Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Shopaholic on October 22, 2012, 02:34:50 AM

Title: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: Shopaholic on October 22, 2012, 02:34:50 AM
Last May I posted this:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116128.0 (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116128.0)
In a nutshell, I was sick of being the one to chauffeur my Grandfather back and forth from family functions when any one of my siblings, cousins or aunt/uncles could help share the burden.
Since then I wasn't approached to pick up Grandpa and the one time someone started asking about it we couldn't because we had some stuff in the backseat.

A quick refresher + some BG:
I live an hour away from most of my family. DH and I own one car. Sister2 lives very close to me with her BF. They have a car but prefer catching rides/public transportation for the long ride to hometown due to the crazy price of gasoline and the fact that they are both students. DH and I always offer them a ride.
Aunt, mom's sister is  a piece of work. Mom invites her, but she never accepts. She only comes to Uncle's house. Last year Sister1 hosted a birthday party for her son, a very small affair, and didn't invite Aunt because they're not close. Aunt took this very hard, and gave Mom a thorough guilt trip. Yes, Aunt is a drama llama.

Two weeks ago Uncle hosted a family event to honor Grandpa's sister, Great Aunt, who was visiting from another country. I was asked by my mother to pick GA up from her daughter's house. Daughter's house is 30 minutes away from mine, a detour that also requires taking a toll road. Aunt lives two minutes away from GA's daughter, but when I asked my mom about it she said she didn't know if Aunt was coming, and due to things apparently I can't understand did not want to ask her.
Fine. A regular car with four adults (Sister2 and BF joined us) made a special detour to pick up GA. When we arrived we saw that Aunt and her husband did come, alone. It was assumed that we would also take GA back until I nicely asked Mom if Aunt was there, and they were only two people in the car why couldn't she do it? So Aunt did the return journey.

This week my sister is hosting her son's birthday. Mom told her to invite GA under the assumption she would not come, and Aunt because of all the drama she caused last year.

Today my sister called me, started by apologizing and then asked me if we could pick GA up again (apparently Mom spoke to her and she was very excited about coming). I didn't handle it well...
I know the smart thing to do was to say that we have other plans before/after the event, or that it just won't be possible this time.

Instead, I asked her if we were also bringing Sister2 and BF. I reminded her that we did it last time, and how ridiculous it was for 4 adults to make that entire detour when Aunt came from the same direction as well. I asked her what about Aunt.
Sister1 explained that Aunt hasn't RSVP'd, and usually if she is asked about giving Grandpa a ride, she claims that's the only reason she was invited.  ::)

Sister1 apparently felt bad enough about asking me, she started saying that she had nobody else to ask but eventually said she'll try to think of someone else.
I said if she found no one else to do it I'll help out but I'm getting the feeling I'll be the taxi service again.

Please, eHell - help  me polish up that spine I started cultivating last time. Can I do anything in the current situation?
Also - would it be rude to schedule a brunch with friends earlier in the day now that I know I may need to leave earlier than planned? It was something I was planning on doing anyway before I got my sister's phone call. Does it matter if I'm hosting the brunch or just meeting up somewhere?


Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: C0mputerGeek on October 22, 2012, 02:53:07 AM
My best friend, "Ann," had this problem with her family. After making it clear that the responsibility would either be shared - or she would not do it at all - Ann drew up a chart; her family takes turns transporting her great uncle to and fro.

I had this same problem with my father's side of the family while my paternal grandmother - a thoroughly difficult and unpleasant woman - was alive. My father's side of the family is huge (he has 6 siblings) and none of them ever wanted to drive her because she was so unkind. They wanted her there, but did not want to be the one's responsible for her transportation.

For years, my parents (and then my father once my parents were divorced) were the only ones to go get her. My father has a degenerative disease. Eventually, he could barely get himself around, and yet no one would help him with my grandmother. Finally, my paternal grandmother was mugged one evening when my dad was too tired to get out of the car and walk her to her door. One of my uncles took over after that (and I mean one; he was the only one that would do it).

When move back to California, my father's side of the family tried to fob this task off onto me. I made it perfectly clear this was a responsibility we would be sharing. My aunts/uncles/cousins refused to share, so I simply stopped attending functions. If I am not there, I can't drive my grandmother to the event.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: lovepickles on October 22, 2012, 03:03:35 AM
Hey Shopaholic. I remember your chauffeur episode from May. I don't know if I commented but I think it is weird that the person not receiving the ride (like your mom or your sister) is discussing it with you. In my opinion it needs to be a direct request from the recipient. There is just too much malarkey going on with your sister or your mom ordering/asking you to pick so and so up. I say this for a few reasons: The person receiving the favor has to ask for it and they can better "feel" the favor so they don't take advantage of it. It also discourages them from turning up a more reasonable solution. Perhaps the only thing preventing them from asking the person that lives closer to them is that that they have to actually ASK them. Whereas your mother and your sister are probably offering you up as an extension of themselves without actually having to do any of the work. "Oh don't worry about it! I'll just have Shopaholic come and get you! It is no trouble at all!"

If I were you I'd tell your mom and sister that if someone needs a ride then to give them your phone number to call and ask. Something like "From now on I need to arrange any rides that I am to give. Let them call me directly if they need a ride." And stick to it. Don't discuss rides with anyone unless you have already been contacted by the person. If they ask you about giving so and so a ride in the future just say "Oh I haven't heard anything from them" and change the subject. Do not let them set up any rides after telling them not to or they will roll right over you.

This isn't a fool proof way of getting out of rides ... but it gives you the option to say directly to the requester what works and what doesn't. Cut out the middle man because they are really messing stuff up.
 
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Snooks on October 22, 2012, 05:16:28 AM
I might be missing something but why can't your great aunt's daughter bring her mother, or is she not invited to the family get togethers?
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Shopaholic on October 22, 2012, 05:24:42 AM
I might be missing something but why can't your great aunt's daughter bring her mother, or is she not invited to the family get togethers?

She's met up with my Grandpa and mom on a number of occasions, these ones are without her.
Her mom has been with her for a month now, maybe she just needs a break...
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Roe on October 22, 2012, 06:49:41 AM
All I can offer is what I'd do and I'd quit attending family functions until they learn to respect my time.  I also find it quite insulting that your mom and your sister were discussing this without your input.  Obviously, they feel they can dictate your time and effort.

They will not change until it starts to impact them.  And right now, the only way I can see impacting them is if you decide to "drop the rope."  Just rsvp in the negative and see what they come up with then.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: secretrebel on October 22, 2012, 07:06:56 AM
Sister1 explained that Aunt hasn't RSVP'd, and usually if she is asked about giving Grandpa a ride, she claims that's the only reason she was invited.  ::)

I think I would say. "Yes, I understand how that feels. Every time i am invited to a family event I am asked to drive a significant distance out of the way to pick someone up. It's making me feel as if I don't want to attend and that I am only invited as a taxi service."

Then wait for the other person to say "oh no that's not the way we mean it etc etc etc"

Then reply. "It's actually quite upsetting to always be asked and to feel like the bad guy for saying no. Do you realise that in 2011 I drove grandpa [insert number of times]? It feels as though I'm being asked because everyone else if 'difficult'. That makes me feel like being difficult myself.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Yentush on October 22, 2012, 07:47:43 AM
"No"
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Margo on October 22, 2012, 07:57:50 AM
Hey Shopaholic. I remember your chauffeur episode from May. I don't know if I commented but I think it is weird that the person not receiving the ride (like your mom or your sister) is discussing it with you. In my opinion it needs to be a direct request from the recipient. There is just too much malarkey going on with your sister or your mom ordering/asking you to pick so and so up. I say this for a few reasons: The person receiving the favor has to ask for it and they can better "feel" the favor so they don't take advantage of it. It also discourages them from turning up a more reasonable solution. Perhaps the only thing preventing them from asking the person that lives closer to them is that that they have to actually ASK them. Whereas your mother and your sister are probably offering you up as an extension of themselves without actually having to do any of the work. "Oh don't worry about it! I'll just have Shopaholic come and get you! It is no trouble at all!"

If I were you I'd tell your mom and sister that if someone needs a ride then to give them your phone number to call and ask. Something like "From now on I need to arrange any rides that I am to give. Let them call me directly if they need a ride." And stick to it. Don't discuss rides with anyone unless you have already been contacted by the person. If they ask you about giving so and so a ride in the future just say "Oh I haven't heard anything from them" and change the subject. Do not let them set up any rides after telling them not to or they will roll right over you.

This isn't a fool proof way of getting out of rides ... but it gives you the option to say directly to the requester what works and what doesn't. Cut out the middle man because they are really messing stuff up.

POD.

It seem that the problem here is that other members of your familiy are volunteering you to do this, as it's no trouble for *them*.

I also think that it is reasonable to set ut what you need. So make clear that the rider will need to chip in for gas, and to cover the toll road fees if the *only* reason you're going to incur them, is to pick that person yup. Decide what time *you* want to arrive at, and leave the event, nad make sure that they know that you will b picking them up and dropping them home t0o fit with those times (and if they try to negotiate, you can respond with "As those times won't woprk for you, I'll leave you to make your own alternative arrangements for going to / returning from the event" and then stick to it.

I would suggest phoning sister back, telling her than unfortunately you won't be able to help out in this instance, and then 'go limp'. It's not your responsibility to sort this one out.

(Options - sister could arrange to collect her, sister could ask aunt, sister could tell GA that she will need to make her own arrangments, sister could inquire with members of the family to see whether people are willing to chip in to cover the cost of a taxi. But it is sister's event, so in so far as it is anyone other than GA's own responsibility, it is hers. And as it sounds as thogh she was invited because your Mom told sister to invite her, I think Sister could legitimately ask Mom to help out!)
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: kudeebee on October 22, 2012, 09:32:08 PM
Say "It won't work for me to pick xxx up.  You will have to find another ride for xxx."

No more, no less.  Do not explain.  Keep repeating over and over. 
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: TootsNYC on October 22, 2012, 09:57:22 PM
I think you have actually learned something! You've started politely pushing back.


And I agree that it's really appropriate for the rider to be the one to request.

However, you may find it harder to say no. It might be easier, actually, to say to your sister, "no, you can't volunteer me for that, it's too inconvenient, so find some other way." It might be harder to say, "I'm sorry, Great Aunt, but I can't pick you up."

One thing I don't like about these stories of the rides in your family (and in some others) is that there seems to be an assumption that all the responsibility for the elder person's travel falls on the younger generation--to the point where the person seems like a package. And it seems as though the invitation is almost an imposition, which requires the inviter to go through ALL the work.

Sure, when people get old enough, they may not be able to travel on their own, and they do need to rely on their families, etc.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: camlan on October 23, 2012, 08:52:16 AM
Shopaholic, the reason your mom and sister called you first is that you made the experience pleasant for them. You almost always said "yes." Calling your other family members to find rides isn't as pleasant, because people say "no," and they hem and haw and have lots of reasons why they can't give Grandpa or Great Aunt a ride to that particular event. It also saves the caller time, if there's one person who usually will say "yes." Then they don't have to call and chitchat with two or three people.

Just say "no" more often.

You could also try to be a bit proactive. I'm assuming that you wouldn't mind giving rides on occasion. So if you can and if you want to, you could state when you *are* willing to give rides. "Nope, I can't drive Grandpa to Sally's birthday party. But I can drive him to Thanksgiving dinner, if someone else will give him a ride home." "No, I can't drive Grandpa to Sunday dinner. I'm driving him to Thanksgiving. Have you called Uncle Mitch? I don't think he's given Grandpa a ride in months. It'd be a good chance for them to catch up on things."

That way, you get to pick and choose when you do the driving, so that you can do it at your convenience and at the frequency you prefer. Of course, if you'd rather not drive anyone at all, that's perfectly fine. You've done your share of driving people around.

I think you are doing a good job. It's hard to break habits. You are having the easier time of it, because you really want to break the habit of saying "yes" all the time. It's normal to have a few setbacks when trying to break a habit of many years standing. The rest of your family is having a harder time with this, because they get no benefit from your change in habits. It makes things a little harder for them, so they are inclined to push you a bit to go back to your old ways, because that is what works for them.

I have an elderly aunt and uncle--Uncle can't drive at all; Aunt can't drive temporarily due to back surgery. Two of their children live near enough to provide rides. I live closer to Aunt and Uncle than any of their kids. My two cousins work out the ride situation between themselves, and they also use dial-a-ride when possible. Despite the fact that I've volunteered to drive them, I've been asked exactly once in three months, and it was what I consider a "need," in that Uncle needed to get to a doctor's appointment, as opposed to a "want." My cousins and their kids who are old enough to drive are doing the driving, and they work it out so that no one person is inconvenienced more than necessary.

Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Shopaholic on October 23, 2012, 12:58:25 PM

And I agree that it's really appropriate for the rider to be the one to request.

However, you may find it harder to say no. It might be easier, actually, to say to your sister, "no, you can't volunteer me for that, it's too inconvenient, so find some other way." It might be harder to say, "I'm sorry, Great Aunt, but I can't pick you up."
.

This is what I'm thinking too.

I feel like such a terrible, ungrateful person. It's not like I'm being asked to donate a kidney. The older generation do deserve the respect they get. They're not toxic or very unpleasant. GA lives on the other side of the world and only visits once every few years.
I spoke to my BFF and this is the way they do it in her family too - and she doesn't see why I am so angry about it. It seems perfectly fine to her to drive grandparents when her siblings are never asked to do it.

Shopaholic, the reason your mom and sister called you first is that you made the experience pleasant for them. You almost always said "yes." Calling your other family members to find rides isn't as pleasant, because people say "no," and they hem and haw and have lots of reasons why they can't give Grandpa or Great Aunt a ride to that particular event. It also saves the caller time, if there's one person who usually will say "yes." Then they don't have to call and chitchat with two or three people.

Just say "no" more often.

 The thing is - I feel that this is a situation that I just cannot say no with any reason short of a hospital visit. Heh, maybe my mom brought me up with proper Jewish guilt , er, respect for the elderly.

Maybe if there wasn't all this stuff with my drama llama Aunt it wouldn't bother me as much.
I do know that I've spoken to Mom and Sister1 since and neither of them has brought it up.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 23, 2012, 01:09:54 PM
Shopaholic, you mentioned that your sister and her BF don't drive because they are students and the price of gas is too high.  Do they give you gas money for the rides you've provided? I'm sure the price of gas is no easier for you.  Has anyone even offered to reimburse you for gas (or tolls for that matter)?

Part of me thinks that if you requested gas money the requests would stop.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: JenJay on October 23, 2012, 08:09:52 PM
What you need to be asking yourself is why do your relatives issue invitations under the assumption that YOU will be available to shuttle everyone around? What if you weren't going at all? Would they opt not to invite that person, ask someone else to give them a ride or offer to go pick them up? THAT is what they need to do. Remove you as an option and plan accordingly. I'd tell them so.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Shopaholic on October 24, 2012, 12:37:47 AM
Shopaholic, you mentioned that your sister and her BF don't drive because they are students and the price of gas is too high.  Do they give you gas money for the rides you've provided? I'm sure the price of gas is no easier for you.  Has anyone even offered to reimburse you for gas (or tolls for that matter)?

Part of me thinks that if you requested gas money the requests would stop.

That would be almost blasphemous in my family. I will not ask my income-fixed grandfather for gas money, and if I did I would probably be disowned. The thought has never crossed my mind.

My sister and her BF join us when we're doing the drive anyway. Tops, we'd drive an extra 15kms to pick them up/drop them off. We know what it's like to be a student, and we can handle the gas money. When they come with us on longer drives they do offer to pay us back.
We're just older than them and better off now. They are very grateful and try to reciprocate in other ways when they can.

Maybe if my Aunt asked for a ride... >:D

What you need to be asking yourself is why do your relatives issue invitations under the assumption that YOU will be available to shuttle everyone around? What if you weren't going at all? Would they opt not to invite that person, ask someone else to give them a ride or offer to go pick them up? THAT is what they need to do. Remove you as an option and plan accordingly. I'd tell them so.

Basically what I did last May was tell my mom that I would be cutting down on the times that I bring Grandpa - not that I wouldn't do it anymore, just not to count on me every single time, and that I would choose when it is convenient for me. She hasn't asked me since and she and my uncle have alternated driving Grandpa instead of asking another kid. Their choice.

Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: WillyNilly on October 24, 2012, 10:07:37 AM
This week my sister is hosting her son's birthday. Mom told her to invite GA under the assumption she would not come, and Aunt because of all the drama she caused last year.

Today my sister called me, started by apologizing and then asked me if we could pick GA up again (apparently Mom spoke to her and she was very excited about coming). I didn't handle it well...


Where's your mom in all of this?  You drive family members.  Occasionally your sister drives people.  Sometimes even your ornery aunt drives people.  But your mom is the one inviting people, or insisting people get invited, when does your mom drive anyone?  Sounds to me like its high time she takes a turn.  And if she won't she needs to stop calling your aunt, who actually has driven people recently "difficult" when it sounds like your mom is the difficult one inviting people and dictating rides but never stepping up to the plate herself.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Shopaholic on October 24, 2012, 11:15:32 AM
This week my sister is hosting her son's birthday. Mom told her to invite GA under the assumption she would not come, and Aunt because of all the drama she caused last year.

Today my sister called me, started by apologizing and then asked me if we could pick GA up again (apparently Mom spoke to her and she was very excited about coming). I didn't handle it well...


Where's your mom in all of this?  You drive family members.  Occasionally your sister drives people.  Sometimes even your ornery aunt drives people.  But your mom is the one inviting people, or insisting people get invited, when does your mom drive anyone?  Sounds to me like its high time she takes a turn.  And if she won't she needs to stop calling your aunt, who actually has driven people recently "difficult" when it sounds like your mom is the difficult one inviting people and dictating rides but never stepping up to the plate herself.

That's not true. My mom drives Grandpa quite frequently, especially when the family get-together is at my uncle's. It's harder for her to host AND do the hour round-trip to pick up Granpda. Most of Grandpa's care issues are taken care of by my mom, she shops for him and visits him at least once a week.
It's my sisters that are never on chauffeur duty.

My mom's logic is that it's easier for me to do the half-hour detour each way than it is for her to make the drive for the sole purpose of picking up a relative.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Winterlight on October 25, 2012, 11:19:03 AM
I understand that Sister2 is a broke student so people don't want to make her burn money. Why is Sister1 not doing any of the driving?
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: CharlieBraun on October 25, 2012, 01:38:17 PM
That would be almost blasphemous in my family. I will not ask my income-fixed grandfather for gas money, and if I did I would probably be disowned. The thought has never crossed my mind.

Gently, and with love....we are almost *all* on fixed incomes.  I cannot decide what my pay will be week by week; it is fixed as a salary.  Other people are fixed at an hourly rate.  I find it disingenous and even a bit special-snowflakey (not meaning you!) to use the "I'm on a fixed income" statement as a get-a-discount-or-other-entitlement card to be played.  We are all essentially on a fixed income; the difference is that you actively earn your income, where you grandfather's is a passive (non-earned) income.

It doesn't make your income more at his disposal (or anyone else's) - and I don't think his income should be "protected" from expenses like his transportation whereas yours is free for others to exploit for their own expenses like their transportation.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: WillyNilly on October 25, 2012, 01:56:24 PM
^ I'm not on a fixed income like a retiree.  I'm young and able bodied - I choose to work one job.  I certainly could pick up a second part time job thus increasing my hours.  Or I could sign myself up for additional training or education and increase my salary by way of promotion or better job.  I have plenty of nice little "extras" I indulge myself with like taking an express bus instead of the train or buying a cup of coffee instead of brewing a pot, which I could easily cut out.  Most seniors, especially "super seniors" do not have that flexibility with their income potential and spending.  Its in no way comparable.  I too would never in a billion years consider it acceptable to ask one of my grandparents for gas or toll money. 
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: MindsEye on October 25, 2012, 02:22:29 PM
It doesn't make your income more at his disposal (or anyone else's) - and I don't think his income should be "protected" from expenses like his transportation whereas yours is free for others to exploit for their own expenses like their transportation.

I couldn't agree more. 

I live near (ish... it is about a 1 hour drive) my Grandmother.  And several times a month I will drive to her town so that I can drive her around to do errands, go grocery shopping, go to Dr appointments, etc. so that she doesn't have to spend money on taxis (she doesn't drive anymore and public transportation in her town is not great).

I don't mind doing this because it gives me a lot of one-on-one time with Grandma.  But (and this is a big but) part of the agreement, which we decided on up front, because I was very honest to Grandma about what all of this errand running was going to cost me, was that Grandma pays for the gas and expenses that I incur on these expeditions.  Because I cannot afford to absorb all of those costs myself.  And if I can no longer afford to keep driving her around, then she has to use taxis.  And in the long run it is cheaper for her to pay for my gas/tolls than to use taxis to go everywhere.

Everything has a price.  If the OP stopped driving her Grandpa around, he would have to spend his income on alternate means of transportation, because buses, taxis, and trains do not care if you are a retiree on a fixed income.  They require you to pay for your ticket (maybe with a senior discount, though) just like everyone else.


Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: CharlieBraun on October 25, 2012, 02:25:33 PM
Not wishing to hijack this thread on the "fixed income" tender spot that seems to have been struck, I will say that the OP's grandfather - or anyone else - should have no expectation that she (or anyone) should shoulder expenses on their behalf at all - let alone based on the concept of a "fixed income."

OP is free to offer - but no one should have an expectation that they have any right at all to a helping of anyone else's income to meet their own expenses. 

Take out the "fixed income" aspect if that is as offensive to you as it seems to be. 

Family or friends simply do not have the right to spend your money on their expenses, expenses such as gasoline and/or transportation.  It is simply not their right, no matter the source of your income or their income.  And that is absolutely comparable to such situations.

OP's family is expecting her to shell out from her own limited resources to supplement the resources of others - without her permission and without discussion.  It can be seen as greed, plain and simple.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: darkprincess on October 25, 2012, 03:42:20 PM

Family or friends simply do not have the right to spend your money on their expenses, expenses such as gasoline and/or transportation.  It is simply not their right, no matter the source of your income or their income.  And that is absolutely comparable to such situations.

OP's family is expecting her to shell out from her own limited resources to supplement the resources of others - without her permission and without discussion.

This is true of all resources: time, energy. a skill in something. Recently there was a thread about carpooling and the discussion recognized that having someone else in the car meant you lost flexibility of travel. One person should not be expected or voluntold to pick up any other family member. The person who drives has non-monetary expenses. They can't just relax listening to music, decide at the last minute to make a stop, go home early or leave late without thinking about the other person.

Shopaholic you probably need to tell your mother-I think I remember that she is the one volunteering you-that you cant do it. As long as you do it sometimes she is going to keep volunteering you.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Sharnita on October 29, 2012, 08:26:36 AM
OP, it would be a shame if the next time there was a family event you hadn't cleaned out the back seat of your car so more people could ride in it.  Yes, all that stuff back there, preventing you from picking up soandso, such a shame.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Minmom3 on October 29, 2012, 09:29:28 AM
Snerk.  Anybody got a large muddy dog to donate?  Or storage to clean out? ;)
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: NyaChan on October 29, 2012, 09:35:41 AM
I understand what you mean OP about not asking your grandfather for money back - it is the same in my family.  Simply not done, would make the person who asked look lower than low, and really, I wouldn't want to ask for it anyways from him.  What you could do though, is ask your mom for reimbursement. As in, she calls you to say you are to pick him up, you reply, "Well Mom, I wish you had asked me whether that was possible ahead of time.  I am short on gas money this month.  If you'd like me to pick him up, I will need help with that."  But that is only if you are willing to pick him up (and it seemed like you were, just not all the time right? And they did leave you alone for a while, so it hasn't been all the time again).  If you absolutely don't want to pick him up, you have to tell them that clearly and don't budge.  "Mom, I won't be able to pick Grandfather up.  I will see you at the gathering - gotta go, bye!" and then get off the phone without answering any questions about why.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Shopaholic on October 29, 2012, 10:42:13 AM
:)

So far our neither our 35kg dog nor her fur have served as deterrants. DH's bike on the other hand...

It's really not about the money. 3-4 years ago DH and I were both students and we would drive in the complete opposite direction to drop off Grandpa (at the time he has an arrangement with someone he would pay for a one-way trip).
We never asked for the money.
My mom has  offered the use of her car, which would solve the gas money and other car maintenance expenses, but it hasn't happened in a long while. Supposedly since it is "on my way" (=in the same general direction, but a 40 minute detour off the highway) there is no reason to ask anyone else to do it.
It took me a good number of years to realize that it doesn't have to be like this, and that both my sisters (and three of my cousins when it's extended family) are perfectly able to drive and their time is no more valuable than mine.

Anyway - my nephew's birthday party was this past weekend. I never heard another word about picking up or dropping off anybody. Aunt didn't attend, and neither did GA. I didn't ask. My parents picked Grandpa up. I don't know who returned him.

For all I know I am currently being painted as the big, bad rhymes-with-witch that prevented GA from coming. I really don't care. If it was important enough for anyone to have her there, they would have made the necessary arrangements.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: lovepickles on November 02, 2012, 01:01:32 PM
Good news. Thanks for the update.

In general I find that the people that try to manipulate you don't just turn around and "get it" when you stand up for yourself. It takes time.

xoxo
Title: Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
Post by: Shopaholic on November 11, 2012, 12:04:53 AM
Well, this is surprising.

Yesterday was yet another family event at Uncle's. I had plans to meet up with a friend in the area earlier, and called my parents on the way to ask if they were picking Grandpa up, or could I leave the car at their place and join them on the way to Uncle's. Mom said that it was up to Uncle to arrange Grandpa's transportation for that day, so sure they had room.

15 minutes later Mom calls me back very upset. Grandpa called her to ask when she was coming to pick him up. Cousin1 was supposed to pick him up, but Grandpa's logic decided that since Mom had bought him some groceries it made sense that she would bring him the groceries and drive him to Uncle's. (Mom's logic said to bring the groceries to Uncle's, and transfer to the drop-off driver's car). So Grandpa called Cousin2 to tell her to tell her brother that he wouldn't be needing a ride.  ::)

So Mom called Cousin1, who didn't answer and then Drama Llama Aunt's husband agreed to pick him up on their way. I asked Mom why she was doing all these phone calls when it clearly wasn't her responsibility, and she said that Grandpa started with the whole Yenta act "I won't come at all, you won't miss me...".

Mom then told me that she was not proud of what she was going to tell me, and to keep it between us, but that if I am asked to do the drop off to say that I already have plans with a friend. I asked if I was expected to be the return driver, and she said she didn't know, but to expect such a request. I told her not to worry, I can take care of myself.

Then Mom started talking a little about how it inconveniences her as much as it inconveniences Uncle, that he also has three kids who can drive, etc. etc. I reminded her that for SIX years I was the only one driving Grandpa, and cut off her "but you volunteered/it's on your way/everyone thought you liked doing it" politely.

Drama Llama's Aunt's husband also volunteered to drive Grandpa back since "it's on his way" while his wife made a sour face, so that headed off any further discussion on the matter.

So, things are starting to change - slowly. I'll try to help my mom out with that spine of hers in the future. It's going to be uphill work!
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: NyaChan on November 11, 2012, 12:22:44 AM
Yikes.  Glad your mom is finally acknowledging that things are not currently fair.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 11:19:08 AM

As a former "chauffeur" myself I am feeling your pain.   When you are the obliging one it quickly morphs from a favour to an obligation....and who better to ask than the nice one who is NOT difficult, who cares about her family and wants everyone to get along with no ruffled feathers?

One thing I find is that there are often "untouchables" where to say no or refuse to do something is absolute blasphemy.  That is an attitude that really, really frosts my cornflakes because of the entitlement complex that goes along with it.  I experienced it myself when I was trying to get the nerve up to stop driving my coworker ( Lady X ) to and from work everyday.  She was the the sweet older lady who had been there for a thousand years, had "icon" status and everyone loves her - ( Of course you don't mind driving her!  It's Lady X!  How could you not feel that it is a privilige? )  Of course that was not actually said but it was the feeling I had....that Lady X was untouchable and that it was unconscionable to have any negative feelings about what was becoming a real burden.

Stand strong and break that family dynamic.  Seriously.  It is asking a lot....and trust me it goes beyond gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.  It is an abuse of your time and you are not wrong to limit it.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: TootsNYC on November 11, 2012, 02:58:59 PM
It's time for Grandpa to be told that the responsibility for getting to family events is HIS, but that he needs to ASK FIRST, because other people might have plans. Like, your mom might not have room in her car.



Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: silvercelt on November 11, 2012, 04:11:59 PM
It's time for Grandpa to be told that the responsibility for getting to family events is HIS, but that he needs to ASK FIRST, because other people might have plans. Like, your mom might not have room in her car.

Agreed.

I'm not in this situation anymore, as I don't live in the same state as the rest of my family, but for the last 5-6 years, my grandparents haven't been able to drive themselves around.  The whole family takes turns doing it, but it would be unthinkable (to my grandparents) to 1) assume a ride was a given, without asking someone to do it, 2) not offer money for gas, or 3) expect everyone to work out the details on their behalf. 
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: CrochetFanatic on November 11, 2012, 04:20:33 PM
Not an easy situation to be in, and good for you and your mom for standing up for yourselves.  Also, good luck. 

I've been in the doghouse for being unable to drive a family member who doesn't drive.  She's not unable to drive, she just won't learn.  She keeps saying, "I should really get my license", but she's been saying that for eight years.  The most notable example is when she called the house to ask if I could drive her to a doctor's appointment the next day.  It had been the only appointment she was able to get.  Fair enough, but I had to work that day, and I told her that I couldn't do it and why. 

There was a pause, then she said, "Oh...I was hoping you could do it.  I was sort of counting on you." in a disappointed, almost reproachful tone.  I don't know if she ever got to her appointment or not, but they were very chilly towards me the next time we saw each other.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: gen xer on November 11, 2012, 06:49:20 PM
Not an easy situation to be in, and good for you and your mom for standing up for yourselves.  Also, good luck. 

I've been in the doghouse for being unable to drive a family member who doesn't drive.  She's not unable to drive, she just won't learn.  She keeps saying, "I should really get my license", but she's been saying that for eight years.  The most notable example is when she called the house to ask if I could drive her to a doctor's appointment the next day.  It had been the only appointment she was able to get.  Fair enough, but I had to work that day, and I told her that I couldn't do it and why. 

There was a pause, then she said, "Oh...I was hoping you could do it.  I was sort of counting on you." in a disappointed, almost reproachful tone.  I don't know if she ever got to her appointment or not, but they were very chilly towards me the next time we saw each other.

That burden of obligation was one of the reasons I got fed up with driving my coworker - I hated having someone depending on me.  It is really irksome when they just CHOOSE not to either get a license or purchase a car because it is so much easier ( and cheaper ) to rely on others.  They have to have that sort of inconvenience happen to them in order to realize that it may be in their best interest to get a license / car.  Good for you not altering your day to suit her.  She needs more people to do that and then maybe she will get her license.

My MIL also pulls this stuff.  She CAN drive, DOES drive and owns a car.  She lives about 15 minutes away from BIL but whenever there is a family gathering she expects someone to pick her up and drop her off.  Two round trips out of the way.  I asked DH why on earth they continue to do so when she is perfectly capable of driving herself but I have thrown up my hands in resignation.They will do it because she has that "untouchable" status and nobody, but nobody will say no to the grand matriarch of the family.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: kherbert05 on November 11, 2012, 08:36:13 PM
We used to drive my Mimmi places.


1. She would ask
2. If we were going towards her - we would call when leaving our house (pre cell phones) and she would be in the lobby when we got there.
3. If we were going away from her she would drive to our house and ride with us. If the event was late, we would plan on her spending the night at our house since driving after dark was a safety issue
4. When she had to move to an assisted living facility that was further away from us other households helped out often sending their HS/University ages kids to pick her up, my cousin's Inlaws would even offer to pick her up because the facility was on their way.


Sis often offers to let me ride with them to the kids' events. Usually the families have been asked to carpool due to parking issues - I always meet them at their house.   
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: Roe on November 12, 2012, 09:48:59 AM

My MIL also pulls this stuff.  She CAN drive, DOES drive and owns a car.  She lives about 15 minutes away from BIL but whenever there is a family gathering she expects someone to pick her up and drop her off.  Two round trips out of the way.  I asked DH why on earth they continue to do so when she is perfectly capable of driving herself but I have thrown up my hands in resignation.They will do it because she has that "untouchable" status and nobody, but nobody will say no to the grand matriarch of the family.

There's nothing wrong with driving family if relatives are willing to do so.  If your husband's family wants to drive her, regardless of whether or not she can drive herself, there's nothing wrong with that.  We drive my g'mother places every now and then.  And she drives and has her own car.  Didn't bother me much to make the trip across town.

Now a coworker, I'd be much less willing to drive back and forth for years.  In my mind, there's no comparison.  Co-worker no, g'mother yes.
Title: Re: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!
Post by: gen xer on November 12, 2012, 11:07:37 AM

My MIL also pulls this stuff.  She CAN drive, DOES drive and owns a car.  She lives about 15 minutes away from BIL but whenever there is a family gathering she expects someone to pick her up and drop her off.  Two round trips out of the way.  I asked DH why on earth they continue to do so when she is perfectly capable of driving herself but I have thrown up my hands in resignation.They will do it because she has that "untouchable" status and nobody, but nobody will say no to the grand matriarch of the family.

There's nothing wrong with driving family if relatives are willing to do so.  If your husband's family wants to drive her, regardless of whether or not she can drive herself, there's nothing wrong with that.  We drive my g'mother places every now and then.  And she drives and has her own car.  Didn't bother me much to make the trip across town.

Now a coworker, I'd be much less willing to drive back and forth for years.  In my mind, there's no comparison.  Co-worker no, g'mother yes.
No....nothing inherently wrong with it I suppose....and I don't say anything anymore because they will do what they do regardless.  I do think it is asking a lot of someone to do something that you are perfectly capable of doing on your own though.  If she got scared in bad weather or otherwise had a reason for making this request - no problem - perfectly willing to do so.  But that isn't the case - it is just her not wanting to be bothered.  Oh well....I privately shake my head but it isn't a battle worht fighting if they wish to do so.