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To be considering changing my mind about helping someone after only one meeting?

(121 Posts)
SirBoobAlot Tue 15-Jan-13 14:01:54

A friend of a friend runs a small business, and is horrendously busy. The three of us all went to a talk a while ago, which is how I know him. We had a great night, and got on very well. He mentioned that he was overwhelmed with work, so I offered to help; research etc, I can do from home. He's not paying me.

So I went along for a meeting with him today, to go over what he needs me to do. I got there and he was really stressed with his accountant. He said, "He's just so disorganised, and rubbish at staying in contact. I think he must have a mental health condition or something." I replied, "Does he just not keep you up to date?". He said, "No, he is just generally crap. I think he must have a mental health condition, and you can't work with people like that. They just don't get it."

So, I said, "Well, actually I have a mental health condition." He looked at me sharply, and said, "We might not get on in that case." I told him I had Borderline Personality Disorder, and explained loosely what that meant. His phone then rang.

Then we started talking over what he needed me to do. Quite a lot more than I was expecting! He talked about a company he had contacted; "The first question they asked me was "are you disabled?". I mean, what is the fucking relevance of that? Some do-gooder set on ticking a box. Would they have helped me if I didn't have any legs?". I bristled again at this, seeing as I walk with a stick, but replied calmly, "I think especially with the current cuts that are going on, people have to give it an appearance of not being a vendetta against disabled people." He retorted, "It's not a vendetta. People have just got used to living outside of their means, and spending too much money, when they don't have it. Everyone can't be a charity case. We're economically fucked."

I don't really know what to do. I feel like I should just carry on and help him, because I said I would. But at the same time, I don't want to either start helping out and then be having to listen to this on a regular basis, or be helping for the wrong reason, ie, an attempt to change his mindset instead of because I want to help.

Currently have a battle between wanting to prove him wrong and wanting to protect myself going on in my head.

Would it be unreasonable to type up what we discussed today, and do what I said I would do before I am due to see him next (Friday), but then say "I'm sorry, but because of your views, I don't feel it will be suitable for us to work together"?

I'm really surprised he came out with this.

Doha Tue 15-Jan-13 20:21:34

Just read the thread SirBoobAlot and l think you sound lovely. It was very kind to offer this guy help to get sorted without any financial gain.

However he does not deserve help and l think you are right to walk away, l don't think he would be easy to work for and could perhaps cause you more harm than good.
Get your operation out the way, get your health back to the best it can be and try to do some voluntary work--there is something suitable out there it may just take a wee bit of time of find just what suits but many organisations are grateful for help when they can get it.

Great email--ignore his reply...
he really doesn't sound like a very nice person

JustAHolyFool Tue 15-Jan-13 20:22:00

From a sister in BPD: tell him to piss off.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Tue 15-Jan-13 20:23:42

Your email is perfect. He's a prized twunt.

SirBoobAlot Tue 15-Jan-13 20:31:41

Thank you, everyone. Feel very anxious now, but think the risk of a bad response is smaller than the back tracking I would end up doing from all my progress mentally had I exposed myself to these views on a regular basis.

twentyten Tue 15-Jan-13 20:36:38

Well done.You have done the right thing.Good luck-there are lots of people who would value you.

TheFallenNinja Tue 15-Jan-13 20:51:17

Work for free gringringringringringrin not in a million years.

bigkidsdidit Tue 15-Jan-13 20:56:01

Well done

I'd delete all emails back from him without opening, tbh.

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 21:00:20

Well done. Let us know what he responds, so we can bolster your confidence! smile

ceebie Tue 15-Jan-13 21:01:02

I used to do research for the Woodland Trust. I profiled companies or industries for them - mostly from websites, occasionally making phone calls. There wasn't a deadline for completing the task, I just tried to get each completed profile back to them within a week or two, and soon after they would send me another one. It was a few years ago that I did it but perhaps something like that might suit you? They certainly were appreciative of the help I was giving, and it was only a few hours every week or two!

SirBoobAlot Tue 15-Jan-13 21:04:29

Thank you all for the support, and also for the information on possibilities, certainly going to be doing some browsing smile

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:13:27

well done boobs, he didnt deserve you to be helping him. he sounds a bit of a prick. you done good

aftermay Tue 15-Jan-13 21:13:39

Good luck. I too think you did absolutely the right thing.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 16-Jan-13 01:24:22

Grrrr! Wish I'd seen this earlier, have fumed all the way through it, and then so relieved to see you've extricated yourself from involvement with this awful sounding person.
Everyone is saying don't do anything for him for free, I don't think you should do anything for him even for good money; he will not be good for you.
Brilliant advice here, well done Boobster.
Will PM you about the meet up for Frank, am hoping you'll help us check out venues.

ArtsMumma Wed 16-Jan-13 01:32:23

Firstly, you should not be working for this person, freely or otherwise and Im glad you turned it down. I am a freelance writer and would be happy to give you some pointers on getting a little casual work in research that would fit in with your condition. In fact, I might just be able to pass a little bit of [paid] work your way now and then. Feel free to get in touch!

dreamingbohemian Wed 16-Jan-13 11:24:15

Well done!

Please don't feel guilty. You are under no obligation to be nice or helpful to people who treat you badly.

Good luck finding some more enjoyable work to do!

littlemisssunny Wed 16-Jan-13 11:30:20

I also have mental health problems and am a people pleaser but please do not help this horrible horrible man especially as he wants you to do it for free!

Just say as you said yourself you can't work with people who have mental health problems and are disabled, I can't work with people who clearly are a wanker!

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 16-Jan-13 11:32:39

Wow, SirBoob, I can't believe you were considering working for free for him after his first comments! I thin you've done exactly the right thing.

Perhaps if you would really like to do some free research there might well be people on here who could use some online assistance. I suspect my work is too specialised - although it does tend to take me off on random tangents, I learnt about Dwarf Elephants the other day, how great do they sound?! - but there are lots of people on here who work remotely doing copywriting and similar, so I'm sure someone would benefit from a bit of help now and again.

littlemisssunny Wed 16-Jan-13 11:33:00

Oops sorry just realised I only read the first page and thought it was the end of the thread blush

Well done though on standing up for yourself!

everybodysang Wed 16-Jan-13 12:00:38

well done, so glad you're not going to work for him!

DonderandBlitzen Wed 16-Jan-13 12:04:01

"Well, actually I have a mental health condition." He looked at me sharply, and said, "We might not get on in that case."

No don't work for him

SirBoobAlot Wed 16-Jan-13 12:14:38

Thank you everyone. I haven't been brave enough to check my email today blush

Punkatheart Wed 16-Jan-13 13:12:10

What a lovely offer from Artsmumma. Research is great - such a lovely thing to get absorbed in. I love it when I have a book review to do, particularly if it's a non-fiction book. I learn such a lot!

Don't bother with your email - I can imagine exactly what he has said.

Read this messages instead. This gang is not for turning! When you have a Mumsnetter at your shoulder, you stand tall!

Not read the replies but seriously this man sounds like a dick and you should not work for him for free.

Find something/someone worthwhile you can help, not a tosser like him.

SirBoobAlot Wed 16-Jan-13 14:44:27

Artsmumma have just seen your post, thank you for your offer to point me in the right direction, much appreciated, I will PM you smile

Seeing my friend this afternoon so will tell him what has happened, just in case there is any backlash...

SirBoobAlot Wed 16-Jan-13 20:18:45

Okay, need more input, have just got a text from him:

SirBoob, I don't get it! What did I say to get you so upset? Now I'm upset! I think you have misunderstood me. Can we talk about it? Conversation is the way to deal with such things. Email and texts don't offer any chance to discuss. I'm really sad about what you think I might have meant sad

How do I respond to that? As far as I'm concerned, there was no room for misunderstanding.

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