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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.

urtwistingmymelonman Mon 16-Sep-13 09:19:52

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.

claudedebussy Mon 16-Sep-13 09:20:03

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?

claudedebussy Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:27

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'

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