Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Facebook.... "un-friended"

I get lots of friend requests on Facebook and am happy to accept all of them. I like being able to connect with people who follow the sport or know of me from somewhere else. I'm happy to say hello and to open a bit of a window into my world.

However, this morning, I had a seriously amusing Facebook interaction. One of my "friends" has been asking for help with what would be a pretty detailed and in depth training plan. I didn't know how to respond at first, so I had kind of delayed answering the request. But, this morning, after a lot of thought, I realized what the correct response should be.

I asked this person what they did for a living. Obviously perplexed they responded and asked me "Why?" I wanted to know. I kindly replied, "Would you perform your trade for someone, to better their business, for free?" They replied, "No. I wouldn't." My point exactly. Then they tried to tell me that they would provide their service to me for free - HA! Not only do I doubt that, but I find that slightly offensive, as I would never ask them to do so.

Although I would love to help everyone who asked for advice, I make a living from being a triathlete, no different than someone else is a doctor, lawyer, engineer etc. I love to help people and I do offer bits and pieces of advice where I can, but this particular request would have required a few hours of thought and preparation to really put something worthwhile together.

Moments later, this person "un-friended" me. I think they probably thought I wouldn't notice, but I did, and I proceeded to get a bit of a giggle out of the whole thing. Oh well, I guess the friendship request was laced with an expectation that I would provide something in return. I'm sorry to disappoint, but don't think I was wrong in my response. I pay my coach a lot of money for what he provides to me and if there are individuals who really want my help and guidance, I'm happy to provide it to them, as a coach, for a reasonable charge.


Mtn. Clyde said...

Now that's a little crazy! It is one thing for a "friend" to ask for general advice, but to ask for detailed feedback... well, that's a bit much. But good on you for even accepting all the friend requests. For all of us athlete dreamers, it is amazing that we now have a portal into the world of the pro athletes we admire.

A. Ray said...

I've enjoyed following your career to this point and believe you did the right thing. Good luck with the coming season

Ulyana said...

Good riddance to him/her, I say! Good luck with your training!

crystal rhyno said...

Hi Jenna,
Great way to handle it. I'm a reporter/photographer. People constantly ask me to take a picture (while I am out working) and email them "just this one time" And it drives me nuts! It's easier to snap the photo and just forget it then to explain ethics etc....

Anyway, good luck in your training.


Anonymous said...

While I agree the person was out of line requesting a detailed training plan, the reasons you give to me are also off base. You should have simply sugested he seek out a coach. But to say what you do is not different than a doctor or lawyer or any professional is somewhat ridiculous. Yes, in effect your sport of choice, triathlon, has become your job. But make no mistake there is a huge difference between yours and a dr. or lawyer.

in2triathlon said...

Nice one Jenna. I agree with you.

I'm a half decent athlete - I would say that - and a qualified tri coach with a Masters degree in Sports Coaching as well (yes there such things out there).

I don't think people appreciate how much effort goes in to producing a decent plan for someone, and lets face it they would probably slate you for lack of integrity if you only took 5minutes over it.

Good look over the coming season.


eduardo said...

jenna, i agree with you. i´m a attorney and see no difference beetween your job and mine.

it´s just a way we choose for living and people have to respect our choices.

there´s no such thing as "my job is better than yours because i´m a m.d or a lawyer". =P