Author Topic: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” Updt #103!  (Read 23903 times)

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Two Ravens

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My husband and I recently enjoyed a 10 day vacation to Europe. We had a blast, a really great time. While we were gone, we enlisted a friend of ours and his girlfriend to come by once a day and feed our cat, and scoop the litter box, and bring the mail in. Now, they live in a cramped apartment, so before we left, we told them if they wanted to, they were welcome to hang out, and watch tv, and even spend the night in the guest room if their neighbors were being obnoxious (an ongoing issue).

We arrived back to fine the cat healthy and happy, and a stack of mail, so they clearly had done their job. However we also discovered they had drank a couple of the bottles of wine from our wine rack. Normally I would have ZERO problem with this. But we discovered they drank a bottle of 2007 Opus One we had been given for our 10th Anniversary and were saving for a special occasion. This wine was wrapped in tissue paper in the back of the wine chest, so clearly not “just another bottle.”

I am not happy about this. I will not ask for payment for it, but normally we would thank them by taking them out to a nice dinner and movie, our treat. I don’t feel obligated to do this now. If they ask, how should we respond? Or should I say something about it first. “Normally we’d take you to dinner but…”
What do you think?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 07:56:07 PM by Two Ravens »

amylouky

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 05:09:58 PM »
My husband and I recently enjoyed a 10 day vacation to Europe. We had a blast, a really great time. While we were gone, we enlisted a friend of ours and his girlfriend to come by once a day and feed our cat, and scoop the litter box, and bring the mail in. Now, they live in a cramped apartment, so before we left, we told them if they wanted to, they were welcome to hang out, and watch tv, and even spend the night in the guest room if their neighbors were being obnoxious (an ongoing issue).

We arrived back to fine the cat healthy and happy, and a stack of mail, so they clearly had done their job. However we also discovered they had drank a couple of the bottles of wine from our wine rack. Normally I would have ZERO problem with this. But we discovered they drank a bottle of 2007 Opus One we had been given for our 10th Anniversary and were saving for a special occasion. This wine was wrapped in tissue paper in the back of the wine chest, so clearly not “just another bottle.”

I am not happy about this. I will not ask for payment for it, but normally we would thank them by taking them out to a nice dinner and movie, our treat. I don’t feel obligated to do this now. If they ask, how should we respond? Or should I say something about it first. “Normally we’d take you to dinner but…”
What do you think?

I know nothing about wine, but a quick google shows that is a 150-200 dollar bottle of wine?  I would never presume to drink someone else's wine while housesitting, for just that reason.
Did you tell them that they had permission to drink your wine? If not they were incredibly rude, and yes, that is more than enough payment for feeding your cat. I personally wouldn't be able to not say something, especially as that was a gift bottle. You are more forgiving than I.  :)

Edited, because apparently I don't google well.. it's more like $300?? I'd be asking for repayment.

NyaChan

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 05:11:36 PM »
My husband and I recently enjoyed a 10 day vacation to Europe. We had a blast, a really great time. While we were gone, we enlisted a friend of ours and his girlfriend to come by once a day and feed our cat, and scoop the litter box, and bring the mail in. Now, they live in a cramped apartment, so before we left, we told them if they wanted to, they were welcome to hang out, and watch tv, and even spend the night in the guest room if their neighbors were being obnoxious (an ongoing issue).

We arrived back to fine the cat healthy and happy, and a stack of mail, so they clearly had done their job. However we also discovered they had drank a couple of the bottles of wine from our wine rack. Normally I would have ZERO problem with this. But we discovered they drank a bottle of 2007 Opus One we had been given for our 10th Anniversary and were saving for a special occasion. This wine was wrapped in tissue paper in the back of the wine chest, so clearly not “just another bottle.”

I am not happy about this. I will not ask for payment for it, but normally we would thank them by taking them out to a nice dinner and movie, our treat. I don’t feel obligated to do this now. If they ask, how should we respond? Or should I say something about it first. “Normally we’d take you to dinner but…”
What do you think?

I know nothing about wine, but a quick google shows that is a 150-200 dollar bottle of wine?  I would never presume to drink someone else's wine while housesitting, for just that reason.
Did you tell them that they had permission to drink your wine? If not they were incredibly rude, and yes, that is more than enough payment for feeding your cat. I personally wouldn't be able to not say something, especially as that was a gift bottle. You are more forgiving than I.  :)

Yikes.  I'd have no problem asking to be reimbursed for the wine they drank - they had no right to take that without permission, it is stealing! 

EllenS

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 05:15:30 PM »
If they are close enough friends to stay in your house while you are not there, they are close enough for you to speak to them about this.  In fact, I think secretly holding out on the "Thank you" without explaining why is PA.

"Friend, I think there was a misunderstanding.  We noticed our very special wine, which was wrapped and tucked away in the bottom of the cabinet, is missing.  We were saving that bottle for a special occasion, and I did not intend for you to help yourself to that. We would like you to replace it."

menley

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 05:19:20 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.

Two Ravens

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 05:19:44 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...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 05:21:17 PM by Two Ravens »

Hmmmmm

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 05:21:05 PM »
Oh, wow. I really hope they had no idea of what they were drinking but I can't imagine how they didn't considering.

If you want to preserve status quo in the relationship, I guess I'd just write off the $200 plus and just drop it because I can't think up a way to bring it up without it causing a confrontation and long term uneasiness. But I wouldn't trust them to house sit again. I'd take what I would have spent on taking them out and buy a new bottle.

Or I might take them out to a semi nice dinner and take about wine and how a bottle you had been saving went missing and see if they fess up.

veronaz

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 05:26:45 PM »
Quote
This is a work friend of my husband's, and due to work circumstances he really wouldn't feel comfortable asking for payment. 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'd be furious.  How tacky! >:(

Definitely do NOT take them to dinner.  No way, no how.

Since you've already made up your minds not to ask for reimbursement, say "We don't appreciate you helping yhourself to our wine.  As a matter of fact the bottle you choose was VERY expensive and it was an anniversary gift.  That's why it was wrapped."

Then don't every ask them to house sit again.

EllenS

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 05:31:14 PM »
I think it's better to decide whether you want to pursue some kind of payback, or let it go.

If you confront them and tell them they did something wrong (which I agree they did), you are putting them in a terrible position if you don't give them some way to respond. They will feel like you have this "over their heads" forever, if there is not some way to clear it up.  Unless you intend to cut ties with them permanently, which is what will happen with the situation as described by veronaz.

Just remember, your husband has to work with this person, so cutting them entirely will create awkwardness at work.  If you really don't want payback, I think you need to let it go entirely.

bonyk

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 05:34:14 PM »
Maybe they assumed that since it was still in the tissue you weren't interested in drinking it?  Big assumption, I know, and still rude.  But I hope they didn't knowingly drink it.

Curious Cat

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 05:48:23 PM »
Maybe they assumed that since it was still in the tissue you weren't interested in drinking it?  Big assumption, I know, and still rude.  But I hope they didn't knowingly drink it.

A lot of magazines do suggest having a couple of gifts (like wine) wrapped up for unexpected situations so it's not impossible that this was their thought process. They still shouldn't have taken it without asking first though.

Hmmmmm

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2013, 05:52:15 PM »
Maybe they assumed that since it was still in the tissue you weren't interested in drinking it?  Big assumption, I know, and still rude.  But I hope they didn't knowingly drink it.

A lot of magazines do suggest having a couple of gifts (like wine) wrapped up for unexpected situations so it's not impossible that this was their thought process. They still shouldn't have taken it without asking first though.

Yes, but it's still items put away for you to give, not for them to take. And you don't ask someone if you can have your bottle of Opus One. You just don't.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2013, 06:11:15 PM »
Yeah, that's awkward... It really depends on how confrontational you want to be, and it seems like you want to go on the low end. In that case I think I would send them a thank you note, but no "thing" gift or dinner. Spend no more than the cost of a stamp on them. Even if you are writing it off as a lesson learned, I don't think it's right to not at least convey "thank you" to them, especially if you aren't going to confront them. Should they have the temerity to complain about that, that would be a good time to respond, "You know that bottle of wine wrapped in tissue paper that you guys drank? That cost $300 and we were saving it for a special occasion." Implication: we're not going to make a fuss about that, so don't you make a fuss about not being reimbursed for house sitting.

Just because someone has to ask--are you absolutely sure they drank it? No chance that it was missing before and you're just now noticing, or that the bottle broke and leaked and they cleaned it up and forgot to mention it, or anything like that? Depending on the circumstances, it's possible you could say something, in a confused tone, "Hey, while you guys were at our house, did anything weird happen? It seems like there's a nice bottle of wine missing that we were saving, and we're just trying to figure out when it disappeared." But, you know, that's not exactly avoiding confrontation--maybe they would apologize and immediately reimburse you, or maybe they would get defensive, or maybe they would lie--statistically likely to have a distasteful outcome, I think.  :-\
~Lynn2000

bonyk

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2013, 06:31:39 PM »
Maybe they assumed that since it was still in the tissue you weren't interested in drinking it?  Big assumption, I know, and still rude.  But I hope they didn't knowingly drink it.

A lot of magazines do suggest having a couple of gifts (like wine) wrapped up for unexpected situations so it's not impossible that this was their thought process. They still shouldn't have taken it without asking first though.

Yes, but it's still items put away for you to give, not for them to take. And you don't ask someone if you can have your bottle of Opus One. You just don't.

Well, they might not have realized what Opus One is.  Doesn't make it okay, just removes the 'mens rea'.

Klea

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Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.”
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2013, 06:32:13 PM »
Even if I were told to make myself at home, I don't think I would even touch something that looked to be special. I probably wouldn't even touch someone's wine unless I knew it to be a cheap bottle that I would be happy to replace.

I think you should still give them a polite 'thank you for looking after our cat and collecting our mail' but I would leave it at that. A very expensive bottle of wine is more than enough payment.