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About colleague asking for lifts home?

(146 Posts)
tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 08:44:54

Hello! I'm a bit of a lurker - first aibu - anyway:

I'm not sure what to do about a situation I seem to have landed myself in - I was giving one colleague a lift home a few weeks ago, (she is not the issue here - I don't mind at all with her as she is the least assuming person I have ever met and never asks - also I have worked with her a long time and we get on well), when we bumped into someone who used to work in our dept a while ago and now works on a different section. He asked where we were going and asked if he could have a lift too as it was on his way. Ok I thought as I wouldn't be going out of my way and was giving a lift to someone else anyway.

I then mentioned this the next day to another colleague who said "Oh don't fall into that trap!" and regaled me with stories about how she had given this person a lift and he had asked her to stop while he popped into the Co-op and made her wait while he did his weekly shop and also how someone else who doesn't live anywhere near him dropped him off and he gave the driver completely wrong directions home and sent him hours out of his way.

Now the lift asking colleague has started to send group e-mails to our dept in the evening asking if anyone is going his way home. I know these are directed at me - half the people on our section don't know him and I'm the only person who goes that route home. I now feel obliged to say yes as he knows I'm at work and drive his route. Then last night he e-mailed me directly.

He has never offered petrol money but that's not what I'm bothered about as I don't go out of my way. It's more that I feel my personal space is being invaded. What with working full time and two kids sometimes that 20 minute drive to work and back is the only me time I get! Also last time he got in he reeked of aftershave/deodorant - I had to drive home with the windows open and explain what was going to DH in case wondered why I was driving random men about.

I wouldn't mind so much if it was someone I knew really well but it does feel awkward having to make conversation. His girlfriend used to drive him home but they have recently split up so I do feel a bit sorry for him. There are buses and know these take longer but that's not my fault is it?

So am I being reasonable about not wanting to share my own bubble on my way home or am I just being a big old meanie as I don't have to go out of my way and all he's really doing is sitting in the passenger seat for 15 minutes?

Smellslikecatspee Wed 10-Apr-13 09:15:15

Ignore ignore ignore, and you have no need or reason to give an excuse. All you need to say is no that doesnt work for me

He big enought and old enough to have a job and an ex-girlfried he can either leran to drive or catch a bus/train, I said this as a non driver

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 10-Apr-13 09:15:41

if it does go on tell him its only fair that he contributes petrol, after all he must pay fares when you don't give him a lift. its taking the piss and bottling it as fine wine to just expect lifts free regularly.

nkf Wed 10-Apr-13 09:16:40

Either ignore or say you can't. Don't beat yourself up about it.

Smellslikecatspee Wed 10-Apr-13 09:16:47

Who cant spell blush

tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 09:16:55

Ha ha whatcha - he already knows the bus timetable as this what he gets if I'm not around. Also I was late meeting him last night as I deliberately faffed around I got held up and he was just about to phone a taxi.

ophelia275 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:18:26

Don't do it! Once you say yes he will expect a lift every day. Your car, your petrol, your rules. You have absolutely no obligation to give him a lift and you have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about not giving a lift to a virtual stranger.

pigletmania Wed 10-Apr-13 09:19:01

Ignore all e mails and delete, if he asks just say you don't go straight home, you do xyz and cannot sorry. Don't feel obliged

Branleuse Wed 10-Apr-13 09:20:58

just say "i dont mind the occasional one off if its an emergency, but I am not a taxi service and that 20 minutes in the car is the only time I get to myself all day and is very precious to me. Good luck with your driving lessons though"

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Wed 10-Apr-13 09:21:21

I'd probably be direct. Excuses as to why you can't tonight are likey to mean he wil just ask again and keep asking. I'd probably say "look, this is a bit awkward - I didn't mind giving you a lift as a one off but I value the journey home on my own to decompress so it isn't something I'm willing to do on a regular basis. I'm sure you understand."

HazleNutt Wed 10-Apr-13 09:26:12

Ignore. If asked directly, say no, it's not convenient. That's it.

Especially if you have been warned that this will not end with an occasional lift straight home. I've had a colleague exactly like that - stareted with lifts home, then "oh can you just stop at the supermarket", then requests to go out of the way to pick something/someone up - I was like a free taxi service at the end and it's way more difficult to put a stop on it at that stage than it would be to nip it at the bud.

glossyflower Wed 10-Apr-13 09:30:52

From my personal experience I would say either no and don't offer any explaination or say yes but charge him a small fee.
The fact he doesn't drive is no one else's problem.

In fact my husband doesn't drive and he cycles 26 miles a day to work rather than ask for lifts.

Some people take the piss and will take advantage.

I used to drive to work, only 3 miles but too far to walk, and had two colleagues who lived in the next street to me. I never minded at all and I even went up to their houses in the car rather than asking them to come to mine or wait at the end of the road.
Then our place of work moved to pretty much over the road to us and only a ten min walk. Because it was so close I gave up my parking permit and walked.
During the bad snowy/rainy weather last year one of the colleagues who I regularly gave lifts too (for free) was getting lifts off her dad.
I asked once if I could get a lift too.
She said no!
Basically her reasoning was that it wasnt her car, it was her dads and she couldn't really ask him!
I would have been perfectly happy to have been dropped at her house and walked round the corner to mine but I was shocked she didn't even say "well I don't know but I will ask him!"
Recently she got her own car and shared someone else's parking permit for work and not once did she offer me a lift. Even being heavily pregnant and having to slide around on the ice we had a couple of months ago.
AND it's not regular office hours I do 12 hour shifts, get to work for 7am and don't get home til 8pm ...

After that I will never offer her help again. Cheeky mare!

I don't offer help in expectation of receiving anything back but it works both ways and she did take advantage of me.

RevoltingPeasant Wed 10-Apr-13 09:32:22

OP you need to learn the art of the Offence-as-Defence email wink

Next time you get an email sent to everyone, reply all and 'Sorry Fred, I know I've given you a lift in the past but I'm not able to anymore. Hope you can sort out a new arrangement!'

Then there is no weird private guilt thing between you. It's all out in the open, Tulippa can't give Fred lifts, and Fred can get them off someone else, or even sort himself out god forbid.

glossyflower Wed 10-Apr-13 09:34:03

AND I just remembered years ago I gave a lift to a colleague in bad weather totally miles out of my way, and without asking and knowing I don't smoke, she wound down the window and casually lit up a cigarette!
I was so stunned I never even said "WTF are you doing?" I just never offered her a lift again!
My car stank for ages after that!

Maggie111 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:34:08

I would reply to him as he has sent you a direct message and say that you have to get home quickly in the evenings so you don't have the time to give anyone lifts.

In the VERY unlikely event that he emails and explains it wont take more than a minute out of your way just reply and say your husband is uncomfortable with you driving men around late at night.

I completely understand why you feel stuck, it's difficult to justify it to anyone else when you reasoning is "I just don't want to", but I think saying no to him for any reason will be enough for him to stop asking.

What a knob he is!

tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 09:34:11

branleuse and andbingo yes that's a good way of putting it. Funnily enough he does talk about his driving lessons - he's putting in for his test soon apparently - but I'm not sure how he's afford a car as I don't think he has much money. I have been told that he regularly takes the day before payday off as he can't afford to get to or from work which is probably another reason why he's asking for lifts. Which makes me feel sorry for him again.

But no - not my responsibility - will say flat no and if he pushes will explain about the 20 minutes alone time. Don't think he will push though will probably move on to the next person.

Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 09:34:27

Don't say about time on your own. He will try to chip away at you. Tell him you need to rush home to do bedtime. Alternatively say you'd love to share the cost of petrol,how does £x sound,make it extortionate to put him off. He sounds as if he has no social niceties.
A lady used to offer myself & another lady a lift at a bus stop years ago. We all drove along in forced chitchat & she then dropped us a little way from where we got off the bus usually. I said no after that,I preferred to get the bus & not have to chat or feel grateful. She thought I was very rude I think.

Maggie111 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:37:18

I would make it clear in your email that it accounts for always - not just one evening. Do not get into making a different excuse each time just a "sorry, I will not be able to give you any lifts because I do not have enough time in the evenings"

tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 09:41:55

Maggie111 I did think about using DH not approving as an excuse but that would make him look like a possessive arse which he isn't so wouldn't be fair on him.

revoltingpeasant that e-mail sounds very tempting and would be the talk of the office for ages - not sure if I'd have the balls though.

glossyflower I would definitely have offered a lift in those circumstances

HazleNutt Wed 10-Apr-13 09:44:55

the trouble with excuses is that he can always come back with "Oh but I'm not out of your way, it won't take any extra time!" "You're going to supermarket? great, I need to do some shopping too!" "HUsband doesn't like? Don't be silly, we're colelagues, I'll come by your house so DH can see I'm ok!" Just say no.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 10-Apr-13 09:46:28

YANBU. I used to have a colleague like this. I would go out of my way to collect her, even when her shift started an hour before hers. She rarely said thank you and seemed to think that this was somehow my duty as a car owner. Then, when I took a morning off (annual leave, not pulling a sicky) for some furniture to be delivered, she accused me of not taking my career seriously!

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 09:48:05

Big old meanie.

TapDancingPimp Wed 10-Apr-13 09:50:53

I used to be part of a car-sharing group of 3...2 drivers including me plus 1 non driver who gave petrol money on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately even when there's a fair division of money involved these things just don't work out. It was actually the other driver who pissed me off on a weekly basis, always late, I'd be standing in the pissing rain in the mornings waiting etc. Even after work had ended she used to fart about for up to half an hour, me and the other guy were standing about, desperate to get home!

I'm sure car sharing works like clockwork for some but I can totally see where you're coming from. It certainly wasn't for me and is something I'll never do again.

dizzyhoneybee Wed 10-Apr-13 09:51:23

YANBU, he is being unreasonable IMO.

tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 09:51:38

HazleNutt - yes exactly it's not out of my way and doesn't take any extra time so I think that's why I'm tying myself in knots.

I'm glad the consensus of opinion is what I was thinking anyway - just need to put it into practice.

I have to do something now - will check in later to see if there's any more suggestions.

Thanks again!

TapDancingPimp Wed 10-Apr-13 09:52:07

PS I realise I wasn't actually helpful with the advice there! Just basically wanted to say 'do NOT feel bad'!


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