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AIBU: To expect a favour to be returned?

(34 Posts)
ProfessorHannigan Sun 11-Jun-17 16:16:42

AIBU I do I need a grip?
This year I have been instrumental in helping three friends get a new job.
Friend A: gave her significant help on her actual application (editing/re-writing) for the organisation (where I work in a different role). Boosted her along before the interview by giving tips and insights into the organisation etc.
Friend B: Sent her an email siggesting she appply for a job in the same team I work in. She hadnt seen it advertised. I also put in a good word for her with the boss.
Friend C: Co-worker at the same level as me. I negotiated for us both to have a payrise (30% rise) under my own steam at my own initiative.
None of these people know each other and all of them got their new role as a result of their own ability but also with some key help from me. However, not one of them has said thanks/offered to take me for a coffee or anything. The most I've had is a "it was a good job I spoke to you...".
AIBU? I know each incident is unconnected but for all three to simply not bother makes me wonder whether the issue is mine?
I've always reciprocated with flowers/wine/chocs but it seems perhaps this isn't the case any more?

ThePinkOcelot Sun 11-Jun-17 16:20:47

I would have thanked you and bought you a cuppa, but I think we're in the minority. And like you said, they got the job by their own merits, so obviously don't think you deserve to be thanked.

SmileEachDay Sun 11-Jun-17 16:21:16

You don't do things for people because they'll get you a present.

A favour being returned would be them giving you the heads up on a job thing. Which they might, you never know.

Sirzy Sun 11-Jun-17 16:23:00

I would have said thank you but other than possibly the first one I wouldn't have done any more.

But I help people because I want to help them not for some sort of "reward"

29Palms Sun 11-Jun-17 16:27:33

It's a bit soon to assume the favours won't be returned. There's no time limit on a favour. Perhaps one of them will be able to help you out with something significant further down the line, rather than something ephemeral like chocolates.

AnnieAnoniMouse Sun 11-Jun-17 16:29:53


Feel better now?

Friends & I have done far bigger favours for each other without the need for a big song & dance about it.

I can't abide people who 'keep score'.

redexpat Sun 11-Jun-17 16:35:27

I would return those favours with similar actions, rather than buying you coffee. In all of those instances I would say thank you.

witsender Sun 11-Jun-17 16:36:11

Tbh, none of that seems like anything out of the ordinary that requires more than a thanks for your help!

ProfessorHannigan Sun 11-Jun-17 16:40:19

Yes just to clarify I didn't do any of these things in expectation of anything at all... it was only recently it occured to me that none of them had said thanks, so not keeping score either. I had given up (especially in the case of friend A) significant time to help them.
I don't want to be taken for a mug... and I think there's a high possibility I have it tattooed across my forehead.

GreenTulips Sun 11-Jun-17 16:41:22

Some people expect a reward - others will just pay it forward - says me will return the favoir later on


I look after a friends dog when she's away - she returns the favour with having our dog

Sons friend sleeps over regularly - mother buys wine - she is unable to have my son to stay

Another friend I give lifts to - she pays petrol money

None are wrong - just different

DeadGood Sun 11-Jun-17 16:49:56

I would expect some acknowledgement too OP.

Allthewaves Sun 11-Jun-17 16:52:43

Friend A - I would have brought y some flowers ect.

The other two just a thank u

Nikephorus Sun 11-Jun-17 16:55:14

You don't do things for people because they'll get you a present.
No, but they should have said thank you. That's basic courtesy. I'd not bother helping them again if they can't manage "thanks"

9GreenBottles Sun 11-Jun-17 16:56:04

There is still time for the favour to be returned in some other way in the future - but I would be disappointed not to have received an acknowledgement of my help in these circumstances, and that could be just saying thank you.

Getoutofthatgarden Sun 11-Jun-17 16:56:06

I would expect a thank you from friends A and B, a thank you and possibly a bottle of wine or something small from friend C.

redshoeblueshoe Sun 11-Jun-17 16:56:21

A and C should have got you wine and or flowers

quayboardworrier Sun 11-Jun-17 16:57:51

Perhaps you give help too easily instead of waiting until you are really pleaded with asked to help? Some people don't value advice unless they have paid for it too.

Your experience would put me off doing something like that again, I can't stand being taken for granted, something I am much more award of as I get older.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Sun 11-Jun-17 16:59:28

You don't do favours for personal gain, however, they may reciprocate in the future, should you need them, don't be too quick to judge.

TheIncredibleBookEatingManchot Sun 11-Jun-17 17:00:36

It sounds like you did a lot for friend A and if I were her I would have thanked you profusely and bought you chocolates or something and helped you out in some way if I could.

Friend B sounds like a small favour, the kind of thing friends always do for each other. If I were her I would have just said thank you.

Friend C, was the fact that she benefitted from your negotiations just a happy by-product of something you were doing for yourself, or did you go out of your way to make sure she was included in the payrise, and if so does she know?

LittleBeautyBelle Sun 11-Jun-17 17:01:04

When I first saw the headline, immediately I thought, no, you can't "expect" favors to be returned. I despise the sly networkers (especially friends and relatives!! Doesn't necessarily mean at work) who keep score of every "transaction" and are looking for a payback for anything they deem is a favor from them. In fact, it seems they plan their little favors to ingratiate themselves or elevate themselves.

However, you helped several people get their jobs, and that's a pretty big deal. I have expressed my gratitude to people who have helped me or my husband with our jobs, although I didn't do a formal "thank you" with a structured outing or coffee but more casual messages. I think maybe it's a loss of ettiquette. It's normal for you to be left feeling a bit under appreciated. Hopefully they will sometime express to you their gratitude. I'm afraid I have probably not thanked people enough through the years....

CondensedMilkSarnies Sun 11-Jun-17 17:01:47

I think there are favours that can be returned - having each other's dogs , babysitting , sharing the school run etc . And then there are one off favours that , at the very least , require a 'thank you' .

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sun 11-Jun-17 17:02:45

A bit unreasonable to expect a gift but I think it's basic good manners to thank someone for a favour.
There's no excuse not to when it's so easy to at least text or email a short note.

Zeffering Sun 11-Jun-17 17:05:45

I would not help anyone get a job even family members, it just risk, and aside from what you are saying you get fuck all thanks anyway.

I helped my sister get work and it blew up in my face when she was a let down but I should I have never helped her as she none too bright anyway but have never helped since despite her asking, and went more or less NC after then over it.

ChocolateWombat Sun 11-Jun-17 17:07:37

But I expect they did thank you. When you had the conversation giving background info on your firm, or told them about a job opportunity, didn't the conversation simply end with them saying something like 'thanks for the info'? Or if you emailed the info to them, did t they reply to say they had received the info and express appreciation?

I didn't think I would be expecting an extra, later show of appreciation necessarily, but I would be surprised if you gave them the helpful info and it was met with total blankness and no acknowledgement. I think you are looking for more than a basic, passing thank you though.

And TBH, if this was all you received, it doesn't mean they took you for a mug, or were unappreciative. Doing a kind, helpful thing for someone never makes you a mug, especially of the pretty basic thing you describe.

TBH, I think you are perhaps over-rating the help you gave. Yes, you gave them some info and yes, perhaps in one case it took a bit of time to do so......well, those things are what people do for each other and aren't really a huge big deal. They definitely deserve a 'thankyou' but they are simply human kindnesses, not huge acts of generosity. To expect gifts or to be taken out for coffee or whatever, suggests to me that your actions were perhaps not usual for you, if you feel you need such acknowledgement of them.

I'm sure those people know you helped them and if the time comes when they can help you out, they will, again, without it being a big deal or without expectation of return.

Don't worry about being a mug or decide to do less helping out. On the contrary, look for more opportunities to do it. Do it cheerfully, as a matter of course and without expectation of reward. Let it become second nature to you,rather than a big deal. and when this happens, I just suspect that suddenly you'll find there are all kinds of kindnesses happening to you too - not just because people feel they owe it to you, but because people actually like those who are genuinely giving and unselfish.

Ginslinger Sun 11-Jun-17 17:25:00

I'd have bought wine or something - certainly sent an email or note of thanks and demonstrated how grateful I was

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