A free rider, in economics, refers to someone who benefits from resources, goods, or services without paying for the cost of the benefit.
This of course is not just an economic problem anymore, related to the country, the working or the non-working class of people. These days it is pretty much a social problem too, when we talk about school or college projects, getting those passes for a concert, tapping into someones network, we can go on and on.
Over a period of time, I’ve closed down to a few points, which one may agree or disagree, that are common to these free riders, whatever their scope of function is.
1. Ownership ~ This trait is the feeling of owning the product or service (could be a project, a facial, someone’s name…) as if it were there’s in the very first place.
2. Thanklessness ~ This point is linked to point number 1. Because they feel they are the kings and queens of the world, they pretty much lack gratitude for what they have received for free. In fact, they often feel what they have received in compensation to their pitiful state is far less than what they deserve. Bottom line is, if you happen to be rode upon, you are never going to receive any kind of a ‘Thank you’ note, but you will eventually land up doing more than what you can give.
3. Drama queens ~ How the hell do they land up getting all that stuff for free anyway? The answer is very simple my dear friends, they know how to fool you, how to use emotions, they will show you how pathetic a condition they are in. Whether is being in debt, having a terrible illness, a migraine, a viral attack, or its the spouse, the kids, they have a ready list depending on the person whose asking them and the kind of stuff they want for free. In worst case scenarios they will not even shy away from quoting their last experience on how someone was mean to them because they didn’t give them their due.
For me, people who have these three traits are the one’s to be watchful for, because they are the ultimate ‘free riders’, the kinds who will land up taking you for a long ride, literally speaking. Maybe someone should produce a Royal Talent show too I propose.