Author Topic: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29  (Read 14194 times)

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Micah

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #60 on: May 29, 2014, 08:06:55 PM »
I have a friend (my best friend now) who is generous to a fault. She'd give you the last dollar she owned and go hungry herself if you asked her.

When I first met her, she invited me and another lady to the pub to watch a band play. Other Lady (OL) came with NO money at all and no cigarettes. When her drink was empty she'd bang her glass down on the table, look expectantly at friend and say, ""Bout time for another one, isn't it?"
When we went out for a smoke, OL held out her hand expectantly to friend. I think she smoked about half a pack of friend's throughout the night.

My jaw was almost literally on the floor. The next day I asked friend about it and she said that OL was always like that and that she'd been surprised that I hadn't acted the same way. She'd been used so much over the years that she thought it was normal!

It took some time, but I managed to convince her that it was neither right, nor normal. She's since severely cut ties with OL and is a lot better at saying no in general.

Mulder: "So...Lunch?"
Scully: "Mulder, toads just fell from the sky!"
Mulder: "Maybe their parachutes didn't open."

sammycat

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #61 on: May 29, 2014, 10:59:30 PM »
Quite frankly, I find doormats like the LW to be so irritating that I have to walk away from the screen just to compose a reply.

My response would have been to ignore the pointed looks the first time, and if the other mom point-blank asked, I would simply say that I had only budgeted to cover my own expenses, and suggest she call her DH or someone else to provide the funds for her to cover her own expenses.  Repeat as necessary (since it appears to be a regular occurrence) until she gloms onto some other person who has hopefully learned by the example set to not be a doormat either.

Being thought cheap?  That doesn't even make sense to me because LW is covering her expenses.  I don't care how small the amount is, I don't cover for casual "friends" (most people seem to use this word far more loosely than I would, I would consider the other mother to be an acquaintance).

POD x million.

My reply to the moocher would have been "oh dear, you'll need to get the manager over so you can work something out with him/her". If the manager or other diner tried to guilt me into paying moocher's tab I'd refuse. Not my problem. That said, if a close friend genuinely forgot their purse/wallet I'd be happy to cover them as I know all my friends would repay it as soon as they had access to their money again (and that has happened twice as we all have brain farts occasionally and both times I was repaid the next day, without having to even ask). I wouldn't pay for an acquaintance.

I sometimes wonder if I've lead a very sheltered life, or maybe I've just been very lucky, but I've never found myself in any of the situations I've read about on ehell or other sites, when it comes to paying for meals. Everyone I know just pays their own way, has sufficient money to cover their bills and we all just get on with it.  A lot of the places we go to eat are the sort of venues where payment is required upfront when placing your order at the till, so there's no way for anyone to order $500 worth of stuff and then try and get out of paying. But even at restaurants where a bill is brought to the table after eating, everyone knows what they ordered and pays exactly that (taxes are already included and there's no tipping, so if I order a $9.95 menu item, that's the exact amount I'm required to pay).

I honestly don't understand the mindset of someone who would (A) leave the house to socialise without their purse/wallet and (B) have an expectation (ahead of time) that someone else will pay for them. If anyone can explain that level of arrogance and entitlement to me I'd be genuinely interested. Where I live, it's illegal to drive without your license, which 99.9% of people I know keep in their purse/wallet, along with debit/credit cards, cash, medicare card, etc. I'd also be terrified of being stranded somewhere without any means of payment should something really unexpected happen. So why do they do it?

sammycat

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #62 on: May 29, 2014, 11:00:59 PM »
She is worried about what the other moms think if she does not pay?   Right now, I bet they are thinking, "sucker" written on her forehead.

That's exactly what I'd be thinking and did think about the letter writer.

I think I would rather be viewed as cheap than be viewed as a fool.

Me too!

LifeOnPluto

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #63 on: May 29, 2014, 11:51:31 PM »
This story flabbergasts me. I can't help feeling we're missing something. Because I just can't fathom the idea of one woman constantly expecting another woman to pay for her meals, while the rest of the group just sits there silently.

Reading between the lines, I'm wondering if there's something going on where the LW is seen as (or perceives herself to be) "less popular" than the rest of the group, and she feels the only way she can be accepted by the group is to pay for AW's (the Queen Bee's?) meals? I hope that's not the case. Very high-schoolish if so.

Personally, I'd have covered AW's meal the first time (because hey, accidents happen and people forget stuff). The second time, I'd smell a rat and blurt out "Again?! How could you forget your purse twice in a row? How about you get someone else to cover you this time?"

Going forward, I recommend that LW firmly tells AW "I've covered your meal several times now, and aren't intending on doing it again." If the rest of the group think she's "cheap" because of this, she needs to find a nicer group.

SoCalVal

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #64 on: May 30, 2014, 12:02:53 AM »
Personally, I'd have covered AW's meal the first time (because hey, accidents happen and people forget stuff). The second time, I'd smell a rat and blurt out "Again?! How could you forget your purse twice in a row? How about you get someone else to cover you this time?"

I have a friend who pulled this maneuver on me three times a few years ago.  She and her husband had just split up, and she had no job so she claimed poverty (she, I later learned, had cash savings in the 5-figure range, all liquid, not to mention her mother is a millionaire; meanwhile, I'd just gotten a temp job after living off unemployment for five months).  Anyway, we went out to eat once, and she stated she'd forgotten to get cash and only had her card so asked if I could cover her and she'd pay me back later.  Okay, fine.  I covered both our meals.  The second time, we were at a drive-through, and, once again, she claimed not to have cash.  Grrrr.  I covered her again, remembering all the while that she still hadn't paid me back for the first time.  Third time -- I sure did learn my lesson on the first two!  I not only got cash before meeting up with her, I made sure I got cash in a variety of bills so I could lay down my exact amount should she try it again.  It should be no surprise she tried it again!  She said she only had her card.  I said, "Oh, that's fine; I have exact change so I'll pay my amount and you can use your card for yours."  She used her card to pay for all of it and took the cash.  The next time we went out (which was a few days later), she offered to pay for my coffee and commented that she could use the cash she'd gotten from me last time.  She never did pull those "oh, I forgot to get cash" maneuvers on me ever again (and, fortunately, she's a much happier person these days).



Ceallach

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #65 on: May 30, 2014, 05:31:14 AM »
This is the kind of letter writer that annoys the heck out of me.    Why on earth would she think it looks "cheap" to refuse to cover a moocher's bill?   There are so many easy things she could say to get out of that situation.   Life is choices.  If she is happy covering the bill, cover it, if she's not happy covering it, she needs to say no.   

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand that some social situations are awkward, but I can't imagine feeling put on the spot by some random person in my social group asking me to cover the cost of their meal repeatedly.   It's just weird.   There's spineless and then there's just... floppy jellyfish.   :(
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


aussie_chick

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #66 on: May 30, 2014, 06:36:23 AM »
This is the kind of letter writer that annoys the heck out of me.    Why on earth would she think it looks "cheap" to refuse to cover a moocher's bill?   There are so many easy things she could say to get out of that situation.   Life is choices.  If she is happy covering the bill, cover it, if she's not happy covering it, she needs to say no.   

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand that some social situations are awkward, but I can't imagine feeling put on the spot by some random person in my social group asking me to cover the cost of their meal repeatedly.   It's just weird.   There's spineless and then there's just... floppy jellyfish.   :(

Me too!!!
I read letters like this and think "you don't need etiquette help, you need something completely different"
Make a choice. Own that choice and don't be afraid to call out the rude moocher.
Or if that's too direct, as others have said - text moocher before the next lunch to remind them they need to pay LW back. Or next time they ask, simply look surprised and say "i only bought the cash for my own lunch" (no sorry!) or next time they ask "you've forgotten your purse 3 times in a row? Seriously? No I can't. (again no sorry!)"

perpetua

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #67 on: May 30, 2014, 06:57:33 AM »
While I think the advice to call out Moochy and ask for repayment for the meals paid for is sound (and Moochy deserves it!), can I point out that if the LW is such a doormat that she's allowed Moochy to do this three times, she's hardly likely to have the backbone to be able to call her out at the table.

The first time I might have covered for her - accidents happen - but the second (and especially if repayment wasn't forthcoming) I'd probably have gone with the "Oh, I only have enough for myself" routine and left her floundering. But it would depend how close of a friend she was.

rose red

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #68 on: May 30, 2014, 11:02:28 AM »
I honestly don't understand the mindset of someone who would (A) leave the house to socialise without their purse/wallet and (B) have an expectation (ahead of time) that someone else will pay for them. If anyone can explain that level of arrogance and entitlement to me I'd be genuinely interested. Where I live, it's illegal to drive without your license, which 99.9% of people I know keep in their purse/wallet, along with debit/credit cards, cash, medicare card, etc. I'd also be terrified of being stranded somewhere without any means of payment should something really unexpected happen. So why do they do it?

Mooch said she "forgot" her purse. I bet she "forgot" she left it in her car. If the jig is ever up, she'll suddenly "remember" she "hid" money in her glove compartment for emergencies.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #69 on: May 30, 2014, 11:41:54 AM »
I'm always amazed at the number of posts here about moochers 'forgetting' their wallets.  Unless I'm actually in something like a swimming pool I feel naked without having some money and ID on my person.

Someone who is consistently without these things would be a red flag to me and I can't understand the mind-set of someone who would be so cheap and manipulative. 

In my youth I had been known to wear a shirt with 'Welcome' written on the back but, even in my worst days, I would never have put up with the shenanigans presented here.  I would love to be a fly on the wall when pub lady and the moocher in the OP went out together. 


TootsNYC

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #70 on: May 30, 2014, 11:53:09 AM »
From the Dear Prudence letter:

Quote
One mother always sits next to me and when it comes to paying (we all pay for our own meals) she pointedly looks at me and says she forgot her purse.

This woman was clearly testing/grooming the Letter Writer.

Some people would have said, "Oh, really? It's not in the car? How'd you get here, without your driver's license?"

Or their manner when they offered to pay would have indicated they wouldn't roll over. They'd be reluctant, or something. This woman probably looked sheepish and sent of "roll right over me" signals.


Am I the only one who wonders how long this has been going on? I figure at least 5 times.

lowspark

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #71 on: May 30, 2014, 12:12:44 PM »
"You forgot your wallet again??

This is exactly what I would have said. The second time (not the third or fourth!) And loudly so all could hear.

"You forgot your wallet again?? Well, don't look at me. I won't be able to cover you this time. And by the way, you still owe me for last time."

It really does amaze me that people are so worried about what others might think that they allow themselves to be taken advantage of, sometimes in extreme ways.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #72 on: May 30, 2014, 12:44:56 PM »
I thought of the perfect line for moochers (which, thank god, I've never had to use): "You must have some friends whose good nature you haven't abused... Use one of them!"

miranova

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #73 on: May 30, 2014, 12:47:49 PM »
. Because I just can't fathom the idea of one woman constantly expecting another woman to pay for her meals, while the rest of the group just sits there silently.



My mother does this, but only to me.  She has 4 children.  Apparently somewhere along the way she decided that I was in the best financial situation out of the 5 of us so I should always pay for her meals.  No idea.  But she makes absolutely zero move to get money out of her purse and will just sit there.  I covered her twice I think, because she is my mother and I didn't want to cause a scene in front of my children.  After that, I simply stopped going to restaurants with her, ever.  I haven't been out with her in years.  She didn't even have the courtesy to say thank you for dinner, either. 

I resent the idea that because I have managed my money better than she has, that I am now expected to pay for her, so I won't do it.  And the thing is, if she didn't pull this stunt, I would have gladly offered to take her out many times by now, as I do with other friends and family.  But I am stubborn and won't do it if you just assume I should, and for stupid reasons.  Not happening.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: S/O Restaurant bill shenanigans: Dear Prudence Third Letter 05/29
« Reply #74 on: May 30, 2014, 12:50:13 PM »
So why do they do it?

Because somebody always pays.   Always.  These people will mooch off everybody in the group, one by one, until they're all used up, then they move on to another group and start the whole process over again.  I've seen it.  Fortunately I never had the money to be one of the givers, but I've seen this process happen, several times.