors fearful that she would come after me.
Warily, as the messaging continued, I was thankful that she didn’t have my phone number. I ignored more and more notifications from the woman who had somehow managed to squeeze into my life via FB business messages.
I also ignored the seven grocery store messages and her other messages as I continued with the rest of my busy weekend.
The FB messages never stopped. By Monday morning, these messages had caused my husband to fear for my safety and he wondered what exactly this lady wanted from someone who was just trying to help?
Sunday evening, another rash of messages came through my business page and just like my husband warned, she was asking for money for a car and a place to live.
If I wouldn’t give her a car or a place to stay, her solution was to bring her enough money for her to find shelter in the middle of the night? Where were her parents or siblings? How had this gotten so out of hand? I was just trying to be helpful and friendly.
I decided to wait until Monday morning to respond. My Monday message to her suggested not only calling 2-1-1 but also starting a GoFundMe Campaign.
Her reply message? “Help me! My husband took all of my money and I need you to come to 4901 West Freeway right now and bring me money!”
How it went from needing a job to being suicidal to needing money in three days time gives you a better explanation of the lengths that she was willing to go in order to get something from me. Something tangible aside from advice. A payback for answering a late night message coming through FB. No good deed goes unpunished.
I showed my husband the Sunday night FB message this morning as he got ready for work and asked about my schedule this week. Between medical appointments and clients, I have a full schedule.
Matthew was shocked and concerned that this lady had latched on to me and wouldn’t stop making demands. Frankly, I was too. I was so glad that she didn’t have my phone number and kicking myself for trying to be helpful while I was at it.
Squeezing in treatments for a surgery in July was a hurdle but, my surgeon caught the problem early in and my medical team is working with my client commitments.
Sad but true, my husband had nailed all of the FB Lady problems just as he had a few years ago when an event venue owner called me about generating clients.
His response to strangers asking me to send them Clients was priceless “where were all of these people when you needed Clients? Do they even realize that your clients from The Pawning Planners, Texas Prison Weddings and Texas Twins Treasures don’t even need a venue? Do they care? If I were you, I’d explain that you are on staff at many venues and if you were going to suggest a location, it would most certainly be one that benefits you. Can you imagine if I called another homebuilder and asked them to send us clients would go? I’m being honest when I tell you that they would hang up and laugh. Putting the effort in with people just because they decided to call you is a thankless task. What’s in it for you? Start charging these people for your knowledge and wisdom because like me, you earned your experience. No one gave it to you and no one gave you Clients either.”
My husband is fifteen years older than me and doesn’t have a soft spot for strangers. If you are calling him, it had better be business related.
At his age, he’s learned that volunteering and fundraising for others never earned him any new business for the thirty years he spent promoting the Builders Association.
Matthew hates socializing and talking on the phone. He has earned the right to “tune out” demanding clients at his age and goes to great lengths to cut someone out of a contract of they are asking for more and more “because they are a client.” If Matthew isn’t “on the clock,” he isn’t interested in work problems.
Now and then, my husband will ask about my clients for the week or how this or that went. If I sigh and grab my phone, he knows something is up. Without asking what most of the time, his cranky response is predictable and well rehearsed “cut em loose.”
For two weeks one venue lady asked me over and over to send her clients for her new business. “You have a huge social media presence. If you would promote my business and suggest my venue to your clients, I could finally start getting money.”
Hmm, shocking isn’t it how someone I don’t even know could suggest that I promote their business at my expense with nothing in return.
One venue owner even suggested writing blogs for her because “I was so good at it.” I am good at blogging and, I also get paid for target market blogging because blogging isn’t a volunteer effort.
Blogging keeps all of my sites on top of search engines. No one has more unique and creative content than me because our client base and adventures are far from ordinary. The wild mix of business and family along with “characters” like FB Lady keep my readers wondering what’s going to happen next.
The clients and the locations of our events are an effective melting pot of variety. No one following my blogs knows what I will write next and quite frankly neither do I.
I would love to say that this “send me more clients and share my posts to your social media” demand or request is an isolated incident by venue owners but, it isn’t.
Venue owners who want more clients but these folks have never referred one of their clients to our business. Tit for Tat explains how my social media is so stellar. What? You don’t understand? I work my ass off retweeting, liking, sharing and promoting my connections. It’s a time consuming effort that I’ve spent years on. No one “gave me” followers. I earned them.
How did I earn them? By promoting my connections which is why they promote me.
Since the flood waters of venue owners calling not emailing continued to disrupt my days for years, I found a new way to stop all of this time consuming requests for “free advice.” Consultations are paid by the hour.
If you want my “free advice to promote your business,” find someone else to spend hours giving you direction and insight. I’m out of the “all for you and to Hell” with me business. It sucks and it costs me time which is priceless.
I’m either busy with clients from Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, Texas Prison Weddings or Texas Twins Treasures or spending time with my family when these calls continue to roll in.
The last thing I want to waste my time on is helping someone who has no idea that the time I’m spending solving their problems takes time out of my day.
My sister wrote a blog that’s had over 10,000 views. The title? Mansions, Moochers & Morons. We’ve met more than anyone actually realizes. The blog is hilarious because it’s true. An actual event for someone rich who proclaimed to be poor. Cindy was LIT.
The “all for me” folks who want you to bend over backwards accommodating their needs with nothing in return except occasionally contacting us again for something else.
Years ago, everyone wanted me to sell their stuff for them because “I’m so good at it.”
Having an eBay store since 2009, everyone was happy for me to do all of the work selling their item and assume all of the risk if there was a problem or the buyer decided to return it.
Who had to refund them AFTER paying the people who had asked initially asked me to do all the work and assume all the risk to sell their stuff? Me.
Assuming all of the risk with none of the rewards because “you can sell anything. I don’t know how. We could really use the money and need you to sell it for me” folks left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Me, me, me. They know who they are. Do it yourself. Learn how to fish. I did. Nobody did it for me.
Keeping 100 percent feedback is nearly impossible. Getting it and and maintaining it on eBay is difficult for any seller. How did I get stellar feedback? Bending over backwards to accommodate my buyers that’s how.
On more than a few eBay sales, I lost money because the buyer knew the terms and decided to change them. “It’s the wrong color or it doesn’t fit” weeks or months after I’ve paid a friend or frenemy for their sold item later, I’m forced to refund or relist the item and hope to sell it at a loss. No good deed goes unpunished. Helping someone else sell their stuff sucks! I won’t even do it for family members anymore.
I don’t offer free priority shipping or international expedited shipping for free. Why? It’s not free to me.
I no longer sell anything for anyone because I’ve been burned doing it. Paying fees or getting suckered into delivering an item or paying Express delivery to benefit someone else is a thankless task.
If you want to sell something, sell it yourself. Don’t know how? There are many outlets of selling items and they all require fees. You could even consign your item and pay a fee if you aren’t interested in listing it yourself. The cost to you? Forty to sixty percent of the selling price.
I have a new rule for anyone wanting me to sell their stuff. What is it? I take the commission out of the selling price. How much? It depends on how much effort I have to put into selling the item. If you want me to clean it or refurbish it in order to sell it at a higher price, get our your checkbook.
Feeding the sharks will bring them back to you. Feeding a stray cat will have them waiting on your porch every morning rather than catching mice or searching for food on their own. It’s a fact.
This morning I had a talk with my sister regarding buying Stephaney cigarettes, food and etc. My niece was fired again two weeks ago and for the past two weeks my sister and I have been putting gas in her car and paying for everything.
Stephaney has no reason to look for a job because we are paying all of her bills. My niece has been coddled her entire life. In order to change this “Saving Stephaney Scenario,” I told Cindy that we have to stop enabling her.
Four years ago, Cindy rented an apartment for Stephaney assuming that she would find a job. We furnished the apartment and bought groceries for six months.
Every time we went to beg Stephaney to get a job she claimed she couldn’t because she didn’t have a car. After years of buying cars that she had wrecked, we both refused and bought her a bike instead.
My niece never took the bike to find a job. Six months and thousands of dollars of rent and utilities, cigarettes and groceries later, my niece was arrested in Oklahoma on meth again with the homeless addict that she had moved in behind our backs.
The moral of the story (yes, there is one) is that if you enable someone they will never support themselves. Lazy people never do. It’s easier to let everyone ride shoulder the responsibility of their problems.
I saw the similarities of our joint enabling four years ago and this time finally decided to let Stephaney figure it out. If she wants her brand of cigarettes she can find a job and buy them.
Stephaney wants to move home and have food at her disposal, free rent and live with my sister but, after all of these years, Cindy has learned that her priority is raising her grandchildren not her adult children.
Cindy has custody of her twin granddaughters and has since they were born. Taking care of the twins mother isn’t Cindy’s responsibility or mine. We have far too many responsibilities already.
I refreshed Cindy’s memory by reminding her that at thirteen years old, we were knocking on doors and mowing lawns to buy our own clothes. My dad told us if we want something you will have to work for it and, we did.
When I tell you no one gave us anything I’m serious. For some reason while raising own children, we overcomensated. It’s easy to do if you had a struggling childhood.
Being the mothers we never had, we gave our children everything we hadn’t. To correct the problem, tough love was a rude awakening but essential to a resolution in adult children expecting you to provide for them while often forsaking your own needs.
Boomerang kids feel entitled to live rent free. Why? They’ve never had responsibility. As parents, our responsibilities end at 18 unless children are attending college for our grandchildren because we’ve learned that overcompensating creates dependent adults.
Cutting em loose isn’t easy but neither was taking that bottle from your toddler. Every other species weans their children but for some reason, parents today are one upping their parents because they feel they are doing a better job at it.
Although there have been many times at an Appraisal Appointment where my sister and I noticed missing windows and barefoot children playing in the dirt, these people who had so little had a lot of pride.
They didn’t want anything for free from us. They wanted desperately to find something of value to barter their event service.
Poor people are proud. Opportunists aren’t. There’s a distinct difference between the two and when you’re as old as we are and have met hundreds and hundreds of families like we have- you know the difference.
Job loss is the primary reason many of our Pawning Planners Clients struggle financially. Illness and death are often the second reasons. Helpless and struggling to survive, these families aren’t looking for a Handout. They are working toward a Handup.
The difference of someone struggling through hardship and someone expecting a Handout are incredible. I’m serious. One end of the spectrum to the other.
We’ve met the arrogant dictators who wanted everything but didn’t want to offer anything. Demanding Diva’s who were far from poor and just too cheap or surprisingly thought that they were too good to pay for services like anyone else. Me, me, me or I, I, I is their song. Years ago, I learned to stop dancing to their tune.
Thankless idiots that you could never satisfy cost you money in business. My husband like me, cuts em loose quick. I don’t spend time on a client that no one could ever please and neither does he.
Sure, we’ve both sucked it up over the years and dealt with the worst clients in the world the ones who call and call regardless of how much you do or have done to accommodate them (often at your own expense). You think to yourself “if I just throw in this or that or do this or that I can make them happy.” But, you won’t.
Too much is never enough for some folks and while you are ripping your hair out trying to accommodate another outrageous request, you’re missing a quality client who is actually a joy to work with. Cut the problems loose and do it early.
While selling Cadillac’s years ago, Tom always got the best deals from the manager. Why? Tom took all of the managers required tests for GM. Anyone contacting the manager to buy a car was “bumped” to Tom.
On numerous occasions, Tom was on a cruise or in Hawaiia and I was told to deliver a sold vehicle to Tom’s customer. Tom had been paid well for the sale but I was expected to do the work.
By doing Tom’s job, I was removed from the sales floor and prospective Clients. Yes, I was lit about this “doing everything for someone else and not getting paid for it” scenario.
One day, I walked into Tom’s office and advised him that if I was going to deliver his sold cars, he was going to pay me for it. I had learned that nice guys finish last and was sick and tired of being a doormat. I won that battle and still kick myself for being stupid enough to play the patsy thinking one day he would throw the dog a bone.
Pompous and arrogant people expect you to be their patsy while others expect you to solve all of their problems. Cut em loose.
My husband is older than I am but, we’ve both always had to work for whatever we wanted. There weren’t any free rides for us. We didn’t have parents buying us cars or houses or paying our bills. We both left home at a very young age and “figured it out.”
While I had my twin sister to lean on, Matthew had only himself. There were no silver spoons in my mouth, my husbands mouth or anyone else close to us. We have worked for everything we have our entire lives. There are no free rides in the real world. My husband raced dirt bikes for a number of years. He has a room full of trophies because he was that good at it. Making extra money on weekends while selling door knobs during the week at eighteen years old, he was happy. Doing what he loved and earning money from a job that would one day teach him everything he needed to know about construction and development, he walked in one day and was called into the owners office. “If you get hurt racing dirt bikes and can’t come to work or perform your job, you’re fired.”
My husband never forgot having to choose between what he enjoyed and what paid the bills. He was eighteen and he learned that work pays the bills. The following weekend, he quit racing dirt bikes and said goodbye to all of the friends he had acquired since he was ten years old.
Spoiled children become spoiled adults. My husband Cindy’s husband never had a Handout and neither did we. The reality is that none of us had a wedding that our parents paid for.
My reasons for starting Texas Twins Events and later expanding to include the barter option with The Pawning Planners was my knowledge of hardships that many families faced.
What I never set out to do and have no interest in doing is supporting deadbeats that need to figure it out. That’s right. I said deadbeats. I’ve met a few.
From the Bouncing Check- Broken Tooth Bride who could afford to rent a venue and everything else for her wedding that continued to pay me with bad checks to the lady who said her husbands mother was dying and wanted to see her son married and didn’t have any money but did have a Mercedes and mansion to the “foot stomping jackass” that demanded everything that she hadn’t paid for and more, I’ve met more deadbeats and Divas than anyone would ever guess.
Poor me stories are a dime a dozen. I’ve never met an actual “poor person” who contacted me and wanted everything and offered nothing in return. Shocking right? Struggling families aren’t Demanding Diva’s.
The FB Lady messaging me had a place to live and wasn’t homeless and after days of messages, also found a sucker (me) willing to listen to her sob stories that she thought would bend over backwards to accommodate her. What she didn’t find was someone stupid enough to run off and give her money.
The last message that I bothered to answer will grab you. “I was on your site and saw the guy trading his truck for a family reunion. If you don’t want to drive me, just give me a car. Looks like you guys get all kinds of stuff in trade. I need new furniture and saw a sofa on your Texas Twins Treasure site I want too.”
Man! My husband had this nailed Saturday morning but, it took me until Monday to figure it all out. Matthew can figure someone out in seconds. He’s really good at it. I try to find the good in people while my husband is suspicious of everyone. We are complete opposites.
My husband is my rock. He supports me in everything I do. Every crazy idea or business concept, Matthew “backs me.”
My husbands income is the sole reason that I don’t have to take a job working with a Demanding Diva. He wants me to enjoy my Clients and come home happy.
After years of muddling through miserable experiences with these “more, more, more clients,” I’ve learned to Just Say No. It saves me from being stomped on by one client who takes my time away from other clients.
For the record, items taken in trade and refurbished from Pawning Planners Clients are sold at Texas Twins Treasures to recover our expenses. We don’t give anything away because we can’t afford to.After three days of messages that went from bad to worse on my FB business page, I finally cut this lady loose and wished her luck.
We aren’t in the “just send me money or give me a car or give me furniture” business. We are in the bartering business which actually only accounts for 10-20% of our bookings.
Normally, giving insight or ideas to people has helped them find solutions but, if these folks don’t put the effort in, they won’t get a return.
Last year, a lady wanted a fence party. She needed a fence and thought we would just give her one. That’s not how this works.
A new free fence? As usual, Cindy couldn’t believe that someone was asking us to solve their problems. But, I had an idea and followed it through that didn’t invinvr giving someone a $2500 fence simply because they had asked.
Bartering Event Services means you give us something and we give you something. Consideration creates a client relationship.
I decided to run an ad for free fence panels and poles and even rented a Home Depot truck myself to deliver them. Cindy joined me loading up heavy panels and heavier poles.
Where was the lady? At work and on the clock getting paid. We weren’t paid for the expense of the truck rental or our time but, this would be a learning curve for us.
While I believed that getting second hand items to repair her fence would since the problem, I was in for a surprise. No good deed goes unpunished.
Stay tuned because this story gets better and better!That night, after arriving home to find the poles and panels in her backyard. the lady called to ask “when are you coming back to put the fence up?”
I told her she would have to find some help with friends or relatives. “Don’t TELL me HOW to FIX the FENCE, when YOU ain’t even IN the YARD, a FLAWED example is ALWAYS preferred, to PERFECT advice!”
We have clients that need us and who were also either paying us or bartering items to help them. Our clients are our priority.
Was I surprised that after all of my efforts that we were expected to put the fence up? Absolutely.
Would I ever put myself in a situation like that again? Never. Why? “NOT my LUGGAGE not my TRIP!”
“Don’t ask me for an apple and expect me to make you a pie.” You have to give to get with The Pawning Planners.
We aren’t rich and we aren’t day laborers either. “You wouldn’t steal fruit from the neighbors tree and then complain it’s sour” would you? Some people would. Ask me, I’ve met them.
Anyone reading #Cindyism Quotes quickly realizes that the truth contained in them is based on people. All kinds of people from all walks of life. Rich or poor, friend of foe, demanding or condescending. Cindy covers a very wide base of anyone from anywhere.
We’ve actually run across so many variations of people that it’s hard to surprise us anymore. Seriously.
A few years ago, someone contacted me wanting a wedding. She couldn’t afford a wedding dress. “I heard that you have bought wedding dresses to loan to your clients and need one in a size 8.”
I responded with “I’m not in the wedding dress business but, happen to have bought a size 8 that I’m happy to loan you.”
A few days later, her fiancé picked it up from Cindy’s house. She called me. “I need you to pick this up and have it altered because it’s too tight on the stomach area.”
I cannot make this shit up! If I’ve loaned you something or even gifted it to you, don’t expect me to pay for alterations.
I advised her that of the facts. Altering a wedding dress is easily $75 and up and if she needed it altered, maybe she should go to resale shops and buy her own dress. I meant it.Another lady borrowed a dress and then asked when I was going to have her invitations ready? Invitations?
The dresses I have to loan are items that I’ve bought and I don’t have them in any and all sizes.
You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. I don’t provide invitations or alterations for your event. If you want these items or extras, pay for them like everyone else. A few years ago, one lady contacted me to Officiate her wedding. A week later, she called me again. “I saw that you loan flowers but I need mine in lavender and pink. Also, I was on your Texas Twins Treasures site and saw that you have christening gowns for sale. I need one in a size four because I want you to baptize my son after our wedding.”
First… I can make you bouquets in your colors at a price. Custom bouquets aren’t loaned bouquets. Loaned bouquets are what I have in stock.
Second… Trying to be nice, I ended the auction on the size four christening gown selling for well over $85 and paid $6.50 for priority mail to send it to her.
One week later, rather than thanking me for giving her an item I could have sold, she contacted me again because it was too big and wanted me to have it altered. I have a lot of “what the Hell” type of moments around here.
What I should’ve done was make her pay a deposit and buy the christening gown like anyone else would.
Going out of my way to be generous was effectively a reminder that “no good deed goes unpunished.”
I advised her that I don’t sew or pay for alterations and strongly suggested finding someone else to alter the christening gown.
Thankless fools. There have been so many of them that I may just write a separate book sprinkled with #Cindyism Quotes on the sheer number of Demanding Diva’s we’ve met over the last ten years.
We weren’t rid of the christening gown lady though and heard from her again. This time, she sent photos of chair bows that she had found on Pinterest. She wanted me to make them for her.Since I’m an experienced floral designer, I knew immediately that due to the number of roses inside each heart with the bow, the cost for each would easily be $15 per for materials alone.
I advised her that ornate decorations like that would be a custom order and would also have to be paid for.
Inventory I have to loan is what it is. I’m not making something because you found it on Pinterest and want it. If you want it- pay for it!
Pinterest should have prices. All of the folks sending me photos of “Champagne Taste Wishes” on their “Beer Budgets” need a wake up call.The lady who had been given a free christening gown but wanted more, more, more finally pushed me so far with he preposterous demands that I cut her loose.
I literally kicked myself for putting up with her for over a month. For some people, too much is never enough. “I saw this and really like it. You make floral arrangements. Can you just make me 15 of these for my reception?” Sure. For a price!
If I sound cynical it’s because I am. If you want more than you’re paying for… do us both a favor and find someone else to feed your ego and your needs.
The reality is that more often or not, Demanding Diva’s have been told no by other people by the time they roll into my email or call. Everyone else figured out that they were a liability and cut them loose too.
We do are thankful for learning who to cut loose and who to help although we learned it the hard way. You can’t please all of the people all of the time but, you can please most of the people most of the time and the ones we do help are worth the effort.
Some folks aren’t worth the salt it would take to jerky them because they are too spoiled.
“UNLESS you are PAYING for the DINNER, don’t COMPLAIN about the PRICE of the MEAL.” What does this mean? If you didn’t put forth any effort, don’t expect to make the Rules. He who writes the checks makes the Rules.
My sister and I along with our husbands have survived hard times. We never asked for handouts because we come from a generation of workers.
We were taught that if you didn’t go to work, you didn’t get paid. We didn’t call in sick of show up late. We went to work early and put in more effort than our coworkers. Why? We needed jobs.
If our children or grandchildren wanted something, they were willing to work for it.
It’s a good lesson to teach children who have far more than they need to work for what they want.
Do you want your children to grow up into spoiled adults that think they are too good to work or do you want your children to become self sufficient adults able to care for themselves?
As parents, grandparents and role models, we have a responsibility to teach our children gratitude, compassion and self reliance. Work is rewarding that’s why people expect to get paid.
The Diva’s and Demanding Dipshits we’ve dealt with over the years taught us something important, we aren’t their parents and we aren’t going to coddle them either.
They may have been so spoiled by their parents that learning common sense and courtesy flew out the window years ago but, that’s not our problem.
If your adult children are so spoiled that you can’t deal with them, we can’t either…
Comments by Wendy Wortham