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TOPIC: Friends taking advantage of your professional skills...

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August 1, 2012 6:24 PM
I would just say something like, "I don't mind helping you out, but I don't know this friend, and I'm busy right now. I'm sorry. I'll talk to you soon."
  7587537
August 1, 2012 6:28 PM
Electrician here. I do electrical work all day/night long.
I don't want to do electrical work in my own house, why do I want to do it in a friends house. If it is an emergency, I run there, no charge.

If it is for a stupid light or fan install, I tell them to call an electrician. Get a price. Triple it and then call me.
  14733344
August 1, 2012 6:40 PM
Give them your going rate, or tell them to figure it out themselves.

I like to tie dye, and yes, I'll give it away sometimes as gifts. However, when a coworker comes up and says "I have a family reunion on Sunday and we want 50 shirts" I say "here's where I get my dye, and here's the instructions. Good luck!"
August 1, 2012 6:41 PM
QUOTE:

In full disclosure, if I had a friend who was a massage therapist, it would be a total struggle to not take advantage of his/her skills.

I have helped a lot of friends with their resumes (in all honesty, the majority of resumes that I see need to be burned, come on people, at least spell check your resume before you turn it in). I helped one friend fix up her resume and talked to her a bit about interview and resume etiquette and I just got an email from her today with her classmate's resume. She preceded to tell me that her classmate has an interview on Friday and gave me a short list of how I can make changes to the document before I send it back to her. In all fairness, she did say please take a look, however, it was in a statement, not a polite question.

I like helping people out but I also feel like she is taking advantage of me. I kinda want some kind-of reciprocity from her classmate since he is not a friend of mine. Side note, there were misspellings in this resume as well. I have had someone misspell their own name before.

Anyways, I just wanted to share my little rant and see if any of you go through this too. How do you handle it? Or how would you handle it?


I'm a network engineer. If I had a nickel for everytime somebody has asked "can you take a look at my personal computer?", I'd be retired. Worked one place where one of the company lawyers kept pulling that on me. I finally told him, bring it over to my house and I'll take care of it while you write wills for me and my wife. He made some little comment about "i usually get paid to write wills..." and I laughed and said "yeah, I usually get paid to clean porn off lawyers computers....."
  11300333
August 1, 2012 10:45 PM
So, here is the update. I went to meet my friend and told her that I would do it but that I didn't have a problem helping friends out but that since I didn't know this classmate of hers then perhaps we could trade services (they go to cosmetology school). I talked to him briefly before I left and he said he was willing to give me a free something at some point. They now have an appointment to meet with me on my lunch break tomorrow to over.

I feel much better. I like helping people but it is easy to let people walk all over me. One of my get healthy goals is to be able to stand up for myself.
  27050617
August 1, 2012 11:29 PM
Wow. That takes a lot of nerve for her to expect that you will help her friend out for free. If she has all those suggestions then maybe *she* should do it, lol!

I totally agree with the people that suggested you send your pricing information. If she doesn't understand that, maybe you could explain it like "If you babysat my kids for free as a favor to me, would you then be upset if I brought my friend's kids over the next night and expected you to babysit THEM for free too?"

Many times, when I do a favor for a friend, I will have them stay with me while I am working through their paperwork. After all, if I am putting in the time, then THEY can too. If they don't have the time to stay, I don't have the time to work. I think it helps them understand the amount of time it takes and it's amazing how they stop being picky about stuff when they are ready to go home. They don't mind ME putting lots of time in on their behalf, but they don't want to do it and so suddenly everything is "good enough" and we're done and they go home!
August 1, 2012 11:31 PM
Oooops, just saw that you posted an update. Good for you and maybe you'll get a haircut out of it or something!
August 1, 2012 11:32 PM
my friends take advantage of me being a makeup artist all the time!
between them using my kit makeup, doing their makeup whenever we go out or whatever
and just using up product (makeup or not) they totally take advantage of me.
kind of sucks, but hey, when most of your friends are girls what do you expect? aha.
August 1, 2012 11:34 PM
As a martial arts instructor I feel people often try to start fights when they're hanging out w me. They're like , "marks got my back so let me talk crap to that big group of people" ....:( not fun
August 1, 2012 11:38 PM
when my parents had a restaurant everyone I knew, even people I wasn't close to, assumed they'd get free food/discount.

sorry but food costs money in case you haven't noticed. and I didn't invite you over anyway.
  12734640
August 1, 2012 11:43 PM
I'm a hairdresser, everyone always asks me if I can go round and cut/colour/style their hair for nothing. It's a lot of time and money to lose when you could have a paying client instead. :-\
  9373910
August 1, 2012 11:50 PM
i wouldn't do it, just say you don't have time. that is what i would say
August 1, 2012 11:57 PM
QUOTE:

my friends take advantage of me being a makeup artist all the time!
between them using my kit makeup, doing their makeup whenever we go out or whatever
and just using up product (makeup or not) they totally take advantage of me.
kind of sucks, but hey, when most of your friends are girls what do you expect? aha.


I used to work with makeup (in a store) and keep my personal supplies hygienic to last longer-I don't dip into a product again after the applicator was on my skin,use fresh clean set of brushes each time especially for each client, etc. I could not have people randomly dipping into the same supplies I would use on clients. I suggest a policy where your professional supplies are only applied by you so that you can keep them clean and organized. If a close friend wants a makeup application before going out together, have a token rate for restocking your supplies and cleaning your tools. If you are doing something elaborate, a higher fee would be fair for your time as long it is agreed upon in advance-so treat your friends a bit like a client and identify what they want and then either do a basic application for a supplies charge or a rave worthy work of art application for a discount after informing them of the options you feel comfortable with. Now if your friends are providing cocktails while getting ready, doing all of the driving, paying for parking, etc, be prepared to acknowledge this and call it a wash.
August 2, 2012 8:14 AM
I'm pretty good with PC's some people try to take advantage of that and expect me to fix their PC for free.

Now if its my mom and dad and close family sure.

Now when it comes to friends I give them a discount.
August 2, 2012 8:18 AM
I am a nurse practitioner, and family/friends always ask me for medical advise. I send them to their doctor instead. I refuse to get involved in anyone health care...
  17963963
August 2, 2012 8:25 AM
I'm a freelance tax preparer. I work for an internet based firm. from Jan-April my phone rings nonstop from people I haven't heard from in ages.

Small talk... then finally.. so do you still do taxes? I cannot explain how annoying it is. Back when I would help out people, they would then harass me about when their refunds were coming... wtf I'm not the IRS get out of my ****ing face.

It's been 6 years of this. Drives me mad. Since it's not my main job I just lie and say no I don't do them anymore. Or I don't answer my phone from Jan-April lol
  25914797
August 2, 2012 8:31 AM
I'm an attorney. I give away free advice all the time to family and friends. Actually taking a case for free? I did it one time, early in my career, and it was a MAJOR mistake. He's no longer a friend, and he was insanely unreasonable in what he expected me to accomplish based on the position he'd already put himself in in his marriage and financially. I'm amazed at how demanding people can be when they're getting free work. An old, wise, friend of mine once said (paraphrasing): "If your friends are really your friends, they wouldn't expect you to work or sell them goods at a discounted price or for free". Since I work for the State now, am no longer in private practice, and I can't practice law outside my job, I refer people to attorneys often. Even that is something I'm considering no longer doing. People are never happy with legal services. They seem to forget that they came to me (or the lawyer) with a problem in the first place, and that I didn't create it! And they don't realize that fixing things legally doesn't always mean getting it fixed just the way they'd imagined in their dream world!

Bottom line, at least in my profession, when it comes to working for friends, get paid, and get full price, because they're going to expect better than full service! The sad thing about my profession is, you pretty much have to do work for friends, or friends of friends, because like another lawyer bud of mine said "if your friends won't hire you, it's a sure fire bet your enemies won't".
Edited by jran3 On August 2, 2012 8:40 AM
  20965809
August 2, 2012 8:37 AM
QUOTE:

I'm a computer tech, and I get asked to help out all of the time from friends. Here's my simple rule:

If it's for your business, or you are going to get some money out of it, I charge (but usually not my normal rate).

If you ask me all of the time, you better be giving me favors in return, or I start saying "Oh, I'm too busy to do it."

BTW, your friends classmate isn't your friend, so I would be charging.


It seems I am on call all the time for my family and friends' computer/gadget needs.
  22425060
August 2, 2012 9:24 AM
I don't mind helping my friends, gratis. However, my friends' friends just get a discount ...
August 2, 2012 9:35 AM
My aunt is a hair stylist, and every time I have her cut my hair, I make an appointment at her salon, and I pay her the same rate she charges anyone else. She cuts and styles hair for a living; it's not a hobby for her. So I wouldn't feel right about asking her to make special exceptions for me. My sister, on the other hand, just likes to cut people's hair, for whatever reason. She's not a professional, and she doesn't claim to be. So if I need a trim and she's around, I might ask her to do it. I don't pay her, and she doesn't expect me to.

One of my mom's good friends is a dermatologist, and the same goes for when I need to see him ... I make an appointment, and I pay his standard rate.

I'm an accountant, and people ask me for tax advice all the time. I don't expect to be paid for it because that's not what I do for a living. I manage an investment portfolio and prepare periodic financial statements for an insurance company. Someday, however, I would like to get into tax consulting, and when I do, I will be clear that my advice is not free anymore.

I think people don't see services the same way they see products when it comes to asking for favors from friends. Most people would not ask for free groceries if they had a friend who owned a grocery store. They know that the owner of the store has to pay for those products, so if he gives them away for free, he's losing money. But they've got no problem asking their cousin, the electrician, to do some work for them for free because "it's just time and labor," as if those things don't also cost money.
  517622
August 2, 2012 9:41 AM
QUOTE:

Easy, just send her back a quick email with your pricing information.


This ^^

I would tell your friend "I'm honored that your resume turned out nice enough that you thought of me for your friend, however, this is my profession. I will gladly do hers, and even offer her a discount off of my normal rate. I have attached a copy of my rates for her to review. Please let me know when to proceed"
August 2, 2012 9:43 AM
QUOTE:

So, here is the update. I went to meet my friend and told her that I would do it but that I didn't have a problem helping friends out but that since I didn't know this classmate of hers then perhaps we could trade services (they go to cosmetology school). I talked to him briefly before I left and he said he was willing to give me a free something at some point. They now have an appointment to meet with me on my lunch break tomorrow to over.

I feel much better. I like helping people but it is easy to let people walk all over me. One of my get healthy goals is to be able to stand up for myself.


Ask for same day service, or you will prob never see or hear from them again! =)
August 2, 2012 10:35 AM
Tell her you charge $40.00 an hour then ask if her friend wants to proceed. real simple, cash rendered for services supplied...

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