Friendship Friday: Awkwardness. Money. Respect. Values. What would you do?

Recently a good friend of mine was in a bit of a situation. For the purposes of this post I will call him Friend AA.

He’d had conversations with another friend ours ( this person will be known as friend BB) and they decided to go on a mini-holiday together. He made the booking in good faith and there was an arrangement in place whereby she would refund him for her half plus petrol – they were going to go in his vehicle. Also, they were going to split food and entertainment costs etc.

Well. Two days before they were meant to go on the holiday Friend BB sent a message to Friend AA to say that she wasn’t winning with her employer and wouldn’t be able to take 2 days leave required for the holiday.  Friend AA was suitably annoyed but then his leave was also declined a few hours later. HE was about to fight his employer on it and called me before he did this. I told him to see call the place where they were going and to try to negotiate a postponement before taking on his employer. He did this and then managed to make a new reservation for a week later. His leave was approved and so was hers. All was set and happiness prevailed in the land of Friends  AA and BB.

THEN. Friend BB got sick and could no longer go on the holiday. Friend AA was seriously peeved because he couldn’t postpone again and it actually wasn’t so easy to find someone to take Friend BB’s place at such short notice.

Eventually Friend AA ended up going on holiday ALONE. BUT he STILL asked Friend BB for her contribution.

His reasoning was that he had in the first place postponed the holiday because of her (he insists that he would have won the leave battle with his employer), he couldn’t get someone else (to go along and share the costs) in time and, this holiday was costing him a fortune on his own and he had made the booking on the premise that Friend BB would go with him. HE had thought long and hard about this and felt that he couldn’t be held responsible for the fact that she got sick.

Well. Friend BB was NOT impressed and told him in no uncertain terms that he would not be getting a cent out of her.

Initially I felt that he was being a bit unfair to insist that Friend BB must STILL cough up. I figured that she surely couldn’t control her health issues. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I was actually projecting my fear of conflict about money issues, and that in this case, it was really not about the money. It had become a morals and values issue.

I don’t like to fight about money (with ANYONE) so I know that I would have paid or at least made some concession or arrangement with Friend AA if I had huge medical bills due to my unforeseen illness. I truly value my friendship with Friend AA and I have the hugest amount of respect for him.

I know beyond a shadow of doubt that Friend AA would have coughed up in that situation. That’s just who he is.

And I feel that if Friend BB valued the friendship between her and Friend AA in ANY way, then she would AT LEAST try to work something out with him, whether or not it involved money being exchanged.

I am kind of disappointed in Friend BB. She wasn’t even prepared to talk about it. She refused to listen and at least try to understand where friend AA was coming from.

I am not as close with her as Friend AA is but I am annoyed that she is disrespectful to MY dear Friend AA  (who btw has ALWAYS been a FANTASTIC friend to her) and clearly doesn’t value him as much as he values her.

Friend AA and I spoke about it earlier today and I told him to tell her exactly how he feels and then to let it go. He was planning to do just that, only he was not going to let IT go, he was actually going to let HER go. He says that there is no more trust between them and he simply can’t take the friendship any further.

So this is what I am really curious about:

What would you do if you were in Friend AA’s situation? Would you have insisted on payment? Would you have gone into battle with Friend BB? Would you have let it go without saying anything?

What would you do if you were in Friend BB’s situation? Would you have come to a concession or arrangement with Friend AA? Would you have fought tooth and nail AGAINST paying up?

Do you think that this is a morals and values issue? DO you feel that Friend BB should cough up if she truly values the friendship with Friend AA?

Ps…I told Friend AA  that he needs to MAKE A SPREADSHEET so that he can be sure to NEVER end up in a situation like this again. He FINALLY gets the spreadsheet thing and WILL be doing one of his own.  HE also says that he has learned a huge lesson from this experience and will DEFINITELY do things differently next time around. I feel kind of bad for him. Because now he’s become jaded and will NEVER trust anyone’s word again.

13 thoughts on “Friendship Friday: Awkwardness. Money. Respect. Values. What would you do?

  1. I think BB should cough up purely because she undertook to pay half and based on that AA booked and paid. If she had paid a deposit somewhere she wouldn’t get it back just because she didn’t show up. Why would she respect her friend less than a hotel?

  2. I would imagine that she should pay her due…she did undertake to cover half the cost anyway. Friendship isn’t always easy;-)

  3. I wonder if she changed her mind about wanting to go in the first place – first she couldn’t go then she gets sick – suspicious. Regardless of reason she should still pay, she made an agreement and she should honour it. It is unfair to expect her friend to pay. If I was friend AA i would ask her to honour the arrangement, if she didn’t our relationship would never be the same again – not that i wouldn’t forgive her, but i wouldn’t be able to trust her again (unless there was change) and i would ‘question’ her principles . What is a SPREADSHEET?

  4. I love this topic!

    There’s not even a shadow of doubt in my mind – BB should pay. AA is dead right to be furious!

    I wouldn’t even have tried to get someone to fill her place. I would have told her – if YOU can find someone to fill your place, you don’t have to pay. Otherwise, you’re at least liable for the accommodation part of it. Petrol – well, he would have had to travel there anyway.

    I really think BB is not thinking of this clearly. It’s one thing if she doesn’t have the money but then say look, I’ll pay x this month and x next month because I had these extra medical expenses. It’s unfortunate but will make sure she is prepared for a next time.

    with our fertility group we used to have minor issues that were very similar. Used to be hosted at a person’s house and let’s say 8 confirm they’ll be there. So the host would go buy all the food (sometimes buy from a restaurant) and then on the night you get 4 declines. We made a new rule – once you RSVP whether you pitch or not you’re still in for your R60. People think carefully now before blindly accepting. Which is right.

  5. I agree with the other comments. It’s sad that AA even had to ask her to honor her commitment. I don’t think I would want to be friends with someone who doesn’t appreciate the moral side of this. Unfortunately it is often only after burning our fingers that we find out what others are made of. My sympathies lie with both of them – AA for acting in good faith and being out of pocket, and BB for being short-sighted and ruining a friendship (something I’m sure she’ll regret one day).

  6. Completely unrelated, related to a recent tweet by you. Have you kid tested, extreme thirst is a symptom. regarding a comment to your tweet – it is not “highly unlikely” – there are distinct different types, with the more common, type 2, being unlikely at that age. Finger pricks are not sore, and available at most pharmacies. Also, to set your mind at essence, type 1 which is more commonly diagnosed in kids, but not exclusively, has few hereditary links than what people often mistakenly think. This topic, and the confusion between the types, is something I am passionate about and just did not want you to have the wrong info.

  7. I think it would depend on what contribution AA is asking for. If he is asking for half of what was non refundable ie hotel bills, then that is fine….however if he is asking half of petrol and food, i think that is a little cheeky. Asking for half of the cost for anything that he would have incurred if he had not gone, is quite reasonable…
    Personally I think AA was acting a little foolish. You only book a weekend away and divide cost with someone you trust wholehearted…and if you do not trust then, ensure that you collect funds upfront. It is an expensive lesson to learn….
    PS..Not quite sure what the story is between AA and BB, but I get this feeling that maybe AA has romantic ideas for the weekend with BB, and therefore ignored all the warning signs that things were not going as planned….apologies if I am wrong!

  8. I would definitely meet my friend halfway if I was in a similar position. Not only because it’s the right thing to do but because I cherish my friends enough that I wouldn’t want to fight over money. I hope they are able to sort it out one way or another.

  9. Mmmm, this is a tough one! If I was AA, I’d be furious too but if I was BB and I was genuinely sick & couldn’t make it, I might be a little upset with AA but I do think meeting half way would be the most fair solution.
    I also avoid squabbling with friends over money at all costs so perhaps I’m not the best person to offer an opinion.

  10. I hate to hear that a friendship is going to be lost over money. But there is the lesson. I like Lesley find it rather odd that for two weeks running BB had somethign happen that stopped her from going. I think she agreed to go, didn’t really want to and didn’t know how to say no.

    That said she did agree, and had committed to going. I do think that AA is in his right to ask for half of the accommodation charges as if BB had canceled on a hotel she would be liable for such fees. I don’t think that AA can ask for half of petrol and food costs cos well he would have had to get there and feed himself regardless.

    I hate conflict over money (saw conflict over money ruin my parents relationship) so I would have just left it alone and gone away by myself and not asked for the money from BB. But I also would never ask BB to go away with me ever again as she proved herself to be most untrust worthy.

    I do hope that AA and BB are able to sort through this and find a way to continue with their friendship.


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