The pendulum of life swings from one side to the other before it centers. Two recent occurrences has set the pendulum of my life to swing away from generosity. It may be a while before it centers again.
#1) Many people are not aware that a portion of my royalties are donated to a couple of charities here in Panama. These monthly deposits to their accounts vary from month to month. Yesterday, I received a call from one of the administrators of one of the charities wondering why my recent donation was so small. I attempted to explain that book sales in the summer are historically low and that Amazon is now giving books away for free, so the royalties will become even lower. Well, this person, suggested that I was a liar and selfish because it is not summer. (true--not in Panama) I was frustrated in trying to explain that Summer in northern latitudes is from June to the end of September — just the opposite of Panama. This person persisted in calling me a liar. I finally had to hang up… my blood pressure was rising. It’s unfortunate, but after many years of helping this charity, I will no longer donate any portion of my royalties to anyone.
#2) Today, a nurse will arrive at my home and administer Ozone injections to 5+ people. She is paid by each individual plus a small amount for her bus fare. This has been in place for six months. Twice a week she comes to service those people needing this therapy. NOW the story behind the story. I have been underwriting all of this therapy. It is my generator, I pay for the oxygen, it’s my regulator, I buy the needles, the cotton balls, the alcohol, the saline, the rubber gloves… everything! I pay the extra electricity, have donated a room for this therapy and even paid my housekeeper to make curtains and paint the walls and floor. I have not received one thin dime and I pay her the full rate for injections just like all the others. In essence, this nurse has (had) a business that makes her more in two 4 hour days than she earns in 2 weeks as a hospital nurse. In addition, I notify all her clients of her schedule and make sure I am here for 3 hours+ — twice a week. I suggested that she charge 50% more and pay it to me after each session cover my expenses. She is refusing to pay back the 50%. She seems to think I should be happy with 30% and she will get a 20% raise. So much for generosity. I’m not sure how to translate INGRATE into Spanish. Today it ends!! She is no longer welcome in my home.
The pendulum is swinging. Today begins the process of calling in my accounts receivable and stopping the bleeding. My ozone machine is available for rent (if I am here). Those people who depend on my good nature will see another side of me — the businessman. I’m not greedy but I don't believe anyone should be entitled to the fruits of my investments and labor. That is my decision and mine alone.
So, new attitude — new rules.
1. I will charge for my goods, services, knowledge and equipment.
2. No more charity — to anyone.
3. No more missed calls accepted. That’s like a collect call. If you wish to speak with me. Call me on your nickel.
4. No more missed appointments. I will wait no longer than 20 minutes. If you don’t arrive by then you are fired. Period!
5. If you lie to me or steal from me, you WILL suffer a dire consequence!