Author Topic: Pitching In  (Read 6914 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2013, 12:19:38 PM »
I think you handled the initial situation fine, and I would just completely ignore Uncle's email. There are lots of ways one could phrase a polite reply, but I don't see the point--it seems clear to me he's not going to be persuaded to change his mind, and since everyone involved is an adult presumably capable of speaking up for themselves at the time, I don't think you need to do anything different in the future.

The only thing I might do is forward Uncle's email to, say, my parents and whoever was the "host" of the gathering--grandparents, I think? Not to cause drama, but because in the future I would like those who support me to do so out loud; and also to double-check with the hosts that they didn't feel I'd overstepped. The latter would be my only real etiquette concern in this situation--you can't use the "my house, my rules" stance, so since there was an objection after the fact, I would like to make sure that the actual hosts are overtly okay with what I did (and plan to do in the future).

As for the littles, I know how easy it can be to get complacent about what one usually does in a situation, so I don't necessarily blame them for not figuring out on their own what they ought to do. Once it was mentioned, though, they should have immediately and cheerfully joined in, for both meals. If they thought about it more they would realize the tradition really was that THEIR generation cleans up, and now their turn has come up.

I gotta admit, I hate washing dishes and I've never offered nor been asked to do so at family gatherings. It seems to be mostly the host/owner of the house (male and/or female) who handles that, and possibly their older children. And my dad, who seems to really like washing dishes.  ??? If someone suddenly, out of the blue, asked me to help, I hope I would do so graciously, but I wouldn't like it--I would much rather be expected/asked to help because I was part of X generation who has always done this (as happened in the OP), as opposed to because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, looked like I was bored, am female, etc.. In other words I am happy to help if it is the tradition that all people in group X help (except not divided by gender lines) but I don't want to be "targeted" individually because I am polite enough to agree while others scoot away.
~Lynn2000

cwm

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2013, 01:08:00 PM »
So is Uncle going to hire a maid to help out when his son moves out on his own? I mean, haven forbid his son have to do such women's work as keeping his living space clean, right?

If nobody spoke up at the time (including Uncle), you did fine getting cousins to help. And you can perfectly safely ignore the email. Uncle's trying to get a dig in at you. Next holiday, politely ask Uncle ahead of time if he'd rather his son help the men with whatever they're doing. No? Oh, okay, well since everyone pitches in, he can help cook or help clean, and the aunts have the cooking all taken care of.

Margo

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2013, 05:12:45 AM »
I wouldn't say anything to Uncle next year. The sons are college age, so they are adults. An conversation should surely be with them, not with their dad?

bopper

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2013, 09:51:19 AM »
"Are you seriously giving me a hard time about asking able bodied people to help clean up after a delicious dinner that was prepared for them?"

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2013, 03:45:00 PM »
I'd hit reply all,

"Ha!  That was funny!"

Brisvegasgal

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2013, 06:21:38 PM »
Goodness me. I hope you know that you did nothing wrong asking for help cleaning up. As for the email delete it then empty your email trash.

Oh, and if you're in this situation do the same thing again.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2013, 11:08:09 PM »
I'd simply ignore that email. Your uncle is being ridiculous and you certainly don't owe him an apology.

And if he was so dead-set on everyone doing gender-specific tasks, why didn't he ensure that his college-aged son helped out with the plumbing?

Ceallach

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2013, 08:13:54 AM »
This is all very "Snakes in a Restaurant".
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


NyaChan

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2013, 12:00:49 PM »
Ok then Ceallach :D I wasn't going to say anything, because I think in this situation the kid didn't protest, but since otherwise the thread would be a repeat of I agree to the end….

In general I think someone can ask others to help out, but you can't make them.  I don't mean that it's only bad if you drag them by the hair to the dishwasher, but more along the lines of commanding or dragooning someone into helping not being okay. 

I totally agree that everyone should help and it is right that everyone pitch in.  But if a kid says they don't want to and you now know their parents don't want them to, I personally think that after asking and maybe explaining the fairness aspect of it, one should stop. 

miranova

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2013, 12:18:34 PM »
They asked "We have to do it again?!?"

And here is where I about died laughing.  I have a family of 7, sometimes I feel like my entire life is spent doing dishes.  And I have said this very phrase many times, to my husband, jokingly.  As in, "every time I get the kitchen clean, the children want to eat again.  What's with that?"  But seriously, who makes it to college age without realizing that yes, dishes are a chore that needs to be done repeatedly.  It's not like spring cleaning.  It happens 3 times a day, in fact.   ::)

JenJay

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2013, 12:23:36 PM »
Woah! What a jerk!!

That said, unfortunately he can raise his kids to be lazy and entitled if he wants to. I do NOT think you did anything wrong, but on the other hand there's really no way you can argue with him and tell him "actually your kids WILL help!" and next year, if the kids refuse to pitch in, there's nothing you can do about it. I think it absolutely stinks but it is what it is.  :(

In the future I think I'd make a point of verbally acknowledging and appreciating the people who are helping (be it cook, clean, whatever) and silently ignore the ones who sit on their butts and wait to be served all day. And if the day ever came that it was my turn to host those people wouldn't be on the invite list.  ;)

miranova

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2013, 12:26:33 PM »
Ok then Ceallach :D I wasn't going to say anything, because I think in this situation the kid didn't protest, but since otherwise the thread would be a repeat of I agree to the endů.

In general I think someone can ask others to help out, but you can't make them.  I don't mean that it's only bad if you drag them by the hair to the dishwasher, but more along the lines of commanding or dragooning someone into helping not being okay. 

I totally agree that everyone should help and it is right that everyone pitch in.  But if a kid says they don't want to and you now know their parents don't want them to, I personally think that after asking and maybe explaining the fairness aspect of it, one should stop.


If anyone was staying in my home for an extended period ( such as longer than a dinner party) and flat out refused to clean their OWN dishes when asked and expected me to just accept that, I would no longer be cooking for them.  I am not anybody's servant.  If they aren't going to pitch in and be a part of the family dynamics, then they can purchase and cook their own food.

NyaChan

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2013, 12:38:47 PM »
Ok then Ceallach :D I wasn't going to say anything, because I think in this situation the kid didn't protest, but since otherwise the thread would be a repeat of I agree to the endů.

In general I think someone can ask others to help out, but you can't make them.  I don't mean that it's only bad if you drag them by the hair to the dishwasher, but more along the lines of commanding or dragooning someone into helping not being okay. 

I totally agree that everyone should help and it is right that everyone pitch in.  But if a kid says they don't want to and you now know their parents don't want them to, I personally think that after asking and maybe explaining the fairness aspect of it, one should stop.


If anyone was staying in my home for an extended period ( such as longer than a dinner party) and flat out refused to clean their OWN dishes when asked and expected me to just accept that, I would no longer be cooking for them.  I am not anybody's servant.  If they aren't going to pitch in and be a part of the family dynamics, then they can purchase and cook their own food.

And if I were in the room when you said that, I would totally back you up on that :) It works both ways - we can't force others to do what we want, but we can decide what we will and will not do.

Corvid

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2013, 01:05:28 PM »
What do Uncle's family "peers" think?  Are they aware of the situation?

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Pitching In
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2013, 09:36:54 PM »
Woah! What a jerk!!

That said, unfortunately he can raise his kids to be lazy and entitled if he wants to. I do NOT think you did anything wrong, but on the other hand there's really no way you can argue with him and tell him "actually your kids WILL help!" and next year, if the kids refuse to pitch in, there's nothing you can do about it. I think it absolutely stinks but it is what it is.  :(

In the future I think I'd make a point of verbally acknowledging and appreciating the people who are helping (be it cook, clean, whatever) and silently ignore the ones who sit on their butts and wait to be served all day. And if the day ever came that it was my turn to host those people wouldn't be on the invite list.  ;)

I'd also add that if the OP finds herself stuck doing ALL the dishes (because Mr / Ms Lazy College Kid won't pitch in), I think she'd be fine only doing half (or whatever she feels comfortable with). If the "older adults" complain that she didn't finish washing all the dishes, she can explain that it's not fair for one person to be stuck washing dishes for 11+ people, while her other cousins do absolutely nothing.