One Nice Benefit Of Being Unemployed: Kindness

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I caught up with some old competitors and a client for drinks and food the other night. The client was in town from Asia and game 1 of the Giants vs. Tigers World Series Game was on.

I’ve known everybody for years, so it was good to catch up. Originally, we were just going to get a couple drinks, but when the Giants started turning it on with Pablo Sandoval cracking 3 homers, we decided to get some food as well.

As an unemployed guy, I’m more conscious of my expenses. My eyes bugged out a little when I saw the $10 price for a mojito. But, given the Giants were winning, and everybody else was drinking, I decided what the heck. I ended up drinking two mojitos and digging in on the crab cakes, pizzas, artichokes, and sliders. All in all, I probably consumed about $40 worth of food and beverages.

When the bill came, I whipped out my rewards credit card to pay my fair share. One of my old competitors turned to me and said, “Don’t worry about it! You’re unemployed.” I kept on asking her whether she was sure, until I finally acquiesced. I’ve always wanted a sugar mama!

There were three people with three corporate cards that had $150-$200 per head limits. Therefore, picking up a $200 bill for five people was not a big deal.

I always offer to pay the bill, or at least contribute my fair share. Yet, I didn’t feel bad not contributing this time around, nor did my ego hurt being called “unemployed.” I am so used to working, earning a paycheck, and paying for clients that it actually felt great not having to pay for once! The ladies who paid the bill even gave an ever so slight hint of pity. I kinda digged it like a kid digs his mama for taking care of him while sick.

My old competitors don’t know how much wealth I’ve accumulated, how much passive income I generate, or how much I make online. All they know is that I negotiated my layoff and am currently unemployed. They showed kindness by grabbing the bill, and telling me they’ll keep a look out for me if any job opportunities come my way. I did tell them I was working on my own business online, but gave no details.

Being unemployed not out of choice must not be so great. However, even if I was unemployed against my will, I think I’d look at the positives, such as not having to contribute to a client outing bill. Perhaps if the client wasn’t around and nobody could expense the bill, that would be a different story. But in this instance, I enjoyed being taken care of.

I just wonder if this being taken care of feeling starts getting addicting to the point where I start expecting someone else or the government to always take care of me?

Untemplaters, would you have revealed to your old competitors that you’re financially independent? Or, would you simply accept you are unemployed and allow them to pay for you? Does being taken care of get addicting? Does wanting someone else to feel sorry for you become too alluring?






Unconventional Guides

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Moneycone October 26, 2012 at 4:52 am

Financial Independence isn’t something I would want to flaunt either. Who am I going to impress?!


Financial Samurai October 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

Hopefully not those who sympathize and plan to pay your bill in a group outing! :)


TB at BLueCollarWorkman October 26, 2012 at 5:47 am

Yep, I think sometimes when people get unemployed and then start getting unemploymnt checks they start thinking, “Oh, so I get a check like I’m working, but I”m not? Cool.” Addictive I bet. For me, when I”ve been out of work, I can’t stand it. I want to be doing something. My job aint’ the best, but doing something is nice!


Financial Samurai October 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

Or how about getting paid to look for a job? That’s hard work for anyone in any economy!


Sydney October 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

I can’t help myself but say Go Giants!!!!! I am thrilled they won game 1&2 and the team spirit in SF is incredible. Brings back good memories on 2010, yeah Giants!!!

Everyone’s situation is different and I think it’s cool they treated you for drinks and food. You offered and were willing to pay if need be and that’s more than a lot of people. I know a woman who always relies on her older brother to pay for everything when they go out because he makes more money. Its a little different bc they are family but he’s told me that he wishes she would at least offer once even if she doesn’t end up paying.

He worries that she isn’t going to learn how to stand on her own because she also has a tendency to quit jobs before really giving things a chance. Effort goes a long way and success and being financially stable doesn’t happen by itself!


Financial Samurai October 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

I cannot believe Panda hit 3 homers in game one and we hung on in game 2! GO GIANTS!!! WHEEEE!

The city was electric in 2012 when we won, I really hope we do it again. It’ll be great for our economy as it puts SF on the map again.

I really think I could get used to having someone pay for me 50% of the time, especially if it’s really not out of their own pocket.


Edward Antrobus October 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

Regardless of my financial situation, my rule is always offer to pay my way, and always accept if someone offers to pay for me. Actually, that rule applies to more than just money.

When I’m working at the closer of my two job sites, I ride my bike to work. It’s 8 miles and mostly flat, plus I’m in pretty good shape. Regardless of the weather, I’m prepared to ride into work, and ride home at the end of the day. When it’s raining, a coworker or my boss will usually offer to give me and my bike a ride home. Just because I don’t mind riding home in the rain, doesn’t mean I’m going to turn down the chance to not have to do it!


Financial Samurai October 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

Interesting rule to always accept! So what’s your rule for reciprocation then?


Edward Antrobus October 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Well, for people that I interact with frequently, such as my coworkers, my rule of thumb is: if I beat them to the register, I’ll buy their coffee.


Lindsey October 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

It’s always nice when friends or acquaintances reach out to pay the bill or think of you when new job opportunities come out.

I always offer to split or pay the full bill myself. I can see how being taken care of can definitely start getting addicting. We then start taking for granted our spouses, friends, family all these years. Got to remember to pay them back!


Kathleen @ Frugal Portland October 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I have friends that will pick up my tab more often than not — they’re doing really well for themselves, and they’re generous. I try to get them back however I can, but I don’t argue when they say, “put your purse away, this is my treat.” I say, are you sure? And then say thank you. Also, did you tell the corporate ladies you were on the market for a sugar mama? :)


Financial Samurai October 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Ha! I try not to announce it. Gotta be more strategic when locking down a sugar mama you know?


krantcents October 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I always pay my share or the entire bill if I were hosting. Being generous has its rewards too. I can feel good that I was generous and you can reciprocate when you can. If it was important to let them know that you are independent I am sure you would have. For example, I do not share my financial status with everyone either.


Financial Samurai October 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I don’t think I will ever let them know. It’s more fun just letting them assume my financial situation :)


Dominique Brown October 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

When I’m faced with the same situation, I would probably reveal to my old competitors that I am unemployed, but not that I’m financially independent. The reason being, if they want to feel pitty on me and pay my tab because of their perception, I will gladly let them fell as if they are doing charity work. I don’t wan to deprive them of feeling good. However, if they asked me to pay my fair share, I would pay my portion.


Sam October 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Sounds good Dom. All about being stealth mode baby!


101 Centavos October 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Entertainment on an expense accounts is a nice perk. It allows a certain education on the finer things more or less at no cost (time being the only expense). The other downside: waistline impact.


Sam October 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I was definitely healthier and ate more richly then. It was almost to the point where i took my food for granted!


William @ Drop Dead Money October 29, 2012 at 2:24 am

Like you, I offer to pay my share, but if they offer, I accept. I also remember next time to offer to pay theirs. If they put up a fight, lose graciously. As for your status: if they’re really interested, then tell. If they’re not really interested, what’s the point of telling them? In most people’s live having a job is the only way to live. To them, unemployed is an “error condition.” Well, maybe one day they’ll wise up. Until then, just hang out. Like the Panda man ;)


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