The Perils of Working For Friends

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wrote:

Similar, but much sadder story: I was working a midshift one winter night. About 0400 (lcl) we vectored a Bonanza (out of BNA, if I recall correctly) for the ILS at PIA, turned him over to the CTAF (PIA TWR closed on mids), and never heard from him again.
After about a half hour alerted watch desk, who contacted various people on a hierarchy list, finally ISP found the wreckage a mile short of the runway, all iced up. Two bodies, pilot and much younger, unrelated female.
The really sad part was that part of the phone call hierarchy was to the home of the registered A/C owner to see if he had arrived and failed to call in. The owner's wife answered the (by now) 0600 phone call. I would not have wanted to be involved in that conversation.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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B A R R Y wrote:
> From what I > understand, the "killer" part of the plane is totally undeserved for any > qualified pilot willing to actually do weight and balance calculations.
<snip aircraft stuff>
It was a reference to a high performance aircraft that exceeded the capabilities of the pilot.
Can tell you a very interesting tale about flying in a "banana" from Cleveland to San Angelo, TX and back a couple of times during a major airline strike back in the mid 60s.
Lew
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Short story short. - - - - - These people are not friends

I think they are cheap bastards looking for a free ride or as close as they can get. I'd charge $50 an hour if I'd do it at all. Not only should they have paid for your lunch, they should have invited your wife to join you.
I'd just say "I can't take on a job like that right now" and give no details. Once they pay you, they will think they own you and will really be a PITA for years to come. Not worth the hassle. I'd get a tin can and stand on the corner with a "Will Work For Food" sign before working for these people.
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Don't do it! Getting paid will make the situation worse because then they will have even higher expectations.
Mark
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I think I would copy all that this group has written here and send it to them first. Then see what they do or say :)) Some friends huh?? Tom
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message

Long story even shorter. These people aren't friends. Dump them. Jim
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 13:42:55 +0100, woodpassion
[top posted for your convenience]
Run, do not walk away from this "opportunity."
I'd be surprised you could ever be friends with them with the sour taste in your mouth from the first job. I couldn't. Even if you can, when you put that relationship into the client/contractor level, you will find a whole other dynamic.
For example, they're asking for an estimate of the time to do the job. It wouldn't surprise me a bit when (not if) it took longer than you/they thought, there would be significant nagging and possible renegotiations not in your favor as a result. The good news is that will probably sink the "friendship" irrevocably. I say "good news" because you don't need "friends" like this.
How would you handle callbacks? That's another thing to consider.
Good luck.

--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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Howdy...Always a dicey proposition when you work for friends... I tend to work with not for, but you never know...
What you can do is take a look at your local paper and see if there are any "Handyman" ads in the classifieds or in your phone book and see if there are any listed there. Make a discreet inquiry call to either and it should give you a decent idea of what your area will pay.
Good luck!!!
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I used to do work for friends and relatives at no charge - they paid materials, I used my tools. One day I needed to chop out a row of Lilac stumps and I gave the 1st inlaw an axe, shovel, pick. Cut out some stumps in exchange for my working for you. He was quite indignant that I would ask him to do work. I called a friend one day, who was always over looking get something done, to set up a time to give me a hand standing up walls for my garden shed. He became too busy for the foreseeable future. 2nd inlaw wanted some work done and I needed a massage (she does that). I figured an exchange would be appropriate. Turned out my labor was free and she needed to charge me her normal hourly fee.
My labor rate is 40$ hr, 2 hr minimum, no cheques, no credit and don't think a box of donuts will do it. And a box of donuts is the fee for talking to me about your issues. I will accept labor of equal value ( I determine) and it is done in advance. I have one inlaw who comes when I need a hand and for him he gets anything he needs.
I have a lot of friends that I will do things for. All others are mere aquaintances including most relatives and the labor costs 40$.
You have to remember that if these people spent money on tools and the time to learn how to do it themselves, this would be a different story. The ones that don't buy the tools have money for the vacations and retirement funds because you work for free using yours tools and time.
Pete
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 18:42:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mts.net wrote:

Pete, I will not disagree with you about ungrateful people who won't return the favor. However, here's the other side:
A youth group leader (friend of mine) paid the cost for two sons to attend several youth activities because both of their parents were out of work and on hard times. A few months later, both adults were employed and had new cars in their driveway. My friend told me he intended to approach the parents for reimbursement of what he had paid for their sons' benefit. I don't remember whether he did or not. What I told him was that the parents would not consider they owed him anything - he was just being generous for the boys sake. He had never made any contract or agreement that he would be repaid, so they would rebuff his efforts to collect.
Moral to the story: Unless there is at least a discussion and verbal commitment that your friends and relatives will return the favor upon request, they will consider that payment for the materials is payment in full. No further debt is owed.
Some folks just don't know any better.
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wrote:

He was quite

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wrote:

This makes no sense. The senario is their car/house, they buy the material to make a fix. I flat out refuse to subsidise someone else's car or house. I supply 'some' labor to help them do the fix. Where does the payment in full come in?? Perhaps it's the worn parts and extra gaskets left behind, oil and debris on the floor that doesn't get swept up at job's end, wear and tear on tools, cost of electricity and heat that some how got turned into payment

He was quite indignant that I would ask him to do work for me while at the same time I did work for him . This was a discussion about trading time for time. He didn't come over here to work, he came over here to get a free ride. He had no intention of even helping me help himself.
Moral to this story is there is no moral. Help those that help you and themselves while you are helping them. Whiney moochers pay their own way. Favors given should not require discussion. I am not Don Corleone looking for future considerations and this not contract law. Want a favor - give a favor.
Pete
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I liked your friend a whole lot better before the "reimbursement" part... yuk!
To do a good and charitable thing and then expect to be paid for it just pisses me off... YMWV
Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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I agree with what the other posters have said:
1. Unless this is a legitimate charity case (which it does not seem to be) tell them that your situation has changed and you are no longer taking on these types of projects. 2. Just because they ASK you a question does not require that you answer it. In this case, they are asking the wrong question to the wrong person. Here is the RIGHT question:
Are you interested in taking on another project for us?
Here is the right answer: No, I would prefer that you find someone else to do the that project for you.
If they persist with other questions, your response should be that you have no knowledge of what prevailing rates and time required - that would be something to ask whoever they consider. Do NOT give them an estimate.
You can retain your relationship with these people (friends, neighbors, etc.) by simply stating that while you will continue to meet them socially, your priorities have changed and you do not have the TIME do take on their project.
There just are some folks who don't "get it" when it comes to showing appreciation for what you do for them, whether you are being fully compensated or not. Poor folks - they just don't know no better. Their bad manners are showing.
On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 13:42:55 +0100, woodpassion

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Tom Kendrick wrote:

If it's causing trouble, one or more of the parties doesn't know what friendship really means. Cut losses and be honest. A real friend won't care.
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woodpassion wrote:

There're a couple of ways to approach this and most people here have given the easy out - bail out now. Good advice.
People that don't offer even minor hospitality to workers, and particularly friends that are working for them, are scum. It's indicative of a mentality that is best described as a defective human. There will be plenty of other opportunities for them to display their shortcomings if you take the work. I don't work for people like that and have learned to weed them out before the negotiations go to far. I beg off the job explaining that what they're looking to do isn't a good fit for me, then I give them some names of competitors who I think would enjoy a nightmare customer. Yes, I know, I'm evil. ;)
As an amateur you are at a bit of a disadvantage. Are home improvement licenses required for contractors where you are? If so, you won't have a leg to stand on if the job goes into the toilet and you could be setting yourself up for bigger problems.
You don't have the experience to price the job and haven't learned how to deal with problem customers. Problem customers are best avoided at all costs. It only takes one bad customer to swallow up the profits from a couple or three good customers - some you can't please no matter what you do. They'll also take every opportunity to bad mouth you and your work.
If you're still contemplating working for them, you're either optimistic or stupid or a bit of both. Not meant as an insult - everyone has to put on the blinders once in while to deal with life. If you're married you know what I mean!
The other way to approach it is to take the job, cover your ass with asbestos/kevlar jockeys or boxers, and set it up in a way that will minimize the headache. You'll need to have everything spelled out - if there's _any_ room for interpretation, they'll interpret it to mean they save money, every time. The hourly rate is simple for them to start bitching about. "You were gone for 45 minutes for lunch and you were ten minutes late getting here, so let's knock off an hour." You'll have to justify every hour which is a royal pain. That "rough" estimate of the total number of hours will come back to haunt you. They'll interpret that to be a cap on the price.
It's a basement bathroom, so I'm not sure whether the owner will be just looking for a place to park it or the Taj Mahal. If they're planning on buying the fixtures and materials to save money it's certain that it will cost you extra time.
Instead of an hourly rate give them a daily or half-day rate. That will minimize the quibbling about the number of breaks you took, etc. You may want to give a Not To Exceed labor price based on a written list with the exact fixtures, materials and quantities and work on the daily rate up to that point.
A very rough ballpark way of estimating such jobs is to add all materials (including what is supplied by the owner) and labor then add at least 50 or 60%. That's roughly how much a contractor would charge. As you're doing this on the side, don't have insurance, etc it'd be hard for you to justify charging that amount. Whatever you do, make sure that you charge about $30 for that sandwich they never gave you. ;)
R
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RicodJour wrote:

I strongly agree!! I have bought lunch for contractors whom I AM PAYING for a job. The house is finished now, but I'll still offer the cable guy, or electrician, or UPS driver etc. a bottled water or Gatorade when they arrive, and send them away with another for the (Texas) hot drive to the next job.
To the OP, the most charitable description of your "friends" is "clueless and inconsiderate. The more appropriate description is "bloodsucking users". They should have been crushing you with kindness for the favor you did them. They already seem to have an outsized sense of entitlement. Imagine what they'll be like if they have paid you and feel you "owe them" the work.
I do car repairs for my in-laws (occasionally pretty extensive jobs) and they always try to pay me. I never accept, but they'll immediately set a date for a nice steak or barbecue dinner to show appreciation. Plus, my father-in-law frequents garage/estate sales and occasionally brings me a great tool or other find and won't let me even pay his cost. It's a pleasure to do favors for people like this.
RUN, do not walk, from this potentially disastous "job". These are not nice people.
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On 29 Aug 2006 09:34:04 -0700, tom snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

<snip>
For sure... we're seeing the difference a little courtesy and consideration makes on our house in Baja...
We're building next to our friends from CA, and using the same builder...
They're sort of "high maintenance" people and are pretty insistent that deadlines be met, everything goes by the original plans, etc.. Sort of typical Gringos, I'm afraid..
We're pretty laid back and always bring him a pen, bowl, wood burning, etc. when we come down and go out of our way to tell him what a great job he's doing... If we have a question or want something done differently, we try to be tactful and compliment the rest of the work while requesting things..
The difference in the 2 houses is actually visible... there's is EXACTLY to plan... period...
Our house, mostly due to the builders suggestions as we go, is better finished, has more upgrades, (most at no charge), and only his best people work on it... an example is that when I really started picturing working in the shop, I realized that I should have asked 220v outlets on 2 more walls... he just said "no problem" and had the electrician add them.. at no charge!
He called yesterday and asked if we wanted the windows installed in the center, outside or inside of the wall space... something that hadn't even occurred to me... We talked a while and decided that since the walls were so thick, we'd center them and leave a 4" sill on each side, something my wife likes the idea of... He didn't give our neighbors the option, just installed them flush as per the plans...
Just a reminder to myself that courtesy and respect go a long way... 2 things that the OP's "friends" definitely didn't show for him... Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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"mac davis" wrote in message

the
Ahhh, yes ... the sweetest revenge a builder/contractor can exact from asses: doing it _exactly_ according to their (bad) plan.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/21/06
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Exactly.... I think a good designer/builder can see things shaping up during construction and suggest little changes that will enhance the home... and he damn sure didn't do that for them.. *g*
Also, (their house was started a few months before ours) he didn't like the way the plywood under the verandas looked on their house and asked if we'd rather have exposed beams.. at no added costs... He's a pretty cool dude.. Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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