Saturday, September 26, 2009

nothing is free

i learned this lesson painfully. i'm not proud of what i will recount here but i hope that in my sharing you will also learn not to be victims of "free" items.

i said to myself i will not be duped again by promos or by seemingly "easy" products. all you have to do is fill in a form, listen, etc.

today, i saw a free shopping bag brought home by my flatmate. she said it's free with a 3-franc hand cream. so, i went to the store and tried to buy that said cream. i also asked with a smile, "does it come with a shopping bag?" she said, "only if you buy something worth 5 francs". so i decided to look around. while looking around, i called my flatmate to ask. she said that she just bought 3 francs and she was given the bag. so, i go for another walk ... thinking to myself, i can buy a hand cream triple the size of the one on "sale" at another store albeit no bag. think ... think ... think.

i see if the girl will give me the bag. i buy the cream. she gives me the bag. yes! then, all of a sudden, she says, the bag only comes free with a 5-franc purchase. otherwise, the bag costs 1 franc, meaning 4 francs in tot. that's already 1 franc more than the budget and i only set out to buy that lotion on the premise it came with the bag. so, i say, "i'm not buying the cream". then ... there was a problem with the machine. she already punched it in. she asked me again, "so you only want the bag? you don't want the cream." i say, "yes". so, she gives me the bag with the cream because she couldn't work the machine.

so, i got what i wanted ... but i wasn't proud of myself. this was another lesson to a more painful lesson i learned while i was in the philippines.

i was at church service. i had to get something from my mom during that service. when ... i was harangued by a salesman saying this and that, i get a free bag, i just have to fill in this form, i just have to listen 5 minutes. the first time i got away. i was able to get the thing i had to get from mamu and i made my way back and again i was intercepted. this time, i wasn't so successful in getting away. i found myself walking away from the church, following this salesman, going up some escalators, meanwhile feeling "what am i doing?" i should be getting back. i said ... it's only 5 minutes.

i went to church with a friend and that friend was waiting. she called me up after service and asked me where i was. i said across the street at the other store. she was so shocked. i would be too. i had made a big mistake. she stopped talking to me on the phone.

i had been duped by a promo and i missed church for a bag. i told you i wasn't proud of it. the bag came with a chance to win a new car. what was i thinking???

so the lesson i learned is that we are often tempted by "easy" and seemingly "free" things but behind those items ... are strings ... that stretch a kilometer. and you find yourself blinded.

and in the aftermath ... the value of hardwork takes a back seat ... i believe in earning your keep ... you have to work for the benefits you reap. but thank God ... God really is good ... He really gives us something for free ... His blessings. and no human "promo" can top that.