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Favors and Money

This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Suzannah 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #81088 Reply

    Janice

    Hello – I inadvertently posted this in the Forums Guidelines section so I’ll repost here. Apologies for the confusion:

    A friend of mine has found herself in the unfortunate position of being debilitated physically. This will be a long term but hopefully not permanent situation.

    I have been helping her out with giving her daily rides from work when she couldn’t drive (now she can) and now on a monthly or couple of times a month basis giving her rides to doctor’s appointments about 75 miles away from my home (150 miles round trip). I take her to the appointment, take her wheelchair in and out of the car, help her into it, take her into the appointment and reverse the process. Also do errands for her. She will give me $20 or so for gas and I know is very grateful for the help I’m giving her.

    BTW, we are 60+ years old, so friends are hard to come by at this point in our lives, so I don’t want what is a genuine need on her part and a genuine desire on my part to help her become a “thing.” Life is tough enough.

    However, what bothers me is that the trips to the city are very stressful for me physically and for my old car and as much as I’d love to be in a position to just do these favors without thought, the reality is that I have the time to do these things for her because I’m struggling financially without a steady job. Now I get that this isn’t her problem nor is the favor predicated on my economic situation.

    But my dilemma is that $20 for a 150-mile round trip plus my time just doesn’t seem fair given the time and effort. She has been back at work now and has a good job and good medical insurance so her recent surgery and its aftermath I don’t think have been too financially stressful for her for the most part.

    I think also I object to the fact that it feels like I’m letting her decide how much my time, effort and vehicle are worth to her. I feel given the fact that there are actual expenses involved with using my car, friendship should be taken out of it and an arbitrary measure used. Something like using the IRS business mileage allowance for these trips into the city for her doctor’s appts would be fair.

    In this day and age when EVERYTHING seems to be about money, I am loathe to bring this up; however, I’m not trying to turn my favor into a business opportunity, just looking for a fair and dispassionate way (also of being in control of the situation) of figuring out a fair way to be reimbursed for my expenses.

    If this seems a reasonable request on my part and a conversation should be had, how do I bring this up? Thank you!

  • #81307 Reply

    Suzanna

    Janice- I think this issue represents more than you are seeing…it displays that she has not understanding of the situation that you are facing..by helping her with such a huge favor, she doesn’t seem to understand the gravity of your reality, the true implications of your financial situation..medical issues are huge, and so are unemployment…I think it shows a real imbalnce in the friendhsip
    As soon as possible, so she can make other arrangements, I would say, I hate that my budget doesn’t allow me to go to your next appointment, I appreciate the 20$, and wish I could just accompany you because I want to but in my current situation I do not have the luxury, of driving that far for 20$..
    and I do see the insult, with the 20$…just sorta has a feeling of ‘she should be happy to have it”…you know her, does that at all seem accurate?
    But I think if you feel it would go well, it would be worth talking to her about paying you a fair amount.

  • #81857 Reply

    Janice

    Thank you, Suzanna, that’s very helpful. I don’t think she’s being arrogant in her giving me $20, probably more like uneducated re gas/mileage and just not thinking so much about my situation as opposed to her own which, admittedly, is grave and I would rather be me than her, with my job/money problems and all.

    However, your point is well taken. Being as she is so dependent, it might be not only caring of her, but in her own best interest to inquire what I might need financially or otherwise to be able to continue to provide these services for her.

    If it were me, and admittedly I’m a very practical person, I would say, “gee, being as you’re not working, would you be interested in driving me to appts., etc, and we’ll figure out a fair rate so you can make some money and I can do what I need to do. It would really help me out and maybe help you with a little extra income.”

    Thank you so much for replying. I think I will just broach the subject with her and see what happens. I’m hoping for a good outcome, but if it isn’t, then I am being taken advantage of, and that’s not on me, that’s on her.

    I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck.

  • #81914 Reply

    Suzannah

    Good Luck, Janice. You really do sound like a thoughtful person, I hope your own situation is improved very soon, this economy has hit my family hard, I was laid off, so I do have an understanding of the financial restraints you are dealing with.
    But be mindful, mixing business and friendship can be tricky, and to be honest…she has been shown to not be a very considerate friend (in the way, of not thinking of exactly the extent of these favors only), so make the defination of your employment very clear..most people don’t like paying for what they had been getting for free.
    An unless she has never owned or driven a car, she does understand the cost of gas..I think there is a chance she is playing on your sympathy…BUT this is a comment forum, so if we were in person the situation might feel totally different to me…take my opinion for what it is worth..not much!!!
    Best of luck

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