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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?

thestringcheesemassacre Wed 10-Apr-13 11:20:55

I'm with the group that says JUST SAY NO

No excuses, just big old fat NO.

marmite69 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:23:32

In my experience people like this have a hide like a rhino, so don't worry about hurting his feelings!
I can bet he`s not worried about how awkward you are feeling.

clam Wed 10-Apr-13 11:24:48

mutt yes they were. Or at least, they seemed to be! I tried not to rely on the same people all the time, and I took in cakes and sweets as a thank you to everyone, as well as giving wine/flowers/petrol money to one particular 'regular.'

jaggythistle Wed 10-Apr-13 11:26:41

Ignore the emails he is being a chancer.

His lack of lift is not your problem

BurnThisDiscoDown Wed 10-Apr-13 12:19:14

Oh God, I had this a few years ago - new guy at work, was fretting about the money for the bus fare, so I offered him a lift (he was on my way home). Big mistake. From then on he assumed I was taking him home every time we worked together. He'd stay late if he finished earlier and expect me to wait for him if I finished earlier. The final straw was when he kept me waiting for an hour after work! shock I know, more fool me for letting him, but he kept phoning down with "I'll just be another 5 minutes etc". After that, I either used to say I had to leave on the dot and just left him, or say I had to go somewhere else until he latched onto someone else. Which he did, until he made her wait for an hour outside the supermarket one night (he said he'd be 5 mins to pick up some food for his kids, then emerged an hour later after persistently ignoring her phone calls with wine and romantic dinner for 2 ingredients!). She stopped, and by this point everyone else at work had wised up, so he had to take the bus. I'm all for helping people out, but some people are natural born piss takers. grin

BurnThisDiscoDown Wed 10-Apr-13 12:19:39

Bloody hell that was epic, sorry!

ScienceRocks Wed 10-Apr-13 12:24:43

MrsMangel I do drive, I just didn't have access to a car at the time. At other times and in other jobs, I have driven and have given lifts and had liftshare arrangements, which always worked out fine. No need for your comment, I was just mooting a compromise option as the OP seemed to feel a little awkward about saying no outright.

eatmydust Wed 10-Apr-13 12:33:30


I can't stand giving people lifts home from work, it's my space and my time on my own. Admittedly, I've never said no, and just used excuses usually about having to go somewhere else.

Think in this situation, as he is so persistent you are just going to have to say no. Next time he asks you directly (rather than a group email) just say sorry I can't tonight. He'll get the hint eventually.

abbyfromoz Wed 10-Apr-13 12:39:47

Pft! Duplicitous.

MrsSpagBol Wed 10-Apr-13 12:41:29

Please do not give excuses. Just say, i am sorry I cannot give you a lift, I hope you can make another arrangement - then leave it at that.

I say that as someone who was once so skint (long story) that I honestly did not have enough money to buy a travelcard etc etc.

But the point is, as an ADULT, you cannot rely on someone else to take on your personal problems. I am not saying it in a mean way, I had to relook at my (all red) excel spreadsheet and find a way to get my transport costs - because I am an adult and it is not someone else's responsibility to get me home. It's just not.

Human nature means we always go for the easy route and self pity might tell him that you are going that way anyway - but this is NOT your problem. I needed to learn that - it's part of growing up.

Don't make excuses. Just say I cant. End of.

And dont change your plans or departure time etc. You can't do it. That's it.

PurpleStorm Wed 10-Apr-13 22:07:57


Giving someone the occasional lift in an emergency, or in the slightly longer term is one thing (i.e. if a colleague has broken their leg, or their crashed car will take a few weeks to get sorted out), but this is getting silly.

Sounds like he's happy to take advantage of anyone he thinks can be guilt-tripped into giving him lifts. There's other transport available, so it's not as if he's stranded without you either.

Agree that you should just tell him that you can't give him regular lifts anymore. Without making excuses, in case he tries to find ways around them.

ZacharyQuack Thu 11-Apr-13 01:16:01

In situations like this, it is helpful to channel Phoebe from Friends:

"I'd like to help, but I don't want to."

MTSgroupie Thu 11-Apr-13 01:45:37

One day at work a friend mentioned to me that I passed close to where her friend, a mutual co worker, lived when I drive to the office and hinted that I could give the friend a lift. I changed jobs after a year but for that year I gave that friend a lift every morning. Every body started at 9am but people finished at different time so if she was ready when I was ready to leave then i would give her a lift. Otherwise she made her own way home by bus.

The pickup/drop off was on the main road so I didn't even have to divert from my route. We never had that much to say each other so after 5min of pleasantries we just lapse into our own thoughts for the other 10 minutes.

This was the routine for 12 months. Every.morning she was at the bus stop on the dot. I could have done a 5 min diversion to pick her up from her house but I never offered and she never asked.

In such a hassle free situation I don't see what the big deal is.

MaBumble Thu 11-Apr-13 01:53:27

Make up an obviously outrageous excuse.
"I'm sorry, but I'm having a mad passionate affair with benedict cumberbatch and I like to stop off for a quickie after work as it relaxes me."


MaBumble Thu 11-Apr-13 01:55:34

Actually, better not say 'a quickie' or he might offer to wait on the car ...

Toomanycuppas Thu 11-Apr-13 02:20:02

MTS most people would be fine if the arrangement worked out like yours did but from experience it's usually more like BurnThisDiscoDown's and my own. I started a new job and a girl from another department asked if I could give her a lift home until she passed her driving test. This turned out to be over six months of lifts 5 days a week, going in a different direction that took longer and included stopping for ages to pick up her child from after school care. The child (PFB) would then refuse to get out of the car and talk to me for another 10 minutes outside their house. My normal 15 minute journey became 35-40 minutes.

This lady actually finished work half an hour before I did but would wait for me instead of walking home which would have taken her about 15 minutes. I don't live in the UK so bad weather is generally not a factor.

These days I have seen the MN light and the phrase "that doesn't work for me" gets used grin.

People don't usually mind the occasional lift to help others out but when it's just assumed the resentment can build instantly very quickly.

MTSgroupie Thu 11-Apr-13 02:26:03

I can understand why some respondents are resentful or wary but, unless I missed it, the OP isn't being inconvenienced. She just doesn't want another person in her car.

Goodadvice1980 Thu 11-Apr-13 08:07:21

OP, you are NBU!!

As a fellow car driver this kind of freeloader really gets my goat! I will offer a lift to a colleague if needed, but all too often people assume the ride home will then become the norm.

Please practice the MN mantra; the word "no" is a complete sentence.

Your car, your space, your rules.

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 08:41:00

I take entirely the opposite view. I am conscious that I drive a large and environmentally damaging car. The more people I can transport in it the better. I just don't get the "freeloading" thing. If I'm going that way anyway, how is it costing me anything in time, money or convenience to have a few of my 7 empty seats filled?

HazleNutt Thu 11-Apr-13 08:49:57

MTS you did, read the 3rd paragraph of the OP, other colleagues already have bad experiences with this guy.

DontmindifIdo Thu 11-Apr-13 08:52:21

I think it's perfectly reasonable to not want to share your space with someone else or spend time with colleagues outside of work if you don't want too.

I would suggest you mention that you often have to go the other way to pick up your DS so are unlikely to be going directly home. Leave it at that.

However if you know he's regularly having to take days off because he can't afford the bus fare, on occassion if you feel like it, you could offer and send e-mails like "Hi [freeloader], I don't have to pick my son up tonight so am going directly home, if you want a lift I can offer one tonight." then it's clear that it's more unusual for you to be able to offer a lift than it being one offs that you can't IYSWIM.

glossyflower Thu 11-Apr-13 09:47:29

Because seeker and MTS this guy has a reputation of freeloading lifts and taking the piss asking driver to stop by the shops on way home... Thats an inconvenience.

What if he's ten minutes late finishing and had no cash for public transport? OP will have to wait for him, that's also an inconvenience.

Also the way he has gone about asking OP for a lift, emailing the whole office knowing full well OP goes his way to make her feel obliged to take him and feel guilt because she doesn't want to.

Plus, whilst OP is not going out her way, the increased weight in the car will increase her petrol consumption. Ok this may be minimal but you have to consider that too. That is an increased cost.

I have absolutely no objections to giving anyone a lift anywhere even if sometimes it is a little out my way, but people like that I avoid and say no on principle.

And finally seeker it's concerning that you travel alone to work in a 7 seater environmentally damaging monster .,. Maybe you should reconsider travel arrangements yourself?

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 09:54:04

So you say "I will be leaving work at x o'clock and I'm going straight home. If you want a lift be at the door"

I don't actually think the extra petrol used by taking one person home is even measurable.

ATJabberwocky Thu 11-Apr-13 09:59:03


a one off lift doesn't mean you are obliged all the time, especially if you're not friends. Making someone wait while he did his shopping is outrageous, sounds like a bad egg.

tulippa Thu 11-Apr-13 10:04:20

Thanks again for all the input - have decided that if he e-mails this evening I will just reply "no sorry" and leave it at that. When it gets closer to pay day when he might be struggling I may offer occasionally as per Dontmindifido's suggestion but not all the time so he learns not to rely on me.

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