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AIBU To stop helping friends out

(24 Posts)
ShakeRattleNRoll Wed 25-Sep-13 11:14:12

I have known these people for many years as supposed good friends and they have done rather well for themselves but what started out as me doing a bit of painting for them has ended up as me being the handy person/--skivvy--, from everything to gardening,painting,rat catching,cooking....etc
It takes me a good hour to get there by car (50 miles).I'm given £8 towards travelling then get paid £8 ph when working.So as the total for travel is alot more (at least £15) not to mention the wear n tear and running costs.I feel i start the day an hour behind which i feel is unfair because i'm the one who is completly broke and living off a shoe string and they are the wealthy ones and supposed friends.
So the dynamics of the friendship/relationship have changed whereby before we would socialise with one another but now it feels like i've become staff now.They only seem to contact me now when they want something and we have stopped going out together .At the height I was going to them once a week doing about 5/6 hrs a go.I stopped seeing them over the summer due to holidays and me asking them to find somebody else.
They have started hassling me again to go back. AIBU unreasonable to stop helping them out? If I am to stop this continuing the way it is how should I go about stopping it?Should i be brutally honest? I want to be their friend not their bloomin handy pesrson /skivvy . What shall I do? Your advise please? TYIA

lymiemum Wed 25-Sep-13 11:19:06

You aren't their friend. You are their 'employee'

ShakeRattleNRoll Wed 25-Sep-13 11:21:30

should I hand my notice in?

WeightyWoman Wed 25-Sep-13 11:31:15

Yes, tell tem you're no longer available to work for them. If they're true frined they'll understand, if not then cut your losses. That is life I'm afraid sad

Invite them for dinner at yours and tell them what you wrote above. Tell them that you like their company, you were pleased to help them for a while but that friendship and work have got muddled and that you would rather be their friend than staff.

It sounds as if you have needed the work though - so perhaps formalising the arrangement as an alternative. So you work 8 hrs a week for £x per hour and then keep it separate to friendship.

Sounds as well as if they value your contribution and trust you. It can be hard if you both work full time, need some help with things, but not nearly enough to require full time staff.

I am sure you can retrieve this friendship.

ShakeRattleNRoll Wed 25-Sep-13 11:43:09

I could invite them to my place but as they have two small children and full time jobs they never seem to have time.It's just a delicate situation where by I don't want to be so brutally honest it damages the friendship even though the friendship is slightly dented.i suppose it's a little bit of a pride thing for me and I like being on a level with them and not employed as staff.If I can not do the job in good spirit I won't do it all.That's why i'm stalling and yes there are times I have really needed the money.Anyhow not sure how to play it.confused

ShakeRattleNRoll Wed 25-Sep-13 11:44:37

THx WeightyWoman sound advise (i Like your style) smile

ShakeRattleNRoll Wed 25-Sep-13 22:05:41


SheRaHasTheAnswer Wed 25-Sep-13 23:03:13

Is it possible they are trying to help you out financially but you think you are doing them a favour and vice versa?

SaucyJack Wed 25-Sep-13 23:37:40

If you don't want the work any more, then let them kinow. Be polite tho- I don't think you're doing them that much of a favour at £8 an hour for odd jobs.

Mindmaps Thu 26-Sep-13 06:54:06

Actually not sure what your expectations are. Your not doing them a favour, your being paid and also sound like you feal you are being exploited when to be honest they pay your travel and give you a reasonable rate per hour for presumably unskilled handyman work. You expect to be treated like a friend but also want to be paid like an employee.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 26-Sep-13 07:03:34

Why are you worrying about damaging the friendship? Surely they've already done this?

You need to start saying no.

hermioneweasley Thu 26-Sep-13 07:13:06

Hmmmm. Only calling you when they need things doing doesn't sounds good, but it's possible they think they're helping you by slipping you some extra cash. do you declare this as income? Agree that paying travel is unusual/ generous

jchocchip Thu 26-Sep-13 07:23:20

Lots of people travel to work and spend £7 a day on the train and then only get paid £8 an hour for the hours they work so no different. They are trying to do you a favour. Do you see them while/ after you work? Could you do similar work for other people nearer home?

YouTheCat Thu 26-Sep-13 07:29:20

Painters and decorators change a whole lot more than £8 ph - they are taking the piss.

bigwellylittlewelly Thu 26-Sep-13 07:38:44

What YouTheCat says, you're worrh a LOT more than £8 an hour.

We live in rural East Anglia, I wanted to get some unskilled labour to help with Jobs around the garden, I'd be looking at £8 an hour easily, we pay our gardeners £15 an hour

gamerchick Thu 26-Sep-13 07:42:27

Put your rates up.

MothershipG Thu 26-Sep-13 07:57:22

Mixing work and friendships is one of those situations that very easily gets complicated, I was in a similar situation. Not a close friend, but I thought I was helping someone out and would be treated accordingly, they just saw me as a sub-contractor/menial and certainly not an equal. So as soon as I was financially able I quit!

If you value this friendship I think you need to stop working for them, if you need the money more than the friends, get the arrangement on a more formal footing and increase your rates.

shewhowines Thu 26-Sep-13 08:06:34

Charge more, explaining that the travel and wear and tear makes it currently not worth while. As friends they should understand. Also communicate that you would like to see them more socially. It wouldn't hurt to tell the truth about how you feel it is more employee than friend.

TheDietStartsTomorrow Thu 26-Sep-13 08:51:43

Yes, put your rate up. Say you've taken some advice and have now decided to charge £12 an hour. If they really value your contribution as an employee then they'll pay up and if not then they'll find an alternative.

If they decided to look elsewhere then see if they still maintain the bond of friendship. If they no longer call you then you know that the friendship has either died off or wasn't there in the first place.

YoniMitchell Thu 26-Sep-13 09:06:36

I don't see this as 'helping friends out', you're 'working for someone'. If you don't like the current arrangement then tell them you want to change it. Either ask for more money or stop working for them.

It sounds like it's more of a transactional relationship now than a friendship. Maybe stopping the work will simplify it and you'll be back to just friends again.

pinkdelight Thu 26-Sep-13 09:17:27

How did you decide on those figures? The fact that you've been doing it and taking the pay for it implies that it was agreed between you so unless you've raised the issue, I don't see how they're being unreasonable. As others have said, they probably feel like they're doing you a favour or that it's a mutually beneficial arrangement. £8 ph may not be professional rates but presumably you're not a pro and not paying tax on it either? Apologies if I've misunderstood and you're a self-employed odd job person and this is a 'mates rates' situation gone wrong. If so, simply put your rates up. Or say you're too busy with proper paying clients.

LoveWine Thu 26-Sep-13 17:01:47

I guess I don't understand how you are helping them out when you are doing work for which you are paid. Helping will be doing it for free in my view. I agree with others that they might be thinking you're skint and trying to help you out.

fabergeegg Thu 26-Sep-13 17:37:46

You need to stop saying you're doing them a favour. Doing someone a favour is when you do something for free or significantly below what you would otherwise charge. You're being quite well paid for being a handy person, you know! My mother's help is paid less! If you're skint, they probably see it quite the other way around - that the arrangement works for everyone and they're glad to give you the work. That's probably how it began.

You sound aggrieved for no good reason - I appreciate it's irritating to feel like an employee but you have been well paid (apart from the travelling, but you can't expect 100% travelling expenses and I can understand how 50% may have seemed reasonable). If you no longer want to work, explain that and add that it would be great to see them again as friends, as you miss it.

Helping them out my foot.

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