Author Topic: Using guests as free labour.  (Read 33495 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MelJill

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2007, 07:14:39 PM »
One time at a family get-together when I was 13, my cousin's wife decided that I was to be in charge of entertaining their 4 year-old daughter. The daughter wanted to play with me because I reminded her of her babysitter back home. I didn't like children and had no experience playing with them, but this lady coaxed me into what I was thinking would be a few minute's play. Nope, she stuck a five-dollar bill into my hand and said thanked me for my services for the day! After a few minutes of me uncomfortably trying to entertain this child, I'd had it and went back to join the adults. The mother gave me the nastiest look and was not pleased that I had left her kid and taken her five dollars. Later on I told my mom what had happened and she said that I was in the right and that this lady had no business making me her daughter's babysitter for the day if I didn't want to.

And unless you're way older than I am, $5 wouldn't have paid for a whole day anyhow.  Good thing your mom backed you--unlike the poor victims of "Linda".  (My parents sure as shooting wouldn't have stood for me being treated that way ...  My mom would've intervened as soon as 'help' was clearly something other than 'carry this dish to the serving table'.)

Asharah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3938
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2007, 12:14:03 PM »
Thought I would resurrect this topic since Easter is in a few days, in case some of those hosting big holiday dinners need a reminder of how not to treat their guests.
Asharah

Pixie

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2007, 01:07:43 PM »
Even though I was raised to respect my elders and to be helpful, I'd have told that lipsticked demon woman where to shove it  :D





I wouldn't have.  My Mom would have beaten me to it. 

.

jamiescudder

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2007, 02:03:50 AM »
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.

RJeeves

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2007, 03:20:57 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.

twinkletoes

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2007, 03:36:08 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.

Agreed.  And this is why it gets sticky with having family/people who are "just like family" over and they end up "helping."  No way.  It's a nice and generous gesture for a guest to see the harried host/ess and say "gee, Pat, would you like me to set the table?"  It's another to say "good, you're here!  Mary will set the table, Susie will get the glasses out, and Mark will pour the drinks."  Those aren't guests - that's unpaid help. 

It's also a great way to build resentment - I have a few relatives who did that to me when I was a teen, and I don't think back of all the great holidays at Uncle Joe and Aunt Susie's.  Instead, I remember having to wash the dishes, and how my aunt screamed at me when I almost dropped a huge crystal vase.  It's really unfair - the "kids" work, while the adults cool their heels.  Either *all* of the guests pitch in, or the host/ess just cleans up after everyone's gone.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28668
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2007, 04:55:42 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.

Why precisely do you ask the teens and not the adults?
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

illini

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 230
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2007, 05:09:50 PM »
One of our parents friends used to do a similar thing in regards to the mac and cheese for kids, every time we went to her house for a dinner party.  My parents started calling me and my sister over to get food with them once they realized what was going on, but to this day she's referred to as the "Mac and Cheese" lady in our family.   >:D 

twinkletoes

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2007, 05:25:10 PM »
Just another thought - in my family, most people entertain with the good stuff.  Heirloom dishes, very nice crystal, etc.  Why on earth would someone think it's a great idea to make the guests handle that stuff, and especially if they're teens?  I remember how clutzy I was at the time - I hated having to handle the Waterford or the dishes that had been in the fam for generations.

jamiescudder

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2007, 07:18:44 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.

Why precisely do you ask the teens and not the adults?

I guess I ask the teens because when I've asked the adult parents they've turned and told their kids to do it. And that was after the adult offered to help. Not a good excuse though. After hearing about it from the teen's point of view things are going to change.

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2007, 07:21:12 PM »
After hearing about it from the teen's point of view things are going to change.

This site works. :)  Another set of lives changed by the advice herein.


kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10437
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2007, 07:24:45 PM »

It's also a great way to build resentment - I have a few relatives who did that to me when I was a teen, and I don't think back of all the great holidays at Uncle Joe and Aunt Susie's.  Instead, I remember having to wash the dishes, and how my aunt screamed at me when I almost dropped a huge crystal vase.  It's really unfair - the "kids" work, while the adults cool their heels.  Either *all* of the guests pitch in, or the host/ess just cleans up after everyone's gone.

In my family, all the adults help put on the food and clean up after. Being told by your parents to pitch in, is a mark of joining the adults. I was only screamed at one time. I was scraping plates and dropped in a good silver spoon. When I reached in to pick it up, my cousin yelled at me to stop. Her son had been eating peanutbutter crackers before we arrived - she was afraid I might touch the wrapping.

Does it make me a bad person that hearing these stories makes me very happy to be  a part of my family.

ETA a prepositional phrase that went missing.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 07:26:41 PM by kherbert05 »
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2007, 07:32:07 PM »
Does it make me a bad person that hearing these stories makes me very happy to be  a part of my family.

Yes.



;) (Joshin' ya!)


Suze

  • I live in the real world. I play in the Middle Ages.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9249
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2007, 06:25:28 AM »
At our  family gatherings ther was always a "parade" from the kitchen to wherever we were eating.

You wanted to eat,, you know you will get to eat faster if you help me get it on (or to) the table.

Washing dishes and such...no.. but help was NEVER refused.
Reality is for people who lack Imagination

jamiescudder

  • Guest
Re: Using guests as free labour.
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2007, 12:27:23 AM »
I guess I never really thought about the whole "free labor" thing because in my family everybody pitches in. It doesn't matter who's hosting it, if you're family, you help. The hostess was supposed to simply coordinate things and assign tasks. We usually used paper products so that doing the dishes meant throwing them away. Pots and pans got rinsed or put in to soak, but left for the hostess to wash later. If for some reason we actually used the china then a couple of people who wanted to visit privately would volunteer for dish duty. It was the one sure way to get everybody to leave you alone and stay out of your conversation. But nobody was ever singled out, just everybody helped.