The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Don’t Be A Mick Hucknell …
November 18, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Once upon a time, I lent a friend some money.

It wasn’t a huge amount, but it was enough to be noticed and felt.

The friend was going through a lot of troubles at the time so I was very happy to do it.

Time passed and nothing was mentioned.

Nothing at all.

But thanks to the power of social media, I was able to see that the lifestyle they were leading didn’t really demonstrate any level of sacrifice.

Nights out.



They all were maintained even though the money they borrowed – and it was very clearly a loan, not a gift – was never returned.

I must admit this led to a lot of animosity from me.

Especially when I saw they were enjoying vacations that far exceeded anything I had ever had both in terms of location and duration.

But this is not about my choice of friend, this is about priorities and perspective.

You see, I know my friend would never want to upset me.

If I was to ask him any of the following questions – prior to this situation – I know they would have answered with an emphatic “no”:

+ Would you ever knowingly want to upset a friend?

+ Would you ever borrow money from a friend and never pay them back?

+ Would you ever want to show you are not worthy of being trusted?

And this is what’s fascinating … because as much as I genuinely believe they would mean it when they said it, when they found themselves in their situation, they did the complete opposite.

Of course they wouldn’t see it that way.

Instead of viewing their behaviour as ‘unfair, selfish or uncaring’, they would regard it as simply ‘doing what their family needed’.

Of course, if they were using the money to pay their rent or put food on the table, I doubt there’d be a single person in the World that would challenge that … but in my friends case, it appears ‘what their family needed’ was to maintain a lifestyle they felt they were entitled to, either because that’s how they were raised or how they used to live.

In other words, they would argue: how can it be unfair when all we’re doing is maintaining our normal standards?

Which gets to the heart of what I’m trying to say in this post.

Regardless what we may think is ‘convention’ … regardless what people may say ‘they would do’ when faced with certain circumstances … when faced with the realities of hypothesis, people’s choices and decisions end up being far more heavily influenced/justified by self-interest – whether they’re conscious of that or not – so if you blindly make plans based purely on what people say ‘will happen’, then you have to prepare yourself for the potential of disappointment.

Remember that next time you’re in a focus group.

38 Comments so far
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If your friend has a holiday that exceeded anything you’ve had then it must have been massive. And you paid for it. Can you buy me a holiday as well?

Comment by DH

he must be fucking retired because that is a fucking impossibility.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know it sounds impossible, but it’s true. Twice.


Total disclosure, I let them off the second amount I leant them [yes, I did it twice, can you believe it!] because they said how tough life was and then literally a few months later, they have a massive holiday and cruise and proudly put the pictures all over Facebook.

I know by letting them off the 2nd amount, I have no right to really feel pissed off, but I would have thought a friend would never allow that to happen and would ensure they paid-up before they ever did something like this.

But I was wrong.

Comment by Rob


Comment by andy@cynic

I need some money to buy a new television. If I don’t get it, I might suffer. Can you lend me the money to buy it Rob? I’ll pay you back right after I’ve bought everything else that I need.

Comment by DH

Only if it’s this one:

Comment by Rob

Oh you are so funny. Just not to me.

Comment by DH

Why don’t companies use focus groups as a lesson for what people won’t do?

Comment by DH

because the chicken shit companies need someone to make their fucking decisions for them even though they know they are lying through their fucking teeth because theyve got no fucking backbone. like an account man at leo fucking burnett.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Pete

You sum it up fairly well Andrew.

Comment by George


Comment by Rob are Pete-ing it a bit too close for comfort.. behave yourself now..

Comment by niko

Hahahahaha … well said Niko.

Comment by Rob

That’s not Pete-ing. Pete-ing would be saying this is a brilliant post and Rob should be president.

Comment by DH

Sticks and stones.

Comment by Pete

now you know how i fucking feel. i leant you my fucking talent, you made a fucking fortune and all i got was hassle and fuck load of planner neighbours. prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

you know what campbell, if you used this blog to settle your grievances every fucking day, i might look forward to coming here rather than treating it as judge ordered community service. and im only writing so many comments to cover the week you stop doing this blog. and it will be a week because you cant fucking help yourself.

Comment by andy@cynic

Sorry to hear about your friends actions Rob but your point about claimed behaviour and reframed behaviour is one every person in marketing and research should already know or be aware of. To Andy’s comment about focus groups, it seems they’re not.

Comment by Pete

Decision making by proxy.
Or “always have someone else to blame.”
Modern management 101.

Comment by George

So am I Pete. But it won’t happen again … even though it sort-of happened again. With the same person. ARGH!

Comment by Rob

If ever there was a time to do the horses head trick its now. Use your italianness and get revenge on the mofo.

Comment by Billy Whizz

It has crossed my mind Billy.

Comment by Rob

I don’t know how many of you have done the obvious thing and got yourself hired as a focus group participant. It’s extremely enlightening.

Comment by John

Yes I have … and the conversations before and after the focus group were far more interesting than the ones in it. And that’s not just because I’ve watched countless numbers of them all around the World.

Comment by Rob

That’s right – especially the ones on the way to the Tube with cash on their pockets.

Comment by John

Hi Rob, thanks for writing this post. I owe some money to an ex of mine, who I still dearly love. I really needed it at the time, and it was not a huge amount, but enough for her to feel and miss.

I was thinking about planning a little holiday now that I’m back on my feet (nothing fancy, just a boozy weekend on the continent with a friend) but you’ve made me realise that I need to pay her back before I do anything like that.

Comment by Hercule Sperg

Please let this be sarcastic.

Comment by Pete

Let’s hope so.

Comment by Rob

You are being far more generous to your friend than I would be Robert.
Valuable reminder so at least there is that going for this bad situation.

Comment by Lee Hill

I bloody hate focus groups.
I read some ace stuff that the further away from an event (before) the more you totally misread your own intentions and likely actions as, not only,do you a base it on a post rationalised version of the last time, you base your judgement on the more social, macro picture – the idea of something.
So you look forward to Christmas – the idea of the perfect family events, and then closer to the event, get all shirty about putting up with each other for more than a day.
So I bet your mate THOUGHT he would pay you back, because it’s the ‘right thing to do’ but closer to the event….

Comment by Northern

Oh I know he didn’t mean to fuck me over but as I said, when reality hit, he was able to reframe his actions as fulfilling his normality rather than taking the piss.

Intentions count for nothing unless you do something about them.

[Which I realise sounds like a Just Do It line. And it might end up being one now, ha!]

Comment by Rob

I think that psychology could be applied to sending someone else to a gig.

Comment by John

Don’t start all that John

Comment by Northern

All I know about Mick Hucknall is that when we were in the Hacienda during the 90’s he asked my mate out, via his bouncer, and she said “when Mick has the balls to approach me himself, I’ll give him an answer, until then fuck off.”


Comment by ozdean

I would have let him shag me then go to the papers. Your friend had no vision.

Comment by DH

I think the line from 24hr Party People spoken by ‘god’ says it all…

” It’s a pity you didn’t sign the Smiths, but you were right about Mick Hucknell. His music’s rubbish, and he’s a ginger.”

Comment by Rob (other one)

Certainly right about the smiths

Comment by Northern

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