Author Topic: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?  (Read 1938 times)

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hjaye

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spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« on: April 26, 2013, 09:23:10 AM »
After reading the cheapskate stories, it got me to wondering, is it rude to call someone cheap when it's obvious that they are?

As an example, I had a good friend that was very tight.  He was a nice guy, but he was so cheap he could make Lincolns eyes bulge the way he would hold on to a penny.

he once needed some electrical work done around the house.  It wasn't anything too fancy, he wanted to drop a new outlet in a wall so he could put a tv in another room.  However, he didn't have any real experience with this, but rather than pay the roughly one hundred dollars or so it would have cost to have someone come in and do it right, he got a friend to help him.  The result was an ugly hole in the wall, that the cover plate did not fully cover, and a poor splicing job, that caused electrical problems in other parts of the house.

I was talking to him not long after the work had been finished and he was complaining a bit about the problems he was having.  I asked him what did he expect?  He was too cheap to pay to have the job done right, so now he's dealing with the fact that most of the time, you get what you pay for.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 09:30:08 AM »
I think unless you're joking around and the other person is participating in the joking, yes, it's rude to call someone "cheap" even if the shoe fits. There are other ways to say the same thing. "Well, X, I can understand you wanting to save $$, but in some cases I think it's better to pay a professional, and clearly this was one of them."

OSUJillyBean

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 10:14:55 AM »
Yes - tres tacky to call someone cheap!

In town we have a nice furniture store where the sales people are paid purely on commission.  They are all incredibly pushy.  My husband and I were int he market for a dining table but we have a cat so I wanted solid wood (aka no shred-able leather or upholstery).  We went to the store and asked the sales guy to show us the tables.  They had a total of TWO un-upholstered tables, one of which was painted a horrible farm/country antique white that wouldn't go with our house at all.  The other was enormous (it sat something like 10 people!) and wouldn't fit in our dining room.  When we started heading for the door the guy pointed out a few $3,000 - $10,000 table sets in their custom-built section and when we said those were out of our price range, he told us we were being "cheap and way too picky".  :o >:D >:D

He again recommended a beautiful leather-and-wood set that was pretty and decently-priced but it would have last maybe two weeks before the cat woudl have shredded the chairs.  We were told, "You know, you can take it to the vet's office and they'll take care of that for ya."

Me:  "What do you mean?"  (cue sick feeling in stomach)

Salesguy from Hades:  "They can take out their claws."  with the tone of 'you're a stupid moron not to know this'!

Me:  "Sorry but I don't believe in declawing (true)." and we made to leave again.

SG from Hades:  "You could put the cat down."

I think my jaw cracked the sales floor and my eyes bulged out of my head but I decided this idiot wasn't worth any more of my time.  I gathered up Hubby and we left.  In retrospect we should have gotten the manager.  I know the guy was annoyed my cat had come between him and his precious commission but the guy was a rude, boorish idiot and even if they'd had the perfect table, we'd have come back later to find a nicer salesperson so he wouldn't get anything from us.

Ugh - some people!

Bethalize

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 10:16:35 AM »
Calling someone "cheap" is rude. Pointing out that they have made a false economy is not IMHO.

WillyNilly

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 10:41:57 AM »
I have to be honest I stopped reading the cheapskate thread because while about half the stories were about cheapskates the other half were simply about wisely frugal people doing many of the same things I and my friends and family do. I read it more as a long thread of nastiness by people who are wasteful and irresponsible and lashing out over it then a thread of cheapskates.

So while the guy in the OP sounds like he was a cheapskate, or more to my mind penny wise/pound foolish, many people who are seen as cheapskates in our society o wastefulness actually aren't... so yeah to call them names is absolutely wrong, and rude, and quite frankly pretty nasty.

reflection5

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 10:50:55 AM »
I have friends (a married couple) who are incredible cheapskates, even though they are financially well off (pay cash for new cars, take expensive vacations, and own their house free and clear).

Wife made a remark about how it cost her $6 to send me a gift (of course she made the gift in a crafts class, she never buys a new gift for anyone).  I let the remark go.

Then one day she was going on about getting a new cell phone plan.  (They share a cell phone.)  She was telling me the features they wanted, but most added features she wanted cost extra money.  Finally, after listening to all this for quite a while, I said:  “Hmm.  Well, sometimes ya have to spend money to get something extra.”

But to call her cheap or say "Stop being so cheap" would have been rude.

By the way, I don't see the Cheapskate thread as posts from nasty, irresponsible, wasteful people.  However, if a person isn't getting anything from a thread (useful information, enjoyment, even an occasional chuckle) or if the thread is just making them angry, they definitely should stop reading it, stop complaining about it, and move on
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 11:30:16 AM by reflection5 »

ladyknight1

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 11:01:21 AM »
After reading the cheapskate stories, it got me to wondering, is it rude to call someone cheap when it's obvious that they are?

As an example, I had a good friend that was very tight.  He was a nice guy, but he was so cheap he could make Lincolns eyes bulge the way he would hold on to a penny.

he once needed some electrical work done around the house.  It wasn't anything too fancy, he wanted to drop a new outlet in a wall so he could put a tv in another room.  However, he didn't have any real experience with this, but rather than pay the roughly one hundred dollars or so it would have cost to have someone come in and do it right, he got a friend to help him.  The result was an ugly hole in the wall, that the cover plate did not fully cover, and a poor splicing job, that caused electrical problems in other parts of the house.



I was talking to him not long after the work had been finished and he was complaining a bit about the problems he was having.  I asked him what did he expect?  He was too cheap to pay to have the job done right, so now he's dealing with the fact that most of the time, you get what you pay for.

Not to mention, the difficulty he will have selling the house.

Amara

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 11:03:49 AM »
Quote
So while the guy in the OP sounds like he was a cheapskate, or more to my mind penny wise/pound foolish, many people who are seen as cheapskates in our society o wastefulness actually aren't

In the case of the original post here, though, I think "cheap" is the right word. Electrical work? Who would insist on going cheap on electrical work? That's just begging for serious trouble that could kill you.

Seven Ate Nine

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 12:48:12 PM »
I think that calling cheap is like calling someone rude.  On the face of it, it's rude, but there is a "time and place" for it.  Just like there's no need to be a doormat to someone's rude behavior, there is a time *when the cheapness is affecting you (or maybe a third party, such as safety issues)* that it may be appropriate.

Over in the Cheapskate Stories thread there is a story of relatives that go to funerals of people that they don't even know just to get a free lunch.  They were caught in the family room of a funeral home wrapping up sandwiches and chips left for the family to eat at a wake.  At this point, I don't think it would have been inappropriate to call them out on being cheap, even using the words "you are being cheap." 

If they are using expired mayo from the fridge on their own sandwiches, it's not affecting anyone except themselves, and it probably not appropriate to say anything.

TootsNYC

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 02:12:48 PM »
I was talking to him not long after the work had been finished and he was complaining a bit about the problems he was having.  I asked him what did he expect?  He was too cheap to pay to have the job done right, so now he's dealing with the fact that most of the time, you get what you pay for.

That was rude.

The polite way to say that is to say, "You weren't willing to spend the money it takes to get the job done by a pro, and you didn't find a qualified substitute. This is the end result."

And w/ this guy, it's not just that he didn't want to spend the money--it's that he didn't spend the time or energy to be sure the person he *did* get could do the job.

There are non-pros who can put in a new outlet safely. He didn't value the pro's expertise, so he didn't spend any energy or time finding a way to replicate that expertise.

MommyPenguin

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 03:44:37 PM »
I think that sometimes people who are cheap take it as a compliment, though.  I mentioned to my husband, who is rather frugal where possible, that I was reading a "cheapskates" thread on these boards, and he got all excited and wanted to read it.  At first he thought it was a thread on being frugal, tips and tricks, that sort of thing.  So he didn't immediately take "cheapskate" as an insult, but rather as a good thing.  Others who pride themselves on saving money might also see it the same way.

gollymolly2

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 03:53:42 PM »
I think people use "cheap" in different ways, and the way you're using it impacts whether it's rude to call someone cheap.

I have a relative who is "cheap" in the way WillyNilly described - wisely frugal.  He thinks about his income and spending down to the penny level, even though most people at his income and savings level wouldn't think twice about spending extra dollars here or there.  So we jokingly call him cheap, but it's meant (and is taken by him) in a friendly way. I acknowledge that he is careful with money and think that's a good trait. He acknowledges that maybe he takes it to the extreme sometimes, and we can all laugh about it.

I also know people who I think of as being "cheap," but I mean that in the sense that they're mooches or that they make stupid decisions with money that backfire. In those cases, I mean it in an insulting way, so Id never tell someone with that quality that I thought they were cheap.

Jocelyn

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 07:52:25 PM »
I think that if you don't mean it as an insult, 'frugal' is a much better word choice.
To me, 'cheap' automatically includes a judgment, along the lines of 'excessively and annoyingly frugal'.

cass2591

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Re: spin off of Cheapskates, is it rude to call someone cheap?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2013, 08:17:44 PM »

By the way, I don't see the Cheapskate thread as posts from nasty, irresponsible, wasteful people.  However, if a person isn't getting anything from a thread (useful information, enjoyment, even an occasional chuckle) or if the thread is just making them angry, they definitely should stop reading it, stop complaining about it, and move on

Sorry, telling people what to read or not and what to complain about is definitely not your call here.
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