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Auction of promises

(138 Posts)
SqueakyPop Sun 19-Oct-08 19:33:32

Back in Jan/Feb, my DDs' primary school had an auction of promises.

I offered up 3 x1 hr sessions of GCSE or Sats Science revision. The auction was won by someone with a child in Yr 4. When she first contacted me, I offered to tag her son along with my Brownies as they were doing their Science Investigator badge. I thought this was quite charitible given that what she won was quite inappropriate.

Anyway, tonight, she actually phoned me (no idea where she got my number from), insisting that I do these three sessions with her DS. I asked how much she paid, and she said £15. I said that I would have been willing to do what I offered (ie GCSE revision) but not putting on 3 lots of entertainment for her 9 year old for £15. My time was much more valuable than that.

DH disagrees and says I should entertain her boy for 3 Saturday mornings regardless, but I have written her a cheque for £15, and will write another to school for £85, given that I considered my donation to be £100.

What does Mumsnet think?

RubySlippers Sun 19-Oct-08 19:36:09

i am not sure i understand

you donated an auction item and someone wants to redeem it

maybe she wants him to get a little bit of a head start in something

i think YABU

you offered something as a donation

snackattack Sun 19-Oct-08 19:36:41

If it's not GCSE or SATS Science revision, what is it that she's expecting you to do with her son? I'm confused.

SqueakyPop Sun 19-Oct-08 19:39:18

Grr - you are being like DH grin

I offered something specific - exam tuition - not suitable to a Y4 child.

I am willing to do exam tuition, but a this is not suitable for a Y4/Y5 child. For that age group, it is more doing gee-whizz practical stuff. It takes a lot of organising from me, which is not what I was initially offering.

I thought that paying the donor the cost of her donation would exonorate me.

combustiblelemon Sun 19-Oct-08 19:41:45

You offered help for 14-16 year olds and she wants you to do ???? for her 8/9 year old? She bought 3 hours of your time, so I suppose she should get 3 hours, but what does she expect you to do?

monkeymonkeymonkey Sun 19-Oct-08 19:42:31

Bit strange of her to buy something she cant use. Was it completely clear to her what she was buying?

I think that you should be prepared to provide the service that was auctioned, regardless of the price paid for it, but to be fair it doesnt seem like you are able to do that is she doesnt have a child at the appropriate level.

RubySlippers Sun 19-Oct-08 19:43:29

sorry squeaky smile

she obviously wants you services so perhaps clarify what it is she wants

combustiblelemon Sun 19-Oct-08 19:43:38

If I were you I'd say that as you offered 3 hours revision that's what you'll do, and find a copy of the year 3 science curriculum.

BettySwollux Sun 19-Oct-08 19:44:44

Why dont you let her son come one saturday morning (or after school - whenever suits you) and do the GCSE revision with him, give him test papers or some such.
Unless he is unusually gifted, he will be bored shitless and never return.
You will have done your duty, and she cant complain.

FAQ Sun 19-Oct-08 19:45:16

I don't think there's anything wrong with what you're doing. You offered GSCE/Sats revision, that's what she won, she foolishly (IMO) bid on something that she didn't really need - so think what you're suggesting is very fair.

We recently had something similar at church it was a Auction of Talents (so same thing really - just a different name). I won 2 things I bid on - a morning of housework, and a weekend of DIY/Garden/Maintenance.

What she is doing would be like me saying to the person offering the housework "actually I don't need my housework doing now" (actually I don't really as I had to blitz it myself to get it ready for viewings lol "so please can you give me a lift to Morrisons to do my shopping instead.....(as it's my best friend who offered the housework she'd probably say yes - but that's not the point).

mazzystartled Sun 19-Oct-08 19:45:49


You offered a specific set of skills to be won, that it is inappropriate for her child is her own fault. You offered her a more suitable an alternative, which I presume she has declined.

WHY did she bid on it?

Tell her you are happy to do GCSE revision with a child to whom it is relevant.

pamelat Sun 19-Oct-08 19:46:30

I would just do the GCSE revision. Inappropriate, yes, boring for the child, yes, pointless, yes but its her that is making a point of pursuing it. Or could you put it on hold for however many years to a reduced offer of 2 hours?

I dont find the cost relevant?

SqueakyPop Sun 19-Oct-08 19:46:34

I would fulfil the obligation that I entered into, ie exam tuition.

Given that this is inappropriate, I have written a cheque equal to her donation. Hopefully this will be the end of the story, but DH disagrees, and thinks i should put on a show for her LO, even though that wasn't the deal.

I could do SATs questions with a Y5 child but taht would be dull dull dull. I would rather do experiments, but this is not what I was offering and outwith risk assessments etc.

studentkatie Sun 19-Oct-08 19:47:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flightattendant2 Sun 19-Oct-08 19:47:42

Good point Betty. Did she say what she expects you to do with her 9yo?

NannyNanny Sun 19-Oct-08 19:47:56

I think that the raffle wasn't the greatest idea, because some of the prizes were inappropriate, but what's done is done. I don't see your suggestion about tagging along with the brownies as 'charitable', the person won a prize after all. I think that you should either save the prize until the child is sitting Sats, but this might pose some difficulties. Or, you should provide 3x 1 hour sessions of age appropriate science help, not entertainment.

studentkatie Sun 19-Oct-08 19:48:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FAQ Sun 19-Oct-08 19:49:35

"I think that the raffle wasn't the greatest idea,"

But it wasn't a raffle - it was an auction, so presumably the winning bidder knew what they were getting before they put their hand up/wrote it down.

combustiblelemon Sun 19-Oct-08 19:51:15

If genetics have much impact then the main thing you could teach the child would be 'always read the information carefully.'

What you're doing sounds fine. Three hours of practical experiments with a child who might not even want to be there sounds like an awful lot of hassle.

pamelat Sun 19-Oct-08 19:52:02

Its not your fault that SATS questions would be dull for him, its his mothers problem?

Flum Sun 19-Oct-08 19:53:03

Did you ask her why she bought the promise as it was GCSE revision? Does seem a really odd thing to bid for if kid the wrong age....

praps she wants to use it in a few years....

If it was me I would turn up and do GCSE revision with him, if he doesn't understand it - tough luck - you have done it AND you have offered her an alternative which she declined.

NannyNanny Sun 19-Oct-08 19:53:17

Silly me, I read raffle, not auction. If this woman intentionally bid on the prize then I would do 3x 1 hour sats revision. If he gets bored, he can blame his mum for bidding on something inappropriate.

SqueakyPop Sun 19-Oct-08 19:54:34

I do take a lot of what you say on board, Nanny (much of what DH has already said). Certainly, it will be the first and last time I will offer my services to the primary school - once bitten, twice shy.

The whole thing is charitible (regardless of tgagging onto Brownies or not) - by definition.

I hate that someone has tried to take advantage of me. I love what I do and what I can offer to kids (my Brownies love it), but I also know its value and it is certainly not a paltry £15 (remember there is also preparation time as well as doing time, and the cost of materials).

I hate hate hate controversy

Twiglett Sun 19-Oct-08 19:58:35

you offered 3 x 1 hour sessions and that is what you should fulfil

not tacked on to a groups sessions

but 3 x revision sessions for SATs as he is year 4


JustKeepSwimming Sun 19-Oct-08 19:58:37

I think the Brownies idea was good actually.

Also she is taking the P slightly by leaving it so long!

Maybe he is struggling in Science in the new academic year and this reminded her of her 'prize'?
Could you do something that isn't experimental?
I dunno, the teeth, parts of a plant/the human body, etc.??

And given that the poor kid won't want to be doing any of this you can probably shorten it to 45mins? grin

Maybe get some worksheets off the net for him to do/colour in??

I would be tempted to say soddit to her though!

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