My wife's sister's husband asked me to do some work for him. As I am
reluctant to ask for or take money from "family", I offered a trade.
He lives in the country and I asked him if he knew of any apple trees
I (we) might get wood off of. "Yes" he did know of an abandoned
apple tree and he would supply me with the wood. 2- 3 ft logs would
be just fine said I. I then spend a few hours doing work for him
using my tools and electricity, while he stood around and asked
unrelaterd questions and generally slowed me down.
He comes back a few weeks later with three twisted dried out rotted
twigs from 1/2 to about 1 inch in diameter and a few ft long. This
He is (allegedly) an engineer and not my brother-in-law - he's my
wife's brother-in-law. If he were mine, he would getting his nuts
re-aligned at the "So, you got nutted but good!!" ward of the local
hospital. Real brother-in-laws are fair game.
I am contemplating charging 75$ per hr plus expenses plus extras, for
so much as a conversation about work. These rates will be prominently
posted with no exceptions to "family". The expenses should cover the
medication for "AIDs of the ears" that get transmitted when listening
to assholes. The extras are for the donuts - a full dozen, no
crullers. This should distract me enough so I don't have to listen.
Is 75$ enough?
$75 is not nearly enough.
Try the following:
$150/hr portal to portal, 4 hour minimum billing, expenses billed as
an additional item with a 10% handling fee added.
Overtime for Saturday work billed at $300/hr.
Overtime for Sunday work billed at $600/hr.
$600 minimum deposit required prior to start of any work.
Since I have been doing this so long as a self employed, my family
knows better than to ask. If it is something small..... sure. I fix
entry doors, install new locks, and small stuff like that for lunch.
But "Gary (BIL) is thinking of tearing out part of the built in
cabinets to make room for a new big screen and wanted to know if you
would give him a hand" winds up with just that.
I clap for him, applaud his energy, and wish him the best.
If I am doing the job, I am charging for the work.
When I am asked if they get the "family discount", I tell them I will
be glad to do the job for discounted money as long as they understand
it will be "discounted" work.
We are all long past that. Does my sister give up part of her
insurance commission when she writes a policy for family? No. So why
should I give up my hard earned scratch to her?
On occasion they have thought me too high; after a good screwing a few
times by my brethren in this business, they are tired of paying me to
fix repairs or installations that were poorly executed. I have found
that after they have had their rear ends drilled pretty good a few
times, they are much more amenable to paying to get it done right,
regardless of who does it.
And ask yourself this question; will they take less than a
professional job from you, or will they expect even more because they
are family? It is always the latter for me, so I charge accordingly.
A friend of the other grandfather of my elder granddaughters is my friend
too. He also is a plumber, loquacious plumber, and I like to chat with him
as works for me. I pay him what he asks. I have no idea what the rates
should be, but his work is good.
I do not rely on woodworking for a living.
I have never taken money from family, brethren, neighbours or friends for
work done in woodworking.
Nor do I have or had any hidden agenda to do so.
After doing so for decades my assets are not less or better.
It's good that you're comfortable helping them out. But then I have to ask,
where does it end? I've got a brother who only calls me up when he wants
something. In the past fifteen years, I've seen him exactly three times.
Those three times were as follows: Bail him out of jail for driving his
motorcycle with an expired license, bail him out of jail at 3:00 am on
outstanding parking ticket warrants, loan him money to he can get his car
back after it got towed. I've never asked him for anything because I know
he's not reliable. It was essentially the same when we were growing up only
it was my father coming to his rescue then.
I'm done and I think he knows that. I haven't got any more phone calls from
him in a number of years. It's sad when you think about it, but I'm
comfortable with my choice. I'll not be taken advantage of my him anymore.
The old fool me once, shame on you
Fool me twice, shame on me
or as George W muffed it:
Fool me once, shame on you
Fool me twice.....ah bah dah bah, a badee, a badee,a badee....ah
Ya cain't get fooled again!
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