Welcome to Embedded (Kate’s Version). Today you are my Google. Please help. —Kate
On May 30, 2017 I went to a bar to celebrate my then-roommate’s birthday with a few of her friends. We got drinks and oysters, which I don’t eat, but for some reason I guess I offered to put the whole thing on my card and have people Venmo me. I remember all these details for one reason and one reason only: one of these friends has yet to complete my Venmo request.
For those who need help with the math, May 30, 2017 was almost exactly four years ago. The $18 request is still sitting in my “Incomplete” folder on the app as if it was yesterday. This means it’s very much still sitting in her “Notifications” folder in the same way. Every time I open the app, I can feel the tension between us.
For all the problems Venmo has solved (a few weeks ago, after my friend and I found out too late that an ice cream truck was cash-only, a kind Brooklyn mom stepped in to pay for us provided we Venmo her) it has one fatal flaw: someone can just simply not pay. You can “request,” you can “remind,” but there’s no next option to, like, “leave horse head in bed.”
Me and this person don’t actually know each other, and we never met beyond this birthday. But she and I are uncomfortably bound by this unanswered request, and there’s no way to quietly sever the tie. Every option (paying/declining/reminding) is weird for the same reason: One of us will get a notification after four years of silence.
I know I could just cancel, but that would be admitting defeat. Despite the fact that I don’t have what we would call “a source of income” at the moment, I don’t really care about the $18. I do care about rules, and about unintentionally setting any kind of precedent that if you ignore paying your fair share of food that, say it with me, I did not eat, for long enough you just won’t have to.
Anyways, I know Venmo has bigger fish to fry right now, but if we could just queue my specific issue next that would be great.