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Help please re what to do

(55 Posts)
Chinchilla Sun 15-Sep-02 21:19:25

I have a question for you all. I am feeling really worried about it now, and winding myself up nicely about it. So...I thought that I would ask all you lovely helpful posters out there for advice. You'll probably think that I have built it all up in my head, but let's see.

I just had a 'phone call from the teacher of the 'Italian for Beginners' course that I am about to start on Thursday. She basically said that, as I lived in her area, would it be ok for a lift to and from the college. I happily said yes, as it will only take me about 1 mile out of my way, but my dh's reaction was one of 'Bloody cheek'.

I got the impression from the call that it would be a regular thing, although I don't know for certain. My dh said that I should find out if she intends it to be a regular thing, and if so, to ask for a contribution to the petrol costs. The trouble is that I find asking for money really embarrassing, and am dreading asking her. Dh says that I should assume that it was a request for a one-off lift, and treat it as such, until she asks for another lift. However, I have visions of getting to college the next week, and her not being there, because she is waiting for me!

I don't want to be tied to giving her a lift every week, but feel really mean about that. However, I don't know the woman, and would never have had the gall to ring someone up and ask them for a lift. Or, if I did, I would say 'I know that this is a cheek, and it is only for a week or so etc etc...'

So, what do I do? My plan is this:

Give her a lift this week, and when I drop her home, say, 'So I'll see you in class next week then.'

If she asks for another lift the next week, say 'Oh, I didn't realise that it was a permanant thing. In that case would you mind contributing towards petrol money?' This is the really hard thing to do for me. I am tempted to say that, in future, I am not going to be able to give her a lift, as I will have to drop my ds off at my mother's before the class to babysit. This is an out and out lie, and I HATE lying. Besides, is it really a problem to go a mile out of my way to help someone!?

Oh, I don't know what to do. Advice on how to deal with things on Thursday would be great, so I have a plan of action. Also, do you think that I and/or my dh are being unreasonable?

Aaarghhhh!

MABS Sun 15-Sep-02 21:29:40

Chinchilla - how far are you having to drive from home to the course, would some company be good or is it more trouble than its worth?

For the record, my dh's reaction would be the same as yours.

WideWebWitch Sun 15-Sep-02 21:30:16

Chinchilla, I find talking about money really embarrassing too. So although in my head I would think I'd like to say: "Oh, what about a contribution then?" I probably wouldn't get the words out either. I do think she's being a bit cheeky especially if she's asking you to go out of your way. Could you do it so you don't have to go out of your way at all i.e she comes to you? Then you are going anyway and so don't have to ask her for money (well, I wouldn't if I was doing a journey anyway, you may still want to)? You could say you're pushed for time in the evenings (which you probably are) and could she come to your house/meet you somewhere v. nearby to save you going out of your way. I used to do this with lift shares to work a long time ago. (But I didn't accept petrol money so I thought it was fair enough).

Or you could lie (I know, you don't like to but) and say actually you're not sure you can give her a lift. You don't have to give a reason you know, although I know that's difficult too. You could just say next time (if there is one) oh, sorry, I can't. eeek.

maryz Sun 15-Sep-02 21:32:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jasper Sun 15-Sep-02 21:34:23

This is exactly the kind of situation that would have me tying myself in knots.
My first thought was what's Italian for "find your own lift" ?

What is most galling about it is not the fact it it a mile out your way but the fact this woman does not even know you. Either one of you could be an axe murderer

I think if you give her a lift this week and discover you hit it off really well it will cease to be a problem - you won't mind making it a regular thing and probably won't find it too hard asking her to contribute to the petrol costs.
If on the other hand you find you don't really like her and feel annoyed you have to endure the journey there and back with her in the car, then some creative manipulation of the truth is called for.

Have you even met her before?

Chinchilla Sun 15-Sep-02 21:46:47

Jasper - you have said all the things that I have thought, and made me laugh too!

Thanks everyone, I knew that I could rely on you all. I think what I'll do is give her the lift this week, and see what she is expecting. If I really like her, then, I'll continue, as it WOULD be good to have some company, and someone to walk from the carpark to the college with in the dark. However, I do think that a contribution is right, as she is being paid to teach the course, and I had to pay £107 to do it, plus buy a text book and a tape (approx £10). If she was a friend, it might be a different matter, but I don't know her from Adam!

I hope that it is a one off thing. She would be pretty stupid to sign up to teach a course without having transport wouldn't she? My dh worked out that taxis there and back would cost her approximately £10 each way! I only signed up for it last week, and it starts Thursday, so it seems daft if she was waiting for someone near her to sign up just so she could cadge a lift!

Things like this always happen to me. Why did I answer the telephone!?

SofiaAmes Sun 15-Sep-02 22:29:02

chinchilla, maybe you are getting all worked up for nothing. She may well offer on her own to contribute to the petrol costs. And then you won't have to ask. It would be mighty strange if she assumed you were giving her a ride every week without mentioning it to you on thursday. Give her the ride, see how she is and what she actually wants and is willing to give. You might have nothing to worry about.
If it makes you feel any better, I would have said yes to her and my dh would have reacted the same as yours.

Clarinet60 Mon 16-Sep-02 11:29:55

Chinchilla, this happened to me and I made a complete hash of it, so try to be firm and plain from the start. For about 6 months I gave a guy from work a lift every day, morning & night, went out of my way, had to get up earlier, etc, etc, and he never gave me a penny. Time went by and I kept expecting him to offer, but he never did. The more time passed, the more impossibly embarrassing it became for me to bring the subject up. As Christmas approached, I thought there might at least be a bottle of wine in it for me. but no, nothing, not even a card! And as I was the only one who lived in his direction, he even admitted that it had saved him and his family from having to buy a second car!!!!!!
Mug of the century, me, so be warned!
My DH also spat feathers about the whole thing.

bundle Mon 16-Sep-02 11:47:09

droile, how did it come to an end then? did you get someone to sack him?

PamT Mon 16-Sep-02 13:02:20

I used to give someone a lift to work too, for which she did give me a contribution towards petrol. The day before I moved house she said "I'll see you on Monday then" and looked at me aghast when I said "well actually no, I won't be coming this way anymore". I think she seriously expected me to go 3 miles out of my way to continue picking her up.

Chinchilla, I think I would say that I had children and couldn't always rely on DH being home on time to take over and would therefore hate to make her late as she was the teacher (you could try rushing in at the last minute on a couple of occasions). However if you hit it off it will be a different story. It is a bit cheeky though.

Clarinet60 Mon 16-Sep-02 18:15:38

Bundle, my contract came to an end. (sob) so I lost track of what he did without me. I was 6 weeks pregnant with DS1 and about to become as sick as the proverbial. The next job I got was in a totally different direction.

Chinchilla Mon 16-Sep-02 19:29:22

SofiaAmes - yes, you are probably right. I do tend to get all worried about things, and then think the next day 'what was I worried about?' Thanks everyone for all the sensible advice. You have all said the right things, and I have decided what I am going to do.

Thanks again

bayleaf Mon 16-Sep-02 20:15:40

Chinchilla - my first reaction was 'what a cheek ! But thinkng about it now - if you find her at all acceptable as company it could work to your advantage - How long would the journey take? I too would find it hard to ask for money - but I reckon I would be up for suggesting that you do one to one conversation work/tuition ( I don't know what level you are at) on both journeys - it would be no skin off her nose but it would give you a real advantage in the class - and one to one tuition/conversation work isn't cheap so it might more or less 'pay' for the petrol... Just a thought

lilibet Mon 16-Sep-02 21:23:05

I once used to give a friend a lift to work, wasn't out of my way, but as I was on flexi and she was on fixed hours it was a bit tying on the time front. This went on for about 6 months and it was approaching Christmas, I wasn't sure what to do on the present front, so being a non confrontational chicken I bought her a present and hid it under the seat so I could return hers when she gave it to me, which I was sure she would do. The last lift before Christmas came and went, and no pressie for me! I ranted and raved to anyone who would listen about not doing it for the present but it would have been nice to feel appreciated etc etc. Just after Chritmas, she got in the car gave me a few bottles of wine and said 'i didn't give you this at Christmas as it's not a Christmas present and I didn't want you to feel obliged to buy me one in return. This is a thanks for all the lifts'!! Humble pie anyone?!

Glee Mon 16-Sep-02 21:33:40

Oh dear, this was how I met DH! We lived in the same apartment complex and worked near each other (I would see him at lunch time.) I saw him get off the bus one day and told him if he missed the bus I could give him a lift downtown. He responded by saying, "Good, I've been looking for someone to carpool with!" The next morning I dashed to my car, hoping to avoid giving him a ride, as I certainly didn't want to carpool with a complete stranger. Unfortunately, he was lurking at the bus stop, saw me drive out, and ran to get in my car. Hmmm, he never did offer to help pay for gas.....

Hope it all works out OK for you, Chinchilla! It is difficult when you're put on the spot like that.

Chinchilla Thu 19-Sep-02 11:48:05

Aaaarghhhh...Dh has had to go out of the office today (he works from home), to his main office which is a two hour train ride away!

Bloody typical! He doesn't have to go out for weeks, and then his bosses need him to do some software testing. It wouldn't matter if I didn't have to give this woman a lift, I could just have turned up a bit late if dh was not home in time, but now the whole class is relying on me!

Hopefully he will be home in time, and if not, my mum can come over, although she will have been working until half an hour before I need to leave the house. So, as you can see, it is not a perfect situation. Oh well, lesson of the day is 'Never help others out, you will always end up regretting it'...

PamT Thu 19-Sep-02 12:39:48

Ring the college and explain the situation to them and they might give you her phone number or get her to phone you. At least you have an excuse for not promising any further lifts now.

Chinchilla Thu 19-Sep-02 22:37:46

Well, I picked her up (dh got home with 15 minutes to spare!) I came out with the 'sorry, can't give you a lift because of baby' speech, and she said that was OK, could she just have a lift home every week!

So, of course I could not say no, even though it takes me a bit out of my way home. Plus, I didn't think that I could ask for petrol money if I was just taking her home, and I missed the possible moment to ask.

So, it looks like I am lumbered. Having said that, she is fairly nice, so I'll just have to grin and bear it. Part of me also feels bad that she will be getting a bus every week, when I will be going in my car, but then I can't guarantee that I'll be available so I'll try not to worry!

Jasper Thu 19-Sep-02 22:49:20

ooh, she really is a bit cheeky! None of us saw that one coming! Well I suppose it's a compromise of sorts.
Did you like her?
How was the class?

Jaybee Fri 20-Sep-02 16:19:28

The only problem with being lumbered with taking her home each week is that you may have to hang around waiting for her if anyone in the class has anything to ask her. Also, as the course progresses, you may find some new friends and want to head off for a drink after class. Surely, as she is the teacher, she would have transport to rely on if you were not on the course!!

Chinchilla Fri 20-Sep-02 19:09:12

Yes, if you count the number 65 bus, or a taxi. Neither her nor her dp drive!

Clarinet60 Fri 20-Sep-02 19:37:58

I have a bad feeling about this, Chinchilla .....

maryz Fri 20-Sep-02 22:43:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

helenmc Fri 20-Sep-02 22:55:11

I had a friend who had fits (can't spell tonite) and therefore wasn't allowed to drive for theirs and every-one elses safety.

Batters Fri 20-Sep-02 23:09:37

maryz, I don't drive!

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