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cwm

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« Reply #75 on: October 15, 2013, 02:16:15 PM »
I just got back from dog sitting. It's a bit different, I've been these people's only dog sitter for three years running (a nervous dog of theirs absolutely loves me, so it works out) and I was told to help myself to absolutley anything. Last time I was there, they texted me beforehand telling me they'd just bought a new amaretto and I should try it out and let them know what I thought.

I found out yesterday that the gin I had used to make a gin and tonic for myself this weekend was a very very expensive one. Honestly, I had forgotten that mom used a sliced orange in her gin and tonic, and I ended up tossing it down the drain, as it was too dry for me without the orange, but I felt horrible. It wasn't much, but it was enough that I felt bad for wasting it.

OP, if I had been house sitting and not know the value of the wine, I'd want to know. Don't couch it like you want them to replace it if you're not dead set on that, but just give them a heads up for next time.

"Hey, friend, thanks for watching our cats. Just so you know, we don't mind you drinking wine, but next time if you see one that's wrapped, please leave it alone. We were saving that one for a special occasion, and it was a splurge to get it in the first place."

That wording makes it clear that this isn't a friendship-ending thing, but something that shouldn't happen again.

TeraNova15

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« Reply #76 on: October 15, 2013, 02:18:22 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.

So does making one's self "at home" involve trying on someone's clothes? Using their bath products or makeup? Should they be able to help themselves to your jewlery for a night out on the town?

"Make yourself at home" is a nice phrase, but there are certain standards a guest (even a guest who is doing you a favor) should have some common sense to abide. Making a sandwich, grabbing a beer or a glass of wine might fall into that category if you know what you're drinking is inexpensive, like Bud or Barefoot. Maybe even defrosting a chicken cuz, hey, chickens aren't that expensive.

Drinking a $300 bottle of wine is far beyond "making yourself at home." If you have any question as to the value of something, you should leave it alone. Red wine with a vintage year, you should probabyl check. I can't imagine what I would do if I came home and found the$200 bottle of port I'm saving for my 10 year anniversary had been polished off by someone doing me a "favor."

If it was an accident then they need to be informed, and decent thing to do is replace the bottle. If they did in on purpose then its theft, pure and simple.

Edit: I realize that I probably feel a little more charged on this because I am a amateur wine/spirit collector.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 02:22:36 PM by TeraNova15 »

WillyNilly

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« Reply #77 on: October 15, 2013, 02:26:28 PM »

"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."

I agree with this. If you don't say anything they will think you didn't appreciate their help - this is not accusatory but points out that they've taken generously before you could give, therefore that is their reimbursement. Based on the work relationship, it would be the best route I think!

Yes, this. And throw in the year. It let's them know you know they drank it, it let's them know you aren't ungrateful for their time, it let's them think (correctly) that that particular wine was worth something more. (As much as I would like to let them know exactly how much the bottle was worth, the work dynamics make that tricky. And if you throw in the year, they can be curious Google-users and find out how much the bottle was worth.)

I like Isisnin's wording too, because it almost prompts the person to go google it, it certainly implys there was a high value to the particular wine mentioned.

Lynn2000

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« Reply #78 on: October 15, 2013, 02:30:26 PM »
So does making one's self "at home" involve trying on someone's clothes? Using their bath products or makeup? Should they be able to help themselves to your jewlery for a night out on the town?

"Make yourself at home" is a nice phrase, but there are certain standards a guest (even a guest who is doing you a favor) should have some common sense to abide. Making a sandwich, grabbing a beer or a glass of wine might fall into that category if you know what you're drinking is inexpensive, like Bud or Barefoot. Maybe even defrosting a chicken cuz, hey, chickens aren't that expensive.

Yes, as I said in the spin-off thread, I think phrases like this--while open to interpretation--still have a spectrum of behavior that's considered normal, and behaviors that ought to be seen as out of bounds. If they didn't realize what they were drinking, they probably thought drinking "some wine" fell into the range of normal behavior. I think, to avoid insulting them by not offering further reimbursement for the house-checking, the expensive wine must be mentioned. I like cwm's wording--presumably the conversation would also include reminding them of the wine's name and year, so they can figure out how much it cost.
~Lynn2000

MariaE

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« Reply #79 on: October 15, 2013, 02:33:59 PM »

"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."

I agree with this. If you don't say anything they will think you didn't appreciate their help - this is not accusatory but points out that they've taken generously before you could give, therefore that is their reimbursement. Based on the work relationship, it would be the best route I think!

Yes, this. And throw in the year. It let's them know you know they drank it, it let's them know you aren't ungrateful for their time, it let's them think (correctly) that that particular wine was worth something more. (As much as I would like to let them know exactly how much the bottle was worth, the work dynamics make that tricky. And if you throw in the year, they can be curious Google-users and find out how much the bottle was worth.)

I like Isisnin's wording too, because it almost prompts the person to go google it, it certainly implys there was a high value to the particular wine mentioned.

This is my preferred approach as well.

Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

Outdoor Girl

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« Reply #80 on: October 15, 2013, 02:41:32 PM »
"Hey, friend, thanks for watching our cats. Just so you know, we don't mind you drinking wine, but next time if you see one that's wrapped, please leave it alone. We were saving that one for a special occasion, and it was a splurge to get it in the first place."

That wording makes it clear that this isn't a friendship-ending thing, but something that shouldn't happen again.

I like this one, if you are interested in having these folks sit for you again.  Of course, their response to this will make that decision for you.  If they are contrite and apologetic?  Great.  If not, you don't ask them again.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
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BusyBee

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« Reply #81 on: October 15, 2013, 03:10:43 PM »

"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."

I agree with this. If you don't say anything they will think you didn't appreciate their help - this is not accusatory but points out that they've taken generously before you could give, therefore that is their reimbursement. Based on the work relationship, it would be the best route I think!

Yes, this. And throw in the year. It let's them know you know they drank it, it let's them know you aren't ungrateful for their time, it let's them think (correctly) that that particular wine was worth something more. (As much as I would like to let them know exactly how much the bottle was worth, the work dynamics make that tricky. And if you throw in the year, they can be curious Google-users and find out how much the bottle was worth.)

I like this too.   It let's you call it even and removes a lot of the awkwardness afterwards.  You thanked them with a generous gift that they were not yet aware of.  Of course you insist that they don't repay you.  And you won't have to offer the same next time because there won't be a next time.

A thank you dinner would have cost you \$200+ (theirs and yours) to spend 2 hours with people you don't particularly care for (at least not anymore).  I'd be satisfied to think of it that way and let it go.

rose red

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« Reply #82 on: October 15, 2013, 03:25:19 PM »
"Hey, friend, thanks for watching our cats. Just so you know, we don't mind you drinking wine, but next time if you see one that's wrapped, please leave it alone. We were saving that one for a special occasion, and it was a splurge to get it in the first place."

That wording makes it clear that this isn't a friendship-ending thing, but something that shouldn't happen again.

I like this one, if you are interested in having these folks sit for you again.  Of course, their response to this will make that decision for you.  If they are contrite and apologetic?  Great.  If not, you don't ask them again.

I'd go with this one or something similar.  I'm sorry, but the note Isisnin suggested sounds PA and unhappy to me.

JeanFromBNA

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« Reply #83 on: October 15, 2013, 03:31:04 PM »
"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."

I like Isinin's wording.  It has the right tone, and is still direct.

Another person that pays a kitty sitter to come twice a day.  We have high maintenance cats  .

SlitherHiss

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« Reply #84 on: October 15, 2013, 03:37:48 PM »
"Hey, friend, thanks for watching our cats. Just so you know, we don't mind you drinking wine, but next time if you see one that's wrapped, please leave it alone. We were saving that one for a special occasion, and it was a splurge to get it in the first place."

That wording makes it clear that this isn't a friendship-ending thing, but something that shouldn't happen again.

I like this one, if you are interested in having these folks sit for you again.  Of course, their response to this will make that decision for you.  If they are contrite and apologetic?  Great.  If not, you don't ask them again.

I'd go with this one or something similar.  I'm sorry, but the note Isisnin suggested sounds PA and unhappy to me.

This.

turnip

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« Reply #85 on: October 15, 2013, 03:43:03 PM »
"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."

I like Isinin's wording.  It has the right tone, and is still direct.

Another person that pays a kitty sitter to come twice a day.  We have high maintenance cats  .

Along with other posters, I find Isinin's phrase very PA.  I can't imagine hearing it and thinking anything other than "They are _Peeved_ that we drank their wine and they are too cowardly to just come out and say so".  I'd far rather just hear "We wish you hadn't drank that particular bottle, we were saving it for a special occasion" than this kind of round about chastisement.

TamJamB

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« Reply #86 on: October 15, 2013, 03:43:20 PM »
So does making one's self "at home" involve trying on someone's clothes? Using their bath products or makeup? Should they be able to help themselves to your jewlery for a night out on the town?
For me, 'making one's self at home' extends to all public areas of my house.  I wouldn't expect anyone to go into my closet or drawers, but anything in the open areas would be fair game.  They could eat my food (including food in the freezer), drink my non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages (including those in the bar, pantry and wine racks); and use any of the bath products on the counters or in the shower.

My point is, there's a range here of what people may consider "making oneself at home."  There are also, as many here have suggested, plenty of people who don't know a super-expensive bottle of wine from an ordinary one.  Given that, it seems a bit excessive to attribute to rudeness or dishonesty what could more charitably be explained by miscommunication or a difference in expectations.  Especially given that the couple being maligned were nice enough to do a fairly large favor for the OP.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 03:45:20 PM by TamJamB »

jedikaiti

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« Reply #87 on: October 15, 2013, 04:00:58 PM »
Here's what really gets me - if it's wrapped up like that, it's clearly a gift. Either the owner received it as such, or they're intending to give it as such. If it hasn't been given expressly to me, then it's not my gift to open. It might be wrapped in anticipation of being given to me later, but if it hasn't been given yet, it's not yet mine to open.

It strikes me as being a bit like going to someone's house for a Christmas party, being told to make yourself at home, and helping yourself to a gift from under the tree. OK, maybe not quite that egregious, but still - who opens someone else's wrapped gift?
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