Author Topic: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest  (Read 9830 times)

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Drunken Housewife

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An old friend of mine got passes to a conference in my city and went on Facebook soliciting a free place to stay.  No one but me offered. 

After he accepted this offer, I realized that the day he intended to leave was also the day I was leaving for several days, and maybe if he extended his stay for a few days, I wouldn't have to pay for a petsitter.  BACKGROUND:  the houseguest is unemployed, so this would not involve taking time off work.  Also, I live in the middle of San Francisco, a popular destination city with lots to do. 

I asked about this, and the houseguest said he'd already booked his train tickets and it would be expensive to change.  I asked how much it would be to change, since I might be willing to pay that.  The houseguest then got cranky, saying that "all this back and forth on the interwebz is driving me crazy" and demanding I call him.  "telephone >> interwebz."   

I was kind of taken aback that two messages, both very friendly in tone and one offering to pay for an expense, was "all this back and forth on the interwebz", enough to drive someone crazy.   I dropped the request about the petsitting.  The houseguest did what I would call "mansplaining", giving me unsolicited advice about people it would be more appropriate for me to ask for petsitting.  (One was a very unstable woman who is so verbally abusive towards me that I have blocked her email, another was a woman I met ONCE three years ago and never saw again-- and he knows this!, and the third was another woman who is going through a divorce, has small children, and is starting her own business AND who lives about 25 minutes drive away at the best of traffic times.  All people it would be insane for me to ask to do me favors). 

After this, I was feeling irritable and less welcoming.  Now today is the day that the houseguest arrives, and I have done some tidying.  I arranged my schedule to wait for him to come and then do other stuff I have to do.  I come home from driving my daughter to school to get a message that he has arranged for another friend to meet him (when and where I was expecting to meet him) and that they are "going out for breakies" and I can join them.  I do not have the time to go out "for breakies" today, and also I'm on a very limited budget and can't afford to go out all the time.  It also irked me greatly that he would assume I have nothing but time and he can change the prior plans (me meet him on his arrival, drive him to my house) to having someone else come get him and go for a leisurely breakfast in a restaurant. 

Am I being too cranky?  I'm regretting offering to have him stay here.  I sent a note about the "breakies" saying "No, I was waiting for you to get here and then I have somewhere to go. This throws my schedule off. Please don't assume that I have nothing but time to accommodate whatever you want with no notice."   Now he says he won't go for breakfast but he's still having this friend drive him here, who will want to come in.  I offered to hide a key out, as I feel guilty now about him not going for breakfast with his friend, but on the other hand, I don't like being treated like I have nothing but time.  I actually have long-standing plans to go hiking with a friend this morning; we go walking for exercise up steep hills every single Tues. morning (other days do not work because of her work schedule).

Feedback appreciated.  Do I need to adjust my attitude?  Also, how much do I need to feed a houseguest?  I felt generous when I made the initial offering but now feel annoyed and resentful.. and he's not even here yet.
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NyaChan

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 12:22:06 PM »
I think there are 2 issues. 

The first, the whole pet thing - You basically pulled something close to a bait and switch.  So what if you could have paid to change the tickets?  Would he then be obligated to watch your pets?  You offered him accommodation with no conditions and once it was set, you tried to change the whole deal.  Being unemployed doesn't meant that one has no limits on a schedule.  Changing travel plans to stay back for two days is not a casual thing, especially when the reason is just to pet sit for you, without you even getting his consent first.  I am pretty sure he said he couldn't change things because he didn't want to pet sit but didn't want to be blunt about it.  Yes you were doing him a favor and I personally would have tried to return it in some way (not by extending my trip though), but this was a bit much.  Asking is fine, but you seem to be holding it against him for not being willing to do it - it isn't asking if No isn't an acceptable response.

For the second issue, the whole breakfast thing - I think your note was a little off in the tone at most, but really you are providing him a place to stay for free, so he should be checking with you before committing to things that will change your schedule.  He absolutely should have informed you as to any changes in plans, and personally I think it is very very rude to bail on your host for the initial meeting up.  You have no obligation to host his friends and I don't think you should feel at all guilty for telling him that certain things are not possible.  Tell him your boundaries and don't feel bad about it.

amylouky

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 12:23:04 PM »
Hmm. Well, without knowing more info, my first thoughts:
I think you weren't picking up that he just didn't want to petsit for you. His train ticket excuse should have been your cue to say, "okay, I'll find someone else, then."
I also don't think that finding another ride home from a train station counts as breaking plans. You didn't have plans, you were just going to drop him off at your house and leave, so I presume there are no issues with him being there alone? Maybe it was just easier/closer for other friend to meet him at the station. I don't really see why this change in plans throws off your schedule, if anything it should give you more time?

AmethystAnne

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 12:26:55 PM »
It is reasonable to be irked by his attitude. I'm irked too just reading your post. Does he think you are running a hotel?

I hope other eHellions have some suggestions because my response would be to either have no response to him and lock up the house and go, or to seethe, hang around the house, and be kind of cool in my tone when speaking to him when he shows up.

Drunken Housewife

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 12:29:32 PM »
I do have plans, and his being late (by going out to breakfast) would cause me to break them.  My longstanding plans are to meet a friend for our Tues. hike, which has time constraints as we finish it before she opens her business.  So he doesn't give me more time by going out to breakfast, he causes me to have to break plans with my friend.

Not bait and switch re the petsitting, as I asked and then dropped it (and made other arrangements).  I don't see how it's bait and switch; it was asking.  I dropped it, but then he persisted with the annoying advice about it, which I didn't appreciate.

It was not easier/closer for the other friend to meet him.  she lives miles and miles further away. 
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bah12

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 12:34:01 PM »
Well, honestly, while I think you can always be irritated if that's how you feel, I do think you are being unreasonable.

You offered him a place to stay, which was very nice of you, and only after he accepted that offer did you bring up this whole pet-sitting thing.  And even after he gave you a perfectly legitimate reason not to stay and pet-sit, you countered that with more offers to try and get him to stay.  The only way that the pet-sitting would have been ok, IMO, is you had offered your place in exchange for the pet-sitting up front. 

I also find it ironic that you are irritated that he seems to treat you as if you have nothing better to do with your time, when that's exactly the assumption you made about him.  Just because he's unemployed, doesn't mean that he doesn't have things to do and that exending his stay to pet sit for you isn't inconvenient.
I do completely understand being irritated with the change of plans at the last minute with having breakfast with his friend vs you coming to pick him up and drive him to your place, but I do think your response was OTT for the situation.  A simple, "I can't come to breakfast but I'll leave a key out for you" is all that was required.  Afterall, isn't not picking him up actually freeing up your time?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 12:37:42 PM by bah12 »

wyliefool

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 12:37:48 PM »
I do have plans, and his being late (by going out to breakfast) would cause me to break them.  My longstanding plans are to meet a friend for our Tues. hike, which has time constraints as we finish it before she opens her business.  So he doesn't give me more time by going out to breakfast, he causes me to have to break plans with my friend.

Not bait and switch re the petsitting, as I asked and then dropped it (and made other arrangements).  I don't see how it's bait and switch; it was asking.  I dropped it, but then he persisted with the annoying advice about it, which I didn't appreciate.

It was not easier/closer for the other friend to meet him.  she lives miles and miles further away.

No reason to break your plans. 'Sorry, friend, I have plans for [8-9] this morning. You can either get here by [7:30] so i can let you in, or at [9:30] when I get back.'

Drunken Housewife

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 12:37:55 PM »
I think you are all focusing more on the petsitting thing than I am.  What irked me more about it was NOT that he didn't want to stay the extra days but that he went off on me for "all this back and forth on the interwebz" (2 messages) and how I should use the phone instead and gave me unsolicited lengthy advice about how I should handle things instead.  No one seems to have noticed that.  That made me irked, not him not petsitting (I have arranged someone else to do the petsitting.  That is taken care of). 

From my point of view, what is irking me is (a) getting weirdly upset that I emailed rather than called, (b) mansplaining and giving unhelpful advice I didn't want, (c) changing plans in a way which would make me cancel my plans.

I cannot just leave a key out front.  I live in the heart of a city.  My front door is right off a sidewalk.  People prowl this neighborhood looking for chances to break in.
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GSNW

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 12:38:22 PM »
I agree with the petsitting advice given above - namely, that you didn't "get" that he just didn't want to do it for whatever reason.  That's why people here always give the advice not to JADE, because another suggestion will be offered ("I'll pay for your ticket change!").  I don't think this means you were wrong to ask.  He should have said, "That won't be possible," and left it at that.  He was probably trying to be helpful with other suggestions, try not to let it bother you. 

As far as being annoyed about the change in plans, I don't blame you.  Do you know the other friend who wants to come in after dropping him from breakfast?  I wouldn't be super comfortable with people just crashing into my house while I'm out.  I'm not loving the text message you sent but I definitely understand your frustration.  If I were you, I would graciously host until departure and then not ask this particular person to stay again.

Drunken Housewife

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 12:41:38 PM »
He didn't say "I don't want to petsit."  He said, "Crap!  I already booked my tickets, and it would cost me to change them."  If he had said "I don't want to petsit," nothing more would have been said.  But since he said instead, "it would cost me to change them", I said, 'How much would it cost?  I could pay for that." 

I don't think that is hassling, haranguing, or running a topic around.  After that he freaked out about "all this back and forth on the interwebz" and I completely dropped the topic.  He, on the other hand, kept the topic going, bringing up all these unsuitable people I should ask.

I did not ask multiple times for him to petsit for me.  There was no bait and switch.  I wondered if he would, since he is unemployed, enjoy a few extra days here, and when that was not the case, I dropped it immediately.
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snowdragon

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 12:45:46 PM »
To tell the truth. I am irked by both of you.

First - he should have never been asked to pet sit. Asking someone to extend a stay by two days is a LOT to ask .  I agree that he was trying to tell you he did not want to petsit - without offending. That's what the tickets comment was - you  just didn't pick up on it.   

Second - you're upset that he could have changed your plans by a few hours and you wanted him to change his by *days*

Third he  should have told you about the change in breakfast plans so you could adjust yours

Fourth - why he had no business inviting another guest to your house ( " Now he says he won't go for breakfast but he's still having this friend drive him here, who will want to come in.").  I would not have allowed this and do think you have been well with in your rights to tell him "No, your friend can not come in. Do not invite your friend(s) over."  He would have that freedom in a hotel - not someone else's home.

How to fix it so that it does not affect his how trip, I have no ideas.

bah12

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 12:46:40 PM »
I think you are all focusing more on the petsitting thing than I am.  What irked me more about it was NOT that he didn't want to stay the extra days but that he went off on me for "all this back and forth on the interwebz" (2 messages) and how I should use the phone instead and gave me unsolicited lengthy advice about how I should handle things instead.  No one seems to have noticed that.  That made me irked, not him not petsitting (I have arranged someone else to do the petsitting.  That is taken care of). 

From my point of view, what is irking me is (a) getting weirdly upset that I emailed rather than called, (b) mansplaining and giving unhelpful advice I didn't want, (c) changing plans in a way which would make me cancel my plans.

I cannot just leave a key out front.  I live in the heart of a city.  My front door is right off a sidewalk.  People prowl this neighborhood looking for chances to break in.

These are all irritating things.  I don't blame you for feeling how you do.  I still think that you are being a bit unreasonable.  I don't think it was appropriate for you to counter his excuse not to petsit with a question about how much it would cost to change his ticket.  That comes across as challenging his reasoning even if the goal was to offer to pay the change.  Yes, giving you unsolicited advice to solve your problem is irritating, but it's also irritating to have someone ask for a pretty major and inconvenient favor and not drop after the first "no, I can't". 

I'm also with you on the breakfast thing. Again, it's irritating.  If you can't leave a key out for him, then just say. "I can't do the breakfast thing.  I have to leave the house at 9am and I won't be home again until 5pm.  If you can't get here before 9 to pick up a key, then I'll see you when I get home at 5."  I'm assuming that he wasn't part of your previous plans, so that response comes with the assumption that you weren't expecting him to sit in your house all day, but that he would have some way to get in and out while you were gone.   Even though I understand your frustration, I do think that your response to him was not appropriate for the situation. 

Drunken Housewife

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 12:54:57 PM »
In general i never ask anyone to do anything for me, and it was an exception here (as I was doing something big and a giant pain in the bacon-fed knave).  This thread confirms for me that in life I shoudl only give and never ask for a thing.
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perpetua

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 12:55:48 PM »
He didn't say "I don't want to petsit."  He said, "Crap!  I already booked my tickets, and it would cost me to change them."  If he had said "I don't want to petsit," nothing more would have been said.  But since he said instead, "it would cost me to change them", I said, 'How much would it cost?  I could pay for that." 


I think you should have realised that this was probably a polite fiction and dropped the matter.

veronaz

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Re: reasonable or unreasonable to be irked at incoming houseguest
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 12:56:25 PM »
Quote
After he accepted this offer, I realized that the day he intended to leave was also the day I was leaving for several days, and maybe if he extended his stay for a few days, I wouldn't have to pay for a petsitter.

This is either poor planning your part, or as someone alse said, a bait-and-switch.

Quote
I also find it ironic that you are irritated that he seems to treat you as if you have nothing better to do with your time, when that's exactly the assumption you made about him.

I also agree with this.

The notes exchanged between the two of you don’t indicate a very warm friendship.

He needs to find another place to stay, and you need to hire a pet-sitter.

Quote
This thread confirms for me that in life I shoudl only give and never ask for a thing.

Translation:  people aren't telling you what you want to hear. ;)  That was a risk you took when you posted the thread and ask for feedback.


« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 01:00:55 PM by veronaz »