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.

QueenofallIsee Mon 16-Sep-13 09:09:04

YANBU to say No when you are busy and stressed but it was a bit harsh to say that publically to him, even if he is a dick

bragmatic Mon 16-Sep-13 09:09:11

Say no, by all means. I can certainly understand why you did. But making your response public is just going to cause more pissed offedness and bruised egos. You should have sent him a private message if it bothered you so much.

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 16-Sep-13 09:11:17

I think you would have done better to say something like 'Thank you for your enquiry. I estimate it would take approximately 2 hours, my current rate is £45 per hour. Unfortunately my diary is full until October 17th but I will be happy to schedule your commission in then.'

zeno Mon 16-Sep-13 09:12:36

Yanbu to decline, yabu to tick him off publicly - it was never going to go down well was it.

lunar1 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:13:02

I think that was a really rude message to put in Facebook. Sorry I've got too much work on would have done just fine. You sound very over sensitive. Don't worry now though if he saw it I doubt he will trouble you again.

LePamplemousseMousse Mon 16-Sep-13 09:13:05

Wow. I think you might have a little bit of a chip on your shoulder there. I think his tone is irritatingly chummy, and that it's a cheek to ask as you don't know each other that well, but your reply was OTT. If anything he probably thought his efforts would be rubbish and was recognising your skill at making things look fantastic.

It would have been fine to say "Hi. No sorry I don't have time at the moment, I'm really busy. I'm sure you'll do fine". But your reply is completely out of proportion and patronising and rude itself. Also I understand that you responded publicly on Facebook - can't you see how that could be quite humiliating to him?

YA absolutely BU. Apologise to him immediately for over-reacting explaining it came during a stressful week. It's just not worth a family rift over something so minor.

froken Mon 16-Sep-13 09:14:37

I think ywbu. I can't see how his comment was patronising at all.

Why didn't you just reply "sorry I'm too busy this week, maybe one of your students could help you out?."

I think you might be reading a little too much into his post, I don't think it sounded like he was belittling your profession but even if he does think your profession is twee why does it matter?

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 09:15:01

I think the public lashing was far ruder tbh. Why didn't you PM him with your little speech?

I don't think he did anything particularly wrong - he's allowed to ask ffs, just as you are allowed to decline.

No need for the dressing down to accompany.

Helpyourself Mon 16-Sep-13 09:15:36

Saying no was fine.
The extra stuff and patronising and professionalism etc. not ok.

CressidaMontgomery Mon 16-Sep-13 09:15:54

You've made a massive mountain here. What was wrong with ' oh sorry work is manic, I don't have time? '

You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder

wordfactory Mon 16-Sep-13 09:15:58

I think you over reacted OP.

Folk asking for work related 'favours' are just par for the course.

You just politely decline.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Mon 16-Sep-13 09:16:24

I can't see why you felt patronised and degraded. He only asked a favour. You should have just said you are too busy. Your response to the whole thing is a bit ott.

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 09:16:43

People shouldn't make public requests like that either though.

BeckAndCall Mon 16-Sep-13 09:16:52

I just can't see now he was patronising, sorry. The words themselves don't seem to me to belittle your work. Perhaps there's more to this thanwe know?

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Mon 16-Sep-13 09:16:55

You did overreact and I can't see how he was patronising in his request. I think you owe him an apology.

hackmum Mon 16-Sep-13 09:19:06

I agree he had a bit of a cheek to ask you to do it for free, but you could simply have said Sorry, I'm too busy at the moment, or I have to prioritise my paid work. I think telling him off like that was a bit much.

I also think your being over sensitive and reading thing into his post that were not there.
he called you an awesome and generous designer and although a bit crawley was certainly not patronising.
I can understand you not wanting to do it but that was way over the top.

i don't see the patronising bit either.

is he patronising about your career normally? i think you're reading it into his comment.

i don't like his manipulation - if you say no you are not generous and that you can't be counted on.

i think a simple 'so sorry. don't have the time.' would have been enough.

so now you have massively fueled the flames which, imo, was a hot-headed thing to do.

Nellelephant Mon 16-Sep-13 09:22:07

Yes in hindsight a private message would have been better but because he had made his comment public for everyone to see, all the in laws and their family friends are on Facebook, I wanted everyone to see my reply. I guess to send a message to them too. Not that many people would have seen it, he was quick to delete. I'm just fed up of being treated like my job is meaningless and nothing better than a hobby. Frequently I am told that my degree is a Mickey Mouse subject despite me being the only one in the family who is actually using their degree.

WaitMonkey Mon 16-Sep-13 09:24:15

shock You totally overreacted. Your mil is probably embarrassed by you, as I would be. Totally fine to say no if you didn't want to do it, but you took things to the extreme.

echt Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:00

I don't see him as patronising, just a chancer, and you're right, he really should have got a student to do this. He won't take your pointing out the bleeding obvious well, though.

comingalongnicely Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:07

I think the OP knows him & will have read his post in "his voice" - she'll know if it was patronising or not.

To me the "can I count on you" bit makes him sound like one of those twats you get in every meeting that everyone hates. If he didn't want a public reply then he shouldn't have asked in public!

I wouldn't worry about it too much!!


ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:11

Bloody hell, you really let rip, didn't you? You just took all your bottled up resentment at the lot of them and spewed it out at him grin

His question seemed friendly, cheeky but in a nice way and lighthearted to me. It reads like he values your skills and sees you as someone good at what they do, not the opposite. He wanted a really great poster, who did he think of to come up with something amazing? - you. If I got something like that, I'd laugh, say you cheeky sod, let me see what I can do.

I think that you overreacted to that one question if we take it in isolation and at face value, but I also think that for you to have such an extreme overreaction to it, you must be stuffed to bursting with anger and resentment at the lot of them, so perhaps it's a good thing that you did. Maybe you needed to let it out.

Perhaps no more bottling up and just handle things assertively as they crop up?

well next time they ask you a favour (which i think they probably won't for a bit, until they've forgotten or are desperate enough):

'amazing what a mickey-mouse degree can get you - i could charge a client £3400 for that! and so sorry, i just don't have time to take on any extra work. see, my mickey-mouse job just keeps me so busy! and the money keeps rolling in!!! hahaha'

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:53

xpost. mickey mouse degree comment removes all doubt.

Unless there is more backstory ie he has belittled and been rude about your career choice or something you were ott.

Asking a graphic designer for help to graphically design a poster for a school event so it looks whizzy and professional is far from patronising or degrading. Bit cheeky maybe if he doesn't know you that well but that's it.

Mintyy Mon 16-Sep-13 09:29:35

You sound like incredibly hard work from that op, tbh.

olidusUrsus Mon 16-Sep-13 09:30:16

It was bad form on his part to ask in the way he did - as a fellow freelancer I totally empathise with you there. But you blew it with your reply, it was way over the top. Will you apologise?

Faithless12 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:30:30

YWBU. Just say no. DH is an illustrator and everyone asks for him to draw them or draw them something, so I know how frustrating it is. DH rationale is: you wouldn't ask your plumber friend to fix your boiler for nothing. However a simple no sorry I'm busy suffices sometimes if people are persistent he says that will take me x amount of time and I can't fit that in with my paying work.

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 09:30:42

" I'm just fed up of being treated like my job is meaningless and nothing better than a hobby. Frequently I am told that my degree is a Mickey Mouse subject despite me being the only one in the family who is actually using their degree."

And that's wholly of his doing is it? Are you really so puffed up over this that you consider yourself above being ask for a favour?

Sorry OP - I can see what motivated your response - but perhaps it might have been better to keep it in your head on this particular occasion. It's like using a mallet to crack a nut. You have made yourself look haughty and arrogant, rather than professional and busy. Your own doing.

ChasedByBees Mon 16-Sep-13 09:31:56

I don't think that actual comment was patronising. Cheeky yes, but a simple no would have sufficed. You sound haughty and like you're making this into something far bigger than it needs to be.

There is a middle ground between tearing a strip of someone and just doing what everyone asks meekly, just say no pleasantly.

It may be annoying if you feel the family don't respect your degree, but has your SIL's DP ever made that remark or anything like that? The family aren't one homogeneous mass. I actually think you owe an apology.

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 09:32:16

ok, until you got to the comment about the mickey mouse degree I was all for saying YABU and chippy and defensive.

Who on earth are these people who think that being a graphic designer isn't a proper job? Is it your ILs? They are very ignorant if so, and perhaps now is the time to tell them.

I do think that asking a favour like that via a public forum is pretty much obliging you to say yes - why on earth didn't he text or ring you, or send you a FB message?

so, all in all, YANBU.

StuntGirl Mon 16-Sep-13 09:32:40

You were a bit ott in your reply but he was a cheeky sod for asking, especially the way he did, and especially if he's been rude about your career in the past. Ignore, they probably won't ask again now smile

YoniMitchell Mon 16-Sep-13 09:34:15

You sound v touchy op! I'd have just either said sure and quoted my going rate for the work (clearly he's after a freebee so would decline) or said I simply didn't have the time. No need for the rant IMO.

HitTheNorth Mon 16-Sep-13 09:34:18

I can definitely see why the way he asked wound you up, op. Just ask me whether I can do something for you or not, I don't need buttering up. I have a friend who does this and it makes me cringe and really not want to help. Also he should not have asked you publicly over facebook. A polite email or phone call would have been much better.

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 09:34:37

Btw - I am the queen of impulsive responses. I have learned the hard way - you often live to regret a knee jerk reaction.
I have a rule for myself now - if I have something of gravity or import to say, and I have time to mull it over, I sleep on it.

StyleManual Mon 16-Sep-13 09:35:26

I can see why he got your back up. His message is rather twattish - no please or thank yous. But your response is way OTT and you lost the moral high ground. Think you might need to apologise.

BackforGood Mon 16-Sep-13 09:35:52

Agree with everyone else. Fine to say you were busy / couldn't fit it in, but completely OTT, and rude to say what you did - either privately or publicly.

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 16-Sep-13 09:36:02

Erm massive over reaction on your part. Let's be honest you just don't like the guy so don't want to do him a favour fair enough but I think your public response on facebook has made you look like a bit of a prat with a chip on their shoulder.

Partridge Mon 16-Sep-13 09:36:05

Incredibly unreasonable. You sound so precious about your career too. Who really gives much of a shit about what anyone else does for work - i dont get the idea that everyone should be showing deference to you and I get told affectionately all the time that I did a Mickey Mouse degree. Get a sense of humour and perspective.

Poor guy - sounds like he was trying to engender some friendship, albeit clumsily - and you totally humiliated him. Your poor dh too. You do sound v v hard work.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:37:14

He may have been a bit cheeky to ask you, but you were so rude that I would expect the family to be rightly upset with you.
All he did was ask for a favor, you could have privately sent him a message with your speech. Yabu

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 16-Sep-13 09:39:00

Oh and I think as well as apologising I think you should thank him for deleting the comment, personally I would have left it there so everyone can see what a crappy attitude you have.

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 16-Sep-13 09:39:55

I wanted everyone to see my reply
Well I'm sure they did. Your reply was rude, massively over the top and the chip on your shoulder is there for everyone to see. I'm sure he is irritating, his request was very forward and more like a demand but your response was far worse.

LePamplemousseMousse Mon 16-Sep-13 09:42:05

Hmmm. Well if you are constantly being belittled I can see where the reaction has come from, but it still does sound OTT as his actual request isn't patronising at face value. I can understand that it's hit a raw nerve, but by responding so aggressively you've put yourself in the wrong and - frankly - made yourself look a bit of a tit.

I think an apology to him is still due, and perhaps MIL too. You could use this as an opportunity to directly address the negative comments and belittling of your degree etc., but only if you think you can keep your temper and not pile more aggressive fuel on the fire.

You could say (in person or by phone, not by email as it's probably best not to have any more written records of this issue): "I'm really sorry about that message. It came during a busy and stressful week. I should have found a way to say no more politely. I'm afraid part of my reaction is due to the fact that I feel the family don't value my job or my degree - it's been called 'Mickey Mouse' before and that is really hurtful. I took your request for a favour in the wrong way because of that - that you didn't value my time or my work as much as your own - but I see that I over reacted and I'm sure that's not what you meant. Can we just put this down to experience and forget it?'

As someone who's going through the pain of family estrangement at the moment I can tell you that this small stuff can really blow up and get out of hand before you know it. Do try to get them to understand your point of view but try not to make too much of it. It's just not worth the risk of falling out with half your family.

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 16-Sep-13 09:43:28

Also, it's a poster FGS for a school I also have a degree in @"&? design and I could knock a school poster out in half an hour because I know what I'm doing. Other people don't. You could have helped.

Parmarella Mon 16-Sep-13 09:46:32

agree that you sound like hard work.

Can't you just say: "Thanks for asking but am too busy this week, maybe next time."

I am all for saying "no", for whatever reason, but by making it a bit dramatic and posting reply publicly, you then ended up being the unreasonable one.

roundtable Mon 16-Sep-13 09:46:32

Apologise for being snippy. Tell him you're busy and were a bit stressed when you wrote your reply and realise it was rude. Then say sorry I'm unable to do it as I'm very busy but I hope whatever the poster is for goes well.

Do it publicly on fb again so everyone can see your apology since they got the treat of seeing your public tongue lashing.

Next time think before you type/speak. His tone is annoying but your response was disproportionate.

Partridge Mon 16-Sep-13 09:46:58

Exactly louis. He asked because the op is good at that stuff and he probably isn't. Not because he sees his career as more important. All this sniffing around for offence smacks of deep insecurity.

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 16-Sep-13 09:50:08

Also the poster for school may be for a PTA fundraising event and he may have just "I know a graphic designer, maybe if I ask she will help us out with something". You know occasionally people do request people's professional help for charitable benefits and occasionally professionals are obliging.

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 09:50:08

Btw - I agree, on refelction, that his original request was actually pretty manipulative and presumptuous. He obviously didn't realise his request was a big ask. However, your reply was still well out of proportion. A flat no would have sufficed. He's your sil's partner, and isn't responsible in any way for how you feel your family regard your job. He has probably never given it single thought.

Back in the knife drawer Ms. Sharp!

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 09:50:23

Btw - I agree, on refelction, that his original request was actually pretty manipulative and presumptuous. He obviously didn't realise his request was a big ask. However, your reply was still well out of proportion. A flat no would have sufficed. He's your sil's partner, and isn't responsible in any way for how you feel your family regard your job. He has probably never given it single thought.

Back in the knife drawer Ms. Sharp!

Floggingmolly Mon 16-Sep-13 09:51:27

I'd have done it... Or if I really didn't want to I'd have said I was too busy. There was no need to hand him his arse on a plate, ffs!

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Mon 16-Sep-13 09:52:39

What an awful reply to him op, There was no need to speak to him like that, I don't think his post was patronising at all.

You sound quite unhinged tbh.

And ywbvu!

mrsspagbol Mon 16-Sep-13 09:54:05

Think you vomited all your resentment on him and not all if itis correctly allocated. Think you need to address that instead of exploding on one random person.

Think your response was waaaay OTT and makes you look a bit mad, tbh.


PatriciaHolm Mon 16-Sep-13 10:08:01

We have a lovely graphic designer parent at school who has done several PTA posters. They are fabulous, way above anything any of us could knock up on powerpoint. Pretty sure he doesn't feel belittled or degraded about doing them.

I think your SIL's Boyfriend obviously hit a few buttons and ignited a rant that really he didn't deserve. I think you need to say sorry for overreacting, but you are really busy right now and can't help, maybe another time if he gives you more notice?

Nellelephant Mon 16-Sep-13 10:09:54

Thank you for everyone's replies. I am taking it all on board and yes a lot of you are right, I am sensitive and I do take things to heart. It's something that my DH often says to me and its interesting to see that complete strangers can see that about me too. Hmm, its eye opening. a long hard look in the mirror is needed i think.

I am drafting an apology to Sil's boyfriend (i dont have a phone number for him and i've no idea when we will see each other again) Going to think carefully about what i say this time. I would have apologised to him regardless at some point as I don't think we could get beyond this otherwise but you have all made me realise that I have just unloaded years worth of built up resentment on to one person.

This is why I posted, to get opinions from people who don't know me. I have married into a family that have had a very easy life and upbringing where as I had a pretty tough time and I sometimes see this as a reason not to owe them anything. I know that's the wrong attitude and although i dont agree with a lot of their views, sil's bf especially, they are all lovely apart from the snippy comments about what I do. They find it a joke and don't realise I take it all seriously, I obviously need to communicate this to them.

Thank you everyone. Think I need a cup of tea. It's quite something reading brutally honest comments about yourself but its clearly what I needed.

eretrew Mon 16-Sep-13 10:10:48

YABU You were quite rude.

meganorks Mon 16-Sep-13 10:18:35

You sounded very rude and like you are the one with the massive chip on your shoulder. It was a cheeky request but not patronising in any way. Perfectly fine to say no you couldn't do it. But no need to be so rude.

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 10:23:21

Awww OP, fair play to you. I think you DO need to consider that perhaps you are more sensitive than needs be. Your reply was so disproportionate.
Your in laws aren't actually obliged to be in raptures over your job you know. I think you felt diminished by them from the off because your backgrounds are so opposing, and that yes, you may have a teeny tiny chip on your shoulder about it. It's not their job to make you feel good about yourself. Of course, it's nice if they do - but more often than not, with inlaws, a pleasant, civil relationship can be considered good going.

As regards the email. Think carefully about how you word it. Don't gush...just own up and make your sincere apology.

LadyInDisguise Mon 16-Sep-13 10:24:45

OP I think writing an apology is a good idea BUT I would also make it clear as to WHY you were so upset.
And I would make it clear to everyone in your DH's family that they cannot keep laughing at you about your job. After all it's a job, it brings money and you love it. There is no need to make comment about it.

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 16-Sep-13 10:25:57

Well done for taking it on the chin OP, none of us are perfect and it's always a bit of a punch in the guts when we realise something about ourselves that we couldn't see before. Have had a bit of an epiphany recently about my own attitude and thought process towards something's and it too has required a good long look in the mirror, which isn't an easy thing to do but may be a good thing in the long run.

I think you need to work on not giving a toss what others may feel about your job. Do you like what you do? Do you feel good at your job? If yes then you don't need anyone else's validation. It only really matters how you feel about it.

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 10:26:58

And btw - the fact that you gave him a public roasting for everyone to see (by your own design), makes it all the more galling. Ouch ouch and triple ouch.

Do thank him for the deletion.

LadyInDisguise Mon 16-Sep-13 10:27:14

xpost pictish. I do think though that it is only polite to respect other people' work. The fact they aren't that keen on it doesn't mean it gives them the right to make jokes about it.
The 'Oh it's just a mickey degree' tells me that they think it's OK to make fun of the degree the OP has done, which isn't on as she is working doing that specific job so it can't be that much of a 'mickey degree' iyswim.

Spider7 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:28:23

The message she was rude has Been heard & taken on board. I would suggest further comments pointing out rudeness could in fact themselves be rude as it would seem you are ignoring OPs latest post & having fun ticking her off.

We all make mistakes OP... you at least are prepared to learn from them & it's great that you are willing to apologise. Not an easy thing to do, so well done you. Do take the time to talk to your in laws about your feelings. Sometimes people really are unaware that their jokes are not funny or have worn thin.

don't beat yourself up too much.

an apology is good, but apologise for what you're sorry about. explain that you feel taken for granted and at the same time belittled and it's been going on for years. apologise about your public comment and that you took your anger out on him. leave it at that.

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 16-Sep-13 10:30:25

Actually at this point I wouldn't go into it too much with him about how you feel others comment on your job it will make the apology sound like an "I'm sorry for what I said BUT it was everyone else's fault".

I would go for a straight forward "I'm really sorry for my outburst, it was completely out of order, maybe we could speak soon and clear the air". Then when you speak in person you can talk about why this is such an issue to you.

BillyGoatintheBuff Mon 16-Sep-13 10:30:42

aww good on ya op

ZutAlorsDidier Mon 16-Sep-13 10:30:46

If you are drafting an apology I think you should be very clear that you are apologising for ticking him off in public, not for not doing the work.

"I have married into a family that have had a very easy life and upbringing where as I had a pretty tough time and I sometimes see this as a reason not to owe them anything. I know that's the wrong attitude and although i dont agree with a lot of their views, sil's bf especially, they are all lovely apart from the snippy comments about what I do. They find it a joke and don't realise I take it all seriously, I obviously need to communicate this to them. "

I totally see where you are coming from with all this. However, all teachers all see themselves automatically at the top of the "victim" pile. They work harder than anyone, get less money than anyone, are saving the planet single-handedly while designers (for instance) lounge around in glass-and-chrome buildings drinking fancy coffee and laughing while they draft ridiculously inflated bills, etc. I suspect that teacher-hero/martyr-complex might to some extent lie behind the arrogant way in which he made this request (or he might be just an entitled dick) so you will find it hard to communicate why and in what ways he should take you seriously. I still think it is worth trying.
Part of why they think it is a joke may be because you are a woman and would find your career a bit of a laugh whatever you did.
they sound like a bunch of arseholes but I guess you have to get on with them. It may be that you will have to accept that they will never respect you; or maybe you can't / shouldn't accept this and will have to have as little to do with them as possible. Make damn sure that attitude isn't in your partner too though, if you are staying together for the long term. I would watch that right now and make your decisions accordingly.

I think you have had a bit of a rough ride on this thread. I think "chippy" accusations are usually unfair - just a way of shutting up people who sense they are being insulted but no one else cares

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 16-Sep-13 10:32:52

And agreed the OP has taken on board the harsh criticism (I was fairly harsh myself) so I don't think anymore flaming is required.

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 16-Sep-13 10:35:45

Think that's a rather sweeping statement about teachers there zut (I'm not one by the way).

Larrygogan Mon 16-Sep-13 10:39:42

I agree that your apology should be for public rudeness, not for not doing the work. I think asking someone you hardly know to do their job for you for free is very presumptuous. I would have quoted my hourly rate back at him.

He is not blameless either. The way in which he phrased the request could have been far politer. Hevdoesnt actually say 'please'. Even without the family history and not much liking the guy, I would have found the way it was phrased obnoxious - the idea that he praises you and you're so pathetically pleased with the praise you're prepared to do your job for free. Ugh.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 10:41:26

ifcatshadthumbs, I know, and I know teachers do work hard, but goddammit who doesn't? And they do go on about it, like no one else.
My mum was a senior teacher, had no time for me, was always knackered, and I always grimace when someone says they are thinking of re-training as a teacher as it is "family friendly". I was basically abandoned to my fate*. But that is why I resent the self-righteousness that often goes with all this hard work - I had all this martyrdom and hero-dom at home, while being basically neglected, and to this day I find it hard to stomach the sense of moral superiority of teachers. So you see, there is a chip I suppose

* supposedly because my mum was a teacher and too busy for me but actually now she is retired and still too busy to listen to a single word I say, I think maybe I am unfairly blaming the teacher-dom

OctopusPete8 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:42:27


you have just said "No, I'm really busy" unless he didn't take no for an answer and I'm missing something.

pictish Mon 16-Sep-13 10:43:27

I agree catwiththumbs.

Don't go into a long winded explanation of your feelings about this, because that just makes it all about you. The apology has to be about him.

"Please accept my apologies regarding my reply to you on facebook. I lost my temper and made a fool of myself. I am so relieved that you deleted the conversation.
I have ongoing issues that have arisen from the attitudes of others regarding my job, and you bore the brunt of it. My response was disproportionate to say the least. I was rude to you, and I am very sorry."

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 16-Sep-13 10:46:20

You seem over-concerned with careers and who qualified first and who is the best...weird, you're immature and your reaction was mean.

beepoff Mon 16-Sep-13 10:49:51

Yes apologise unreservedly. You are wise to take the feedback here on board.

FWIW helping people out even though I don't have to gives me a nice warm glowing feeling. Saying negative things to people even if justified always leaves me feeling shitty.

LadyMacmuff Mon 16-Sep-13 10:52:48

You know OP, you could always take this as a compliment, instead of poo-pooing what you do, someone in the family has asked for your help! (Albeit in a rather cheeky rude way!) I flew off the handle recently about something where I felt a bit slighted and that someone was being rude to me, and was mortified afterwards as I could have handled it much better. Like you I was stressed and angry when I did it. I now have a little rule for myself that if something really gets on my tits I just hang fire and don't reply at all until I've had a chance to really think about it before firing off an all guns blazing slightly bonkers response. You will get more respect if you act with integrity in the long run, and if they don't respect you, you can at least respect yourself! Good luck sorting it out!

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 10:53:50

No, don't go overboard with all this "I made a fool of myself" bollocks. You didn't, you made a fool of him, and that is why he deleted it. You were arguably unkind, you were not a fool, you ARE not a fool, do not position yourself as such.

don't write that stupid rambling breast-beating thing that pictish suggested. Just say, "Sorry I was so snippy about your request. No excuse, but it was an extremely stressy week at work and I should have thought twice before hitting send. Hope it's all going well, best of luck with the event. See you soon I hope" (last bit a lie, obv)

Pennyacrossthehall Mon 16-Sep-13 10:56:46

For a first ask (no matter how presumptuous / condesceding), you were a bit harsh.

If he ever asks again, send him this link:

PatriciaHolm Mon 16-Sep-13 10:57:23

Blimey, an AIBU in which everyone says YES you are and the OP returns and very graciously agrees! What is MN coming to?

Well done OP.

Slipshodsibyl Mon 16-Sep-13 10:57:57

I think his request was framed cheekily and in an over entitled way. It would probably as you know have even best to respond privately but he should have apologised after deleting the message.

It sounds as if the issue is that you feel disregarded and under valued by you extended family and if your parents in law failed to thank you for work you did for them as you say I can understand your feelings. Don't feel too bad a bout what you did. The fault is not all yours.

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.

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 -

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.

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.

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


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

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.

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

Me too OP. x

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.

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.

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

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

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 ?

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.

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.

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

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

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 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.

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

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

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

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.'

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.

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

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>

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