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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?

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 13:00:02


Whatever. Can't see it myself. Just glad i can give people lifts without feeling all bitter and twisted.

Lottashakingoinon Thu 11-Apr-13 13:00:24

Soory Snazzy you might even be a man ogreat discernment faik!

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 13:01:29

In fact,ni like giving people lifts because it makes me feel less guilty about driving a car at all- so win:win.

Snazzynewyear Thu 11-Apr-13 13:03:56

Lotta grin thanks - I am indeed a woman!

seeker You should of course do whatever you're happy doing - but the OP here isn't, and she is not obliged to give him a lift, so he doesn't have to.

glossyflower Thu 11-Apr-13 13:06:10

seeker you are getting a bit ridiculous now. Sorry but 'cost' isn't just to do with money, it's as I said the inconvenience of waiting around, feeling obliged, and feeling like people are treating you as a doormat. And as I said the extra weight WILL cost more in fuel even if its hardly noticeable.
He has not offered a nominal fee of putting towards petrol, even though this would be significantly less than public transport.
This guy has already a reputation of taking advantage of other colleagues and OP doesn't want that to happen to her.
And this has been a long term problem for the guy, so why hasn't he made arrangements? Ie walk, public transport or cycle?

My DH cycles 26 miles round trip to work 5 days a week even though he knows that others go that way at the same time.

We have to take responsibilities for ourselves.

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 13:07:05

Of course she's not obliged to. But I have as much right to think and say that she is being mean spirited and unreasonable as others have to say that "there's no such thing as society" grin

Lottashakingoinon Thu 11-Apr-13 13:07:23


Whatever. Can't see it myself. Just glad i can give people lifts without feeling all bitter and twisted.

That's a bit PA isn't it Seeker? Never mind. Good on ya (seriously!) for giving lifts, but other people having a bit of a gripe about it doesn't mean they are bitter and twisted. Some of them have just cause for complaint

As I say, I have no strong feelings either way...though come to think of it, about 30 years ago I used to give (iirc) free lifts to a friend when we both worked in the middle of the city and parking was a total mare. She used to nip out and go straight into work whilst I hunted around for somehwhere to park (sometimes having to pay) and in the evening would wait at work whilst I went off to get the car. We were excellent friends so it didn't matter and now I have forgotten all about it!

We worked flexi time, so not only was I saving her cash but she used to get a flexi day out of my parking time!!

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 13:11:27

It's a lift, not a kidney!

"My DH cycles 26 miles round trip to work 5 days a week even though he knows that others go that way at the same time."

Ah. You see I think (unless he really enjoys the cycling) that he is being utterly daft not to see if he can come to some sort of arrangement with a colleague, and that his colleagues are being selfish, mean spirited and unreasonable not to offer.

And <whispers> there is something just a little holier than thou and self righteous about the "oh, I don't want to be beholden brigade.

ConferencePear Thu 11-Apr-13 13:13:50

Seeker you are right in stating that it cost nothing to give this man a lift unless, of course, you count the stress I felt at having to sit and listen to him rant about work on the way home. I was very resentful though that he never even offered a small contribution to the cost. Public transport was not a possibility for either of us- him not using his own car meant that it was available for his wife to use during the day and he was able to use the money he saved towards his holiday.
I started out in a friendly manner, but in the end I began to feel that I never wanted to see him again.

YoniSoprano Thu 11-Apr-13 13:13:57

It is a kind of subsidy though: because he's a freeloader, he has enough spare cash for a holiday. Because the liftgiver pays for her own transport to work, she doesn't.

As folk have said, do what you like, we are all different (I don't feel guilty about driving to work etc- it's not like I could fly). The lift scrounger is a pisstaker though, and it would be the feeling if being taken for a mug which would irritate me over the longterm.

shewhowines Thu 11-Apr-13 13:16:29

I have been in your position. I told him no and it was totally embarrassing and I had to pluck up courage, but oh, the relief after I had done it.

I'd just say - sorry but I never get any time to myself, what with the kids and Dh demanding my time normally. I really don't want to give up my "me time". Sorry

Do it.

glossyflower Thu 11-Apr-13 13:21:48

My DH doesn't particularly like cycling but he benefits from getting the exercise and not polluting the environment.
And I'm hardly being holier than thou just because he doesn't ask for lifts (yes his colleagues do ask him but he has no need to accept as he has his own means of transport already), coming from you who thinks its mean spirited of OP to not want to give lifts ... And you would obligingly give lifts without feeling begrudged ...

Snazzynewyear Thu 11-Apr-13 13:24:05

ConferencePear it did also cost you the petrol for the journey, plus the cost (in terms of value of the car) of the extra mileage being clocked up on your car rather than his. And it was rude IMO of him not even to offer anything.

EasterHoliday Thu 11-Apr-13 13:28:01

your husband not wanting you in a car with a man you barely know at 9pm is a pretty good reason on top of you not wanting it.
I drive to work and v much enjoy that decompression zone. ONly time of day i'm alone.

CelticPromise Thu 11-Apr-13 13:33:22

You can always ask someone to share costs if the cost bothers you.
If it's ok to assertively say hell no then why seethe silently about someone's holidays?

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 13:37:05

"your husband not wanting you in a car with a man you barely know at 9pm is a pretty good reason on top of you not wanting it."

Bloody hell- if.a male partner of mine suggested he didn't want me in a car with anyone "at 9pm" it would be enough to make me give lifts to the entire office!

Please tell me nobody would seriously use this as a reason!

Lottashakingoinon Thu 11-Apr-13 13:41:23

Please tell me nobody would seriously use this as a reason!

Op has already said she wouldn't dream of it (for fear of making him look a twat!)

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 13:45:34


RevoltingPeasant Thu 11-Apr-13 13:50:10

seeker No way in seven hells would I vote Tory!!!

I also am not anti-lifts. For example, if I were OP and this man had approached me and said, 'Look I know this is an ask, but I'm really broke and could do with getting a lift the week before payday so I don't have to pay bus fare' I'd probably do it.

It's the nagging and harassing and refusing to take hints. IMO it's one thing to offer, another to ask. Repeatedly.

FWIW, when I was a student and living off my own savings and a 10-hr-a-week job, I had a bike. I didn't have a lot of money but I sorted my own transport. I don't think that is too much to ask a grown-up to do.

CelticPromise Thu 11-Apr-13 14:04:08

I do agree Revolting that the manner of asking makes a huge difference.

ConferencePear Thu 11-Apr-13 14:04:51

"You can always ask someone to share costs if the cost bothers you."

I didn't even think of the cost of it until I felt I'd been taken advantage of.

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