How Much Am I Owed?

Are you owed money? 

I know I am.

I sometimes wonder how much I am owed from Christmas festivities from years gone by … I quickly shut that thought down though as ignorance is bliss. But what if I actually made a guess at how much money I lost out on last year alone. 

Here goes … gulp. 

Being the eldest sibling I have many positive traits. Google tells me that I am reliable, conscientious, structured, cautious, an achiever and I want to excel at everything - all of the things that make up a perfect organiser - and I can’t disagree with any of them! So because I am such a fabulous and organised gift giver (and because my younger sister is the total opposite) guess who sorts out Christmas presents for the parents … ‘You sort it and just let me know how much I owe you’ she says … Famous.Last.Words. There’s £100 out of my pocket already. 


I am also a Virgo which means by default I am a perfectionist, methodical and a bit of a control freak. Handy for all my friends as I would rather stick pins in my eyes than let anyone else organise anything … they would only do it wrong and ruin it. So for our Christmas night out I organise some freezing forced fun to go ice skating and the pop up ice bar. It’s £20 per person but what I don’t know until I book is that there is a 50p booking fee per person … sneaky. Rather than look like a cheapskate and ask everyone for an extra 50p I waive it … there is another £5 (the cost of a well deserved drink for organising the bloody thing) that I have missed out on. 

In a not so distant previous life I was a Personal Assistant for nearly 10 years. The organising of the annual Christmas lunch (that nobody really wanted to go to but felt obliged to) was in my job description - another thankless task on my organisers to-do list. As if trying to prize a £10 deposit out of people’s hands so that we can all enjoy a festive lunch (where no one is even allowed a festive tipple because we are on ‘work time’) isn’t enough hard work, on the day, someone (who doesn’t exactly need the money back if you get what I mean) rings in sick and can’t make the lunch … but can I get them their deposit back? I ask the restaurant - they say no - and rightly so. A deposit is a deposit for a reason! But, to avoid a confrontation with the entitled resident office ‘Karen’ and to save my own sanity from having to try to reason with her small entitled little mind, I refund her deposit out of my own money. There is another £10 down the drain because frankly, life is too short and I need to get on with my actual job. 


A few days before Christmas I nip out for my last minute bits and bobs ‘does anyone need anything?’ I ask. Note to all, that is a rhetorical question and should always be answered with ‘no thank you’. However I will never learn to not bother asking and my shopping list triples in size in 60 seconds. ‘Oh actually could you get me some wrapping paper? Oh and I need some Christmas crackers for the dinner table! And one last thing, could you get another bottle of Baileys in case we run out?’. My inner voice screams WHY IS EVERYONE SO LAST MINUTE? WRAPPING PAPER ON CHRISTMAS EVE? WHY DIDN'T YOU BUY TWO BAILEYS RATHER THAN ONE IN THE FIRST PLACE? But I just smile through gritted teeth and say ‘yes, sure!’. So there is another ‘just let me know how much I owe you’ empty promise that costs me £30. 

WHY IS EVERYONE SO LAST MINUTE? WRAPPING PAPER ON CHRISTMAS EVE? WHY DIDN'T YOU BUY TWO BAILEYS RATHER THAN ONE IN THE FIRST PLACE? But I just smile through gritted teeth and say ‘yes, sure!’. So there is another ‘just let me know how much I owe you’ empty promise that costs me £30. 


So there we have it a whopping £145 out of pocket (sob) and that is without the actual Day of Christ itself (louder sob) … and for only one year at Christmas … I daren’t even go there with how much I am owed from organising things all year round for as long as I can remember (inconsolable sob). 

Fellow organisers - I know you will understand and feel my pain. After all, the average UK person is owed £100 in friendly debt so I can’t be alone. 

Contributors - JUST PAY US WHAT YOU OWE US, IS IT REALLY THAT HARD? 

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