I have the unfortunate legacy of birth where 8 of my direct ancestors from distinctly different families, are in the famous book published around 1907, called 20th Century Impressions, possibly not matched by any other and had they all held on to their wealth, and managed to pass them down, I would own a whole chunk of Colombo, to say nothing of all sorts of places in the Country!
However I own not a square inch of Colombo, and the only item of value that I posses, is the property in which I live. I do not have a motor vehicle of any kind either!
Nevertheless due to family connections, acquaintances, friends made through the years, cultivated or not, I have a huge circle of people I know, who I don’t see every day, but when we meet, we restart from where we last left off.
So when friends who are in desperate need to enhance their profession or increase their value, ask me to give them details of people I know, so they can even if I refuse, contact them and make their presentations, I am at odds as to whether I should do so. After all I have never asked these people for any favors, and if they make an offer, it is for me to accept or refuse, for my benefit and not theirs!
My concern is that if I give the pursuer their details, if that person becomes a nuisance, it is I, trying to help someone, who becomes the fall guy for the salesman’s dogged determination. What should I do in these circumstances, as I look at it from my angle. Namely, if I do not want to be hassled, why should I want a friend (yes friend and not a business partner) hassled even if he is a billionaire?
If I am honest with the person who wants the details, he will think that I am being arrogant, unpleasant, not willing to help a friend or some such, when it is simply that I do not wish my friends to be cold called, even if it may really be of benefit to them. I hate receiving calls for sales pitches, and at one time I used to receive those of my boss, as my boss was unreachable, and I sifted through information that he may have felt useful by sending a memo, which he can chose to ignore in a list of details sent to him! I don’t want to pitch for someone else as I have learned to my cost, that when something goes wrong, it is I who gets the blame for introduction, and not the person actually doing the wrong thing.
I have been told, what is the point of knowing so many people if you don’t make use of them nor allow others to make use of them. To which I simply say, I know so many and have not fallen out with any merely due to this principle. I hate to make use of those I know for my ends. I may only suggest a person for a job by way of a letter or recommendation letter, which the recipient can decide upon!
If I sincerely believe any friend of mine rich or poor can benefit from my Counsel for whatever it is I think they wish to be helped with, then I am there for them. That is the motto by which I cultivate and keep my friends. I really have little else to offer. For most people my company is worth more than any bounty they can put on me, and for that I am truly grateful!