June 2, 2008

Gift of love ?

Last week, while I was in the middle of typing some invoices I received a text message on my cellphone. I took a glance at the screen and saw my friend's name, but to my surprise the message didn't come from her. It was from her elder brother that said he wanted to borrow one million Rupiahs (about USD 110) and that he would pay me back on June 10. He also mentioned that if possible he wanted the money to be transferred to his bank account that very same day. Since I have Lippo account and his is Mandiri, that means I have to spend time going to the bank and transferred the money to him. He didn't elaborate what the money for or whether he has talked to my friend about this issue beforehand. In that moment all the scenarios of what might happen to my friend in Bandung blazing through my mind. But just a day before she was OK and texted me that she has just received the recipe book that I sent her. I know all of her family including the brother who sent me the text message, but not as close as my friendship with her. I am a generous person and sometimes like to buy friends lunch and don't want anything in return--but that's about it.

Within my family, I never loan, I give. For me it makes me feel good to help out the people I love if they need it, even though I often grumbled and mad when the sum asked is a bit more than I could handle ... but there's nothing in the world I'd like less than to be thought that I am mean to my own family! With friends or other people, if they have a good reason for needing some help, I just give it to them if I can spare it and they’re worthy. So I just don't get it what drives my friend's brother for being so bold asking me that favor thru SMS and using his sister cellphone some more! My friend once told me her brother often experiencing financial problems, and no matter how much money she gave him will just serve as a Band-Aid, and sooner or later he will find himself in dire straits again. If it was for her, she knows where to find me and I might help.

We all know that money can put a relationship on a completely different level between friends and family. It becomes a matter of trust on the one side and obligation on the other. There's a saying it is better not to lend and have a friend, than to lend and lose both. So I decided to wait until a few hours and wanted to know if there will be another SMS or phone call to my cell. NOTHING...quiet! The next morning I texted my friend and told her about the SMS from her brother to me. She was so surprised and profusely apologized for she didn't know anything about that at all. She asked me to ignore the message and said sorry again. And I'd never heard from her again since ...

Just a thought, would you lend a friend money if they asked you to?!? Did I do the right thing by not helping my friend's brother?


Therry said...

Your friend's brother is way out of line, I think. If he wanted to borrow money and needed it that badly, he could've used a much politer method - instead of borrowing his sister's mobile and text message, instead of calling!

I don't know why a lot of Indonesians do this when they need a favour from someone - they're the ones in need of help and yet they expect us to come rushing over to them and give them a hand!

While they're just sitting there and do nothing except wait for a response.

Manners, manners, manners!

Therry said...

Oops, I meant to say "he could've used a much politer method - instead of borrowing his sister's mobile and text message, he could have called directly!"

toni said...

I try to avoid giving any loan to my relatives as it will resulting uncomfortable relationship if they fail to pay it back. Would rather to give once in a while, but then again, some of them having difficulties to understand our stand.

Fun said...

ya ampuunn..berani banget ya dia? hmmm.... aku pribadi sich belon tentu mau pinjemin loh mba... apalage sodaranya temen.. duh boro2 deh.. lagean juga ga ada sopan2nya ya mereka..

sima said...

if i were you, i would ignore his request. just like therry said, he should behave himself.
this afternoon I got an sms from a friend, asking to borrow some money and promised to return it in a week or two. it was not her first request. the last time she did it was late last year (if i'm not mistaken). if the amount is reasonable, i don't mind lending her some. she always returns the money in time.
a construction worker who renovated my house had borrowed some money and he later apologized for being unable to return it in time. that's ok with me.
last year a man i know came to my house to borrow some money but i turned him down. i wished i gave him some.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't loan money to people I don't know personally and I think in your case, the brother was way out of line (like the other comments above) since he didn't even talk to you directly (or didn't even bother to make appointment or come to your house to request the loan).

I had the same experience with an Indonesian student here. I don't know her that well and once she sent me sms out of the blue asking if she could borrow 30,000 crowns (approx 60 million rupiah) from me, and after I told her that I didn't have the money, she asked if I could ask my boyfriend to lend some money to her. Some people just don't know manners, I guess.....

rimafauzi said...

i dont like to give loans but i hate borrowing more. if i have the money, like you, i will give. but only to those i really know and love.

in your case, i would never loan the money and i would call up the friend to tell her that her brother asked for money from me.

astra as astro . said...

If I have then I will lend my friend the money he/she needed. But for my friend's relative, I'll do the same like you, even bluntly than you.

I'll call my friend right away and asked of the purpose of the sms.

You don't have to feel guilty, everybody has their own reason. You have done the right thing. Otherwise I can't imagine how's your friend's feeling.

BTW, happy to now that you're back again :-)

Finally Woken said...

Only loan money you are prepared to loose, because there's always a possibility that the person fails to pay it back. It happened to me once with my best friend in high school, twice she paid me back, the third time she vanished in thin air without a trace, up to date.

Like everyone else, I think the brother is out of line. Maybe he really needed to borrow some money, (but why did he choose to go to you rather than his family?), but the way he did it was very impolite. He should've called and arranged to meet you in person (Therry suggested a phone call, but I think it's still not enough).

You did the right thing.

Your friend might feel embarrassed about the whole thing, that's why she hasn't contacted you up to now. So perhaps you should let her know how you feel.

How are you by the way? Recovering well?

Elyani said...

Thank you all for your responses. No, I would not lend to anyone with a bad track record because it's unlikely he's gonna pay me back. I don't know why the brother was looking after me for the handouts. Perhaps he thought my long time friendship with his sister and the fact that I am in charge for the account here in my office, will make me do stupid things like borrow money to lend to friends. I have spoken to my friend about this and she said sorry about this, but didn't want to discuss further so I just considered it never happened. Good or bad it is her brother, I don't think it is appropriate to dig further.

@Anita : thanks God I had a perfect recovery with no complications. It has been almost three weeks post-op now and am feeling great :)

Belle said...

elyani, i normally don't loan money to anyone except reliable friends. i usually just give my brothers money and never never demand payment.

whoah, he's got the nerve to ask you to have the money wire transferred to his account on that same day? that to me is foul...so embarrassing!