Author Topic: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?  (Read 6283 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2013, 02:48:52 PM »
I think that -all- favors are subject to negotiation. You only grant them if you can do so cheerfully.

It's a betrayal of the friendship to agree to do a favor you resent.

And all promises, like all contracts, *can* be broken; it's just that there might be consequences. And you can mitigate those based on how you act.

So call *now* and say, "I want to make sure we're clear--I'm driving you to the airport. I'm not going to be able to pick you up. I'll be by on Thursday at 5pm to get you--what airline are you flying on?"

If she says, "Oh, I was counting on you..." don't JADE! Just say, "I can't. I'll do the trip out, which is hopefully helpful because most other people you'd ask are working that day. You'll have to arrange something else to get back."

And my suggestion would also be to -not- try to solve her transportation problem. If you even say, "I'm sure you could get a taxi," you are sending an underlying message that her transportation problem is your transportation problem. And she will badger you until you solve it the way she wants you to.

Set a kitchen timer--you have 2 minutes. "Gotta go!" Better yet, say when you call, "Hi, I'm in th e middle of stuff, so I can't stay on the phone, but I wanted to be sure we're clear--I'm driving you TO the airport, but I won't be able to pick you up when you get back. See you [insert date and time here]. Gotta go!"

aussie_chick

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2013, 05:54:27 PM »
Get in touch with her ASAP and explain that you cannot accommodate her request to be available at 6am. From your Op, I think you're happy to do one of the drop off/pick up needed, but not the one at 6am. You're not being unreasonable at all.

However you need to let her know straight away so she can make other arrangements. The other suggestions of giving her cab or shuttle info at the same time is a good one.


SoCalVal

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2013, 06:02:41 PM »
I don't know.  I think she might be offended if OP suggests hiring a shuttle or cab, unless Friend says something about not knowing how she and SO will get home.  I would confirm OP is dropping off Friend and SO only and be very clear OP will not be picking them up from the airport.



gellchom

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2013, 06:14:30 PM »
It doesn't sound like you said you'd pick her up, too, but obviously she has that impression, and you've let it sit there without speaking up, knowing that she is counting on you.  How long ago was this conversation?  If it's been a long time since the conversation, and the trip is fast approaching, I wouldn't let too much hang on what your exact words were at the time.

You were there, we weren't, and it sounds like you feel uneasy.  It sounds like it might have been a while; you've given yourself time to think a lot about her other friends and relatives, the unlikelihood of her reciprocating, etc. 

But I still think that you can get out of it.  I would just apologize for not letting her know right away if it's been a long while and for the inconvenience of her having to make alternate plans at the last minute.

I STRONGLY agree with Toots that you do NOT try to offer alternate solutions -- i.e., don't suggest taxis, limos, long-term parking, etc. (she knows those things exist), or discuss why you can't do it, just say you can't.  Definitely don't talk about her other friends or relatives, etc.

Another, in-the-middle possibility, IF you want to do it: tell her that 6:00 is just too early for you, but if they are willing to wait, you can pick them up at 9:00 am (or whatever suits you).

bonyk

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2013, 06:17:41 PM »
You didn't make a pick up commitment, so you're not backing out.  Tell you friend the offer was one way.

My in-laws did this to DH once, only they waited until they were getting out of the car to hand him their return flight info.  I was quite annoyed at his lack of spine, because picking them up conflicted with a planned outing.  Rather than telling his parents that it would not be possible, DH paid for a car service to pick them up.   ::)

Secret

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2013, 07:22:30 PM »
confirm the plans with the friend and then ask, "by the way, who is picking you up when you return?

daen

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2013, 08:11:42 PM »
Oh, deja vu. I once worked at an organization that had a lot of travel, and part of my job was arranging airport transportation for the incoming and outgoing.
We had fleet vehicles, and we had volunteers that would drive for us.  Early morning and late-night starts were not uncommon.

 Sometimes it was a struggle to find someone willing to leave at 1:00 am for a six hour round-trip, but surprisingly less often than I expected. (Some of our volunteers earned perks for taking trips, and there was a night premium. Some of our volunteers were just strong supporters of the organization and liked driving.)


LifeOnPluto

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2013, 09:14:36 PM »
Definitely call your friend and confirm that you will not be picking her up at 6am on a Sunday. You could use words like "I was thinking about our conversation the other day. I'm definitely still dropping you off at the airport at noon on [week day], but I just wanted to clarify that I can't do the 6am pick-up. I wasn't sure whether you were asking me to or not. I hope you didn't get the impression from our conversation that I was doing it."

Best case scenario is your friend says "Oh no, I was just casually mentioning our arrival time in conversation! I'd never dream of imposing on you to pick us up at such an early hour! SO and I plan to catch a taxi home, etc."

Worst case scenario is your friend pulls a guilt trip, and/or accuses you of breaking a commitment, etc. In which case, you can politely but firmly state: "You asked me to take you TO the airport. Not from the airport. I did not say that I was picking you up at 6am."

If she whines "Well, what are SO and I going to do now?" then you can suggest a taxi, or other arrangements. But whatever happens, do NOT cave in and agree to pick them up!


AuntieA

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2013, 09:39:01 PM »
Our airport is outside the city. In past years we would either leave BF's or my car in long-term parking, but we really didn't like the hour+ long drive back to his house, then mine.

On our last trip, we booked separate taxis, and that worked well for departure, but on return our ("reserved") taxis were nowhere. We called the taxi company, and were told that since it was after last call on a Saturday night (ie the bars were closing), we were on our own. After much begging, they sent one taxi for the two of us - and our homes are a 40-minute drive apart.

The last time I flew alone, I checked online and found I could book a limo from the taxi company at only $10.00 more than a "reserved" taxi, so I did that. WooHoo! Riding in a Lincoln Town Car, had the driver waiting for me when the return flight landed - he even schlepped the bags to my door. Definitely the way to go from now on.

I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

hannahmollysmom

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2013, 04:25:12 AM »
I would just say, I'm available to bring you, but I'm not available to pick you up. And leave it at that. It is the travelers responsibility to find transportation.

I work at an airport, and you wouldn't believe how many people show up without a dime to their name, and have no plans on how to get to their final destination, and expect assistance!

Sorry, rambled off there for a bit...

The airport I work at only charges $10 a day for long term parking. I know that is cheap compared to some, but it is what supports the airport. That is where it gets the funds to operate everything else. Many people don't realize that.

NyaChan

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2013, 11:20:26 AM »
It seems to me that you didn't make your decision that you weren't going to pick her up until after the phone call ended (perhaps you still haven't since you are asking here if it would be ok for you to refuse).  That tells me that your friend and you ended the conversation in agreement whether explicit or implicit that you would be picking them up.  So I don't agree with the others who say that you never agreed to pick them up, only drop them off. 

That said, I don't think it would be wrong for you to change the plans because the favor is pretty outrageous for you to complete and you agreed at the last minute in what I'm thinking was something of a conversational ambush - not cool for a friend to do that, she had to know that it would be inconvenient and should have started with that aspect of the favor.

I would call her ASAP and let her know that you are happy to drop them off but can't pick them up at 6 am - if you don't mind picking them up in general, I personally would say that I could get them at 8 am if they are able to wait.  That is just because I would feel bad withdrawing help altogether for the way back.  I wouldn't offer any options to her like taxis or limos or shuttles - they got themselves into this, they can get themselves out. 

ETA - I say ASAP because it isn't okay IMO to back out of favors at the last minute, even if they are a little crazy.  Gotta give people time to rework their plans.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 11:22:26 AM by NyaChan »

Margo

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2013, 01:23:49 PM »
confirm the plans with the friend and then ask, "by the way, who is picking you up when you return?
I wouldn't do this as I think it opens the door to a request that you do it! I agree with all the PPs who have said you are not backing out as you never agreed to collact them in the first place, but that you do need to confirm this to them as it sounds as though she assumed you'd do both trips.

A no nonsense "I'm just calling to check what time you'd like me to be at your house, so you can get to the airport at a time you're comfortable with. When I agreed to take you to the airport, you mentioned your return flight so I just wanted to clarify that I'm only able to take you to the airport. I can't collect you. I'm sure you know that, as I only offered to do the one trip, but I just wanted to reiterate that, to avoid any misunderstanding."

If she then asks you to collect them, or tries to guilt you into it, just repeat that it won't be possible, and don't get drawn into giving any reasons beyond "I'm afraid I can't do it"


Bijou

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2013, 02:19:20 PM »
If you are not sure whether or not she thinks you will also be picking her up, I would want to let her know that this will not be the case.  That you offered the ride to but not from and that it will not be possible to do the second leg of the delivery.  I don't think this is backing out because you did not agree to that, if I read your OP correctly. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

gellchom

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2013, 05:36:46 PM »
I really like the way NyaChan put it.  That's what I was trying to say. 

A lot of posters are simply saying that they think it's not "backing out" because you, OP, didn't offer to pick up.  True enough (although you didn't put it that way -- you asked if it's okay to back out, not whether you are).  But that's a red herring.

It's just not a question of whether you are backing out or not: deciding what to call it doesn't solve your problem, because either way you need to deal with it.

It's fine for you to decline to pick them up, no matter what time it would be.

It's NOT fine for you to let them continue to believe until the last minute that you are going to pick them up, no matter how that happened and no matter whose fault it is and whether or not it is "backing out," actually or functionally.  Even though a transcript of the conversation would prove you never actually said you would do so, you wouldn't be writing if you didn't think that she came away with the impression that you agreed.  It is not okay to refuse to set her straight and leave her hanging at the last minute, and it being her own fault doesn't change that.

The point is, you don't owe them a ride, but you do owe them clarity and communication.  I can tell you don't look forward to that conversation (perhaps you are one of the "I have difficulty saying 'no'" people?), but it isn't fair to knowingly let people labor under an incorrect assumption just because you don't like to say no.  You realize that you should have said no in the first place, and your not having done so is what got you into this spot.  You have the responsibility to be clear about your own decisions, even when people are being pushy or overreaching.  So don't compound the problem by further delay.

Several posters suggested good ways to bring it up.  I like the device of starting by calling to confirm pick-up time.  Then just say it -- politely, without lecturing her on presumption or anything else -- "Thumbelina, I want to make sure that you're clear that I'm just doing the ride TO the airport; I won't be able to pick you all up.  I hope there wasn't any misunderstanding on that" (or, if you're pretty sure that there was, "I'm pretty sure you got that impression, but I can't.  I should have said so right away, and I apologize if my not clarifying until now creates inconvenience for you, but I can't do it").

lmyrs

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Re: Is it okay to back out of committment in this instance?
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2013, 05:27:16 PM »
Agreed 100% with gellchom that you have no obligation to drive them but you have an immediate obligation to clarify.

I'm trying to remember the last time I had someone besides DH drive me to or from the airport and I can't. And I haven't done it for others. Here, cabs are just the way to get to and from the airport. Even at reasonable hours.

Though if someone was close enough to me to feel comfortable asking for a pick up at 6am on a Sunday, they're close enough for me to respond, "Dude, seriously? Sunday morning at 6am? No bloody way."