How do I tell this person "no more"?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
How do I tell this person "no more"?
21
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 7:22am
I live in a "not so great" apartment complex. I've lived there for 4 years and am finally leaving there in 6 weeks to a much more upscale place. This problem started about 2 weeks ago when a tenant who lives in the attached complex came and knocked on my door one night asking if I had any cigarettes. I said I didn't smoke and she said okay and left. About 3 days later she comes over again and said her husband's blood sugar went up and she needed $5 to go across the street and get him a sandwich. I gave it to her. 3 days later she comes to me kind of flustered saying that her husband is sweating and incoherent and needs to go to the hospital and asks for $10 for cab fare. Once again I give it to her. Later that night she comes back and says she left her husband at the hospital and came back home and now needs to go back to the hospital. This time I give her $20 because it was the smallest I had. Last night she comes again and says she needs $20 to go visit her husband in the hospital and an hour later she comes back and says she lost that money and I give her another $20. I'm very suspicious of what she's doing with this money and how she could "lose" it walking down a hallway to her apartment. So at this point I've given her $75. She keeps saying her stamps will come in and she'll pay me back, well I know she won't. Then this morning a little before 5AM I'm woken up by her pounding on the door. I told myself that I wasn't going to get up. 5 minutes later she pounds even louder. Then a few minutes after that she climbs onto my patio and starts pounding on my bedroom window. At this point I'm very upset and a little uneasy that this person I don't know is pounding on any available window or door in my apartment. I let her in through the patio door and she's crying and says that her husband is in a diabetic coma in the hospital and she has to go see him and if I could give her money for a cab. I have no money left in the house except for $3 because she has drained me of it so I tell her I need to go to the ATM across the street. I withdraw $25 and give it to her. So as of now I have given her $100 which I will never see again. I hate even being in my apartment anymore because I don't want to have her come knocking on my door to give her money. I feel bad for her and I'm pretty sure her husband is in the hospital because when I left for work she was waiting outside for a cab, but I can't keep giving her money for cabs and food every 3 or 4 days. Last night when she came to my door she smelled of smoke so I'm sure half of what I give her goes to cigarettes. Granted I'll be out of there in 6 weeks, but who knows how many more times she'll be coming to my door. Is there a polite way to say "no I'm sorry I can't give you anymore money"? I'm not an ATM machine! I mean if she doesn't even have $5 to get a sandwich, how are they paying $600+ for rent?? Please help!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 8:05am

You poor dear woman. Huge hugs coming your way. As sad and as harsh as it may sound, you have to put your foot down. Tell the lady that you are in the process of leaving and all your available cash is tied up, aside from that of groceries and gas, which you have to have.


Tell her that you feel for her, and hope her husband gets well soon, however, you are no longer in a position to help her monetarily. That's what I would do. You cannot be an ATM for this girl. Also, if you've got a few spare minutes, the next time she asks for cab fare, offer to give her a ride, you'd like to wish her husband well. Or, if you prefer not to get personal, then go back to the former suggestion. As far as food, instead of money, you can offer her a plate of leftovers, or something you're already cooking. That way, you're still helping, but it's not in cash.


I personally think there's more going on then she's telling you, however, I don't want to *gossip* so I'll leave it at that.


Good luck with letting this gal know that you are unable to help her any longer. Please feel free to keep us posted, and good luck with your impending move!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 8:31am
The thing is, I'm not confrontational and for me to say no is a hard thing to do. I would just not answer the door, but I feel bad when the tv and the lights are on, she's going to know I'm there. Plus if she's going to the trouble of jumping down onto my patio and pounding on my windows to get to me that's actually kind of scary. I definitely don't want to get personal with her, but is there anyone I could conact that would help her out, like social services? I don't know her situation and don't want to get involved, but something needs to be done.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 9:58am
I agree, You should put your foot down. But do it in a non confrontal way. Why not try to contact your local church and explain to the pastor what is going on. He/She might have useful ideas. Give the woman the pastors name and number. Most churches are willing to help people in the community. They can offer support and maybe the names and numbers for the right organizations for this woman. You can approach it by telling the woman you are moving and if she needs any further assistance she can try this church. My father was a pastor and we did lots of things for our community. I wish you well :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 10:24am
Dear Abby always says "No one can take advantage of you unless you let them." First when you had no money why didnt you just tell her that instead of going to the ATM. Something like "Im broke til payday sorry." then if she mentioned the ATM you could have said "I left my ATM locked up at work so i wouldnt be tempted."

Its nice to help others out but sometimes people need to learn to deal with things on their own.

Or if she wants money for a cab and you have a car and time offer to take her to the hospital but advise her that you cant stay long.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 11:17am
I agree with the other responses. You should nip this in the bud before things get more out of hand. Tell her you are living on a tight budget as well, you're moving soon and have all those associated expenses (first month's rent & security deposit plus waiting for the refund of your last security deposit, activation fees for new phone, electricity, cable, etc.) Offer her some canned goods or pasta you may have in your cupboard rather than giving her money for food. If someone really needs this kind of help they will accept what they can get. When you're not able to provide cash, those who are only looking for cash won't bother asking you. It's nice to be able to help those in need but not to be taken advantage of. Good luck!

B.J.

Mommy to Samantha Renee 12/11/04

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 10-15-2003 - 1:40am
she's very bad news.

next time she knocks, tell her right away you don't have any money and close the door.

be polite, but make your point and dont' get into a conversation with her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 10-15-2003 - 1:08pm
OMG! Just tell the woman "NO!" Not to sound harsh, but she's not *really* the problem here. If you say yes to her every time, why the heck would she stop? You are her ATM! She probably is not even using the money for her poor husband. They can call 911 if they need to go to the hospital!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 10-15-2003 - 9:01pm
Hi. I know what you mean! Been there too!

fan

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Fri, 10-17-2003 - 8:19am
She is coming around almost every other night now! I dread being at home at night! I dread walking out to my car because she might be hanging out in the parking lot. Two nights ago she just wanted to see what I as doing. She stands in my doorway like I should ask her in. Last night she came over to tell me that her husband is coming home from the hospital today and that she wants me to meet him. She even says that we should go out for a beer! NO WAY!!! Yeah go out for a beer so I can buy you some alcohol! I in no way want to befriend this woman, but she has no one she knows around here and I want to be civil to her, but even at the end of our conversations she asks for money. First I think she just wants to talk which is fine for a few minutes. I gave her $5 2 nights ago and told her that I can't keep giving her money. She came to chat last night and was being all sweet and then quickly adds that she knows I've been giving her a lot of money and to not tell her no but if she could have $20. I said all I have is $5 and she almost protested that and took it. I know I shouldn't have given it to her. Then I give it to her and she says she's going to buy some cigarettes and a beer. Is that what I'm paying for??? She vows that she will pay me back $100 when her check comes on the first of the month. How in the world does she plan on doing that? She's going to pay me and then start the cycle of asking all over again because she has no money. She saw me drive away once and knows my car and I've been parking it on the other side of the building so she wouldn't see it but she came last night and said "I didn't see your car but I thought I'd sotp just in case you were home". I don't even want to talk with her anymore and I don't want to be mean about it because I have to see her for another month before I move out, but I can't be afraid of living in my own apartment for fear that she's going to come around.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 10-17-2003 - 1:03pm
I'm getting kind of angry, at YOU, for letting yourself be so sucked in by this person!!!!!!!!!!! You are not going to be able to get rid of her without a confrontation. You did not give her the habit of drinking and smoking, and in no way should you be expected to pay for it--but now SHE expects you to pay for it. If she knows no one else around there, so what? That is also not your fault. Please start documenting things so that when you can not stand the harrassment anymore you can call the police and maybe they'll be able to help you. Heed my warning-the deeper you get into this mess the harder it will be to pull yourself out.

I know you don't want to cause hard feeling but you are going to have to. This woman does not want to be your friend, she just wants your money and I think you know that. Hence her almost protesting that you only had $5 but taking it anyway--what is going to happen when she starts getting madder & madder because you only have $5 or something? GET OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!! She has no feelings for you and the small talk she makes with you is just to get to the money part. If something bad happened to you, would she help you at all? Doubtful. I am not trying to be mean but you need to stop being so soft. DON'T WORRY about what would happen to her if you stopped supporting her for free-she'll move on to someone else with her sob stories and tales of money needing. They always do.


Edited 10/17/2003 2:06:15 PM ET by laraber

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