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To be pissed off with people expecting you to do your job in your spare time for them. (For free!)

(329 Posts)
user1484750550 Sun 19-Mar-17 13:27:39

Not so much an AIBU, as I don't think I AM being unreasonable. Just wanted peoples views/opinions/advice etc...

Have people ever had this happen before? People expecting you to do your job in your own time, for free? And how did you deal with it?

Or are you actually experiencing something like this at the moment?

It has happened to my DH, my brother, my friend's husband, and now to me. I don't want to say too much, as it may identify me, but I have recently started a new job (say for example a hairdresser,) and I have had a couple of people asking me to do their hair for them (in my own time for free!)

DH is a mechanic and has been asked by 3 or 4 people in the past 3 months ALONE, to 'come and have a quick look at their car,' and deal with the problem they have, for free obviously.

My brother who is a carpenter, gets badgered too, to do random carpentry jobs for people, (for free!) and he's thinking of saying to the 5 or 6 people who keep asking him to do things for him, that his employer no longer allows it and he will get the sack if he is caught.

My friend's husband is a gardener, and keeps being asked (by extended family and neighbours) to come and do this and that for them in their gardens, and is never offered anything for it.

So has anyone else experienced this, and how did you deal with it? How did you deal with people expecting you to do your actual job for free for them in your spare time?

(The jobs I have said we all have are examples btw...)

DJBaggySmalls Sun 19-Mar-17 13:33:00

Yeah, develop a thick hide and say no. You'll get flak for it from users. Normal, reasonable people realise its not on.
Mates rates can be enough of a minefield without people devaluing your skills completely and demanding freebies.
I have a couple of skills, I dont do freebies but I will barter.

Knifegrinder Sun 19-Mar-17 13:33:19

I think it happens a lot. I don't even have a trade/skill, but when I was finishing my doctorate in English literature and starting my first lecturing job, I visited my parents for a bit, and a neighbour of theirs I knew only by sight asked, via my parents, if I could drop over. I did, only to discover that this woman wanted me to write a crucial Eng Lit essay for her son who was doing a teacher training course, 'because that's very much in your line, and you'd nearly be able to do it in your sleep'.

On the other hand, I actually treasure that memory, because when I was there, her other son, in his final year at school, came in, and this apparently ordinary, rather commonsensical fiftysomething woman got down on her knees to take his shoes off.

I was still gaping like a codfish by the time I got home.

DelphiniumBlue Sun 19-Mar-17 13:37:36

I find that " yes, that will fine, my usual charge is x pound per hour plus vat," works very well. Either I get

Campfiresmoke Sun 19-Mar-17 13:37:42

I work as a TA and I very often work for free as I don't just pack up and go home when my hours are finished. My husband is an accountant and does hours and hours for free each week as he has to get the work done even if it's late at night and well past his contracted hours.

DelphiniumBlue Sun 19-Mar-17 13:39:59

Either I get paid to do extra work, which is handy, or, more likely , I hear no more about it.

CaoNiMartacus Sun 19-Mar-17 13:41:32

Yep. A "friend" asked me to edit a book he had written, in my own time, free and gratis. It was an appalling tome, and would have required a major rewrite.

What made it even more galling was that I'd just paid a professional editor nearly 1,000 pounds to work on my own book.

I explained this plainly to my "friend". He never spoke to me again!

HecateAntaia Sun 19-Mar-17 13:42:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PlayOnWurtz Sun 19-Mar-17 13:42:48

I think it depends on the relation to the asker and the reason for asking tbh. My dad is a gardener, does my siblings gardens weekly for free. Refuses to do mine unless I pay him. My siblings are all healthy I have disabilities. His attitude towards me makes me so angry.

If it's a one off and your dh is a mechanic and it is urgent and a small job, what's the harm? But yes as a rule trades people and artists should be paid for their work.

Avioleta Sun 19-Mar-17 13:43:55

I work as a TA and I very often work for free as I don't just pack up and go home when my hours are finished.

That's obviously not the same thing though. You can see the difference between unpaid overtime and people (not your employers!) expecting you to work for free in your own leisure time, surely?

Bloopbleep Sun 19-Mar-17 13:45:15

I sell paintings and the number of people who expectyou to do portraits of their kids/dogs etc for free is unbelievable. If I hear 'but it's good for exposure" one more time I'll scream. I did a freebie for my neighbour's at their request and they didn't even thank me!

Yanbu-people will take the piss if you let them so you just need to be firm with them.

MidniteScribbler Sun 19-Mar-17 13:46:05

I'm a teacher, and a lot of people expect me to babysit their children during the school holidays. Even people who have no real connection to me start making hints about playdates when the holidays are looming. I have even had parents of students in my class ask me to babysit as 'you have nothing better to do'.

itsbetterthanabox Sun 19-Mar-17 13:46:33

What does you dad say when you ask him why he won't help you out but does your siblings?
Either all pay or nine imo!

user1484750550 Sun 19-Mar-17 13:48:55

WOW thanks for sharing all your stories. Some humdingers in there. Be back later to respond properly. Hope to see lots more. smile

Knifegrinder Sun 19-Mar-17 13:49:02

I work as a TA and I very often work for free as I don't just pack up and go home when my hours are finished. My husband is an accountant and does hours and hours for free each week as he has to get the work done even if it's late at night and well past his contracted hours.

For heaven's sake, camp, that's not remotely comparable. Most professionals do this all the time -- I certainly do. The OP is talking about situations where she is being asked, for instance, to do a friend's hair or fix her car for free-- nothing at all to do with her job in a salon or garage.

PlayOnWurtz Sun 19-Mar-17 13:49:18

He says it's "different" with no further explanation hmm what siblings are lazy and I simply can't do it. It's been this way all my life and I'm used to it now so I just don't bother with my family much.

I agree all pay or none pay.

expatinscotland Sun 19-Mar-17 13:52:54

Just tell them your rate/hour. 'What about mate's rates?' 'Sorry, my finances aren't such that I can stretch to offering those.'

The problem with the 'one off' 'small job' is that a) then you become the user's go to for another 'one off' and b) the small job rarey is.

MillieMoodle Sun 19-Mar-17 13:53:04

Yes, I'm a lawyer so people are often asking me for legal advice, usually in areas of law I don't work in and therefore know little or nothing about. I don't mind doing friends' passport applications, or certifying documents for free, and for one or two friends I've looked into a couple of bits but I really dislike being asked my opinion on X or Y matter because I'm a lawyer, especially as people are after free advice.

That said, I've got a friend who's a mechanic and he's fixed my car on a couple of occasions for me - he's always offered to do it though and I've always paid him either what he's suggested plus beer, or if he won't take money I've given him beer.

HecateAntaia Sun 19-Mar-17 13:55:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

akkakk Sun 19-Mar-17 13:55:57

A doctor went to an evening party, and was chatting about this with a lawyer friend - "what do I do he asked, I keep getting people asking me to look at their ailments while at a dinner party - it is driving me mad..."

"not a problem said the lawyer friend, do it, but send them a bill"

next morning the doctor received an invoice from the lawyer for services rendered...

TealStar Sun 19-Mar-17 13:58:31

Yes. I won't 'out' what I am but this happens to me a lot. The worst is when it's for a local, sometimes charitable 'cause' because then it's really hard to say no. The last one I did I was promised a barter but he didn't follow up on it and I felt too awkward to ask further. My dh gets it too, all the time!

We have both had to become quite thick-skinned.

Ta1kinPeace Sun 19-Mar-17 13:58:57

I'm an accountant.
I charge even my oldest friends full whack for doing work for them.
They do not grudge it.

I often "barter" with people - a tax return for a boiler repair for example
but never freebies asked or offered.

Jng1 Sun 19-Mar-17 13:59:32

Not quite the same, but this reminded me of the mother of a boyfriend I had when I was at Uni. I was showing them photos of a family wedding where I had made the bridesmaid dresses (dressmaking was my hobby at the time).
About two months later when I went to stay again, the mother presented me with a dress pattern and several metres of material and said, "you are sooooo very talented, I thought you'd like to make this dress for me for xyz event next month. The assistant at John Lewis helped make sure I bought enough material and all the right zips etc."
She wasn't offering to pay me and it was a really complicated, lined dress which would have taken me DAYS to make!
I 'accidently' left the material in the hall when we left and dumped the boyfriend not long after!

ForTheSakeOfFuck Sun 19-Mar-17 14:00:28

Yep. My OH was a mechanic for fifteen years and for the first few years after he qualified, his friends, family, and quite a few neighbours took the absolute piss. Whole weekends got eaten up with their stupid trivial crap, and then one day when one of the jobs wasn't going quite right the friend in question thought he had the right to start sending my OH shitty texts questioning his ability and whatnot. OH got mad, put his foot down, and said no more free work, ever, for anyone. Friend had good cause to regret it since his car was still in pieces at that point, and he finally had to drag his wallet out of his pocket and pay for the work. The rule is a good one and we've never broken it since.

Luckily my line of work is extremely expensive, so people rarely ask me to do anything along those actual lines, but because of the qualifications behind it, I have been repeatedly asked to help of family/friends/neighbours/strangers with incredibly trivial paperwork that they could readily do themselves but that they would like to have done by "a professional". Erm. No. I'm not filling in your change-of-address form or electricity bill slip or post office leaflet. I made the same mistake as OH and at first was happy to help until it became an absolute joke and one woman, who got her form sent back for the bit she had done incorrectly, actually banged on my door to tell me that I'd cost her money because she hadn't been able to switch supplier sooner. Apparently I should have noticed her mistake and corrected it. angry

TealStar Sun 19-Mar-17 14:01:13

The other crap situation is when family ask, usually with a, 'just run one up for me, you don't need to spend long on it'... I take a lot of pride in my work and I don't want to churn out something hurried and crap! Especially as others will know I did it!

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