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Asking for Too Much

Who do you think you are to make me do this? What makes you think that I find this activity enjoyable? When did you began using me? Where did you get the idea that you can just use me like that? Why can't you see that I'm suffocating me under all of the work you're making me do? Please, I beg of you, stop doing this.

Before I start, I want to ask you all a question: When your best friend needs help with something—a schoolwork, a project of some sort—would you help them? What if you knew, in advance, that they are going to make you work for 5-8 hours a day, and you will be doing most (if not, all) of the work while your friend is just criticizing your work and making you do it again if it doesn't match their expectations; moreover, your friend will make you stay up all night the day before the deadline and your friend will make you work until you've finished (which happens to be on the day of the deadline itself). If you knew those those things in advance, would you still help them?

The most likely answer would be a solid "No" and you'd immediately decline the offer, unless your friend will pay you, or repay you (in one way or another) for what you did. Unfortunately for me, I didn't know those things in advance. But before I start, I believe I should give you all some necessary context about my friend. Oh, and this post might be a little "too lengthy," but I'll make some parts easier to understand so that you all easily get this post.

You see, I have this friend—a friend that I've had for a solid 3 years. Like most friendships, my friendship with that person started out small, we sometimes talked during late hours of the night talking about various topics, and, through those conversations, that person slowly got to know me. We grew close to each other, and a full year into our friendship, that person became the most influential person in my life. We did what most friends do as well; we hung out, we talked to each other when we had problems, and we had little arguments every now and then.

Over time, that person got to know me more—what my skills are, and the things I'm good at—and I got to know that person as well. Soon, that person began asking favors from me when it came to computer-related problems, but, for most of the time, I was glad to help that person out with a smile.

I'm not sure if this is an accurate representation, but I think my constant helping and agreeing to certain favors slowly made my friend realize that I was some resource they could use—a material that they could exploit and use in times of need, and only in times of need. I'm not sure if that's accurate, but I soon started to have that mentality over time. But still, my friend was asking me to do these small (but easy) favors until that person's first major offense.

I was in high school back then, and my friend was a freshman in college. I was minding my own business—watching YouTube, reading articles online, and so on—until my friend messaged me, asking me that they need help with an online quiz they had. Luckily for them, it was an online quiz, and the thing with online quizzes is that you can just take them and cheat, but that's not what that person did. So my friend needed help with this quiz in some IT-related subject, and I was glad to help this person out at first. I ran Skype and soon I was in a call with my friend.

It was already nighttime and I had classes the following day, but the call lasted up until 1 or 2 a.m., which is way past my bedtime. After helping my friend with their work, I was obviously tired and exhausted, but I felt that this wasn't going to be the last. I knew, deep in my heart, that things were only going to get worse, and so it did.

My friend's second major offense came in the form of a DOCX file through Facebook. It was the 6th of April and I had just graduated from high school. Since it was summer, I was doing the things I would usually do: play games and watch YouTube the entire day. Then I soon got a message from my friend asking me if I wanted to help them with proofreading a document from them. My friend said that it was (sort of) urgent because they don't have someone in their team to proofread everything, and now my friend (and their team) are needing me to proofread just one document from them, just one document. Because of the idea that it was just going to be one document (I figured it was a book report of some sort that only consisted for 2-3 pages), I agreed to help out. What happened next was something I didn't expect and it completely shocked me.

I had to proofread ALL OF THESE by myself.

This was no laughing matter as their document consisted of 15 pages (roughly about 3,000 words), and all of them used technical jargon. Plus, I barely knew what the project was for, or, more importantly, why I was tasked with proofreading THEIR TEAM'S ENTIRE FINAL TERM PAPER in the first place. It was a grueling task to do as their entire team of 3-5 college individuals barely knew how to properly proofread their own document themselves, and they were so bad at it that they needed help in proofreading an entire document from a high school student who just graduated. Adding insult to injury, I didn't get paid for doing the entire proofreading myself; adding more insult to injury, I wasn't even thanked, and that person didn't message me until he/she needed me again.

I had to proofread 15 pages and I basically had to proofread around 3,000 words, and I wasn't even a part of their team.

Despite all of those bad things, I still did it, and I did the entire proofreading all by myself, without the help of some other person in their group. I only messaged my friend when I needed clarification with something because there were sentences where I couldn't understand what they were saying because the grammar and the order of the sentences were so unclear, and they were so bad that I almost reached the point where I just wanted to block my friend and drop this entire project.. but the thing is, I didn't. I didn't block my friend and I continued to do all of the proofreading. I finished the document, passed it, and my friend just straight up ignored me for the next few weeks or so. Ignored in the sense that my friend didn't message me, or even talked to me about thanking me for my work on their project. Heck, my friend barely talked to me about anything else for the next few days.

After that experience, the favors the constant asking for me to do this just came pouring in (over a period of months). I helped my friend with an assignment about people in the IT industry, and, while I was doing that, my friend was browsing 9gag. 9gag, ladies and gentlemen, 9gag.

I'm busy researching and I'm basically doing your homework for you while you're just browsing memes on 9gag?
I'm sending you my findings and you're sending me links to memes on 9gag? Are you serious?

My friend's third and final strike was about a month ago, around the time of All Souls' Day. My friend first asked me to make a background for their project in WEBPROG (Web Programming) using Photoshop. I agreed, considering that it was particularly easy for me to make a background; however, I soon found out that my friend has barely starting coding their website.

I then offered to help them code the website, but the thing is, my friend didn't know how to code the website. So now, the entire fate of the project itself relied on me, as my friend didn't know how to code. I now have this entire project (this burden, really) on my shoulders and the outcome of this project is now my responsibility.

So, yeah, work soon started on the project. I made a background, a basic design consisting of a few semitransparent boxes, and I began working on the links. Now, I have to say to you all that, as I was coding these, my friend was, once again, browsing 9gag. I shrugged it off, but I was still annoyed at doing this. Still, I just continued working on the project. After I showed my friend the layout and the design of their website, my friend complained about the background. My friend didn't complain that the background looked bland or that the background looked horrible, but my friend complained that they envisioned to use different backgrounds for each page, and my friend wanted to use pictures they took.

This proved to be a HUGE pain in the head because the 4 pages I made only used one background and one CSS file, which is a pretty common practice for today's web programming standards. Adding more headaches, my friend wanted to use a different highlight color and a different article background color for each webpage to match the colors of the background. So I have no other option other than to just make 4 duplicates of the original CSS file, and customize them to match my friend's intended design for each web page—and that wasn't even the annoying part. The annoying part of it all was that my friend took a lot of time looking for a good background for each page, and this process took about 2 hours or so to finish. Can you image that? Roughly 2 hours of looking for 4 background pictures.

After days of exhausting and grueling work, and a million revisions later, I finished the project and I was ready to give it to my friend. The project started out with only 4 pages, but it then expanded to 7 pages, with 4 unique styles for each page (the styles for the other 3 pages were borrowed from 1 page because I was so lazy and I was so annoyed at that point).

It's not much, I know. It doesn't look very classy nor does it confine to any design language (it only has a bit of minimalism), and the design doesn't look spectacular overall. It also doesn't use as much JavaScript elements as this blog of mine. The reason behind those is because I knew that I was going to be used, yet again, and I won't be thanked for what I did, so I intentionally lowered my performance and exerted less effort into designing the website, but it still took a toll on my health and general wellbeing.

Anyway, by the time I was ready to give my friend the final version, it was already 2 in the morning, and I had classes the following day. To make things worse, it was the week where I would have midterm exams, and I didn't study for any of the midterm exams I had that day. It was 2 a.m., I had 3 midterm exams that day, and I didn't study because I was busy helping my friend with their project for their midterms, and I was extremely exhausted after working for 5-8 hours for the past 3 days.

8 hours. You make me work for 8 hours on your project. You were doing this to me for the past 3 days.

It's a no-brainer to say what happened to me hours later. I was still extremely exhausted, sleep-deprived, and I felt used. I checked my messages on Facebook to see if my friend thanked me and, guess what, my friend didn't thank me. In fact, the last message I got from my friend was a RAR file that contained the icons for the social links. Just by looking at the screenshot above, you can clearly see that my friend didn't thank me on Skype either. I checked everything, I checked all my inboxes and there was no messages thanking me for what I did—none, nada, zip, nothing.

Tired, sleepy, and on the verge of tears, I still proceeded to attend my first class. Upon arrival at APC, I realized that I can barely make it to my classroom. My eyes were colored with a shade of that perfect bloodshot-yellowish red, the bottom of my eyes were almost pure black from the lack of sleep, and I only felt like hammering my head to the nearest wall because I was so cranky from all the work my friend made me do. I headed to the library and took a good 30-minute nap, and then I went to the air-conditioned part of the library (because it wasn't open by the time I got there). I took a nap for an hour or so, and I consulted a close friend about this problem of mine. Oh, and I also forgot to mention that I wasn't able to take my midterm exam for one class. I skipped a midterm exam and I wasn't able to take it again.

Going back to my friend that I consulted with, this friend was unlike my other friend (who was constantly using me). This friend (who I consulted with) was understanding, and she was willing to help me out with my situation. She told me that I should just straight up block my old friend from every single social networking site, every site where I found my old friend; remove my friend's phone number, pictures, and contact information; and I should think as if my old never existed—completely disregarding and destroying the friendship we had. It was the perfect solution, although I had trouble blocking my friend on Facebook. Luckily my new friend borrowed my phone, logged into my account, unfriended that person, and blocked them.

Almost immediately, a sigh of relief rushed out of my mouth and I felt as if a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. Thanks to my new friend, I was now free from the clutches of my old friend, and I was finally able to sleep peacefully that day—knowing that my old friend won't bother me again.

Here I am now, retelling my experiences with about my old friend. Just by reading the post above, you might think I'm starting a hate campaign against my old friend, or I'm going to try to bash that person in this blog post, but the main goal of this blog post is to share this experience I had with that person and to call out the wrongdoings of my friend. Quite frankly, I just want to voice out my story and opinion on this person, and how they've affected me as a whole throughout the entirety of our friendship.

Now, there are people who are going to take advantage of you in one way or another, but, as my new friend said, "You have to be selfish every once in a while. Not because you don't want to help them, but because you want to take care of yourself first." My friend does have a point considering that I agreed to the offer of working, and I personally became a slave of my old friend.

Up until now, I still hate my friend for all of the things they made me do, but I have to agree that it was partly my fault of accepting the offers in the first place. Still, my friend should've known not to take advantage of others.

At the end of the day, we are in control of our lives and we can choose to live them the way we want. If I want to live a life without my old best friend, then that person should accept it; if my old best friend wants to live a life without me, it's completely fine and I don't see anything wrong with it. Nevertheless, I think the best way to end a post like this something that my old friend said. Coming from the mouth (or fingers, really) of the person who has used me and has taken advantage of me time and time again, I think this is a solid, yet ironic, statement from my ex-best friend—one that perfectly suits this post. I hope you all liked reading my story and I'll see you all soon.

I couldn't have said it better myself, ol' pal of mine.

P.S. I got a text message and one missed call from an unknown number a few days ago. I tried calling that number, and it turns out it was my old friend again. During the call, I was told that they needed help with me making something in Photoshop but I said I was busy, and, thankfully, I ran out of load during the call. Whew, that was literally a "close call."

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