Author Topic: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."  (Read 7726 times)

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KitFox

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I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« on: December 17, 2009, 02:05:00 PM »
And I'm not disparaging two-year-old at all! I'm taking a page out of their playbook! I have a degree in Math Education, and used to teach math. I also used to do tutoring. With final exams for college and midterms for high school and fast approaching state tests, I've gotten a lot of requests from people for free tutoring in math. They also know I'm a fair hand at technical writing (two internally-published manuals written by yours truly), so I've had people ask me to WRITE their final essays for them. All for free, of course, since we're so close.  ::)
 
I used to try to explain: "I'm sorry but I'm really busy and I just don't have time." And would have people ask me why I didn't have time! Then I would tell them my schedule and they'd start trying to rearrange it for me! Things like, "you don't HAVE to go do X [something I WANT to do], and if you skipped it, you'd have time, right?!" Or "Why do you need to sleep so late on Saturday? You can just get up at 7. I'll meet you at your house at 7:30, and then you'll still have your whole day free!" I'm not talking about people I have a close relationship with, people with whom there is reciprocity, but people with whom I barely associate until they want something from me.

I also felt extremely guilty for not doing this stuff for free, but I have grown a spine! I have been using variations on "that won't be possible" for the last two weeks, combined with a Toots Special.

Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
Me: "That's not possible."
RFSP: "Why not?!"
Me: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But! But! You HAVE to!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But I NEED help!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."

It's working really well, so thank you e-hell for helping me build up my backbone!

MayHug

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 03:44:47 PM »
Good for you! I have taught my husband and my daughter both the "Toot's Special". They both have used it successfully and have been very thankful!

I have learned and passed along alot of other good advice from here too!

Namárië

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 03:47:49 PM »
Well done! (Also, I love that you call it the "Toots Special"!)
Competence is a trap!
I mostly don't make stuff, but sometimes I do: http://initiationcreation.blogspot.com

QueenfaninCA

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 04:09:49 PM »
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
Me: "That's not possible."
RFSP: "Why not?!"
Me: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But! But! You HAVE to!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But I NEED help!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."

It's working really well, so thank you e-hell for helping me build up my backbone!

Why don't you try the following:
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
You: "Of course. It's 50$ per hour. When and where would you like to meet?

matf

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 04:43:34 PM »
Yay! Go KitFox!

something.new.every.day

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 04:59:04 PM »
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
Me: "That's not possible."
RFSP: "Why not?!"
Me: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But! But! You HAVE to!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But I NEED help!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."

It's working really well, so thank you e-hell for helping me build up my backbone!

Why don't you try the following:
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
You: "Of course. It's 50$ per hour. When and where would you like to meet?


I like how you think.   :)

Asharah

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 07:40:32 PM »
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
Me: "That's not possible."
RFSP: "Why not?!"
Me: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But! But! You HAVE to!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But I NEED help!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."

It's working really well, so thank you e-hell for helping me build up my backbone!

Why don't you try the following:
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
You: "Of course. It's 50$ per hour. When and where would you like to meet?


I like how you think.   :)
Better be sure person doesn't have a rich daddy or a trust fund!  ;D
Asharah

Danismom

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 10:41:01 PM »
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
Me: "That's not possible."
RFSP: "Why not?!"
Me: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But! But! You HAVE to!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."
RFSP: "But I NEED help!"
Me: [Toots Special]: "I can't. It's just not possible."

It's working really well, so thank you e-hell for helping me build up my backbone!

Why don't you try the following:
Random Favor-Seeking Person: "Can you tutor me in Algebra?"
You: "Of course. It's 50$ per hour. When and where would you like to meet?


EXACTLY what I was thinking...only I'd make it more like:
RFSP:  Can you tutor me in Algebra?
You:  No, I'm sorry.  That just won't be possible
RFSP:  Buuuutttt, I need you toooooo.  How about Saturday at 7:00a.m.
You:  If I did that, I'd have to charge you $200/hr
RFSP:  No way!  You have to do it free!
You:  I'm sorry but my rate for Saturday mornings is $200/hr.  If you want me to be ready when you get there, please give me 24 hours notice and pay when you book.

KitFox

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 09:18:58 AM »
I didn't invent the "Toots Special" name. I saw it in another thread, but I can't think of which one.

As far as charging folks, I really do not have time. There's a giant quilt show in February in Lancaster, and I'm working for a quilter in my off-hours to help her up her inventory. She's paying me by the piece (and a good price!) so I really need to spend my "off" hours on that.
And even when I did have free time, I would tell folks how much I charge, and then it would turn into a long, irritating conversation about the cost and why I would charge so much. Crafters will be intimately familiar with this type of discussion.

I find it hard not to lose my temper, because of the implied value (or lack thereof) they're giving to my time. But giving this rehearsed, quiet, calm answer every single time keeps my temper in check.

Azrail

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009, 09:48:44 AM »
You have you answer right there!

RFSP: Why would you charge so much?!?!
KitFox: Because my time is valuable.

You're doing great! *High fives KitFox*
Wherever you are... that's where you happen to have gone.

rashea

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2009, 10:36:23 AM »
I made good money tutoring. But there is no reason to argue your prices with them. Just "this is the price. You can pay it, or shop around. But this is what I've decided I feel comfortable paying."
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2009, 12:11:14 PM »
RFSP:  why do you charge so much?!?!?!?!
KitFox:  you get what you pay for.

Jocelyn

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2009, 01:50:49 PM »
I didn't invent the "Toots Special" name. I saw it in another thread, but I can't think of which one.

As far as charging folks, I really do not have time. There's a giant quilt show in February in Lancaster, and I'm working for a quilter in my off-hours to help her up her inventory. She's paying me by the piece (and a good price!) so I really need to spend my "off" hours on that. 

Then reply, 'I'm sorry, I'm already working 2 jobs, I don't have time for a 3rd.'

Orisha

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2009, 09:38:42 PM »
Why are you feeling guilty?  You have some desirable and marketable skills.  These people aren't friends and behaving in a rather entitled manner.  You're not obligated to tutor them (especially with that attitude) and you really don't owe them an explanation.  If they want a tutor, they can pay for one.

Michelle Ravel

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Re: I Feel Like A Two-Year-Old: My Favorite Word is "No."
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2009, 11:01:42 AM »
With your situation, it sounds like you could get in a good "Why would I want to do that?" too.