Author Topic: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?  (Read 5666 times)

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BuffaloFang

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Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« on: November 30, 2013, 12:22:26 AM »
So a friend asked for a ride to the airport on X date.  Since I was free the whole day I told her fine, I could take her, and asked her the time.  She said she needed to double check, then got back to me and told me it was around noon.  Then she said, "oh and we get in at 6AM on (weekend date)." I asked why the heck she would pick such an inconvenient time and she just shrugged and said her SO picked it.

I left the conversation with her under the impression that I would do both legs of airport pick up, but I really don't want to do the pickup leg at 6AM.  I know she has family in town, and I assume her SO has friends. It's a 30 minute drive to her place, plus another 40 minutes to the airport.  I am already agreeing to driving the less convenient time for most people with standard jobs, and I figure most people are free on weekends at 6AM so why can't the family do it?  Also, my DH really doesn't want me to do it because this friend has a history of being somewhat selfish and we both know she probably wouldn't return the favor. Would it be terrible to back out?

guihong

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 12:31:42 AM »
Can you tell her you'll take her there for the outgoing flight, but to catch a cab when returning? 

I admit, it would be awkward to back out of the whole thing. 



Elizabeth

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 12:35:27 AM »
It sounds like you agreed to drive her there and then didn't really say anything about the drive back. Is that right?

Since you did agree, I'd be inclined to drive her there but make it clear that she needs to find her own way back. Then I'd turn the ringer off of my phone that morning to make sure that I didn't get a last minute, we-forgot-to-line-anyone-up call to pick them up.

If you really want to back out, I think it kind of depends on how much time is left for her to make alternative arrangements. Two weeks? I think that's okay. Two days? That seems a little bit tight to me, especially if your friend asked you a while ago. If you back out, I think you'd have to indicate that you had a previous engagement that you forgot about. I can't think of any other "acceptable" reason to bow out.

And OT, but a 6 am arrival time?! Unless they're traveling a REALLY long long distance, that seems insanely early. Who does that?

GL!

Annoyed in America

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 12:37:20 AM »
I think you can back out, but the better course would just be honest.  Tell her, I can take you to the airport, but I cannot pick you up.  If she gets upset, than she isn't a very good friend. You do not need a reason, it's obvious that 6am on weekends, most people are still asleep.  She can always take a cab.

BuffaloFang

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 12:39:14 AM »
I'm totally fine taking them to the airport, but I really don't want to wake up at 5AM to pick them up on a Sunday.  Especially since they didn't make clear it was a 6AM pickup (or that they even needed pickup at all) when I agreed.

The friend just asked me a couple of days ago, but they leave this week.  And yes, they're flying from a long distance.

ETA: Honestly, I think they'd have a harder time finding someone to drive them on a weekday at noon, since most people work, so I think I'm already doing them a huge favor.  Part of me is thinking maybe the SO should get one of his friends to do the pickup, since he was thinks booking a flight arriving at 6AM is reasonable.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 12:44:10 AM by BuffaloFang »

guihong

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 12:57:09 AM »
It sounds like you agreed to drive her there and then didn't really say anything about the drive back. Is that right?

Since you did agree, I'd be inclined to drive her there but make it clear that she needs to find her own way back. Then I'd turn the ringer off of my phone that morning to make sure that I didn't get a last minute, we-forgot-to-line-anyone-up call to pick them up.

If you really want to back out, I think it kind of depends on how much time is left for her to make alternative arrangements. Two weeks? I think that's okay. Two days? That seems a little bit tight to me, especially if your friend asked you a while ago. If you back out, I think you'd have to indicate that you had a previous engagement that you forgot about. I can't think of any other "acceptable" reason to bow out.

And OT, but a 6 am arrival time?! Unless they're traveling a REALLY long long distance, that seems insanely early. Who does that?

I have to do that, on a red-eye from Portland to Houston ;).  But, no  pick-up necessary as I catch another flight to my city.





sammycat

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 01:00:35 AM »
I think you're totally fine to not pick them up. If you don't mind driving them there for the outward flight, then stick with that, but make it clear you can't pick them up.

I can't imagine expecting a friend (or anyone really) to pick me up from anywhere at 6am. When we used to live closer to the airport than we do now, I wouldn't even pick DH at that time (he'd get a taxi) and he's my husband, let alone just a regular friend.

(This post has reminded me that I need to book our car into the long term car park at the airport for our upcoming holiday 8)).

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 01:10:21 AM »
I don't think that you're obligated to pick her up.  She asked for a ride to the airport, to which you agreed, and threw in this zinger at the end.  Unless you expressly agreed to pick her up, you don't have a commitment.  I would text or e-mail her before she leaves to clarify that you will not be picking her up, something like, "I wanted to make sure that you understood that I can drop you off but can't pick you up.  I'm not sure if I was clear about that."

It would have been better if you had said, "I can't pick you up," as soon as she mentioned it.  A ride to the airport is just that.  You're not under automatic obligation to provide a round trip.  I had to tell my DH earlier this week that he had to get his own ride to the airport today.  I'll pick him up Sunday when he gets in. 

This reminds me of the scene on the plane from When Harry Met Sally:

Harry:  You take someone to the airport, its clearly the beginning of the relationship. That's why I have never taken anyone to the airport at the beginning of a relationship.
Sally: Why?
Harry: Because eventually things move on and you don't take someone to the airport and I never wanted anyone to say to me, How come you never take me to the airport anymore?
Sally: Its amazing. You look like a normal person but actually you are the angel of death.

Raintree

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2013, 01:45:02 AM »
I think it was rather presumptuous of your friend to ask if you could take her TO the airport and then just make a statement that assumed you would pick her up again when she got back.

I don't think it's terrible to bow out. "Sorry, 6 AM is too early for me. I can take you there on X date but you'll have to make other arrangements for Y date." I bet nobody in her family or close circle of friends is willing to do this, which is why she pulled the, "Oh, by the way, you're picking me up at 6 on the return trip" routine. But you know what? I can't think of an airport anywhere that wouldn't have taxis, shuttles, and/or access to public transit. People can get themselves home from airports without inconveniencing friends.

Or, can you play dumb? "So, friend, I'm calling to confirm about your departure so I can plan the rest of my day. So I pick you up at X time on X date, right? Your flight's at noon? Great, that's what I thought. See you then. What arrangements did you make for pickup when you get back? What? Me? Oh, I'm sorry, I think there was a misunderstanding. You asked me to drive you TO the airport. I'm afraid it won't be possible for me to go pick you up when you get back. Probably best to get a cab, if you can't find a family member to pick you up."

cicero

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2013, 01:50:18 AM »
So a friend asked for a ride to the airport on X date.  Since I was free the whole day I told her fine, I could take her, and asked her the time.  She said she needed to double check, then got back to me and told me it was around noon.  Then she said, "oh and we get in at 6AM on (weekend date)." I asked why the heck she would pick such an inconvenient time and she just shrugged and said her SO picked it.

I left the conversation with her under the impression that I would do both legs of airport pick up, but I really don't want to do the pickup leg at 6AM.  I know she has family in town, and I assume her SO has friends. It's a 30 minute drive to her place, plus another 40 minutes to the airport.  I am already agreeing to driving the less convenient time for most people with standard jobs, and I figure most people are free on weekends at 6AM so why can't the family do it?  Also, my DH really doesn't want me to do it because this friend has a history of being somewhat selfish and we both know she probably wouldn't return the favor. Would it be terrible to back out?
Hoiw can you back out if something you haven't committed to? You didn't say that you would pick them up - did you? I think you should've said something on the spot, and not hinted around, but your friend was wrong in voluntelling you.

But rude or inappropriate as she may have been - you really have to say something to her because as you say : she is under the impression that you are doing both sides. Whether or not she has other options is really not *your* problem.

( I always wonder about the whole airport pickup issue- over the years I've been traveling it is rare that I'll ask someone to pick me up - both because of the inconvenience and expense to them ( traffic, gas, tolls, time), and because there generally is an option to take public transportation, cab, or shuttle. On my last trip, my sister offered to drive me, it was about twenty minutes smooth driving each way; I was planning to take a shuttle had she not offered)

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Audrey Quest

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2013, 02:04:59 AM »
Yes, you can back out and it shouldnt be a huge hardship on them because they can catch a cab home.

Getting a cab to the airport is a little trickier than getting one from the airport. 

Just tell them.

perpetua

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2013, 02:30:39 AM »

Getting a cab to the airport is a little trickier than getting one from the airport. 


Is it? Can you not call a local cab company and arrange for them to pick them up from your house? I'd have thought it was actually easier, because you don't have to wait around for a cab to become free.

I've never understood the airport pick up thing either. I figure it's like tipping - you factor the price of a cab there and back into the cost of your trip away.

OP, I think if you want to 'back out' - and I don't think you are 'backing out' since you didn't commit to the return pick up anyway - you could frame it as "Friend, I was thinking about our conversation and I think there might have been a misunderstanding somewhere - I can take you to the airport, but I can't pick you up - I just wanted to make sure that was understood?"

sweetonsno

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2013, 03:01:14 AM »
You didn't commit to driving her home, so you aren't backing out. However, I do think you need to clarify this ASAP so she can make alternate arrangements. It would be rude to let her believe that she has a ride home when she doesn't.

mlogica

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2013, 08:05:02 AM »
And OT, but a 6 am arrival time?! Unless they're traveling a REALLY long long distance, that seems insanely early. Who does that?

Well, I don't do it willingly, but when I go out to Vancouver, one of my options for getting back to Toronto is to take a midnight-ish flight that has an arrival time around 6:00 or 7:00.  If money is tight, and the cost is significantly less than a flight during daylight hours, it's a possibility.  Even factoring in the cab ride from the airport, it can mean saving a reasonable amount of money.

But of course the cab ride is factored in - I hate to ask for favours, and a 6:00 a.m. airport pick-up is way too big a favour!!!

YummyMummy66

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2013, 08:27:27 AM »
So, when they arrive back in town at 6am, they do have other friends and family in said town that can also pick them up from the airport? 

I would call friend as soon as possible and clarify with her that you were asked to take them to the airport and you are willing to do that.  However, you will not be able to pick them up when they return.  They will need to make other arrangements.

SO made the arrangements because it was convenient for him.  He can find a ride home then with one of his friends.  (Who, I have a feeling did not want to get up so early on a Sunday either).