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To want to stop offering lifts on basis of DD's mental health

(76 Posts)
athelophobia Thu 02-Jul-15 20:38:57

DD1 (aged 23) and I work with the same company, which works out well for us as we can drive up together. A woman I work with (I'll call her C) lives a couple of blocks away from us, and to be kind, I started offering her a lift to work in the mornings, which seems to have become the norm for her -to the level of sulks if we cannot drive her for whatever reason.

DD1 is extremely unhappy in her job, to the point that she has developed anxiety and depression -she has submitted a letter from her psychiatrist recommending a move to a different department within the same organisation, but the wheels seem to be moving VERY slowly.

C is extremely negative and self-centred, every trip is marked by her complaints, doom scenarios and stories about herself -I cannot get a word in edgeways and she DOESN'T stop, for the whole 30 minute journey. This is not helping DD, who is often crying quietly in the front seat out of NOT wanting to go into work, and she suffers from anxiety-induced chest pains in the morning too. C's negativity upsets her more, and while I hate that this is making her pre-work anxiety and sadness worse, I also feel bad withdrawing the lift offer. C also hangs around after work hoping for a lift back, but I would prefer to make the trip home with just DD in the car to gently talk her through her day, calm her down and let her switch off from work quietly. Any time we don't give C a lift, next day we are treated to grumbles about public transport (not very subtle).

We have tried having a CD on but C talks over it, and I will not let DD wear headphones, it's rude. If C didn't talk so constantly or so negatively it wouldn't be such a problem, but it seems petty to withdraw the lift on that basis now that it has become established. At the same time, DD has said that C's negative, self centred monologues "set off more spirals of negative thoughts" for her.
DD getting her own car to avoid C seems like a waste when we're going to the same building anyway, and she is too anxious before work and upset afterwards for me to really consider her a safe driver.

BestZebbie Thu 02-Jul-15 20:42:33


Your DDs mental health is more important than terminating an ongoing favour - the lifts being a favour, not an obligation.

Also, do you think C would put giving you a lift to work above her own comfort or DDs health?

HaleMary Thu 02-Jul-15 20:44:05

YANBU, obviously, but is it possible that C is nervously prattling to cover up silences and believes that by moaning she is showing a confused kind of solidarity with your dd? I can't imagine that if there was any other way of getting to and from work that I would choose to be driven by someone obviously anxious and frazzled, and a crying front seat passenger... Or is she just oblivious?

CassieBearRawr Thu 02-Jul-15 20:44:52

Wearing headphones is rude but forcing her to endure the incessant negativity of someone you brought into her life isn't? hmm

There's nothing wrong with letting her wear headphones when you're not the only two in the car anyway, but it would be best to just get rid of the lift. Your daughter's mental health is more important than a colleague.

FryOneFatManic Thu 02-Jul-15 20:46:15

I would say that you should tell C that the lift sharing arrangement is not working for you and DD and that you are ending it.

That's it. No explanations. It's not working for you. And then don't let yourself get drawn into anything where C could try to find a solution to continue the lifts.

No explanations means there's nothing for C to argue against. And you're not obliged to offer lifts. If you weren't there, C would have to get public transport, and actually it's C's own responsibility to make her way to work, not yours.

APlaceOnTheCouch Thu 02-Jul-15 20:46:16

Let your DD wear headphones. It's the easiest solution. Normally I'd agree that it was rude but this is an unusual situation and your DD needs to have a safe space. I understand why you don't want to let C down and also that it could make work more negative for you so headphones seem the obvious solution. Tell C that DD is learning a language/a new skill with audio tapes/ anything you like.

If C's negativity is impacting on you too then tell C you need to take a different route to work because of family commitments and hence can no longer drive her (although you may be able to do so again in the future). If you want to curtail her grumbling in work about public transport then give her flowers/chocolates in work to thank her for her understanding.

I hope your DD's transfer comes through quickly and that she starts to feel less anxious soon.

HaleMary Thu 02-Jul-15 20:46:21

Also, your dd sounds in a very bad state. If she's distressed enough before and after work for you to think she wouldn't be safe driving, should she be signed off medically?

BlusteringBlues Thu 02-Jul-15 20:47:53

Yanbu to say it's not convenient to give your colleague a lift anymore.

Yabu not allowing your dd to wear headphones though, I 'get' that it can be seen as rude but if she's anxious and it would help calm her then why shouldn't she? I myself don't always feel like talking on journeys (introvert) and often use ear phones to help me zone out if I'm not driving.

Fedupofplaystation Thu 02-Jul-15 20:48:34

In your position, I think I'd try to talk to C to explain what the problem is and see if she can change her behaviour, before withdrawing the lift offer.

wanttosqueezeyou Thu 02-Jul-15 20:49:13

Yanbu. I'd stop the lifts immediately.

DoJo Thu 02-Jul-15 20:50:35

Have you actually asked C to stop yammering on about work? You don't have to go into detail about your daughter's problems, but you could say 'Do you mind if we make the car a work-free zone - I want to be able to enjoy the ride without making it an extension of the working day'.

Second what the others say about headphones too - perhaps if your daughter was sitting in the back rather than the front, headphones would seem less like she was 'ignoring' C and more like she was in her own zone.

Purplepoodle Thu 02-Jul-15 20:53:30

Let your daughter wear headphones. If C comments make a joke about her being negative

Smellyoulateralligator Thu 02-Jul-15 21:01:27

You have to get out of the arrangement. C sounds exhausting

stiffstink Thu 02-Jul-15 21:01:59

Does Moaning Minnie give you anything for fuel or does she get transported for free?

Just tell her its not working out, as a previous poster suggested. She will moan about it at work once you drop the (freebie?) arrangement but at least it won't be in your car.

GatoradeMeBitch Thu 02-Jul-15 21:02:25

I will not let DD wear headphones, it's rude

I find this a bit odd, sorry. Banning a 23 year old adult from doing what she wants to do aside, if your colleague doesn't notice the crying, I doubt she'd notice the headphones either.

But yes, tell her you can't offer lifts anymore. Your dd is your priority.

GaryBaldy Thu 02-Jul-15 21:08:50

Ditch the colleague, she sounds annoying and draining anyway but particularly given your DDs health.

FadedRed Thu 02-Jul-15 21:09:31

Agree with ^Dd wears her headphones.
I would be fed up with this expectation on C's part that you give her lifts, especially if she is such a misery to be with, even if Dd didn't have this health issue. Can be so draining, sucking all the joy out of life.
I would drop C off tomorrow, get out of the car and calmly and politely tell her that you (are sorry ) but you can no longer be relied upon to give her any lifts to or from work for the foreseeable future and she needs to make alternative arrangements. Should your situation change then you may get back to her, but at present you cannot see that is likely. You do not have to tell her why, if she asks just say you are not prepared to discuss it. Then go.
Don't listen to her moaning, just be pleasant but firm.
You are not obliged to give anyone a lift if you don't want to. C took the job, it's her problem how she gets to and from workplace, not yours.

barbecue Thu 02-Jul-15 21:09:57

YANBU at all! Of course you need to stop giving C a lift if it's impacting your DD so negatively. Your DD doesn't need that interruption to your valuable support.

C should take responsibility for making her own arrangements, instead of dropping hints and grumbling. If she moans manipulatively, just ignore it. I agree with FryOne, just say it doesn't work for you. You don't owe her any kind of explanation at all.

Evabeaversprotege Thu 02-Jul-15 21:19:29

Is your daughter actively seeking a different job? It seems like this would be the best solution.

In the interim I'd let her wear earphones.

athelophobia Thu 02-Jul-15 21:21:29

Thank you all... it's a relief to see that it's not unreasonable. Yes stiff it's a freebie.

I doubt C notices DD, DD is usually silent and sitting directly in front of C, it's not like she causes scenes. I will let DD know tomorrow that if she wants to try wearing headphones I won't stop her.

Couch and Hale, thank you for your comments about DD. She knows where she is hoping to be moved to (backed up by the psychiatrist), it may just be a case of hanging on until a replacement for her is assigned, most likely with the next intake of new employees. DH has also suggested being signed off, but I'm wary of letting her use her mental health as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Hale, I don't think I'm at all a frazzled driver (I would be if I let DD drive me though!), and since DD is quiet and usually wears sunglasses to minimise the risk of anyone noticing, I don't think C notices. She's rather oblivious.

If the headphones don't work, I will have to tell C that it's not working out -she used public transport for 30 years before I came along after all.

Bonsoir Thu 02-Jul-15 21:23:00

Stop feeling responsible for C in any shape or form. Take full responsibility for your DD.

Penfold007 Thu 02-Jul-15 21:36:41

If your DD needs to go sick it isn't your place to deny her the right to go sick. It's not a get out of jail free card.

DD isn't rude to wear headphones and you are under no obligation to offer your work mate a lift but as you offered it would be reasonable to give a weeks notice.

OliviaBenson Thu 02-Jul-15 21:38:42

I'm wary of letting her use her mental health as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Wow op- please do some reading about mental health. Saying things like this is not at all helpful. If she is unfit to work then she shouldn't be there.

Yanbu about the lift thing btw.

ouryve Thu 02-Jul-15 21:39:04

If you can't find the nerve to tell C straight that you can't give her a lift any more, FGS allow your DD to use headphones. Not that there should be any allowing involved. She's an adult.

carabos Thu 02-Jul-15 21:45:14

You're wary of letting her use her mental health as a get out of jail free card hmm. WTAF? There's either some massive back story here that reveals your DD as a work-shy shirker or you need to have a good look at your part in her difficulties.

Never mind the twittering colleague - your DD needs proper help and a new job, not blithering headphones ffs shock.

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