Rotarian of Shanghai City

No, I’m not moving to China, but I wish I was to be able to escape the constant demands my parents’ friends make of me. But that is another rant.

So, a few days ago I set up the story of KT. He is by far the most annoying man I have ever met, because hints bounce of his thick rhino hide without making so much as a dent. I can’t tell him to stick his advice where the sun doesn’t shine, simply because he was my dad’s school friend, and there is protocol to be observed. Plus there is a longstanding relationship between the families that cannot be ignored. Baggage, in short. I can’t tell him to shove off. End of story.

My mother was very annoyed with the last remark he made: “Oh I thought you would like to do it!” It, not very subtly, puts me in my place. It implies that I have very little to do in terms of work, and that I basically mostly spend my day twiddling my thumbs at home.

Of course that is very far from true, because while I may not currently be drowning in paid commissions, I was a few months ago. Also, there is the fact that a house requires work to run. My mother does the majority of the weight-lifting in that department, but there are things she can’t do. So I do them. I also have books to read, podcasts to listen to, and I can find a million things that are enriching and fulfilling to do.

His comment didn’t bother me, to be honest. It bounced off my thick rhino hide without a dent. But my mum was bugged. Very, very bugged.

She made a decision that she would tell him my hourly rate then next time they spoke. Slip it casually into the conversation, if she saw an opportunity. Which she did, a couple of weeks ago. And I’m still dealing with the repercussions.

Now, my hourly rate is based off my last drawn salary, and it is a metric I use to calculate how much to charge a client for the work I put in. The client isn’t privy to my calculations, obviously, because they would baulk at the rate. It is high. Not top-notch-defence-attorney-charge-by-the-millisecond high, but high. It made KT’s eyes roll backwards in his head. [Or so I assume.] Because a rapid reassessment of my value has officially taken place.

First, he calls me up to invite me over for a financial thing they have signed up for with Edelweiss. Mutual funds and the like. I’m not interested. I don’t have spare cash to fling around at the moment, and even if I did, I would prefer to listen to financial advisors who actually have some knowledge in the subject. Not these orangutans.

Next, he calls me up to pester me to join the Rotary Club, of which his wife is soon to become the president. There was some sort of event organised, a talk I think, and I “should really come” because he thinks “it is very important for me to network” and he really advises me “to join this wonderful organisation for my own good”.

I said I would think about it. And I have. I’m not interested. I don’t have time to participate in what is essentially a social club. I am terrible at networking, and here I would be paying a membership fee to see myself flailing about socially, or hugging the walls of the room. Thanks but no thanks. It isn’t that I think that the Rotary Club has no value; I think it does. However, I am against being bulldozed into making any decisions, and again I don’t have the spare cash to fling at this organisation at the moment. No.

Then his wife calls. A day before the event. And since she is far sight more intelligent that the addle-pated chimp, she doesn’t bulldoze me or “advise” me. She launches into a spiel about the club, and all that it does. If I shut her down, I would have been very rude, because it was a study in being reasonable and patient. Of course, it didn’t make any difference; I’m still not joining. But she got me to commit to coming for her investiture later this month, and “partaking of the atmosphere”, so that I “can see how wonderful and useful” it all is.

Shoot me now.



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