Would You Rather: Asking for favours

Kajamba Fitz-Henley

For some, asking for favours is as much a Jamaican characteristic as sprinting or dancing. Whether it’s asking a random person for a loan or ‘begging a bly’ in traffic, Jamaicans have no qualms about requesting the generosity of others. Some think this has transformed into a culture of mendicancy, reflecting badly on our people. But regardless of whether it is viewed as begging or simply requesting, asking for a favour is a universal act. It doesn’t always have to be negative. There is no shame in asking when you are in need, but some of us want to be careful not to make a habit of it. We also have to be careful of what exactly we are asking for. Here are a few would you rather scenarios to help us explore our personal dos and don’ts in asking for a favour.

  • You are at a bus stop, anxiously waiting for a cab. You’re late for a work and you’re almost sure you won’t make it in time for a meeting that your boss specifically asked you to be at. The boss has made it clear that she needs to know such things beforehand so that she can find someone to fill in. The problem is, your boss only takes WhatsApp calls. You don’t have service on your phone but you noticed that the business man who has been waiting at the bus stop as well has been using WhatsApp.

Would you rather:

Ask the man to make a call on his WhatsApp (60%)
OR Take your chances with your boss even though you’ll probably miss the meeting (40%)

  • “I’d ask that stranger for a call. You have to put being professional with your boss over your own discomfort with a stranger.” (Davine, 18)
  •  “I don’t know…asking a stranger to use their WhatsApp is a little weird. And I’d have to save the boss’s number in his phone then call… I’m not sure I could do that.” (Chantae, 17)


  • You’re stuck in front of the staff area at school as it is pouring rain but you don’t have an umbrella. You have to get home immediately as the business where you applied for an internship said they would call you to arrange an interview around this time. But you left your phone at home. You see your principal seated in the staff room typing on her laptop. You’ve never directly spoken to her before but you notice that she has a huge umbrella beside her. All you need to do is get to the bus stop a quarter-mile away so that you can get a cab home quickly.

Would you rather:

Wait until the downpour stops and likely miss your call (70%)
OR Interrupt the principal’s work and ask her to walk you to the bus stop (30%)

  •  “Asking your principal of all people to get up and walk you to the bus stop is too much to me. Plus I wouldn’t want her to know me for that. So I’d to miss the call. Or who knows, I might dash out in the rain lol.” (Adjana, 15)
  •  “No man both of those sound rough…I’d take up myself and walk in the rain ‘cause I can’t miss my interview call.” (Rashaun, 17)


  • You frequently need to print things for school but you don’t have a printer at home so you’ve taken to asking your friend who has a printer to print things for you. She hadn’t minded before but recently she told you that her parents have told her to stop using their printer for her friends. Since then you’ve tried to stop asking her to print things but tonight you’ve got to print an essay for your first class tomorrow. The printer at school isn’t working and you won’t be allowed into class without your essay.

Would you rather:

Go to class without the essay and have the teacher bar you from entering (60%)
OR Ask your friend to defy her parents and print your work (40%)

  •  “I feel way too guilty asking that of my friend, especially like how I’ve asked her so many times before.” (Tia, 16)
  • “I’d have to beg my friend cuz I absolutely hate being confronted by teachers about work.” (Sharone, 17)
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