Illustrations by MySketchbookProject
This has been such a busy week for me. Apart from the big domain name change, I have also been going places to sell my Pocket Nursing Guides. The best part is, I have started to actually attend a bloggers event, which is a huge huge deal for an introvert like me.
So here’s the dish. I’m 24 and a desperate millenial. I set myself up for goals to survive this year and to actually get involved in a corporate project. I figured staying at home won’t give me as much inspiration and know-how if I were to create a business apart from my selling hobbies.
So I joined this co-working seminar.
I met a few business minded individuals with different areas of expertise and we got to talking and planning, which was really awesome because I never had people in my life who supported my ‘ideas’.
Then there was this one person.
He’s your typical geek: thin, nerdy and almost always out of this world. It’s one to be proud of what you can do, and another to be totally on board with everything without giving anybody concrete solutions on how he can handle the job. So, okay, let’s say he was just that confident, that he can do anything we throw at him.
The annoying part was that he insisted on negotiating how he will be paid on a project he knows is an unfunded social start up business. All of us were willing to work in order to build everything up for free before we start generating income. We had to shut him up a few times.
After a few days of brainstorming, the weird shits happen.
First, we noticed he evaded every scenario where we’ll ask for his portfolio and service rates (like he never had one and was just fishing for offers).
Second, for a self-proclaimed web developer, we couldn’t contact him most of the time on Facebook and the way he’s asking to go to our homes for internet connection just didn’t make sense. I mean, if you really are a home-based web developer, an internet connection is the first thing to take care of, right?
Third, (this is the worst part, and as much as I cringe and grit my teeth remembering this, I had to share it) I felt harassed.
I’m not a dumb blonde not to notice if anyone’s trying to hit on me. At first I thought he was just trying to be nice but the moment he held my hand and squeezed it while I was writing, I got a red flag. Even if that’s just a hand, that is totally inappropriate and I felt scared.
However, I shrugged it off and said to myself I can psychologically shut this guy down by leading everyone to the topic that I already have a boyfriend. But that obviously didn’t stop him, and it just got weirder and weirder from that point on.
My rolling eyes and fake smiling obviously couldn’t get the point across. Even talking to him politely to stop whatever he’s doing was a failed attempt.
Here’s an example and I hope it creeps the living shit out of you. In our closed FB Group he said that after the project is over. he’s going to create a Pretty Eleigh College. He said it was going to be jurassic.
What the hell does that mean, right?
Then he kept on calling and sending texts. I don’t even answer or reply but he kept on bugging me. I stressed out with how I can handle this situation maturely. For a brief moment in time, I realized it’s hard to decide on a mature action when you’re friggin’ scared.
“Every once in a while we meet people who seem all good with potentials written all over their faces, but at a closer glance, they could be vultures; carefully watching your move, trying to manipulate things to their favor, waiting for that vulnerable time they can eat you bloody. And it doesn’t take a genius to take a warning and change directions.”
It was a great, great blessing to have met a female friend in that same event who shared the same thoughts on the matter. In fact, she was the one who told me about his fishy resume. In blazing fury, she lit up obvious that red flag I saw.
We figured context clues and polite negotiation can’t get to him, but we do not want to infuriate him because who knows he can go all out “Here comes Johnny” on us. So we simply blocked him from social media and in our phones.
The timing is really great because all this transpired within 3 days this week and ending this toxic acquaintance this soon is better than playing with the risk of trying to convert a sick person to sanity. He didn’t need anybody’s help and I figured if I tried to play the psychiatrist in this scene, I’ll be the one screaming for help.
Moral lesson: Do not negotiate with crazy terrorists.
It bums me out to meet those kinds of people that open you up to the harsh reality that you have to be on your damn sturdy heels at all times. As much as you want to see the good in everything, you cannot really have such a laidback attitude and assume that it’s all good, all the time, because more often than not that’s the kind of vulnerability vultures prey over.
I’m really thankful that God placed little clues as to who the persons I should build professional relationships with and who I should avoid at all costs.
Red flags are there to signal our intuitions that something horrendous is about to happen. Red flags are there to stop us from pining over the great potential and allow us to see the rotten apple, beautifully yet deceitfully displayed in front of us.
“Once you get a red flag, there’s only one thing to do.
Get the hell out of that situation as soon as you can.”
Don’t try to go around the situation hoping that things will figure themselves out. Well, sometimes they do, but sometimes you end up in a messier situation you have never imagined you’d be in.
If you’re not comfortable with someone, avoid building a relationship as soon as possible. The earlier you avoid them, the easier it is to move on. You don’t always have to assert yourself verbally because usually that opens you up for a compromise, which you do not want. Most likely you’ll be forced into a pity relationship that you’ll hate yourself forever for.
Take my word for it. Red flag means: Scram. Get out of there. Right NOW.
If you have any other tips on how to handle a red flag situation, kindly share them below. I’d love to know what you think about in this given situation.