Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: BuffaloFang on July 21, 2014, 11:46:20 PM

Title: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: BuffaloFang on July 21, 2014, 11:46:20 PM
A few years ago I purchased my first road bike for roughly $700.  MSRP places the bike at about $1100 but I got an amazing deal.  It's a kid's bike, but I am about kid sized and the geometry is the same as an XS women's bike, and it came with better components for the same price than you could get in a woman's bike.

A few years later I upgraded to a nicer road bike.  I kept the old bike out of nostalgia mostly with the idea that I could swap out the pedals and perhaps use it as a commuter bike.  In the meantime I made some friends whose wives are my height.  They expressed some interest in cycling, and I knew from my own experience that the barrier to entry (price of a bike) was a huge gamble on whether or not you'd even like the sport, so I offered to let them use my bike to see if they even enjoyed it.

The first wife who tried it forgot to lock the brakes, and then came back and said the bike was terrible, she felt out of control, and then admitted her mistake.  Then went on to buy her own bike roughly comparable to mine.

The second wife decided she hated road cycling (being pitched forward all the time) and decided to look for a cruiser bike.

All fine, except the first wife keeps telling me my bike is terrible, how it's a stupid kid's bike, and how it's cheap and horrible.  It's the same geometry, and it's her own dang fault for forgetting to lock the brakes down.  She's also asked if she could borrow my "junk" bike to practice changing flats.  I told her no. 

Recently I found out both of them spend considerable time deriding the bike with each other behind my back.  It's a nice bike! It's not my fault they're idiots/not cyclists.  I'm not sure how to respond to the first wife if she brings it up again.  I'm debating just laying it out that I just loaned it to her to be nice so she'd know whether or not she wanted to drop a thousand dollars on a bike before actually doing it, but next time forget it.  I kind of want to text my friend and say it unprovoked, but I probably wasn't supposed to hear about the badmouthing behind my back. What would you do?  Admittedly, i'm kind of hurt even though I know my value isn't tied up to my old bike, so I'm not sure I'm even thinking clearly.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Raintree on July 22, 2014, 12:29:57 AM
Next time either of them says anything about your horrible bike, say, "I'm sorry my loaning it to you caused you so much distress. I had thought I was doing you a favour. Rest assured I've learned my lesson and it won't happen again."

(Or something along those lines; I am sure the e-hellions here will come up with a variety of great ways to convey the point).

And then, really do not lend them anything ever again or offer to extend any kind of favour.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: cicero on July 22, 2014, 01:41:28 AM


Recently I found out both of them spend considerable time deriding the bike with each other behind my back.  It's a nice bike! It's not my fault they're idiots/not cyclists.  I'm not sure how to respond to the first wife if she brings it up again.  I'm debating just laying it out that I just loaned it to her to be nice so she'd know whether or not she wanted to drop a thousand dollars on a bike before actually doing it, but next time forget it.  I kind of want to text my friend and say it unprovoked, but I probably wasn't supposed to hear about the badmouthing behind my back. What would you do?  Admittedly, i'm kind of hurt even though I know my value isn't tied up to my old bike, so I'm not sure I'm even thinking clearly.
So two (assumedly ) grown women are badmouthing an inanimate object that you kindly loaned to them? this is entirely on them and if it's true that they are spending "considerable" time on this, then they both need to get a life. the only way i would ever respond to this if it came up is to raise an eyebrow and say "seriously? are we still flogging that old donkey?" and change the subject. and I would probably find other people to hange around with.
It really doesn't matter whose "fault" it was that they had an unpleasant experience - you certainly didn't do this on purpose, and if they forgot or didn't know then it doesn't matter anyway.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Oh Joy on July 22, 2014, 03:19:29 AM
If they are unkind people, back off the intimacy with them.  Do not text or talk with or about them, except for social courtesies when attending an event together.  No need to join schoolyard gossip or snark.

Steer necessary conversations toward a more neutral topic.  If they bring up your bicycle with a negative tone, make a gentle inquiry of, "What are you trying to say?" or "Why are you telling me that?"

Yet don't forget that a dislike of something you happen to own is not an insult to you or your generosity in itself.

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Kiwichick on July 22, 2014, 05:34:13 AM
I'd just go with a bland 'So you've said' if anything is said directly to you.  I'd ignore the rest and never lend either of them anything again.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Ceallach on July 22, 2014, 06:58:07 AM
Next time either of them says anything about your horrible bike, say, "I'm sorry my loaning it to you caused you so much distress. I had thought I was doing you a favour. Rest assured I've learned my lesson and it won't happen again."

(Or something along those lines; I am sure the e-hellions here will come up with a variety of great ways to convey the point).

And then, really do not lend them anything ever again or offer to extend any kind of favour.

I like this!  If said politely and calmly it's a great way to make your point and get them to stop the bad mouthing at least.  If they have any kind of conscience it would probably also have them backtracking and apologizing!
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Lynn2000 on July 22, 2014, 07:41:33 AM
They sound very immature, to be so fixated on this! I would probably try to step back emotionally and think something like, "How sad and small their lives must be, to still be talking about this." I wouldn't say that out loud, of course, but I find that sometimes this lets me distance myself from the irritation I feel and helps me get them out of my head.

I like all the various suggestions for wording, should it ever come up again. Another one might be, "Oh? It worked perfectly well for me," or "I always liked it fine," with a shrug. It has to be very casual, though, and not defensive or they might start expounding on their reasons. You could also try kind of a half-smile and say, "Are you guys still trashing my bike? After all this time?" in a tone like, "Oh, you silly knuckleheads!"

I do think people sometimes get caught up in a negative experience and they almost forget who they're talking to, or that they don't agree. Like the time when I was kid and was going on and on about how overdone my baked potato was, and my mom finally snapped, "Okay, I don't really like hearing over and over how bad my cooking is, thanks!"  :-[ You want to avoid getting to the "snapping" moment, so whether that's by distancing yourself from the irritation, or more gently reminding them that it's your bike and you never had trouble with it, is up to you.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: esposita on July 22, 2014, 07:49:54 AM
Once upon a time two people were going through a small selection of my books. One kept saying to the other "This one is dumb." "Haha! This one is SO lame!" "Can you believe this?!" I finally spoke up and said in a jovial tone while smiling "You do realize that this is my collection of books, that I've paid for and brought into my house, on purpose, right?" It shut him up. Maybe something like that would work here?
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Yvaine on July 22, 2014, 08:05:27 AM
Once upon a time two people were going through a small selection of my books. One kept saying to the other "This one is dumb." "Haha! This one is SO lame!" "Can you believe this?!" I finally spoke up and said in a jovial tone while smiling "You do realize that this is my collection of books, that I've paid for and brought into my house, on purpose, right?" It shut him up. Maybe something like that would work here?

Oh, I hate that. I had an acquaintance who stopped getting invited to my house because he kept picking up my books, sneering, and reading off the titles like they were jokes. (We had a major difference in spiritual beliefs and he thought mine were a crock, basically.)
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: peaches on July 22, 2014, 08:09:42 AM
This goes into the "No good deed goes unpunished" category. Very frustrating.

I would say:
"I understand that you donít like my older bike. But why do you keep bringing it up?"

And I would find it very easy to say no to future requests.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 22, 2014, 08:10:45 AM
Next time either of them says anything about your horrible bike, say, "I'm sorry my loaning it to you caused you so much distress. I had thought I was doing you a favour. Rest assured I've learned my lesson and it won't happen again."

(Or something along those lines; I am sure the e-hellions here will come up with a variety of great ways to convey the point).

And then, really do not lend them anything ever again or offer to extend any kind of favour.

This is perfect.  And I agree; never lend them anything again.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: MindsEye on July 22, 2014, 08:14:50 AM
Once upon a time two people were going through a small selection of my books. One kept saying to the other "This one is dumb." "Haha! This one is SO lame!" "Can you believe this?!" I finally spoke up and said in a jovial tone while smiling "You do realize that this is my collection of books, that I've paid for and brought into my house, on purpose, right?" It shut him up. Maybe something like that would work here?

Ahhh literature snobs...   ::)  I had an acquaintance do sometime similar with my books... until they came to the one that they wanted to read... "Oooo I have heard so much about this one, everyone says it is great, can I borrow it?"  My response "Are you kidding?  After what you just said about the rest of my books?  <Expletive> no."

The person was actually flabbergasted that I wasn't going to lend them my book....
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Winterlight on July 22, 2014, 08:15:25 AM
Next time either of them says anything about your horrible bike, say, "I'm sorry my loaning it to you caused you so much distress. I had thought I was doing you a favour. Rest assured I've learned my lesson and it won't happen again."

(Or something along those lines; I am sure the e-hellions here will come up with a variety of great ways to convey the point).

And then, really do not lend them anything ever again or offer to extend any kind of favour.

This. What are they, twelve?
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: mime on July 22, 2014, 09:05:25 AM
I'd respond with something like "Wow, this really bothers you, doesn't it? You still bring it up so often!"

I'd also want to add something to the effect of "maybe with a little more practice you could have handled the brakes better / gained comfort with the posture / etc."

OP, I love your comment:
It's a nice bike! It's not my fault they're idiots/not cyclists. 
Too bad there's just not a nice way to say this to those women!
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Deetee on July 22, 2014, 09:14:54 AM
I would go with a more positive spin to any talk of the bike. Something like "Oh my little bike? I loved that bike. It is the perfect size for me and was such a good deal. I must have ridden it thousands of kilometers. It is so responsive and the perfect weight as well. Etc.. Etc.. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your ride but I love that bike. Don't worry I won't make you ride it again! It's too precious."

By being positive about the bike instead of chastising of your friends, you get across that they are insulting something that you you love and you do not agree with the assessment. It's a bit like the approach used when someone is being mildly racist or sexist.

And what is "locking the brakes"?
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: SmarterPrimate on July 22, 2014, 09:27:39 AM
I really like all the PP's responses, but I might add something to the effect of:

"My $1100 bike? It's actually really awesome... if you use it correctly..." <pointed stare>

...going back to my corner now...

 >:D
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Aquamarine on July 22, 2014, 09:54:06 AM
When she complains about it again tell her "You've told me several times now that you don't like my bike, since you won't want to borrow it again can we just move on from this".  She's being tiresome and I would politely let her know that.  In the future never let this woman borrow anything from you.  This is not a nice woman, she is a nitpicky fault finder who obsesses over perceived "faults" and "problems", no one needs someone like this in their circle.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: bopper on July 22, 2014, 10:33:49 AM
bopper says:"Maybe a less technical bike would be good for you. I understand you didn't like it, but really don't want to hear it. You asked, and I lent it to you."

Evilbopper says: "Maybe a less technical bike would be good for you.  I hear Walmart sells bikes."
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: tinkytinky on July 22, 2014, 11:14:41 AM
I would try the "so you've said" approach. But if they continue (because some people get their jollies just repeating things like that ) I would go with the following.

Wife #1: "That bike is a stupid kids bike. It's cheap and stupid"

you: "When I offered for you to borrow it, it was so you could feel for cycling and if it was for you. I was not selling you my bike. You were able to purchase a bike that you were comfortable with and I'm happy for you, so there is no reason to bring up your opinions of my bike again."

And if at all possible say it in front of wife #2.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: whatsanenigma on July 22, 2014, 11:44:57 AM
Maybe try something like, "Well, that style of bike isn't for everyone."
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Onyx_TKD on July 22, 2014, 02:08:32 PM
If one of them again tries to trash your bike in your hearing or especially if one of them again refers to it as a "junk bike," I think you should consider saying something like:
"[Friend'sWife], that bike served me well for years and has a lot of sentimental value to me. I understand that you weren't happy with it, but it is not a "junk" bike--it is a good-quality bike that I like and value very much. Please stop disparaging it in front of me."

Or perhaps, you think you can say it with good humor: "Well, I was trying to do you a favor by lending it to you, but it seems to have brought nothing but misery to everyone involved! How about I promise never to lend you another bike, and we all forget it ever happened?"
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: BuffaloFang on July 22, 2014, 06:23:51 PM
Thanks for the replies.  I guess we'll wait and see if she brings it up again.  I might use of the glib retorts.  And you're right, I'm not lending them my things anymore.


And what is "locking the brakes"?

Road bikes usually have a quick release brake system so you can easily pull off the tire - what happens is the brakes are then "disengaged" so when you clamp down on them they will sort of slow you, but they don't have the force to actually brake the tire.  Not ideal.

Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: gramma dishes on July 22, 2014, 10:01:04 PM

"My $1100 bike? It's actually really awesome... if you use it correctly..." <pointed stare>

...going back to my corner now...

 >:D

All the other responses would be good if these women weren't being so thick about the whole thing.  Given that they keep bringing it up, I love this admittedly slightly evil -- but totally correct, right? -- response.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: purple on July 23, 2014, 01:18:07 AM
Why are you so worried about this? It's a couple of people who don't like your bike! Who cares?

Don't say anything about it.  Just ignore it.  If they say something in your presence, just don't respond.  Certainly don't go and say anything 'unprovoked'.

And don't lend them anything ever again.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: perpetua on July 23, 2014, 06:44:22 AM
I'm not sure how to respond to the first wife if she brings it up again.

I think I'd go with a deadpan "Yes, so you keep saying", like it's the most boring thing you ever heard. Although if you do want to point out to them that they're being really rude to be so ungracious about a favour you did them, I think that's OK in this instance.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: SamiHami on July 23, 2014, 09:23:43 AM
"Actually, no, it's not cheap and horrible. It's a very nice bike. I'm sorry you had difficulty operating it properly, but that's not the bike's fault."
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: amylouky on July 23, 2014, 02:04:58 PM
I suppose it would not be ehell approved to say, "Oh, I'm so sorry you found the bike to be horrible. Would you like a refund of the rental fee you paid?" *puzzled look* "Oh, that's right, it was a FAVOR..."


Add me to the list of people whothink it's juvenile of them to be talking about the bike. Seriously, why are they so interested?
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: lowspark on July 23, 2014, 02:11:35 PM
I'm not sure how to respond to the first wife if she brings it up again.

"Are you really still going on about that? I was trying to do you a favor. You might not have liked the bike, but please, let it go."

Anyway, that's probably what I would say. Not in a snarky way but sort of in a surprised way. Like, haven't we already discussed this? Why are you bringing it up again? -- And then, a reminder that it was a favor. -- And then telling her what you want, for her to let it go.
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on July 23, 2014, 03:47:25 PM
I wouldn't say anything at all.  Until the time comes that she asks for another favor/another object loan.  "Oh no, I wouldn't want to put you out like last time.  Rest assured, I won't be lending you any more of my obviously inferior things.  You deserve better than that... I'm sure you can find better."

Okay Snarky, back in the box...
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: DanaJ on July 23, 2014, 04:53:00 PM
And what is "locking the brakes"?

Road bikes usually have a quick release brake system so you can easily pull off the tire - what happens is the brakes are then "disengaged" so when you clamp down on them they will sort of slow you, but they don't have the force to actually brake the tire.  Not ideal.

It is an easy mistake to make if you aren't used to removing your front wheel.

I have a quick-release front wheel, so I can take it off and put my bike in the back of the car when I'm going out of town. Caliper brakes are designed so the brake pads are really close to the rim (let's say the pads are 1" apart), but the tire is fatter than the rim (say 1.5" wide). So when you want to pull the wheel off, you release the brake and the space between the pads opens up so you can just fit the tire through. So when the brakes are "off" they are 1.5" apart, when they are "on" they are 1" apart.

If you forget to reset your brakes, when you need to stop you have to squeeze more to get them to touch your rim. And often they will just polish the rim nicely, but not slow you down much. It can be a little scary.

I take my wheel off and on regularly and I still forget to reset my brakes about 1/3 of the time. Usually you figure it out the first time you stop though.

It's certainly not the OP's fault that they were unfamiliar with bike brakes and couldn't troubleshoot. It was an issue of "operator error" and they should stop badmouthing a perfecty serviceable bike. Never lend them anything, including your time. (eg/ you wouldn't want to help them move in case the quality of your heavy lifting didn't meet their expectations)
Title: Re: Leant someone my bike and now all they do is badmouth the bike
Post by: JenJay on July 23, 2014, 06:22:06 PM
Next time either of them says anything about your horrible bike, say, "I'm sorry my loaning it to you caused you so much distress. I had thought I was doing you a favour. Rest assured I've learned my lesson and it won't happen again."

(Or something along those lines; I am sure the e-hellions here will come up with a variety of great ways to convey the point).

And then, really do not lend them anything ever again or offer to extend any kind of favour.

I think that's perfect!