The other night, my Greek partner and I were talking about how something 10 years ago in Greece is no different today and likely won’t be in the future. This same topic came up yesterday morning with a friend visiting from Canada, who remarked that she sees virtually no change from her last visit several years ago and expects her next visit to be exactly the same. Things don’t change.
Later, Vassili and I were talking about how on one hand, there is a lot of goodwill here — people accepting a lesser salary or doing something for free with the belief that if a few people work together, it will benefit everyone. But on the other hand, there are too many ready to take advantage and exploit that goodwill.
With these discussions about change and goodwill fresh in my mind, it was easy to advise my fiancé to set some boundaries last night when a friend called for a favor.
His friend FG wanted him to come to the club and discuss something, so my fiancé blindly agreed without asking questions. I told him to call back and ask why he should spend time, toll and gas on something his friend doesn’t have the decency to disclose. Supposedly, it was a business arrangement that would benefit the both of them, and money couldn’t be discussed on the phone.
I’ve only known FG for a year, but I know enough to understand he’s cheap, full of bull and a terrible businessman. He wants to charge 5 euros for a tiny bowl of peanuts and 50 euros for a bottle of wine, as if his tiny nightclub is a huge venue on Posidonos, yet the tables are so close together that it’s more like a bouzoukia club in Psyrri but without food, service or kefi. He won’t spend money on promotion and only wants to pay 25 euros and no IKA for a girl to serve coffee 8 hours a day. Not surprisingly, business is slow.
I told my Greek partner to not go or, if he goes, don’t agree to anything less than X amount. He was hopeful, but there’s a fine line between hope and denial, so away he went to waste 2 hours of his life to learn FG wanted him to work three nights a week for nearly no money and no promotion. It’s like I said at the beginning, things don’t change. You can only change yourself.
And as if my counterpart hadn’t taken enough lumps for the evening, he was mistaken for being a homeless person at McDonald’s.
A well-meaning man thought he was only making up the story about forgetting his wallet in his good work pants to save face at the cashier (even though it was true), so he insisted several times on paying for my partner’s food because he “must be hungry.” My fiancé thanked him for his goodwill, didn’t accept, got in his car and came home.
Who knew simply being unshaven and wearing ripped jeans reclassified someone as homeless? If that’s the case, more than half of Greek men are homeless because that’s how they look every day. Damn northern suburbs!