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Author Topic: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49  (Read 16052 times)

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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move?
« Reply #45 on: December 28, 2012, 05:37:18 AM »
I must say that I agree with the PPs. RegionMom - you really need to make sure your son understands the difference between a healthy work ethic and allowing himself to be completely taken advantage of.

What this man is doing is horrible, immoral, and probably illegal (though I don't know the labour laws in your area, I can't imagine the authorities would look kindly on anything that this man has done).

This was not a favour. Favours, in my experience, are usually done for people you like, and are either repaid in kind, or with things such as pizza or fun. Offering minors $10/hour for what sounds like possibly hazardous or at least extremely unpleasant work, forcing them to stay longer than agreed and then underpaying them (and I can't imagine his "hemming and hawing" was the first criticism he'd given that day), is terrible. It's a job, for one thing, and a bad one at that.

I really hope your family can cut all ties with these people, because I severely doubt this will be the last time they ask for such a "favour" if they think they can get away with such behaviour.

I also hope your next update is a more positive one.


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move?
« Reply #46 on: December 28, 2012, 06:20:54 AM »
I understand why you are proud of the work ethic of your son, but it can be a danger too. I am writing this because I recognize myself here. I would feel proud of myself if I helped other out, managed to do a lot of work, and so on. But there is a big downside to it; I am unable to properly recognize my own boundaries. It's not just about people exploiting me. It's also that I try to do to much for myself. When I was pregnant and almost due, I would clean the bathroom floor on my knees and be proud of that accomplishment. A week after I gave birth I was trying to vaccuum the carpet, while we had help to do such kind of stuff. I wanted to do the things I felt I was supposed to do. My husband had to order me to sit down and take the vaccuum from my hands. In the past I have done too much for people who didn't deserve it because I felt I had to, and because I was proud of myself that I was able to pull it off.

However, there is barely or no gain from this. When you do things for others, wonder whether they truly appreciate what you do for them. How do they show it? Do they really thank you? Will they return the favor in the future? Do they treat you well during the performace of the favor? Are their expectations realistic?
In the case of this man, all the answers are no. There is no gain of showing off how much of a hard worker you are here.

And keep this in mind too: your son is a teen with limitless energy now, so this help doesn't really hurt him. But what is he is a man of 50 or older whose body is starting to wear out, and he still can't say no requests like these?


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move?
« Reply #47 on: December 28, 2012, 07:12:43 AM »
Between reading this and other posts by RegionMom, I'm going to say that I think your entire family has a problem with setting boundaries with other people. I don't mean this to dogpile on you or make you feel badly, because boundaries were something I struggled with for many years and I know it's hard to start setting them.

But this guy took advantage of your son and your DD, and  I agree with the posters who said no way should he have gone back for Day 2. As his parents, you needed to have stepped in and stopped him from going and someone should have addressed Day 1 with HippieDad.

If nothing else, think about what you are teaching your kids... that you don't have their back when another adult takes advantage of them, and that sparse pay for extremely hard work and no respect for your son as a human being (no meal breaks, long hours) is OK.  I know you don't feel that way but it is the message that's going out there.

You don't have to be rude to be assertive. I keep thinking back to all the posts that Roe made about K'nnihave and how hard it was for her to set boundaries in the beginning, but I enjoyed reading her threads and watching her change and grow a nice shiny spine. Maybe you and your DH should take a look at those threads.

Again, not trying to be harsh and I hope I'm not coming off that way, because I think that a lot of people who are part of the community are looking for help establishing polite spines, and learning to set boundaries with others while remaining within the realm of etiquette.

I hope it all turns out in the end, and if nothing else, serves as Lesson 1 in How to Start Establishing Boundaries (and This Will Never Happen Again).
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 07:14:25 AM by MamaMootz »
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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move?
« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2012, 08:24:32 AM »
Elaborating on your son being a hard worker has little to do with this situation. You are letting your entire family be held hostage to this man's slave labor for reasons unclear. Im utterly confused and saddened by this situation and frankly unsure of the reason you posted it to begin with. You havent answered questions or clarified as resquested.

By your follow up posts it seems you think this situation is something impressive about your family's work ethic. I'm not seeing that.

Good grief, yes!  RegionMom, like the other posters, I have to ask: why are you letting your son be treated like this?  I know, from your other posts, that you have a hard time maintaining your boundaries, and you end up posting about how people take advantage of you...well, look where it's led you.  To your son being used by someone like that.

You and your husband are this boy's parents.  It's up to you to teach your son how to stand his ground and maintain his boundaries against people who'll use him.  People like that man who thinks ripping off teens is acceptable.

OP, if you encouraged your son to take this job, knowing this guy's history, then IMO you are partially to blame if he gets stiffed, and should reimburse him for the difference.  You are then free to try to get the payment from the guy yourselves, although it sounds as though the chances are about nil.

POD to this, and POD to Mamamootz.


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #49 on: December 28, 2012, 08:34:57 AM »
I cannot post now?  had to save this in a document and post in the morning...

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ok, here is the


DS was given a check for....$120.00!!!

 ;D :D :) ;D :D :) ;D :D :) :D :)

The elderly grandma thought he was a professional mover, because he helped arrange how to get things moved with the best balance.  She entrusted only him to wrap her breakable stuff.
Yup, wrapping, then packing, cuz nothing had been done beforehand.  And her mobile home was just as overloaded as her son's home.  The dad had told her that his teen girls, his DD's would do the packing.  I can only imagine how much stuff there was.  Well, I did see the full sized u-haul truck, with an attached smaller haul behind it, plus a loaded down mini-van.  Yikes!

Quick run-down of the day:
7am     arrive
            dad flies down to answer door in PJ's, entire house still asleep. 
8:30ish  (not 9, my bad)  1st group leaves for 60-90 minutes away town, all guys.
10am    2nd group leaves.  This group had the girls that were supposed to help pack. 
All day   wrap, pack, brute strength, move, carry, tote, lift...including a piano
1pm      cold chicken lunch with sides, water only
All day   repeat above
9pm      prepare to leave
10:30    DH and I both go to the house, and wait in the street.  We see a car pull up.
              It is three girls in g'ma's car!  (oldest DD and two of her friends) They are ahead of the full-sized U-haul, coming soon.
              We all go in.  The girls all have take away food, and scarf it down, claiming starvation. 
              No one had been fed dinner.  Oldest DD said, "yeah, my family loses track of time, and we forgot."
10:45     the guys arrive!
               DS is given a check for $120!  The mom wrote it, no sign of dad.
10:50     walking outside, DS was asked to help uncouple the 2nd trailer.  That's where dad was! DS does help, and we leave.
Home-    dinner!!!!!   bed.


Teaching karate was not for pay, nor was he expected to be there.  The higher belts "teach" the younger belts by example, and are often paired in groups.  DS goes as often as he can for recording helper hours for belt advancement, but he does not have to, and is not on any schedule.  Think of it like a group aerobics or yoga class- you just show up, and the paid teacher decides how to run the class, in groups, mats, levels, etc...

But, kherbert05, your post is a great example of why I tried to use the teaching class tonight as an excuse to get the dad to have him home by a reasonably expected hour- teaching implies payment and students' expecting a specific teacher.  I was expecting the dad to understand that DS had other responsibilities, and he did not need to know that teaching was strictly optional, and volunteer. 
It was a safety net for DS to use, but without his driving, he was at their mercy and schedule.

DS was asked to help unload tomorrow, but I texted him earlier some classic e-hell lines ("No," and, "I am afraid that will not be possible") and he is free!! to have his own time tomorrow. 

They did want him if even just for the piano, 30 minutes of work.  He said no!  ;D

My family agreed together that we will no longer help out this family. 

Funnily enough, the two friends of the oldest DD also shuddered at the memory of the day and said to the girl that they would never help them move again. 

Now my kids have seen me posting and they want to read this thread in the morning.  Yikes! 

Oh well.  I guess we all have to learn!

and, yes, boundaries. 

Thank-you, e-hellions, for having this ongoing life discussion with me. 

Oh, reading "new posts" since last night-
a friend of mine said that we are "too Baptist," meaning that we do for others too much. 
DS just turned 17 and he knew what he was getting in to.  He decided that he would get a good workout for his muscles, make some money, and just stay focused instead of all hot and bothered. 
If he felt it was wrong, he would say so.  As to why we, as parents, allowed him to go the 2nd day?  Honor, commitment, life lesson...
He can write a theme on why asking a teen to wash dishes the night before a paper is due is akin to child abuse and wanting your child to fail, but if someone else asked him to take that same time and more to review their paper, he would do it. 

Ack, apple, tree...
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 08:36:41 AM by RegionMom »
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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2012, 08:39:42 AM »
Good outcome, I'm glad he got paid!

Props to your clever daughter for having the foresight to say no to the second day :) You must be proud of her,


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2012, 08:44:41 AM »
Yeah, she has been the one put off the most by this friend, so I guess she knew better. 


Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #52 on: December 28, 2012, 08:59:04 AM »
I confess to being absolutely astonished that he actually got paid.  Of course, we really won't  know for sure that he did until he cashes the check and it doesn't bounce!   >:D 

(I think it's interesting that the wife wrote the check, not the husband.)

Sounds like you've got it altogether now though.  Good for you and your family!!  I think you must think we were a little hard on you, but it's because we were genuinely concerned.  It comes from love.   ;D

« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 09:00:44 AM by gramma dishes »


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2012, 09:11:52 AM »
He was still underpaid. He worked for 16 hours and got paid for 12, and on the first day he also got stiffed. Yes, life lesson. never move these people again.
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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2012, 09:14:41 AM »
"Honor"? There's nothing honorable about allowing yourself to get screwed over.


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #55 on: December 28, 2012, 09:16:01 AM »
I have read all of the posts and I'm not quite sure what your etiquette question is, so I will address the question in your subject line: "Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move?"

IMO, there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on a number of factors, including your motivations and what you expect to get from helping the person. What you're getting isn't always money, sometimes, it's done simply out of love for humanity or in honor of someone. These reasons are usually personal and not readily apparent to others. Nor do I believe they should be; as long as you know in your heart you did a good deed, that is enough.


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2012, 09:18:12 AM »
Mamamootz beat me to the punch. I could not help but calculate that he has worked from 8:30 untill 11 which is 14,5 hours, but the early hours from 7 until 8:30 should also be paid imo. From the math i gather she agrees with me.

I do have to say that a young guy that age, who is willing to help someone move for 2 days straight is worth his weight in gold.


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2012, 09:29:15 AM »
"Honor"? There's nothing honorable about allowing yourself to get screwed over.

POD. I get the sense that you are proud of your son for his "work ethic" and "commitment" but all I see is you enabling some really spineless poor boundary setting. The fact that you say he balks at home chores but jumps at the chance to do favors for others suggests he is learning that being overly helpful is the way to gain a certain status with others. Unfortunately it's at the expense of his self respect (for his time, other priorities, etc.). Not sure that's a positive life lesson.


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2012, 09:30:58 AM »
I don't really understand the posts coming down on RM for allowing her son to help. If he was 12, heck yes, but at 17 I think he should be making plenty of his own decisions/mistakes. How will he ever learn to stand up for himself if he needs his mom to say "no" for him? I try to practice "natural consequences" with my kids whenever possible and I think choosing to work yesterday was a great lesson for this young man. He did get paid, so all was not lost, but he also made a choice to reign in a potential pity-party and think of it as a day of good exercise and an opportunity to help out a grateful elderly lady, and, maybe most importantly, when asked to help again today he said no.

My kids are much younger that RM's but they've already experienced situations where they agreed to do something to be "nice" and regretted it. I could see the regret coming, and tried to warn them off, but if they're determined then I'll let them go ahead (assuming, of course, there's no risk they'll be hurt in any way). Some lessons just have to be learned first hand and that's okay. Makes you that much wiser, with a fresh polish on your spine, the next time someone asks.

As for being underpaid, there may not be "honor" in that, but there is honor in staying until the job is finished. My DH is like that. He does not leave work until his work is finished. Many of his coworkers will leave their work for the next person coming in, but not DH. I frequently get calls that he's going to be late and while it can be annoying if I've made plans for us, I know that's how he is. He's been told right to his face that he's an idiot, he's being taken advantage of, people won't respect him if he's such a pushover, etc. In reality his superiors see that they can trust and count on him so he's the first to be offered consideration when a special, desired, task comes available. He's got people very high up in his field who've told him to call them if he ever wants to promote to their area and they will personally see what they can do. If you knew this man you'd never consider him a pushover. Those extra hours may not literally pay off, but there is more than one way to be compensated. In DH's case having connections in high places literally all over the country is worth putting in the extra time for!


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Re: Is 7am-8pm too long of a favor to move? UPDATE #49
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2012, 09:35:05 AM »
I'm glad he got paid.

But I have to ask... if he'd worked this hard on an essay for school and gotten stiffed  40 points off his final grade (versus $40 off his pay) would you be so thrilled with his low mark and so gosh darn proud of his work ethic?  Or would you be livid and writing a 3 page single spaced rant* to the principal and teacher and school board demanding he get his full worth of points?

Because you seem to really really obsess over your kids grades and I have to ask why if you won't teach them their worth?  If education isn't for education's sake but rather for the recognition and to reap the rewards of hard work, then what is work for?  At this rate, your kids will get into top colleges and graduate with top honors and end up working for minimum wage, 14 hour a day jobs where they are under appreciated and under paid because they have only learned to work hard, not to be compensated for it.

*exaggerating, of course.

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