Author Topic: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...  (Read 8472 times)

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LadyL

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2013, 07:24:13 PM »
OP, you say he is living with his family and a lot of pressure is coming form them to help move - is it "You better help move if you want to continue to have a home" kind of pressure?

I don't think it would go that far- his family is a bit old school in the "family comes first" sense, but they are reasonable people.

SoCalVal

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2013, 09:23:27 PM »
Why can't he do both -- help his family move during the day or part of the day and ask to DJ near the end of the event?  He sounds incredibly self-defeating.



TootsNYC

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2013, 09:36:39 PM »
So Jay can't say, "I have to work! I promised people weeks ago, and they are counting on me"?

If I were LordL, I'd say, "You need to tell your family that you promised *me* weeks ago, and that you need to be able to keep your commitment. And if you make me look bad, then I'm going to have to change how I think about you, man. I can't be hanging out with people who don't give a [ ] about whether they make me look bad in front of people important to my DJ career."

But LordL isn't here asking for advice, and LadyL can't really push LordL around--LordL is going to handle his friendships his own way.

But I think LadyL *can* say to Jay, in the future, "I'm really tired of hearing you complain about this--you had a chance, and you backed out at the last minute. We need a different topic now."

Heck, by now I'd have been saying this, just because I get bored listening to people complain about the same thing.

I think I'd be saying, when Jay started in, either at home or at the bar: "I keep hearing this same thing from Jay. It's really boring. I'm going [in the other room]/[over to talk to someone else]/[home--call a cab when you're done, because I'm taking the car]."

And I'd leave. Every single time. Pretty soon LordL would have to rein Jay in, or put up with his whining all by his lonesome.

And absolutely, you don't have to sympathize.

My FAVORITE tactic to use when people are whining repetitively--tone is IMPORTANT:
"What are you going to do about it?" said in a curious tone, as if there IS an answer somewhere, and you are very interested in hearing what it is.

The tone is everything. It's absolutely the power in that approach.

How do I know it works? Somebody used it on me more than 25 years ago. And I still remember how well it worked. It shut me up. And it made me get off my butt and *do* something about the thing I was whining about.

bloo

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2013, 10:39:42 PM »
I have no sympathy for people who complain about being bored.  In my head, I translate "I'm bored" to "I'm boring".  There are plenty of things to do in this world.  Do some of them.  

If Jay flakes on the DJ gig, I'd refuse to listen to anything else he ever has to say about DJing, and I wouldn't hesitate to tell him why.  If he's serious about DJing, he'd be an idiot to blow this chance, and I'd assume that he was talking about his DJ plans just to get people off his back about getting on with his life.

Totally agree along with this and the points PP's have made about how this will reflect poorly on LordL.

I just wanted to add how much I appreciate the bolded statement you made. 'I'm bored=I'm boring' are words to live by. My kids know better than to ever say 'I'm bored!' Because they know I'll respond with, "Only the boring are bored*," along with, "I'll find something for you to do."


*from The Day of the Storm by Rosamunde Pilcher

Hillia

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2013, 10:56:30 PM »
Is this a paying gig?  Because if his family are 'reasonable', I can't imagine they'd put too much pressure on someone to pass up an actual paying job.

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blarg314

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2013, 11:58:52 PM »

I wouldn't say anything more right now.

But in the future, if he starts on with his spiel about wanting to DJ in town, then I'd go with a single "Come on Jay - after blowing off That Guy last time when he had hired you for a gig, your chances of DJing in town are pretty much zero". Then I'd completely ignore any more comments on his part on that subject.

Based on what I've seen posted about Jay I'd describe him as a guy who is very socially clueless - both in practice (his behaviour and interactions) and understanding (he really doesn't get how things actually work).  He is nearly completely incapable of recognizing, let alone understanding, that other people see things differently than he does, and is pretty tedious to socialize with.   

He talks a lot about what he wants, but has zero interest in actually doing anything to get it, and when you do something to help him get something he wants, he actively sabotages it, usually in a way that punishes the person doing the favour along the way.

And, while LordL likes him enough to put up with this for some reason, LadyL does not.

So I think that if you want to avoid the annoyance of Jay you need to take a firm stand.  One thing is to set your own boundaries - LordL is free to socialize with him, but most of the time you'll have other plans. You won't invite him out with you when you go socializing - if you go out to a friends' social event together, Jay doesn't get dragged along. If LordL insists on taking him to a party, you won't be available to go unless LordL promises not to abandon you for the sake of Jay (because either you have to stick to Jay like glue, or LordL does the same, ignoring you as a result). If Jay spontaneously gets an invitation from the host, that's a different issue, of course.

In other words, detach yourself for the responsibility and annoyance that is entertaining Jay, and let LordL deal with it.

And if LordL tries to do another big favour for Jay - a single, tactful reminder of what happened the last times he tried that might be useful.


PastryGoddess

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2013, 12:38:46 AM »
I think it's time for Jay to grow up and start taking responsibility for his actions and choices.  If he want's to DJ, then he needs to tell his family no and DJ. If he wants to help his family move, same thing.  He wants it both ways and he can't have it. 

Also I would ask LordL to stop sharing this information with you.  Jay annoys the heck out of you and hasn't changed all that much since you started posting about him.  Don't allow LordL to use you as a sounding board about Jay.  Maybe having to deal with him without having his own outlet will open LordL's eyes to the futility of having Jay around.  Or maybe LordL will get fed up and have a come to deity conversation with Jay that shocks him into getting over himself :)

weeblewobble

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2013, 12:58:59 AM »
I would be so sad to read an update to this thread and find that Jay flaked on a huge opportunity because he couldn't stand up to his family.  That said... sometimes, you can't protect people from themselves. 

I would suggest that LordL speak to the "I vouched for you and if you flake, you will be letting me down/making me look bad" factor of Jay's dilemma. But other than that, Jay has to make his own decisions and accept the consequences.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2013, 01:04:49 AM »
Why can't he do both -- help his family move during the day or part of the day and ask to DJ near the end of the event?  He sounds incredibly self-defeating.

Yes, I'm wondering this too? Surely his family would understand if he takes a few hours off to work the DJ gig? I agree with PPs who say that perhaps deep down, Jay really doesn't want to DJ?

Regarding the topic question in a general sense, we've had variations come up before on this board. There was a thread a couple of years ago about a couple who pulled out of a social event with the OP because of their son's basketball game. And more recently, there was one where a friend pulled out of the OP's birthday party because she had a family event to attend.

So I guess the general question is: is it ever ok to break a prior commitment if a family obligation comes up?

My take is, it depends. I think that just because "it's family" doesn't make it ok to pull out of a prior commitment. Obviously, this is subject to a range of factors. How important are the competing events? How long ago were the original plans made? Will the original invitee be out of pocket or seriously inconvenienced if you pull out, etc?

In this case, I believe that a work commitment (and a rare one at that!) that a friend has arranged for you definitely trumps helping your family move house. But perhaps others feel differently?


Pen^2

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2013, 01:11:48 AM »
As others have said, it's clear that Jay holds his family to be more important than having a job or being a good friend. Sure, if it was a family emergency, then it would be the right thing to do. But helping someone move house is hardly worth blowing your chance of working in a whole town and dissing your friend over. Well, it's not worth it to someone who actually gives weight to these things. If he really wanted a job in LadyL's town, he would have found a way. "I can only help you move from 1-3pm, then I have to get ready for my DJing gig," or whatever.

I wouldn't say anything--it's LordL's friendship to work out. But if I were LordL, I would be not impressed, and would cool off the friendship a bit, since it apparently wasn't what it appeared to be from his end. And for LadyL, if Jay begins his spiel about how he is so bored and wants a job etc. something needs to be said, because it is nothing more than blatant lying or self-deception, which is rude to subject people to. Many posters here have given good ideas. I like something along the lines of, "Jay, don't be silly. We both know that's not true. You decided to get rid of your chance of working in our town when you chose not to meet the commitment you had made with That Guy. It made LordL look very bad, too. So stop pretending you want work in our town when you already decided to burn that bridge. It's obvious that you don't want to work very much at all." Follow with bean dip. Or just up and leave the conversation, as I would, because it isn't open for discussion.

He needs to accept that it isn't, "Woe is me, I don't have a job," because he chose to be in his current situation. It was a conscious, informed decision on his part. He decided to flake on a guy knowing that it would blow his chances of working in an entire town. He can complain that he regrets the decision itself, or that he had to make it, but an adult shouldn't complain about a situation he chose to put himself into in favour of one he claims to really want.

shhh its me

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2013, 10:00:21 AM »
Why can't he do both -- help his family move during the day or part of the day and ask to DJ near the end of the event?  He sounds incredibly self-defeating.

Yes, I'm wondering this too? Surely his family would understand if he takes a few hours off to work the DJ gig? I agree with PPs who say that perhaps deep down, Jay really doesn't want to DJ?

Regarding the topic question in a general sense, we've had variations come up before on this board. There was a thread a couple of years ago about a couple who pulled out of a social event with the OP because of their son's basketball game. And more recently, there was one where a friend pulled out of the OP's birthday party because she had a family event to attend.

So I guess the general question is: is it ever ok to break a prior commitment if a family obligation comes up?

My take is, it depends. I think that just because "it's family" doesn't make it ok to pull out of a prior commitment. Obviously, this is subject to a range of factors. How important are the competing events? How long ago were the original plans made? Will the original invitee be out of pocket or seriously inconvenienced if you pull out, etc?

In this case, I believe that a work commitment (and a rare one at that!) that a friend has arranged for you definitely trumps helping your family move house. But perhaps others feel differently?

I have the impression from OP previous threads that doing both is impossible do to distance.

I think there are times when you may have to cancel because sometime more important came up but that's often because the invitation was issued and accepted prematurely.  What I mean is if you invite me to a movie and I accept 9 months out instead of say 5-14 days then there is much better chance someone will decide to get married /celebrate Grandma 100 birthday/ etc type of events. If wedding invitation and other milestone events are sent at 6-8 weeks and diner/birthday parties are sent at 4-6 weeks and lets go to the movies are verbal and 5-14 days in advance there aren't too many problems.  It's when a co worker thinks "people may have plans so I'm going to issue invitation 9 months out for my wedding." That's before some people are even planning 100th birthday parties or weddings in a way it's "cutting in line".  I don't have a solution.

Back to this thread this is work if his family doesn't understand and he let them pressure him on this short of notice I don't think Jay will be able to succeed at much.  I'd be surprised at most families applying pressure if the situation was reversed ie  Jay committed to helping someone move and then a short notice big deal DJ job came up.


Winterlight

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2013, 11:03:37 AM »
'Dude, seriously?  You're going to flake on a gig that is your best, and probably only, chance to break into this market because your Mom might be a bit mad at you?  You flake on this gig and I will never recommend you to anybody, ever again.  And any time you bring up how much you want to work in this market, I'm going to tell you 'You had your chance; you blew it.  Shut up about this already.' '

No need to be overly polite, here.  This guy needs a big old reality check.

This.

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Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Venus193

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2013, 11:08:45 AM »
I agree with everyone who said Jay should not flake on LordL.  That would also be an act of career suicide in that town.

Did Jay know his family's move date in advance or was that still TBD at that stage? 

Is there any chance that his family disapproves of his career choice and would this be a factor in his decision?  Could his family even have set this date to prevent him doing this gig?

Either way, Jay has no spine.  When you're an adult and this is about work, you do your job.  If too much is riding on this his family should be more understanding.

artk2002

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2013, 11:52:14 AM »
Add me to the chorus that says that Jay is committing career suicide before he even gets started. In businesses like music and DJ-ing, being reliable is even more important than being great. He could be the best DJ in 5 states but if he can't be trusted to follow through on his commitments, he'll never get work. People talk. The way you get jobs in that kind of business is by referrals from satisfied customers and from colleagues who know you can be trusted. No DJ who hears the story is going to say "Sorry, I'm booked that weekend. Why don't you call Jay?" Gigs don't magically fall from the sky.

He's also committing friendship suicide. LordL put his reputation on the line by recommending Jay. Jay flaking reflects right back on LordL. Someone who did that to me wouldn't be a friend for very long.

My personal advice is to cut Jay loose. You and LordL have tried to help him and he's repeatedly let you down. Stop trying to introduce him to people. He may say he wants to meet them but actions speak louder than words. Stop trying to help him get jobs. He may say that he wants to work as a DJ but actions speak louder than words.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Joeschmo

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Re: Family obligation vs. prior commitment; or, you've made your bed...
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2013, 12:17:44 PM »
OP didn't you have a thread way back where you had to back out on a festival with a friend where you were doing...henna tattoos or maybe face painting?  (Sorry I can't search right now to find it.)  If that was you could you use that experience to help out LordL since you've been on both sides of the situation?


ETA:I just went back to look and realized you were seeking help to deal with Jay not to help LordL deal with the situation.  I think it still applies though so you could still use that experience(again if it was you) to relate about being double booked and needing to choose what's a priority for you.  If he chooses keeping the family peace he needs to accept that he chose to make family peace more important than this opportunity and stop complaining.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 12:22:14 PM by Joeschmo »