Just saying no (to work and cooking)

Over the past couple of days, I faced two fears: fear of falling short in the art of entertaining and fear of disappointing a client.

On Saturday we had friends over for dinner. Our day got away from us and we ended up having about an hour to clean our house and do food prep. It was ridiculous. I moved so fast, it should probably count as a workout.

How did we do it? We used a bunch of premade goodies from a great nearby grocery store and served lots of vodka. This approach would have horrified my mother, but it worked. We had a great time and no one seemed to mind the simple dinner.

Today I said no to an opportunity I didn’t really want. Sounds like an easy call and I suppose it should be, but I never say no to clients. I’ve made my living as a freelancer for 14 years by delivering more than what is asked of me, not less. This client is the one who gave me the children’s books project, which is great. But now he wants me to manage an account for him, which sounds more like project management with a little bit of sales thrown in. Not really my thing.

Combine my lack of interest with my overcrowded schedule, and the job just doesn’t make sense for me. So I turned it down.

Here is a link to a handsome young man I know who is bravely trying something new: YouTube commercials.

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29 Responses to Just saying no (to work and cooking)

  1. Saying no is much harder and braver than it seems. Saying no and not feeling guilty about it after the fact is even more difficult.

  2. Muff says:

    Saying no to the request is great. You know what you want and what you do well. It’s great to know that he thinks enough of you to count on you outside of your traditional role though. Good for you!
    And the dinner thing…if your guests were coming over to critique your food and housekeeping skills they would not be friends. They came over to spend time with you. By the way, you did TELL them that they were getting vodka, right? I might have a slightly different post if you were concealing that small fact…

    • You mean it’s NOT ok that I spiked the punch without their knowledge? But why???

      Guess that means no more ecstasy in the salad dressing. Killjoy.

      Do people even do ecstasy anymore? Am I even spelling it correctly?

      • Muff says:

        I have no idea how to spell X or if it is still used.

        I am not sure it is NOT ok to spike the punch. I think that you just can’t assume vodka is the alcohol of choice!

        By the way, we have good friends who host parties all the time. When we go, she “cooks” Chik-fil-a platters of popcorn chicken – plastic serving tray and all – you know – in her ultra-gourmet, upscale kitchen (you should see this kitchen…). You know what? when they (the popcorn chicken platters) aren’t there, we all complain! It soooooo doesn’t matter. Not sure if there is a local cultural norm in Conn. about these things, but casual is the name of the game here. If people enjoy it, roll with it.

      • Tori Nelson says:

        Hahaha. This comment is priceless, Killjoy.

  3. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Great lesson for all of us (okay, by “all of us” I mean me) that the person with the unattainable expectations is usually ourselves, not others.

  4. Gilly says:

    I was feeling guilty about my thanksgiving dinner plans. Trader Joe’s had a delicious looking stuffed/seasoned turkey breast. All I have to do is pop it in the oven. So feeling a little frazzled by the Thanksgiving crowd and scared to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner for us (and a guest), I put it in my cart. I have felt guilty ever since–like I copped out. I did, but I’m going to stop feeling bad about it and buy more booze! Thanks for the tip!

  5. Woot! I avoid entertaining like the living plague because we’re already so busy that the effort takes all of the fun out of it. I think it’s about time Mike and I had some friends over for a deli supper and drinks. What an awesome idea!

  6. winsomebella says:

    No is a hard thing to say sometimes but far better than saying yes and not meaning it.

  7. ceciliag says:

    Hi i just popped in to be nosy and what a lovely guilt-free (free the guilt!) read.. good thinking! c

  8. gojulesgo says:

    That dinner party sounds awesome! I don’t know about you, but vodka usually solves all of my problems. And the video was adorable 🙂

  9. I ALWAYS say NO to cooking. Actually, that’s not true. I used to say YES, and now my friends are more than happy when I say NO!

  10. I think sometimes it ‘s best to say No! But do we always do it – no! Good for you 🙂

  11. notquiteold says:

    Company is always more forgiving than we think they will be. They are just happy to see you.
    And as for work – I think it feels amazing to say NO to something you don’t want to do. It is one of the most powerful and empowering feelings I know. Yea!

  12. addielicious says:

    I’ve always said no to cooking but I don’t really want to shrivel up and just die of malnutrition so I’m saying yes to it.

    In some other aspects, I’m told that saying no is a brave act. It’s something that I’m trying to learn. Some baby steps. 😀

  13. Good for you! You’re probably doing your client a favor by letting him hire someone who is more qualified for the task, wants it more, and has more time to devote to it. It’s a much happier ending that agreeing, kicking yourself, and being resentful that you’re taking time away from other projects for a task in which you’re overqualified.
    As for your dinner, I always find that it’s about the company – not the meal. If you’re a good conversationalist, your guest will be happy with two-week old leftovers. On the other hand, if you’re boring as drying paint, they won’t want to come back – if if your meal is prepared by Martha Stewart herself.

  14. workmomad says:

    “No” is a very important tool. I don’t use it very well.


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