Author Topic: The family taxi service - the revolution begins p.#29!  (Read 12582 times)

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Shopaholic

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2012, 01:37:47 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.


WillyNilly

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2012, 11:07:37 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.

Shopaholic

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2012, 12:15:32 PM »
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.

Winterlight

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 12:19:03 PM »
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?
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CharlieBraun

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 02:38:17 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.
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WillyNilly

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 02:56:24 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. 

MindsEye

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2012, 03:22:29 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.



CharlieBraun

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2012, 03:25:33 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.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 03:29:18 PM by CharlieBraun »
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darkprincess

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2012, 04:42:20 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.

Sharnita

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2012, 09:26:36 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.

Minmom3

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2012, 10:29:28 AM »
Snerk.  Anybody got a large muddy dog to donate?  Or storage to clean out? ;)
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

NyaChan

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2012, 10:35:41 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.

Shopaholic

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2012, 11:42:13 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.

lovepickles

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 02:01:32 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

Shopaholic

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Re: The family taxi service - I've learned nothing
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2012, 01:04:53 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!