### Author Topic: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” Updt #103!  (Read 23514 times)

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#### Zilla

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« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2013, 10:27:31 AM »
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...

I would ask about it.  Did you see the empty bottle anywhere?  Something like, "Hey friend, I had a $300 bottle of wine specially wrapped in tissue paper in our wine collection but we can't find it. Did you see it by chance?" I actually think they won't admit to drinking it BUT they will know what they did and shouldn't be expecting anything as in a dinner etc. #### Yvaine • Super Hero! • Posts: 8926 ##### Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” « Reply #46 on: October 15, 2013, 10:28:51 AM » Maybe I'm weird, but the whole idea of drinking someone else's liquor, any of their liquor, in a situation like that seems off to me. You're there to take care of the cat and take in the mail. Period. That does not involve drinking. If you take up the offer to spend the night, you bring your own consumables. Would you go in the freezer and defrost a chicken and get out pots and pans and fix yourself a complete meal? I doubt it. "Make yourself at home" doesn't actually mean to partake of anything and everything in the house. It just means make yourself comfortable. A bag of potato chips out of the pantry? Sure. A can of coke? Ok. Liquor? Not so much. This isn't actually all that uncommon in my experience and it's not made extra-special-worse because it's liquor; it's worse because it's expensive and was kind of hidden away. In my experience, it's not at all weird for the pet-sittee to encourage the pet-sitter to drink both soda and beer from the fridge, to cook, to eat stuff from the pantry, etc. One woman I know is OK with her pet-sitters consuming anything in the house but only got annoyed when one of them left a giant baking mess and didn't clean it up. #### Two Ravens • Hero Member • Posts: 2321 • One for sorrow, Two for mirth... ##### Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” « Reply #47 on: October 15, 2013, 10:29:28 AM » I am pretty sure they are the ones that drank it because I found the bottle in our recycling bin and the cork in the vase where we keep all our old corks. Unless a very neat burglar broke in and took his time... To muddle the situation further, we have given them some of our wine in the past. They said they needed to pick up a bottle of Chardonnay to take to a party, and we suggested they just take one of ours. We were members of a wine club, but we don't drink white that often, and we had several bottles of chardonnay. Also, while out of plain sight, it wasn't really hidden away. Our wine rack looks something like this: There are only a few places to display the bottles in the top part, so the rest are in the bottom compartment with our decanter. So there would be reason for them to look in there... #### Zilla • Super Hero! • Posts: 6506 ##### Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” « Reply #48 on: October 15, 2013, 10:30:53 AM » Maybe I'm weird, but the whole idea of drinking someone else's liquor, any of their liquor, in a situation like that seems off to me. You're there to take care of the cat and take in the mail. Period. That does not involve drinking. If you take up the offer to spend the night, you bring your own consumables. Would you go in the freezer and defrost a chicken and get out pots and pans and fix yourself a complete meal? I doubt it. "Make yourself at home" doesn't actually mean to partake of anything and everything in the house. It just means make yourself comfortable. A bag of potato chips out of the pantry? Sure. A can of coke? Ok. Liquor? Not so much. This isn't actually all that uncommon in my experience and it's not made extra-special-worse because it's liquor; it's worse because it's expensive and was kind of hidden away. In my experience, it's not at all weird for the pet-sittee to encourage the pet-sitter to drink both soda and beer from the fridge, to cook, to eat stuff from the pantry, etc. One woman I know is OK with her pet-sitters consuming anything in the house but only got annoyed when one of them left a giant baking mess and didn't clean it up. I agree with Yvaine. I can see cooking etc. I can also see grabbing a beer or a "known" bottle of wine AND then replacing it. I draw the line on liquors and wine if I was house sitting. Let alone a tissue wrapped wine bottle among all the others that aren't wrapped. OP just saw your update, was the Opus a white wine? « Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 10:32:24 AM by Zilla » #### Two Ravens • Hero Member • Posts: 2321 • One for sorrow, Two for mirth... ##### Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” « Reply #49 on: October 15, 2013, 10:34:28 AM » No, Opus One is a red wine. #### Zilla • Super Hero! • Posts: 6506 ##### Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” « Reply #50 on: October 15, 2013, 10:39:36 AM » No, Opus One is a red wine. Oops, yep, I would definitely at least let them know what happened. Since you do have the bottle and cork, I would say something like, "Listen, normally I don't mind you drinking a wine from our collection but that tissue wrapped one? It was X dollars and something we were saving." See if they offer to pay even though I know it isn't what you are expecting but let them make it right. Or at the very least they will know if they don't already. #### TootsNYC • A Pillar of the Forum • Posts: 30804 ##### Re: How to say, “You already got your payment/thank you.” « Reply #51 on: October 15, 2013, 10:40:06 AM » To me, "Make yourself at home," means exactly that - treat my home as if it were your own. If I had someone housesitting, I would be perfectly happy for them to eat or drink anything in the place. I wouldn't expect them to go into my personal drawers (any more than I want my husband or kids in there), but anything in the kitchen or bathrooms would be free game to a housesitter to whom I have said "make yourself at home." If there were any exceptions (and I can't think of anything I've ever had in my house that would be an exception), I would mention them upfront. "Make yourself at home -- except please don't drink the Courvoisier L'Essence de Courvoisier; it cost$3,000 and we're saving it for our Golden wedding."

But to me, taking the tissue paper off the bottle of wine is analogous to going into your personal drawers. I would be totally giving them a pass if the expensive wine was just "in the wine rack" with everything else. I see that it was "in the cabinet" with all the other wine, but it was in the back, and it was wrapped.

So I think I'd say something mildly--it would help them learn something.

This to me is like defrosting the chicken. Something I could NEVER do, even if someone had said, "Make yourself at home, help yourself to food."

Re: the defrosting the chicken--

I did once have a house-sitting gig in which I messed up, and the people told me about it later. She did it nicely, but she definitely said, "You did something that upset us."
They'd specifically TOLD me I should feel free to defrost some of the meat, and mentioned one of it as something that might be extra good. (I lived in a residence hall, so I stayed with their dogs for a full week, not just stopping in, so I could walk them first thing in the a.m. And they told me, "have friends over!") So when I had a friend over, I defrosted the meat so we could cook it. She got REALLY balky about whether we could/should eat it, so I threw up my hands in frustration and we made something else. Then I forgot the meat, and when they got home it was spoiled.
The lady said, "I'm frustrated that it was wasted. If you'd eaten it, as I'd suggested, I wouldn't in the least be mad. But it was expensive, and instead of you enjoying it or us enjoying it, it went in the garbage."
I also accidentally caused minor damage to an vintage toaster they had because I didn't focus on it and the toast burned. She mentioned that as well, and said, "I wish you'd been more careful."

She was non-puntive---more "sharing--and it did keep the air clear between us (I did occasional freelance work for her at her job). And it did help me, to know about those things.

(sorry for typos--the cat is sitting in front of the computer screen, so I have to go with what I can actually see.)

#### acicularis

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« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2013, 10:56:54 AM »

But to me, taking the tissue paper off the bottle of wine is analogous to going into your personal drawers. I would be totally giving them a pass if the expensive wine was just "in the wine rack" with everything else. I see that it was "in the cabinet" with all the other wine, but it was in the back, and it was wrapped.

Yes, the bottle being in the back and wrapped in tissue paper should have been a clue to stop and think for a minute! "Hmmm, this one down here is wrapped. Do you think it was a gift or something?"   "I don't know. Maybe we should leave it, just to be on the safe side."

This to me is like defrosting the chicken. Something I could NEVER do, even if someone had said, "Make yourself at home, help yourself to food."

I agree. Somehow the extra effort of defrosting the chicken (or finding and unwrapping a bottle of wine) crosses a line for me.

#### Lynn2000

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« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2013, 10:57:16 AM »
Having read more of the responses, I agree that if I were the house-sitter and I did something to offend the house owner, I would like to know about it. I'm assuming I would just have been clueless. I would rather they tell me, and give me the opportunity to at least apologize or perhaps even offer reimbursement, rather than stewing about it, assuming my motives, and drifting away.

I like Zilla's wording, which I have augmented a bit: "Thanks for doing us this favor, but apparently there was a miscommunication. This one wine you drank was actually rather expensive and we'd been saving it for a special occasion. I know we've shared wine in the past and we didn't specifically tell you about this one, but we'd kept it wrapped in tissue paper for a reason. I just wanted to let you know." Hopefully they would at least apologize verbally, and understand why you weren't giving them anything else by way of thanks.

I think "make yourself at home" is one of those nice things people say, which should not be taken literally. Yes, these people were coming by every day, which is no small thing, and had permission to occasionally spend the night, but I didn't get the impression that they were actually supposed to be living in the house depending on its contents for sustenance and fun. Finishing off an open, half-empty bottle of wine? Okay. Drinking three new, unopened bottles, presumably without even looking up the value online first? (Because if they looked/knew already and drank it anyway, that's even worse.) I think that's pushing it a bit.
~Lynn2000

#### fountainof

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« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2013, 11:41:29 AM »
I would think if I were to drink someone's alcohol I would first google it to make sure I could replace it from the store, if necessary.  So even if the wine was not in paper you don't drink it unless you know it a regular priced wine, just like you would look up a scotch and wouldn't drink someone's expensive stuff either.  I would assume they drank it knowing its cost or else they are dense.

#### gramma dishes

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« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2013, 11:54:56 AM »

...   So, PA me, would probably send them a thank you card for watching your cat, and gathering your mail, and add that "I'm glad you were able to enjoy the "fancy" wine that we were saving for our anniversary." No? ...

But that's totally untrue.  They certainly are NOT glad that someone else "enjoyed" their special and incredibly expensive bottle of wine!

#### TamJamB

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« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2013, 12:09:12 PM »
I wouldn't mind a housesitter to whom I've said "make yourself at home" defrosting a chicken, or a ham, or anything out of my freezer either.  To me, that is within the parameters of making yourself at home when you are staying in my house.  And my mental picture of the wine rack in question was of a simple cabinet with a couple-three rows of wine in it, not a giant cellar... the tissue paper might not have tipped me off at all, if it looked like it just happened to have been placed in the cabinet without removing the wrapping.

#### Isisnin

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« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2013, 12:13:57 PM »
From Two Ravens, the OP.:

... 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...

Its important to factor in that the men are coworkers and (it seems from the above) that Two Ravens' husband wants to be sure not to negatively effect the relationship between them and his coworker.

Thus a thank you note mentioning that they already received something from you and husband as a "thank you" would be the way to go.

One option:

...

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.

Another option is:

"Thank you for taking care of kitty of us while we were gone.  We were going to give you wine as a thank you but saw that you enjoyed our Opus One. It's a fine wine.  We hope you enjoyed it.  Thank you again."

Sometimes when people feel embarrassed or guilty they act out or speak out against the other party (Two Ravens and her husband in this case) in some way.  Even inadvertently.  Since the husbands are coworkers, best to nip that possibility in the bud.

Two Ravens, very sorry you didn't get to try the wine.  I appreciate wine and don't often have the opportunity to enjoy good wine.  So I can identify with your disappointment and annoyance/anger.

#### jedikaiti

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« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2013, 12:17:28 PM »
No, Opus One is a red wine.

Oops, yep, I would definitely at least let them know what happened.  Since you do have the bottle and cork, I would say something like, "Listen, normally I don't mind you drinking a wine from our collection but that tissue wrapped one?  It was X dollars and something we were saving."   See if they offer to pay even though I know it isn't what you are expecting but let them make it right.  Or at the very least they will know if they don't already.

That is my favorite approach so far.
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