The shoes I buy with karma look just like feet.

Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 09:11 pm
Oh man.

It is that time of year again.

The time of year where everyone thinks I work for free.

I'm a portrait photographer.

I have a lovely studio that costs me actual money to operate.

My lab does not work for free (the bastards).

Nevertheless, this is the time of year that people I absolutely do not owe favors to all start calling asking for favors.

There are three groups of people who I give photos to:

My family.

People who would never dream of asking me to give them free photos.

People who call the studio, make an appointment and present a credit card.

I don't care what you say, it does not take me 1/125 of a second to pay for that $1,300 strobe light. And truly, the stobe light is the least of my worries.

If you're thinking "discount" please come see me in September and even then that is only if I really really love you.


I feel better now.

Do you have a job that lends to people asking you for free stuff or discounts?

Do you have a talent that people try to exploit?

How do you deal with it?
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 09:20 pm
I am a maintenance man. Everybody on the property wants special treatment from me. I good naturedly (mostly) do what I can, and then tell them when I can't do more. If they persist, I am likely to simply walk away.
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 09:32 pm
Jeez, edgar, can you take a look at my...... whatever.

I'll bet you're bugged constantly!

My neighbor is a wonderful handyman and mechanic. He can fix anything. He is a true hero.

He will never accept payment from me and it drives me a bit bonkers. I've learned that if I bake him a nice treat I'm good. He is diabetic so I have learned many fancy devices to create him a little something that he can't get elsewhere.
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 09:38 pm
He sounds like a man after my own heart. I rarely accept money from anybody, but treats and a kind word are nice.
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 09:39 pm
My Socially Useful Attribute is dealing with paperwork and other aspects of bureaucracy and the middle class.

I work for free all year round.

Every so often one of the fringes will say, "Thank you."
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 09:44 pm
I don't do much for the neighbors anymore. Don't have the energy after a long day at work.
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 09:52 pm
Neighbor is the best, a really great guy.

ACK, Noddy. That kind of stuff is insane.

You know, it is nice to be recognized for one's talents but there is a definate line between feeling recognized and feeling abused. Sometimes a thank you is enough, sometimes a thank you and a token is enough. I am a big believer in the barter system!

But sometimes it is easy to feel taken advantage of and dealing with that situation is difficult.
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:02 pm
I love helping the residents. There just isn't enough of me to go around.
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:07 pm
I don't mind helping the mentally ill and the mentally retarded--although if I hear I'm being bad-mouthed by these people I get Very Annoyed.

I have started rationing my help to the "normals" who bad-mouth me.
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:44 pm
I learned that people who constantly
ask for free favors, are bold and have no shame.
One never can expect them to change.

The only cure: stop it!
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:56 pm
Computer security and network reliability are not talents that are in demand around the neighborhood. I don't even get buttonholed by family.

Take up something esoteric.
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 05:21 am
If peope start telling me their problems, and I do not consider them a friend, I bite them, hard, and run away.
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Lord Ellpus
Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 05:42 am
As I tend to work with crims ranging from petty thieves, through to armed robbers and rapists, my wife would not be best pleased if they kept knocking on the door, asking for advice.
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 07:16 am
I am working my own little business.
Cleaning homes - 20.00$ an hour.
No if's and's or butt's about it.
That is the price.

I have one client whom I have held on to simply to keep the time slot open.. and to keep that little bit of income..
but oh holy hell.

First of all she was my very first client. I was broke.. she needed work.. so I struck a deal.
I give her 3 hours worth of work for 35 bucks.
YUP.. done screwed myself there.
But, it was so i could - have the income - have a current working referrance- and start practicing.

fair enough.

I have to clean her entire home ( an apartment..) in 3 hours..
because that is what she pays for
i sometimes end up staying an extra half hour just to finish . But , I promised that if it was on the list of things to do, i wouldnt charge the last 20 minutes or so it took me to get everything completed..

just trying to be a nice service woman
screwed my self there too..

i cook a meal while I am there.

I iron laundry, wich i told her from the begining that isnt something I do.
she showed me 2 things at the start that she asked.. if I had time... would i mind.. not a necessity, but she had a meeting and it would have been a great help
I am now expected to iron too.. every visit.

Her dog tore up her carpet..
she tried to make ME pay for it saying it wasnt possible her dog did it. .. .

she asks for a discount for christmas
she asks for a free hour to help with christmas cleaning
she asks for more tasks to be taken on in an already tight time schedule with no intention of paying for the over time because she thinks it should just be one big cleaning package and not hourly work.
she expects deep professional cleaning for 35 dollars, when i have made it clear that i am NOT a professional, im just a ' helper'.
she thinks 35.00 is bouncing her budget and could be lowered some..
she thinks i should be willing to clean anything and everything despite the peramiters I set for this job..
she thinks her house isnt that hard to clean ( Laughing)

I THINK- i need to get another customer..

tell me where you can find an entire house clean + meal cooked for
35 dollars?
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 07:30 am
When they're bold and have no shame they're hard to stop, CJane. Really, they're too thick to get it even when you're blunt.

For example: one person who requested a favor, when told "No" suggested that they come to my house to make it easier for me to do their photo.

Choose a new career? Hmmm. Possible.

Biting!? Very possible.

At least I'm not dealing with criminals or lunatics!

Okay. Obvious criminals or lunatics.

Shewolf, she is taking advantage of you. Once someone like that gets started there is no end to what they will ask you to do. Why in the world should she expect a holiday discount?
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Lord Ellpus
Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 07:35 am
I'd be straight with her, Shewolf.

Just list the "extras" that have crept into the job, and then tell her how much your new rate will be.

If she doesn't like it, it will be HER decision that she has to find another cleaner. She won't be able to say that you've let her down.

....and for those extra three hours you have gained, you can be one of those naughty phone call ladies, and earn a fortune.

I want 10% commission, for coming up with the idea.
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 07:40 am
or how about,
a free phone call once a month??? ;-)

she thinks, that due to the HOLIDAYS and everyone in the GIVING spirit
( she didnt say this..im only guessing at her thought processs)

that i should feel giving of my source of income.
Rolling Eyes
honestly, when my new print add comes out and i can fill my schedule with 2 more regular weekly people.. I am going to FIRE her. heheh
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 08:44 am
When I was still practicing law, I was asked for freebies all the time. Do my house closing! Look at this deed! Tell me if I have a case! And on and on and on.

Even though I don't practice anymore, I still get the occasional request for a freebie, and often in areas where, frankly, I have zippo expertise. Since I am still bound, ethically, to not screw people over (pesky professional responsibility requirements for keeping a license, even after retirement), I either keep my mouth shut or tell them I cannot, ethically, do ____ without research and research will cost $150/hour. That gets 'em to shaddap.

Oh, and the $150/hour rate has gone up, I used to say $100, but the $150 figure is more outrageous. I imagine I'll go to $200 in a few years. No one has ever taken me up on the research, BTW.

PS There's little call for voice recognition engineering around the house/around the town. I'm not bothered anymore unless it's someone wanting legal stuff.
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 12:20 pm

job search stuff

full-out vocational counselling

sometimes other counselling type stuff

I'm happier about doing it if people are direct about asking for the assistance. Don't try to weasel it out of me. I'll get cranky. And that isn't good for anyone.
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 05:10 pm
I think you figured out a way to handle that perfectly, jespah! Bravo!

My only dealings with attorneys taught me very valuable lessons about attornies: a good one is worth every single penny you pay them.

That said, I confess to picking the brains of everyone on A2K regarding my legal woes and received tons of great advice that taught me what to ask an attorney and aided greatly in finding a good one that is worth every single penny I pay him (so far).

I'm the same way eBeth - if someone just comes out and asks me at least I have the opportunity to answer. When they try to weasel it out of me I lose my patience.

I can only imagine that "friends" who ask for such assistance are not quite at their best anyway, being job hunting and all. That's an angsty place to be.
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