To say No and speak my mind?

(107 Posts)
Nellelephant Mon 16-Sep-13 09:04:19

Ok, a bit of background: My Sil's boyfriend has just started his job as a teacher. I have been a graphic designer for over 5 years. We are both the same age but he chopped and changed what career he wanted after uni. We very rarely see each other, he's not really someone I or DH would socialise with. To be honest when we do see him I spend my time biting my tongue and tolerating him in order to keep the peace. We have very different views.

Last Friday I had a Facebook post from him completely out of the blue (haven't seen him for 3 months) saying 'you know how you are an awesome and generous designer, well I need a favour. I need a school poster doing by Tuesday, can I count on you?

Now maybe to most people that is a fair enough favour to ask of me but I found it patronising and degrading. Surely school posters are a part of his job that he is getting paid to do! I would never ask a favour of someone I don't have anything to do with for months at a time. It made me feel like I'm seen as a child with a crayon and that my profession is viewed as twee: want something to look pretty, ask Nell to do it for free. My Fil did something similar recently for his business and I never got a thank you and felt incredibly used.

I was pretty stressed out with work last week so I wasn't in the mood for being publicly patronised in this way without saying something. I told him that as a teacher, a school poster is part of his job that he is getting paid to do. At the most if he wants to delegate then he can ask one of his pupils to do it. I said that I'm sure he didn't mean for his comment to come across as patronising or demonstrating such a lack of respect for my profession, but that's how it made me feel so no I will not do you this favour.

He deleted the post and I've not heard from him since but Mil saw my reply and has told me that I am incredibly rude and out of order. That he is entitled to ask me for a favour and that I should be polite because he is practically family.

Perhaps I should have simply said no but I'm fed up of having to bite my tongue when I feel I am being mocked and insulted, just because they are the in laws. Was I wrong to express my opinion, should I have said yes and done his work for him?

Sorry that's so long.

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 12:55:29

well done OP, you took it on the chin and have done the right thing. Hopefully this can be a trigger to clear the air and move forward <not quite sure why I just sunk into management-speak there, sorry>

BackforGood Mon 16-Sep-13 12:51:48

Fair play to your OP - you have now certainly been "the bigger man" and it's good to see someone actually taking on board the replies to something they ask on here smile

Floggingmolly Mon 16-Sep-13 12:44:28

God, you are one stress head, op! How much disrespect can you possibly get from your family regarding your job, that you feel worn down by it all? Do you perhaps mean they don't show sufficient respect?
Why should they? confused
Fwiw, I think your apology would have been so much better had you not included the part about your ungraciousness being, you know, basically all the family's fault for not respecting you enough.

captainmummy Mon 16-Sep-13 12:14:52

Katy - I reckon most of the posters would be saying 'no what a cheek, asking on FB and not respecting your work etc ... tell him to do one.'
grin

olidusUrsus Mon 16-Sep-13 12:12:48

Well done OP, good apology smile I'm sure he'll accept it after stewing for a bit wink

Misspixietrix Mon 16-Sep-13 12:10:59

Thats a good apology OP. I would leave it at that now If I were you. He will come round eventually smile

Misspixietrix Mon 16-Sep-13 12:06:51

Ouch! I do think you were being a bit unreasonable in the Public Flogging but I'm guessing you woń't be asked again anytime soon! grin YWNBU to say No though

Nellelephant Mon 16-Sep-13 12:04:14

@ theboutiquemummy I don't want to go in to details, that's a whole other thread but I dislike his attitude towards others I guess. I think everyone else is used to it as they have known him all his life, all the families are from the same town, the grandparents went to school together as did the parents and then the kids. They take his comments with a pinch of salt and accept that that is just the way he is. But I as a recent addition to the family network in comparison, (6 years) take these things to heart.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 16-Sep-13 11:50:58

I'm sure some people would be saying that you should have been nice and been happy to help for free. wink

Nellelephant Mon 16-Sep-13 11:41:15

@ Katythecleaninglady Perhaps I should have come on MN first and expressed my rage, then I wouldn't be in this situation. smile

LePamplemousseMousse Mon 16-Sep-13 11:40:40

Well done OP. I hope he does accept it - it's hard to back down and apologise and you should be proud of yourself.

Come back and let us know what they reply x

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 16-Sep-13 11:33:25

It would be interesting to see how this thread would have gone if the op had posted before she replied to his message on Facebook.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 16-Sep-13 11:26:40

Artists hate being asked to do shit for free all the time. If you need a favour of one, you need to ask them in a very nice way that doesn't make them feel obligated or taken for granted. And if it's at all possible, you should offer to pay something.

theboutiquemummy Mon 16-Sep-13 11:22:47

Ynabu to say no that's your prerogative but it sounds like there's so much more to this then a request for help

So what's the real problem why do you dislike him so ?

JohnnyFontaneCannaeSing Mon 16-Sep-13 11:21:41

Not wrong to say no but went wrong way about it.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 16-Sep-13 11:19:13

Your apology was good. If he doesn't accept it, don't worry. Because he should be ashamed of himself for the way he asked you. He was wrong and you were right to be annoyed, even if you should have reacted differently at the time.

digerd Mon 16-Sep-13 11:15:25

I found his wording blatently gushing with insincere flattery in his attempt to manipulate you. "* you know you are an awesome and generous designer*" etc. Not " I know you are a brilliant designer and would love you to design a poster for my school, if you have the time".

Even if he had not mentioned paying you, I am sure you would have reacted generously .
However your public reply was OTT, but I understand how you felt.

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 11:15:15

Me too OP. x

Nellelephant Mon 16-Sep-13 11:14:37

I have sent my apology to him and sent one to Mil too. She's on the other side of the world so not easy to speak to her either. I was honest with him and said that what I wrote was an overreaction and I shouldn't have said those things publicly. I took all my stresses out on him which he didn't deserve and I explained my reasons, feeling taken for granted and worn down by the jokes that are made.

I don't know if he will accept it, I will just have to wait and see. I can admit when I have been in the wrong, sometimes I just need to take a step back to see it.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 16-Sep-13 11:14:26

Well done op for taking all the comments on board and realizing that you need to apologize. You also had a good think about why you reacted and saw that you took it out on one person. Hope it all works out for yousmile

NotYoMomma Mon 16-Sep-13 11:13:22

this whole thread is shock

his message was short and a bit cheeky but fuck me how you injected all of that hidden meaning and feeling like a twee little girl who does pretty things I will never know confused

brew

roundtable Mon 16-Sep-13 11:12:36

Yes, I agree. Don't gush and don't apologise for not doing the poster. The only apology needed is for the tone/rude message.

The way he asked you in a way to manipulate you into saying yes was annoying. Some (not all) people who work with children have a tenancy to forget to turn it off.

roundtable Mon 16-Sep-13 11:06:14

Well done op. Don't send anything off straight away until you've read and reread. Maybe have a serious conversation about how his family make you feel which is why you overreacted.

You don't have to do the poster if you don't want to though.

Amazing how we know that sil's boyfriend is a teacher martyr. Please can we not turn this into a teacher bashing thread.

captainmummy Mon 16-Sep-13 11:00:29

I have read the thread - and want to say, well done OP. No beating about the bush - and at least everyone knows where they stand. Can't stand people ho moan about being 'busy' and don't tell it how it is.
I'm concerned that MIL is against you tyho, as SILs boyfriend is 'nearly' family wtf? You are family (or should be) and she should be more sympathetic to you.
And those who reckon she shouldn't have done it on FB - well, he put it there in the first place. Who does that -

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 10:58:51

Or you know...what curryeater said. grin

I'm a sufferer of foot in mouth syndrome, and usually apologise very gravely. I think being more flippant/casual is the way to go actually.

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