Author Topic: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?  (Read 12022 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2013, 02:28:08 PM »
Is there a less immediate swap you could make that works for all of you?  Maybe you guys do some yard work / mowing, dump runs, another common job in exchange for him doing this?  I get that you're fine not doing this, but there might be something you can take on comfortably as a gesture to balance the effort.

This is my first instinct too.

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2013, 02:37:24 PM »
With a shared driveway, I think you should clear your own side.  I don't know your climate, but where I live, the pretty fluffy snow turns to ice pretty quickly.  Walking or driving over it can lead to dangerous ice spots.  Then when new snow falls, you can not see the ice and it is a treacherous path for all concerned.

Personally, I think 6:30 AM is quite reasonable, as I have to be to work at 8 AM and inclement weather that means no later than a 7:15 departure.  If Tom works long hours, he might want the driveway safe before he gets home at 6 or 7 PM.   Settled icy snow is harder to shovel than fresh fluffy snow.

Definitely open the lines of communication here.  If you chose not to shovel and the ice clogs up the lowest area (his side probably) you are not being a courteous neighbor.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2013, 02:47:13 PM »
I would suggest only cleaning the part of the driveway each household uses.   Clean your side, Tom cleans his, no muss no fuss.

that's not going to work with any of the shared driveways I've ever seen--it's a single driveway; both houses use it (often it branches off to separate garages at the end). You can't drive on just one half.

It's not "two driveways next to each other"; it's *A* shared driveway. I grew up with one. We each owned half the drive (split lengthwise), but we *had* to drive on the other homeowner's property.

can you work out a way to share the load in a way that doesn't leave Tom resenting you? Like on some days, he agrees to let you clear it off at 7:30, and you go to the trouble of doing it then?

You do all weekend clearing of the driveway that might occur, but he has to agree tha tyou can do it whenever you want.

I'm guessing he shovels it BEFORE anybody drives on it because then there's no packed snow to scrape off. And because it might melt and refreeze and be harder to snow.

squeakers

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2013, 02:53:59 PM »
Buy a snow blower.  It can be considered a joint property maintenance item. Makes most snow shoveling jobs go by much faster.. except for when it's that yucky heavy wet snow that you end up doing by hand anyway (or using a snow plow). Tom takes morning shift and you guys take evening shift.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2013, 02:57:14 PM »
If you guys do it together, you might not have to start until 7am.

Or, if you're willing to do it when you get home, you may need to buy an ice scraper and prove to him that you *will* remove *all* the snow, even if it's packed on.

Even that may be enough. Tom would probably like to be snug and warm in bed, too, but you're benefitting from him getting up in the cold and wet.

So I think you do need to get out there, whether you want to or not.

If I were Tom, I might take the "I'll do all weekends and evenings" in trade.

cheyne

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2013, 03:01:07 PM »
Quote
Tom feels like we're forcing him to do our portion of the work, too, while we feel that if he wants to do work that doesn't need doing at all, knock yourself out but leave us out of it.

To be clear, there's no legal obligation to clear one's own driveway, and we're not regularly visited by any elderly people who might be in danger of falling in the snow. Do we have some sort of moral/etiquettely duty to help clear our joint driveway, even though we don't mind the snow there?

First:  What did your boyfriend do before you moved in?  Did he shovel with Tom at 6:30? 

Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.  It's unsightly and brings down the value of other homes.  I agree with Aeris et al.  Talk with Tom and agree upon a schedule for shoveling.  Even if you and BF don't think it needs to be done, with a shared home it should be done.

DottyG

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2013, 03:17:32 PM »
Quote
Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.

But the OP isn't saying she's wanting to leave the snow there.  So I don't think the above really applies.  She's willing to shovel it.  Just not at 6:30 in the morning.  She's willing to do it after work.

I think my main problem with the issue is that Tom has decided on his own to declare 6:30 as "the time we shovel" without (and I could be wrong - this isn't in the original post, so I realize I'm assuming here) doing just what we're urging the OP to do - talk to the other party and see if this is an agreeable plan for them.  Even if I were up and going at 6:30 in the morning, I'd like to be consulted before someone decides what I'll be doing at that time.  It could be that 6:30 doesn't work, but 6:45 does.  Tom doesn't seem to have done his share of communicating, either (again, I know that's an assumption on my part).


rose red

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2013, 03:26:02 PM »
Quote
Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.

But the OP isn't saying she's wanting to leave the snow there.  So I don't think the above really applies.  She's willing to shovel it.  Just not at 6:30 in the morning.  She's willing to do it after work.

I agree.  There are posts suggesting the OP trade yardwork for snow shoveling, or telling her that she must share work as a tenant and a roomate.  She's willing to do the work.  Just not at 6:30am.

citadelle

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2013, 03:27:26 PM »
I am in Wisconsin, and so am quite well versed in snow etiquette. On my street, in a rural, small town (1500), every driveway is cleared by 7 am. Your neighbors will view you somewhat disdainfully if you leave it. It is similar, I guess, to mowing the lawn. Like you want your neighbors to maintain their lawn, you also want them to shovel.

There is also the problem that when the plow comes through, they will leave a huge bank at the end of your driveway. The bank must be cleared for a car to make it out, even if there are only a couple inches of snow.

BuffaloFang

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2013, 03:39:56 PM »
I think the neighbor should go ahead and let the OP and her BF shovel the snow when they get home, with the caveat that it gets shoveled within 24 hours of snowfall.

If their climate is anything like mine (our snow generally melts within a couple of days at most - with the exception of ice tracks formed by cars) the OP and BF will quickly discover that shoveling at 6:30am is preferrable to chipping away at chunks of ice with their shovels in the afternoon. But even if they prefer to do it in the afternoon, it should be extra work that they are taking on themselves - not work they're foisting off onto the neighbor.  As long as the OP and her BF get it done, I don't see the harm in letting it sit for a few hours.

Yvaine

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2013, 04:12:05 PM »
Quote
Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.

But the OP isn't saying she's wanting to leave the snow there.  So I don't think the above really applies.  She's willing to shovel it.  Just not at 6:30 in the morning.  She's willing to do it after work.

I agree.  There are posts suggesting the OP trade yardwork for snow shoveling, or telling her that she must share work as a tenant and a roomate.  She's willing to do the work.  Just not at 6:30am.

But I'm not seeing the trade as a punishment or anything. Tom likes to get up really early and shovel the driveway--maybe he works really early and needs it passable then, maybe he's just an early bird, who knows. I see a trade as a way to acknowledge that he's doing the OP a favor while possibly mollifying his belief that he's doing "her work." It's a way to make peace without the OP needing to get up at Oh-Deity-o'clock to do this particular chore.

Cass

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2013, 04:36:02 PM »
To address a few issues people have brought up:

There's no "our side" of the driveway. The way it's set up, everyone uses the whole thing, and it makes no sense to clear half of it.

I already have to get up at 6:30 to get to work, so it's not a question of "sleep in and clear the driveway at 9:30", which I also wouldn't have a problem with, and am happy to do an weekends. I'd have to get up even earlier to make time for shovelling, and it's already killing me to get up at the time I do.

My boyfriend and his sister jointly own the house, so there's no issue with any leases. The driveway is already heavily ice-damaged and rutted, so while it can certainly get worse, it's not a question of preserving a nice flawless surface.

There's no legal liability. This isn't the place to get into a discussion of local laws, so please take my word for it.

So far, it's only ever snowed overnight for some reason. I'll certainly take over shovelling if it does ever snow in the afternoon, but it would not be an equal division of labor at all, and I don't think Tom would be satisfied with it - his problem is he hates shovelling snow at 6:30 as much as I do, and doesn't want to do it either, but unlike me he believes it has to be done, and so he wants us to do half of it.

I'm aware snow is a lot harder to clear once it's been driven over and melted and refrozen, but I'd rather work three times as hard at 19:00 than get up a minute earlier than I have to in the morning.

My boyfriend refuses to do any shovelling whatsoever. If it gets above a foot and becomes an actual inconvenience to the cars, he'll pay for the neighbor to come with the snow plow. This was a point of contention before I ever moved here, but unlike me my boyfriend doesn't care if people get pissed at him.

There's also a summer version of this argument, where my boyfriend and me think that a garden needs to be mowed about twice a summer or so and looks fine as a wildflowery meadow, while SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with. (I have zero guilty conscience towards our neighbors for our slightly messy garden. One has as giant junk heap of might-be-useful-at-some-point car parts, and the other one, a farmer, has a literal dungheap right up against our fence that stinks up the place in the summer.)

I'm aware that I could give in and do the shovelling and mowing on occasion to keep the neighborly peace, but, well. Half the reason I moved here was to get away from my mom and her insistence on me doing chores I considered unneccessary, but did anyway to keep the peace. So I guess I'm not in an entirely rational mood about this kind of request right now. :(

I'm certainly happy to do other small neighborly favors for them, like pen their chickens, or be available if their kids need someone while the parents are out at night. We'll also cook for each other sometimes. This isn't a giant friendship-ending argument, but it does create tensions.

DottyG

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2013, 04:39:45 PM »
After the update, I'm a little confused on your question then. ???

Can you clarify a bit what you're wanting to know?


bah12

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2013, 04:42:27 PM »
To address a few issues people have brought up:

There's no "our side" of the driveway. The way it's set up, everyone uses the whole thing, and it makes no sense to clear half of it.

I already have to get up at 6:30 to get to work, so it's not a question of "sleep in and clear the driveway at 9:30", which I also wouldn't have a problem with, and am happy to do an weekends. I'd have to get up even earlier to make time for shovelling, and it's already killing me to get up at the time I do.

My boyfriend and his sister jointly own the house, so there's no issue with any leases. The driveway is already heavily ice-damaged and rutted, so while it can certainly get worse, it's not a question of preserving a nice flawless surface.

There's no legal liability. This isn't the place to get into a discussion of local laws, so please take my word for it.

So far, it's only ever snowed overnight for some reason. I'll certainly take over shovelling if it does ever snow in the afternoon, but it would not be an equal division of labor at all, and I don't think Tom would be satisfied with it - his problem is he hates shovelling snow at 6:30 as much as I do, and doesn't want to do it either, but unlike me he believes it has to be done, and so he wants us to do half of it.

I'm aware snow is a lot harder to clear once it's been driven over and melted and refrozen, but I'd rather work three times as hard at 19:00 than get up a minute earlier than I have to in the morning.

My boyfriend refuses to do any shovelling whatsoever. If it gets above a foot and becomes an actual inconvenience to the cars, he'll pay for the neighbor to come with the snow plow. This was a point of contention before I ever moved here, but unlike me my boyfriend doesn't care if people get pissed at him.

There's also a summer version of this argument, where my boyfriend and me think that a garden needs to be mowed about twice a summer or so and looks fine as a wildflowery meadow, while SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with. (I have zero guilty conscience towards our neighbors for our slightly messy garden. One has as giant junk heap of might-be-useful-at-some-point car parts, and the other one, a farmer, has a literal dungheap right up against our fence that stinks up the place in the summer.)

I'm aware that I could give in and do the shovelling and mowing on occasion to keep the neighborly peace, but, well. Half the reason I moved here was to get away from my mom and her insistence on me doing chores I considered unneccessary, but did anyway to keep the peace. So I guess I'm not in an entirely rational mood about this kind of request right now. :(

I'm certainly happy to do other small neighborly favors for them, like pen their chickens, or be available if their kids need someone while the parents are out at night. We'll also cook for each other sometimes. This isn't a giant friendship-ending argument, but it does create tensions.

You share a yard with these people, so I do think you need to compromise.  It's not fair to say "I'm ok with the ice ruts and the messy garden and since you're not, then you deal with it."  I would be resentful too.  It seems to me that you are going to have to do some "chores" that you don't like to keep the peace...and your boyfriend's sister and BIL may have to compromise a bit on their standards too.  This deserves a conversation and an agreement on what will be done and when. 

SiotehCat

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2013, 04:47:41 PM »
I think that doing chores that you do not like is just part of sharing space with other people. You might not be sharing your actual living space, so you do not have to do chores like dishes and such, but you are sharing the yard so you should be doing your share of the shoveling/yard work.