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,
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.
B A R R Y wrote:
> From what I
> understand, the "killer" part of the plane is totally undeserved
> qualified pilot willing to actually do weight and balance
<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.
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
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.
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.
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
On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 18:42:47 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
On 29 Aug 2006 09:34:04 -0700, tom email@example.com wrote:
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
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
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
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...
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..
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