Author Topic: Using guests as free labour.  (Read 32409 times)

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BethanyAnne

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2007, 04:22:01 AM »
Being #9 out of 13 kids, my  family holiday dinners were HUGE.  The first time I was ever seated at "The kid's Table"   I was 27 years old, married, and it was our first (and last) Thanksgiving at Hubby's  Grandmother's house.   I do ADORE his Grandmother, she is a wonderful woman, but the seating arrangement was done by her 4 adult children, not her.   BTW.. ALL of the adult grandchildren were at the "kiddie table", not just Hubby and me.   The only reason there have not been more family dinners, is that as an Air Force family we don't live close to any relatives.





  Sounds like what my aunt tried to do when we were visiting for my grandmother's funeral. Here's some background. My aunt has 12 children. No lie. 2 of which are girls.

 After they learn to walk and talk she wants nothing to do with them. Because uncle works so hard to afford 12 children he's rarely home. They run wild. Along CRIVINS! not believing in parenting she also doesn't believe in cleaning. They have multiple pets that shed and "let loose" all over the house. Never cleaned up.

Okay, now that you have the background, here's the story. My family of parents, three siblings, and one BIL 29(married to oldest sister,21) all were visiting my aunt and uncle for dinner a few days before the wake and funeral. After dinner, aunt tells my parents that all the "adults" as she referred to them were going to be going out to dinner to discuss arrangements and such, and that my sister and BIL were going to stay here with my siblings and her children and babysit for her.

Well, after dinner was over and clean up had begun my brother and second oldest sister and I took my mother aside and told her that if they left us at the house while they went out to dinner we were gonna walk back to the hotel room and sit outside and wait for them.

Now, I know what you are gonna say. How could we make demands when we weren't the adults and we should be able to talk to our parents that way. Normally, we wouldn't, but we had only been at my aunt and uncles for a few hours and all of us were physically sick from it.

We all have an allergy to dust that affects out breathing abilities due to being prone to asthma. Those of us with asthma had already pulled out the inhalers so as not to suffocate, and we all were sick with migraines, which we are also all prone to due to both parents having a history.

So, basically what I'm saying is that it was self-preservation. I love my parents. They kindly told my aunt that we would all be staying at the hotel room while they went out. My parents left money and we ordered pizza and hung out.

Just as a side note. It's not as if all the children were too young to be left alone. The age range was 3-20 years old.

BethanyAnne

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2007, 04:25:38 AM »
If I were treated like that I would have sent the woman an invoice for my services...or my parents would have.  Sometimes they're PITA, but on this occasion they would have stood up for me.

Poor Kelly.  She deserved better than to be treated like that.

Can someone tell me what PITA means/is?

afbluebelle

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2007, 05:04:27 AM »
Pain In The bottom/Butt/Rear.... just the naughty word >:D
My inner (r-word) is having a field day with this one.
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Dindrane

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2007, 12:27:09 PM »
I have never in my life questioned being asked/told to help out at family gatherings.  Granted, I usually offer first, and it's usually one of my parents asking me, but even so.  In my family, everybody helps because that's what you do.  All of my aunts and uncles parent all of the grandchildren (to an extent).  My mom's younger sister was practically my second mother, and I lost guest status at their house before I started kindergarten (because I was over there so much).  I'm pretty sure she was the one who informed me that I shouldn't chew with my mouth open.

I've also recently realized that I have an almost unusually functional extended family.  It was unusual enough that, on a recent trip the whole family (all 21 of us) took, people commented on how well we all got along.  So I guess in that situation, nobody bothers getting offended by people asking for assistance.  I often feel bad that I didn't offer first if my grandma or an aunt/uncle has to ask for my help.


MiladyOak

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2007, 12:41:37 PM »
My mom is the type who will put up with serious rudeness just because it's "faaammmillyyy!". From age 6 to age 13 I was the designated babysitter for all my younger cousins. Yes, at 6 I was looking ater 3 and 4 year olds because I was so mature and responsible. At 6??? And of course my mom wouldn't say anything other than "it's faaamillyyyy" and she didn't want to be rude. Oh man, I could tell some horror stories! But in the end, she learned the hard way to either gently and politely tell my aunts to find another babysitter, or I would tell them myself, in my own graphic, obscene, and foul 14 year old way. >:D
I have no problem at all helping if asked, but to be shanghied into servitude, no way! The height of rudeness!

ashilleong

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2007, 10:43:06 PM »
My family always made the kids do dishes, etc. And being the oldest I was always lumped looking after the kids.

ashilleong

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2007, 10:44:48 PM »
...come to think of it, that still happens now, at 23.

I'd lived out of home for about 5 years and remember coming back and my parent's frineds thinking nothing of interrupting my conversations and ordering me to do things.

It is not amusing.

MissRose

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2007, 10:49:32 AM »
As a kid and later as teen and adult, being "Free hired help" was no fun most of the time... especially when my mother insisted I pitch in alot more (when my younger sister wasnt forced to do so) because I was the older kid and had to set a good example & look good in front of the other adults.  To this day, I hated being the oldest kid at most gatherings because of the exceptation that i had to be always good (even though sometimes i did complain like most kids have).

But an incident really stands out with me regarding being "free help".... I was around 16 years old, and we went to my grandmother's place for a whole weekend as my uncle was getting married, and my dad was his best man. My mother made me wear an outfit to the wedding ceremony (full Catholic Mass too if i remember correctly) & reception that made me look like I was 36 not 16 (a simple plain dress I would have preferred to have worn wouldve been more flattering compared to a white blouse and dark skirt plus a jacket that looked like a rainbow had an explosion on it!!).  But what really takes the cake - after the reception was finished around midnite or so, my mother had me, my dad, my sister, and a few others, start to clean the reception hall (usually most places the catering staff does this).  We were finished by 2 am, then we got back to my grandmother's place, and my mother forced me & my sister (she was around 13 or 14) out of bed by 7am to walk to church near my grandmother's house for the earliest mass they had there (about 8:30am), and i could barely stay awake. 

I knew if i pitched a fit at any time, my parents would have not hesitated to hit / slap me. 

I really need to submit this one to E-hell soon......

Asharah

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2008, 08:26:29 PM »
Bumped as a reminder of how NOT to treat our holiday guests!
Asharah

Derangelic

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2008, 06:00:29 PM »
O_o

Seriously, what is up with this woman? It would be understandable, if annoying and idiotic, for her to lump the writer in with the sprogs (no offense to small children, I until recently was one myself  :P) and treat her accordingly. It would be understandable, if obnoxious, for her to recruit the writer as free labor on the grounds that she was old enough to work for her dinner. But both at once?

I guess "child" and "adult with a side helping of no-respect gravy" meet in the middle. Make up your mind, Clown Mouth! Mac'n'cheese or table clearing, ya can't have both!

Maybe she didn't want to spend any more money on adult food but wanted the free labor anyway, and this was her diabolical plan...

RegionMom

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2008, 08:52:45 PM »
My mom does it this way--the girls help in the kitchen, and the guys are called only to eat. 
Then she grumbles how no one helps.

Hey, I baked 3 cakes, made a casserole, frosted said cakes, got out the good dishes and set the table, fed my own kids, tupperwared the leftovers, and more.

But, since I am the eldest and a girl, of course no thanks is needed.

My SILs do help, but one works night shift so is often asleep, and other claims cluelessness in the kitchen, or a diet, or they arrive too late. 

oh well. 

Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Abby T

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2008, 11:24:41 AM »
My mom does it this way--the girls help in the kitchen, and the guys are called only to eat. 
Then she grumbles how no one helps.

Hey, I baked 3 cakes, made a casserole, frosted said cakes, got out the good dishes and set the table, fed my own kids, tupperwared the leftovers, and more.

But, since I am the eldest and a girl, of course no thanks is needed.

My SILs do help, but one works night shift so is often asleep, and other claims cluelessness in the kitchen, or a diet, or they arrive too late. 

oh well. 

You have smart SILs. I hate the gender segregation of kitchen duties. I find it even more annoying when it is one of those 'unspoken' things. To have a MIL top it off by complaining that no one is helping - well, I would be running late on a regular basis too.

Blurgle

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2008, 12:58:00 PM »
Okay, now I'm feeling bad for asking guests for help. There is a family that my family spends a lot of time with. (We have dinner together at least twice a month and are at each other's houses several times a week.) When they're over for dinner I've never thought twice about asking the teens to help with the finishing touches on a meal and setting and clearing the table. I've even been known to recruit their friends who come over with them to help. In my defense, I've always served them the same thing as everybody else, and I've never asked them to do dishes.

Do you pay them? Or compensate them in any way? I understand where you're coming from, but asking the teens for help exclusively without ever offering anything in return really doesn't sit well with me.

Especially since they're teens. Teens are so often thought of as "in the way" or not really full guests the way adults and children are. It's almost as if adults see them automatically as slackers for receiving hospitality.

LJM

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2008, 04:26:44 PM »
Especially since they're teens. Teens are so often thought of as "in the way" or not really full guests the way adults and children are. It's almost as if adults see them automatically as slackers for receiving hospitality.

Exactly.

I have no problem with situations where everyone is pitching in. But when certain people are being singled out due to age (and/or gender), that's a problem.

And I agree, teens tend to be considered guilty (of slackerdom, rudeness, etc) until proven innocent in our society.

missmolly

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Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2008, 06:04:29 AM »
In my family, gatherings are a pretty serious business, as is the workload that goes into it. We've almost got a heirarchy going: the ladies of the family concentrate on the main meal, my older cousins prepare nibbles and plates of food, the fathers handle the drinks, and the kids hand food around, and help clear the table. Dishes fall to anyone foolish enough to volunteer for them!
We've never done the 'kid's meal' thing, probably because nobody wants to have to prepare a whole other set of meals. 

If someone tried to pull a 'Linda' at my family gathering, they'd face a full scale mutiny, both from children and parents.
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