Author Topic: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” Updt #103!  (Read 19689 times)

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VorFemme

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2013, 06:35:10 PM »
Alternative one (rather passive aggressive) - ask them if they saw the $300 bottle of wine you'd been given as a gift and were saving to drink for your next anniversary.  Watch their eyes widen as they start to panic just a little (if they have the sense given a month old kitten, as the saying goes).

Alternative two - mention the missing bottle of wine that was being saved for your anniversary and ask if they know what happened to it.  Mentioning the price is optional - unless they tell you that it wasn't very good - then mention that it is supposed to be very good wine, but now you'll never know as it is too expensive to replace, having been a gift. 

Alternative three - tell them that they had permission to stay over at your house but not to get into your bar/wine collection - then ask what they intend to do about the missing item(s)...because

If you want your husband to be able to work with them but never, ever want to socialize with them again - you can phrase it as asking what happened as a couple of things seem to be missing from the bar, did the bottle(s) get broken or something?

Having company "help themselves" to something out of your usual budget (whatever that budget is) does not endear that person to you, in the long run.  Which might explain why there are a couple of old friends or family members that VorGuy (or my sister) like better than I do (I ended up giving up my "share" of the item in question to their careless appropriation of a limited supply of something because I had less need for it or didn't care much for it - but I didn't like their appropriation of *IT*, when I had never had a chance to try *IT* before they ate my share....). 

Growing up in a large family, I learned early to divide the available amount by the number of people expected and to adjust if two extra people showed up for Sunday dinner (relatives driving through town) - having someone announce that they were hungry and take a THIRD of the food was something I knew early was NOT NICE.  I knew exactly what was going on in the one episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show (her boss takes three out of eight servings when the food was prepared by a cooking expert and there were ONLY eight servings - no more in the kitchen) - I'd been the one tasked to open cans of corn, peas, grab a loaf of bread, and add a couple of other things to the table to pad out the food intended for six to cover eight or more....while Mom doubled the pasta she was boiling and added more tomato sauce & spices to make a lot of extra sauce - since there was no way to make more meatballs at that point in time...
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Roe

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2013, 06:41:04 PM »
I don't think they purposely set out to drink your special wine.  If you told them to help themselves and to feel at home, well, they did just that. 

I wouldn't have done the same but then, others have a different thought process.

At this point, I'd either write it off or ask for it to be replaced. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2013, 06:54:13 PM »
I'd say you were intending to get them a nice bottle of wine but the one you had all wrapped up seems to have disappeared  >:D

katycoo

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2013, 07:22:50 PM »
Do you know that they drank it (ie is the empty bottle there?) or is it just gone?

If its missing, I'd ask them if they know anything about it as you were saving it and now its gone.  Then see what happens.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2013, 07:25:41 PM »
Wow. Even if I wouldn't know Opus One, I wouldn't open a bottle of 2007 wine. That's old enough that it might be special.

I think this is an expensive (and special) enough wine that I would confront them about it.

As a grad student I was house-sitter a couple of times for a family with a well-appointed wine cellar. I was shown from which rack I was allowed to help myself in a pinch (I bought my own wine but it was nice to know that if I suddenly had the craving for a glass of wine I wouldn't need to run to the store).

miranova

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2013, 07:26:16 PM »
I'm a big wine drinker and I would NEVER open a bottle of wine at someone else's house unless it was explicitly offered to me.  But, I was thinking about it, and I think it's because I DO drink wine that I know not to do this.  After all, if someone told me "make yourself at home" to the point that they have made it clear that I can sleep in their guest room, I wouldn't think anything about opening some soda in the fridge or eating a few snacks.  I assume that's what "make yourself at home" means after all.  For a non wine drinker (or someone who at least never buys bottles of wine and only consumes it when someone else offers) maybe they really had no idea that this just isn't done.  I sure HOPE they had no idea how expensive it was.  I'm assuming they didn't.  Because that would be like stealing jewelry or something and I would have no issue calling someone out on that.  So I'm assuming they had no idea of the cost and maybe thought "make yourself at home" truly meant "eat or drink whatever you can find".  In any case, I would drop it and just never have them cat sit ever again.  I do think what they did was tacky, even if they were truly clueless.  But it would not be worth mentioning it to me.  I'd just chalk them up to "clueless and needing some social graces" and move on.

Rusty

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2013, 07:38:25 PM »

They were definitely wrong to take the special wrapped bottle of wine and I am wondering if it was a deliberate act on their part. Perhaps 10 days of driving to your house feeding the cat and collecting the mail became a chore they could have done without.

Did you offer payment for their cat watching?    I have a dog and I have never expected (other than my daughter) anyone to watch her for me without some form of compensation.  My reasoning being that if payment is involved people take more care of my expectations.

This doesn't excuse them taking the wine, just offering a reason as to why it may have happened.

m2kbug

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2013, 07:56:53 PM »
We told them to "make themselves at home," but never stated "feel free to drink our wine!" But, if they had drank ANY other bottle we owned we really wouldn't care. But like I said, it was wrapped in tissue paper (unlike all the other bottles) so it was clearly special.

This is a work friend of my husband's, and due to work circumstances he really wouldn't feel comfortable asking for payment. Obviously, they'll never cat-sit for us again. Just wondered if I should day something, like, "Just so you know, you drank a really expensive bottle of wine!" or something like that...

Honestly, me?  I think I would just drop the issue and let it go.  I would probably even go so far as to get them a small gift certificate to Starbucks as a "thank you," and not do anything expensive like dinner, which I would normally do, and that's only because of the work rel@tionship and trying not to create bad vibes with the work environment.  That's just me, though you have gotten some great suggestions.

As someone who has house-sat many times, there's no way I would go into anything that wasn't expressed to me is free-for-all, and in these cases, these people have had perishables in the fridge that they're happy to see used, and even beer.  "Help yourself to anything in the fridge."  A specially wrapped bottle of wine stuffed in the back?  That's a no-brainer, "no-touchey" in my mind, and I'm wondering what these people were thinking.  Regardless of the implied free-feed situation that may have been implied, that's not an open invitation to clean people out of house and home.  I think they crossed a bit of a line going after more than one bottle, let alone the fancy one stuffed in the back.  After house-sitting, if I use the last of the coffee, I replace the coffee.  Grab some milk, so they have it when they return and can deal with shopping later.  Drank all the beer, replace the six-pack.  Run the dishwasher, wash the sheets and towels, and if you use up all their laundry soap, replace that too.  Back in the college days, house sitting was a huge major blessing that came with use of the laundry...woo-hoo!  I was also offered having friends over.  I didn't take that to mean I could have a big ol' party.   

Give an inch, take a mile...no, no, no!

At the end of the day, live and learn.  Be clear in the future - you can help yourself to anything but this bottle of wine.  Leave a note on it.  You may have your boyfriend/best friend over, but no other guests.  That sort of thing. 


TootsNYC

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2013, 08:29:07 PM »
I would absolutely ask them about it! Unless you specifically said, "Anything you find in the house to eat/drink is yours if you want it", they were completely out of line to drink any of your wine, much less a special one that was wrapped. I would be furious.

I agree--t was wrapped in tissue paper and set a bit away from the other wines?

I think they were really out of line to drink it.
If it had been mixed in with 7 or 8 other bottles on the wine rack, I can see them thinking it was no big deal. But still in paper? That's "one layer down," and not appropriate.
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At the end of the day, live and learn.  Be clear in the future - you can help yourself to anything but this bottle of wine.  Leave a note on it.  You may have your boyfriend/best friend over, but no other guests.  That sort of thing. 

I can't imagine how much work I'd have to go to, in order to label everything in my home like that!

Quote
This is a work friend of my husband's, and due to work circumstances he really wouldn't feel comfortable asking for payment. Obviously, they'll never cat-sit for us again. Just wondered if I should day something, like, "Just so you know, you drank a really expensive bottle of wine!" or something like that...

I think you should. "I thought you should know, that wine you unwrapped was a pretty expensive bottle that we'd been saving for our special occasion. That's specifically why it was wrapped, and why it was at the back of the cabinet. I thought it might be helpful for you to know about that sort of thing, in case you're housesitting for someone again."

But I might also get them a Starbucks gift card, given that this is a work-related situation. Just to keep it from becoming a "thing."

And if I were DH, I'd drift away a bit.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 08:36:34 PM by TootsNYC »

gramma dishes

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2013, 08:46:01 PM »
I agree with Toots.  Unless these people are complete louts I suspect they didn't know the significance of the tissue paper.  They may have thought someone gave you the wine and you didn't like that kind, so just shoved it in the back to get it out of the way.

But they SHOULD know what they've done.

I'd just say, "You know, we had a very special and expensive bottle of wine that had been given to us as a gift.  It was still wrapped in tissue paper and we were saving it for our anniversary.  Do you happen to know what happened to it?"

You will be able to tell by the look on their faces whether or not they had a clue as to what they had consumed.  I do think they should know that what they drank wasn't a bottle of Trader Joe's two buck chuck so they'll know better next time whether it's at your house or anywhere else. 

But I wouldn't "punish" them for it in any way if their response tells you it was an honest mistake.  Give them a small gift card in a monetary amount much less than the cost of taking them out to dinner, and then let it go.

rose red

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2013, 08:49:30 PM »
In your shoes, I would write a thank you note for taking care of the pet, but no way would I spend money on a Starbucks card.  $300 wine is more than payment enough.

I can't imagine drinking an unopened bottle of wine even being told to make myself at home.  There are still unspoken rules, but I guess some people never learned them.

m2kbug

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2013, 08:59:08 PM »
Quote
At the end of the day, live and learn.  Be clear in the future - you can help yourself to anything but this bottle of wine.  Leave a note on it.  You may have your boyfriend/best friend over, but no other guests.  That sort of thing. 

I can't imagine how much work I'd have to go to, in order to label everything in my home like that!

Within reason, of course. :) Do you have that much in the fridge and pantry and cupboards to keep off limits?  It doesn't take much to put a Post-it on one bottle of wine.  If you have to go to any lengths to label your entire house as to what is allowed and what is not, you should re-think who you are asking to watch your house or rethink anyone house-sitting at all, at least in a more casual way...hire a professional business instead, leave the pets at a boarding facility, ask a neighbor to get mail and flyers and the paper, and no one crosses the threshold. 

My point is that sometimes you need to be very clear.  I think most of us here would recognize the special-wrapped bottle of wine stuffed in the back was not included on "help yourselves," but sometimes we need to be very direct. 

buvezdevin

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2013, 09:47:21 PM »
assuming it was beyond any doubt that the cat/house-sitters drank/disposed of the special bottle, in addition to other bottles, I would want to clue these folks in, one way or the other that it was a special and pricey bottle.  Awine drinker either knows Opus One is quite pricey, or they do not - in the first case, a big assumption to drink it, in the second case, spare them or other friends a repeat.

In terms of how to address, I think I would go with a thank you note including comment that you appreciate the care of your pet and home, and hope they paired the Opus wine with something worthy of it.

And I would never ask them to house/pet sit again.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

Amara

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2013, 09:55:41 PM »
I find myself shaking my head over some of the responses because while I like good wine I am not an expert. Nevertheless, a bottle that is wrapped obviously has some significance, let alone wrapped and in the back. This was the only wrapped bottle? That does mean it is something special.

Frankly, I would confront the guy, politely, yes, but firmly, and let him know that the bottle he drank, the $300 bottle that was specially wrapped, was of importance and you are very upset that they thought it okay to drink. I would not ask for reimbursement but I would probably give this guy the cut indirect as much as it was at work. Though I would also add a thank you, I wouldn't do anything else. That would be the end of any type of friendship as far as I am concerned.

veronaz

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2013, 09:58:16 PM »
As a house-sitter, even if the host said “help yourself”, I would never open up and drink three bottles of wine over the course of ten days.  Soda, juice, beer, wine coolers in the frig……..fine.  But three whole bottles of wine (regardless of price) would seem to be crossing the line (to me).  Seeing one wrapped in tissue would make me keep my hands off.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 10:01:08 PM by veronaz »