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This is a story of my attempt at some kind of sudden online social experiment. Actually it's my first time doing it. Why? A stranger just sent me a message on my social media account asking for money. She said she needs to buy medicine for her baby. 👀
This is not the first time someone sent me a message asking for money online. I've encountered it everywhere - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram you name it. I of course make donations to my preferred charities and give alms to people on the street whenever I have extra cash. Haven't done it online to strangers though. (I've done noise cash donations/tips too to those in need when I had some to spare but that's a different thing.)
Anyway since there are many scammers online and I do not know her, I told her to refer any property buyers to me. That's the only help I could give her at the moment. I provide referral fees if the referred person would purchase from me. I know times are hard and of course I also need house and lot buyers in order to have money to give away. 💸
The woman (let's call her OB) replied of not knowing anyone who can buy properties and such. Okay. This is the easiest answer to give. Why will anyone make an effort to look for and ask around if you just want to get some money from a stranger real fast?
Well then I had to apologize because I could not send some cash. I didn't mention how I don't even have any salary lately how can I give her money? 😂 Haven't even hit any recent sales quota so that makes us both in need of funds!
I rarely write for money this year too and the upvotes are not enough for my daily expenses. I had to decline helping her because I can't give what I don't have enough of. Yes I could give her maybe P5 but then I thought I'd try something I have never done before...
After my second no she still said to please send her any amount for the sick baby. Crying emoji and all that. Now of course being persistent and in need is a good sign that OB is willing to do some work too, or so I thought.
Because she was not giving up in asking for alms, I gave her an easy task. You know what they say, it is better to teach a man to fish. All she had to do was publicly share my ad posts on her profile and in buy and sell groups. Afterwards I would send OB the money.
The supposed young woman said she can accept cash via GCash (mobile finance app). Got a screenshot of her mobile number and then she proceeded to share my posts in her personal account. (No I didn't ask for OB's GCash name.) Once done she asked for the money. Wait whut? I never got any notification about what she did. Can't even find any new post on her profile.
Turns out all were private so I could not see anything. Asked OB to make it public so I can see proof of her sharing them. Apparently she did make several posts which I saw once it was public. Clicked like for each and then waited on her doing the public group posts as well before I would send the "donation".
Then I received a follow up message asking about the moolah. Oh hey hold on there mamah. The tasks aren't done and yet I am being asked to pay already? Hmmm... This was when I started to think about what I got myself into.
For those who are unaware, online freelancers are always asked to show proof of their work. I've been doing online selling and graphic designing for more than a decade so I know what this entails.
How can you get paid when you don't have any evidence of the tasks you've done? I applied the same principle to our situation. This time I was reluctantly the one "hiring" someone to do something for me.
As an impromptu "employer", I asked her for screenshots of the supposed shared posts. Not sure why but at first she asked me how to find her group posts. I was like, really? Did she not know how to use her social media account? If it was a public post I would be able to see it too so I asked OB where she posted it.
After much messaging she managed to send me a name of ONE social media group only. Checked on it and saw it's private. At this point it was proving to be difficult for her to do a simple task.
Eventually she shared some pics showing posts that were pending. Ah maybe that's why she could not find what she shared... Naturally I asked her to let me know when those are approved so I can pay her afterwards.
Minutes went by and then I got another follow up message for me to "pay up". Uhmmm. 🤔 Impatience is high in this one... I asked OB if her posts were already approved and to pls show screenshots. Turns out she already messaged the admin for it to be approved but we're still waiting.
Now I gave her three links to share to groups instead of the ones she randomly selected on her profile. What I gave OB were not posted in the group at all. Asked her to replace the pending posts with those I previously sent. And then I waited for a reply.
What should I have expected when OB's next message was filled with doubt. She began to wonder if I will ever send her any money. I'm like... hold on there woman. The task is not complete yet and you wanna get paid already? Wow. Then she kinda said she made enough effort and have not been paid for it. (Meaning she will not wait for the group posts to be approved or even change/replace it.)
Can you see what the problem is dear reader? Teaching someone to suddenly fish is not an easy task eh? No I did not ask her if she has a job or whatever. Who knows what she's up to when all I can see in her profile are selfies and baby pics. There's even another account with the same name and photos too.
When she mentioned the word effort I was like, huh? The girl also said my post links have already been shared to a lot of places/people but doesn't have any screenshots at all. How will I pay her if that's the case? And then she typed the word effortless and I got confused. 😆
Does she mean posting online is effortless and she already made such a big effort to share my posts? Where is the proof of the "many shared posts" aside from those posted on her profile and the two unapproved group posts? Huh? Clearly this seems like a social experiment gone wrong, or not. 🤔
When I checked OB's profile again the shared posts were gone. Meaning everything was either deleted or made private once more. Ah what should I expect?
Even if we switched places, I would keep the shared posts visible, follow the instructions and finish my tasks before even daring to ask for money I may or may not receive. I would also screenshot everything to show her I did what I was asked to do. Remember, I'd then be the one who needs the money for my baby. Meaning I would do everything I can to have money.
If I don't get anything it won't be much of a loss because it's just sharing a few online stuff and submitting screenshots. We can all do that easily now. But then she's not me and I'm not her so I cancelled the whole deal instead.
Again, sharing things online is so easy anyone can do it even if they don't get paid! Told OB that if she is having difficulty when given a simple task/job and all her "proof of work" has been removed then I won't be able to send her any money. Guess what happened next?
Look, if I was being forced to "donate" then I would be compelled to "hire" her so I can give out cash. Then again it seems like her expectations are different than mine.
Think about it, if it was a normal employee/employer work and the task is easy to do but unfinished and partly incorrect will you pay her anything? Despite repeated corrections and instructions there was no further action being done. The deal was to do such and such but she only managed half of it. Hey, we all know: Unfinished work + refusal to continue the agreed upon task does not = 💵💰.
Posting online isn't that much of an effort too because all she had to do was copy paste things I already wrote. I even gave her the links! Everything should only take less than 5 or maybe 10 minutes max but we were already chatting for more than 30 minutes?! And then she was suddenly implying that I'm the one scamming her?!? 🤡WTH?! Why was I even wasting time dealing with the situation? 😂
I do that task myself all the time and she will even get paid for it but can't show evidence of her "work"? Even previous LYKA (defunct local token paying app) members could do so much better than her for some gems worth P1 each. Ah what a life we are living in now.
Yes I was supposedly going to send OB a small amount for her "effort" but then her reaction and attitude made me change my mind. Is this how supposedly persistent-people-in-need should act? You decide dear reader.
To be fair, let's say maybe she was not in her right mind anymore because she needed the money. Is it so hard to show screenshots? Then again there are plenty of other people to beg so why insist on asking me when there are more well off individuals out there?
To cut the long story short, my account got blocked. 😲 I was in the middle of typing, she approached me and I gave her a chance to earn money so why is she implying I am not gonna pay her when I'm the one asking for the evidence of finished tasks so I can send the "payment". Sadly, OB will never get the message. Oh well... So much for trying to help a stranger make some decent cash.
P. S. There is still a lesson here: Be really specific when giving impromptu tasks. Well hey there's a first time for everything. Now I know I should have said to share certain posts at a specific number in a defined amount of groups. Oh plus screenshots for proof of work.
Alas, I gave the person the freedom to do whatever with what I thought were easy and minimal instructions. Oh well, I hope she was able to learn something from the experience too.