How seriously do you take your day off?

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
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48,575
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New Jersey
I like helping folks, when I can. Would I drive 45 minutes to have a look at something? Sure. Would I make recommendations, maybe even help to do a replacement when scheduled, or if easy and I had time? Sure.

But there shouldnt be expectations.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
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241
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Iowa
I stopped after one of those "free" tune ups on my Brother's van one Christmas. He always got the parts and I donated my labor.

It was like -10F here in Iowa that day. As he was pulling into the shop, I hit the door closer too soon, and clipped off the vent on top of his van. So I said get it repaired and send me the bill. My mistake, and I paid the price. Cost me about $200 that day, for his "free" tune-up.

So much for being the nice guy. Never again.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
7,290
I am often asked to help out a friend on my days off. Quite frankly I'm pretty tired of donating my day off and not getting my projects done.

A guy comes by my work to wash cars. He called me last night and asked me if I would look at a coolant leak his car has.

So I headed all the way across town to check it out for him. He apparently hit something and smashed the radiator.

It's one of those cars where the whole front end has to come off,evac and charge the ac etc to get the radiator changed.

I told him to get it towed to my place and I'll work on it this week after my regular job. No he expected me to do it today in an apartment complex parking lot on the wrong side of the tracks.

I don't know exactly what tools I may end up needing and don't want to spend the day chasing tools....either driving 45 min 1 way home to get something or running back and forth to AutoZone only to buy duplicates of what I already have.

Plus most of my tools are locked up at my day job and I can't access them on a Sunday.

Make sense or not?
I always thought once to do a favor for a fair weather friend, you are married to it. I hate to be blunt, but this is a simple problem that you should be able to handle without having to ask for advice. You obviously have someone here who is taking advantage of you. If you are asked about another problem, better beware.
 
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Joined
Sep 30, 2013
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14,863
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Indiana
Something like making an ac hose I don't mind doing. I can make a $50 profit making a hose in 15 minutes. But to spend all day in a parking lot trying to make do with the wrong tools is for the birds.
It is unfortunate (family friendly term) that he’d expect you to buy tools and material on top of you footing the bill for gas and time.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
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MO
If he’s not a friend, I’d pass. Sometimes it’s hard to say no, but try it for your own sanity. If you end up repairing it, maybe he can pressure wash your house or something while you fix his car?
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
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The web
I had literally five friends/relatives call me in one day asking for freebies. Five. I was talking to one relative when another called me, I saw the call waiting, then it stopped beeping and they then immediately called my wife's phone. It was ridiculous.

I had one that needed almost $500 in parts total replaced.. I told them what parts to buy, where to buy them, the part numbers, etc. They wanted me to front the money and buy the parts myself, then they would pay me back after it was done. I told them to send me or paypal the money so I could go get the parts, I wasn't fronting that kind of money. They boo-hoo'd me, they didnt have enough and it was going to have to be two different payments spread out over their next two paychecks, etc etc. I nope'd my way out of that repair in a hurry.

My own sister, who makes slightly less than double what I make, got quite forceful in trying to have me delay leaving on our Florida vacation by a day so that I could spend that Friday repairing her brakes instead of her going to the local Toyota dealer to get them done in a hurry. Sorry sister, not happening. Expletives flew wild during that phone call, many from her, most from me.

About two days later my wife went on to Facebook, and posted a long winded "My husband is not your personal mechanic. He doesn't work for free, he doesn't work on his day off, and we are not your bank" kind of post and said "he's not working on your cars anymore. He's done. Call someone else, I don't care who." I wasn't even aware she had made the post and I almost died when I read it. The phone calls stopped immediately. A couple people made some pissy comments. A few gave it a thumbs up. Anyway, it worked.

I work on my two kid's cars and my 89 year old dad's car. Nobody elses. Period.

If you have a skill like working on cars, doing plumbing, electrical, roofing, computers, whatever...you'll quickly find who the leeches are in your life.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
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Location
NH
I value my time on the weekends, not enough but more than enough that I am not working on anything I don't want to, certainly not for free.

Now if it's a quid pro quo sort of thing, then certainly. I don't keep running balances on favors but if I had a friendship where we swapped efforts and strengths and abilities, then I'd go out of my way. But then that friendship would be quite likely open to explanations and expectations, and efforts to make any work done work for the both of us.
 

wwillson

Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
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Naperville, IL
I am generous with my time, as many people have been generous with their time to me. I have learned when someone asks a favor of me, my response is clear what I will and won't do and if we uncover something I don't want to do or can't do that I have the right to put the brakes on at any time. If anyone tries to get me to do more than what I said I would, then I'm immediately done. The type of person that will immediately try to negotiate your limit will simply use you for anything they can. I don't play that game.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
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Los Gatos, CA
I am generous with my time, as many people have been generous with their time to me. I have learned when someone asks a favor of me, my response is clear what I will and won't do and if we uncover something I don't want to do or can't do that I have the right to put the brakes on at any time. If anyone tries to get me to do more than what I said I would, then I'm immediately done. The type of person that will immediately try to negotiate your limit will simply use you for anything they can. I don't play that game.
Yeah, and you know this is not the 1st time he has tried to get over. And it won't be the last.
Helping out is a great feeling; people who take and take and take are so disappointing.

For those who help me, I do my best to return the favor in kind. At least do something! It's only right.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
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Location
South Carolina
You sound like a good person, I know the feeling of trying to help people, as you get older you will learn to say no at times and think of yourself and what you want first.
Also I would have told that guy he would have to get the car to your place and only then could you help him out assuming you wanted too
 
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Pew

Joined
Mar 12, 2018
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1,918
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Illinois
The fact the guy expected you to just drop your day and fix his car for free (and I assume that you have to foot the bill for many parts and tools), I'd just tell them what they need and be on my way. Anybody who isn't considerate to your time regardless of an emergency or not do not deserve to be helped. My time is my time and I get to decide if I want to help or not. I'll almost always help friends and family if I can but anybody outside of my family or small circle of friends is almost always a no.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
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Some people will always try to take advantage of a good-natured person.. you need to sometimes shut off the spigot.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
17,097
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Fortunately most of my friends are capable car people so the only time they need help is when a job legitimately requires a second set of hands, or they have hit a wall and need a second set of eyes. The last time was one an older friend broke the red tab on the coil connector of his 2014 F-150 5.0. If anyone has dealt with those they are easy to break. I got the pigtail from work and one Friday when we were bbq'ing I brought that and some tools over. Instead of wasting time doing the whole pigtail I just de-pinned the connectors and re-pinned it which took a couple minutes. When I was finishing it up he joked he should just have me to the spark plugs. I was like "hand them over, my hands are already dirty." He was kinda surprised I meant it, but had left them at home 😐.

But besides that, just my own vehicles and my mom's Fusion. My neighbor always walks over to "supervise" when working. Which is me basically explaining how vehicles have progressed technology wise since the 60s and what he thinks are ripoff prices from local shops (also my customers) are actually not that bad really.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
461
Location
South of Metro Atlanta
OP, I don't know how old you are, but you're going to soon realize that people are not going to come help you when you need it. They are all going to be "too busy".

You need to take care of your own stuff starting right now.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2005
Messages
5,451
Location
Massachusetts
After recovering from my covid debacle (still on thinners, but the clots in my lungs are gone) and re-evaluating everything: I'm back in the gym, playing with my band, back on the Jeep and ATV trails, cutting firewood, work less and spend more time with my wife.
In a way, Covid put me back on track.

I help my family when they need it. Beyond that, take a number and wait your turn or pay someone to fix it. On the bright side, when I retire in a few years, opening a part-time small engine shop will be a gold mine here. No one really does it anymore. (except my bud @jeepman3071 ).
 
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