Just keep on using me, until you use me up. (Or not.)

Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 06:14 pm

We are having a bit of a dilemma around here.

We are having some home repairs done, some upgrading and whatnot.

Mo has a bio-family member that is probably the person we are in closest contact to that works for a company that manufactures something expensive that we need to buy.

Auntie T, for those who know the name, came by here last weekend and I said something to the effect that we should buy these things from her. She enthusiastically said yes and that she would give us a big discount (30% - this is a signifigant amount of money.)

Mr. B got all pissed at me saying "we don't want to "owe" her for anything".

(US owe that family!? For real!? Don't get me started.)


Mr. B called an independant contractor to come install one of said items that was purchased elsewhere. During the course of this installation it came up that we both know Auntie T. He said "So that is where you heard about me. I love T. Isn't she the greatest?" (For all I know T. suggested this person to Mr. B -- I have no idea.)

He took measurments for future installations, as per Mr. B, and he was going to fax them off to T.

He talked to Mr. B on the phone today before taking the measurements and he did so at Mr. B's instructions. I don't know if Mr. B mentioned T and the company that she works for though.


Is it freaky for us to use the connection to Mo's bio-family for this?

Tell me the truth, not what you think I want to hear!

Thank you.
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 08:32 pm
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 08:42 pm
Oooh, nobody's responded yet?

I don't want to because this falls right in one of my worst weaknesses. I'm terrible about accepting favors, of any kind, and most especially from someone who I don't want to be beholden to. So my immediate, visceral reaction is the same as your husband's, but the problem is that it comes from a part of my brain that doesn't always give the best advice.

Auntie T. particularly has this sort of needling meddlesome edge that you've talked about that makes me hesitant to give her any opening at all. I can imagine some conversation that goes something like, "So we'd REALLY like Mo to visit his grandma [whatsername], oh and I found this fabulous doorknob, if you come by and drop him off on [date] I can show it to you..." You can just decide to hold fast in the face of it, of course -- I just hate those situations.
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 08:50 pm
I wouldn't be able to do it.


I'd probably be thinkin' that somehow an extra set of my keys would end up with someone I don't want knowing where I live, let alone details of my home, or my keys.

I wouldn't be able to do it.
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 09:37 pm
Okay. Points well taken.

Let me further complicate this by adding:

I believe in using local companies.

In my own business i use a photo lab and asupplier that I can walk to.

The company that Auntie T works for is literally within spitting distance of my photo studio. Though their name is not well known they manufacture a popular product -- one that would be sought out by anyone who is considering a purchase like we are. (You might not know the name but chances are you would end up buying their product.)

Even if I did not have this connection, there is a very, very good chance that I would buy supplies/products from them beause they fit the business profile of companies I like to deal with.

Even without a connection there is a very good possibility that I would buy products from them.

Should I not buy the high quality, local product just because of this connection?
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 09:49 pm
My instincts are rather regressive. I am wary of Aunt T in the first place... wouldn't associate work in the home with her with ten foot pole. One the other hand, I am not you. You may end up with a happy melded family, and I wouldn't have.
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 09:51 pm
Re the company, I think I think that I think that I'd pay the regular price.
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 09:54 pm
Buy the product from Auntie T and from the difference (30 % or whatever discount she'll provide for you) buy something for Mo.

It will ease the conscience of both - you and Mr. B, and Mo will be happy.
Besides it would be an indirect present to Mo from Auntie T.
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2006 11:18 pm
Frankly, I would run like the wind from this sort of involvement with Mo's bio family......my internal alarms are going wild.

I think that doing so will possibly enmesh you in a web of perceived obligation to this woman. Yes, I know that rationally it wouldn't, but we have to assume worst case scenario with these folk.

Now, she may be fine and that may be fine, but, in the delicate situation you are in, I wouldn't touch it with a 20 foot barge pole.

Of course, if you follow my advice, you already have to have a polite explanation at hand for her.
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Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 07:28 am
I'm thinking the best course of action will be to put off this particular remodeling project for a while.

I really had no idea that the project was in the works to be as big as it is getting and frankly, it is low on my priority list. I was really surprised when the installer said he had instructions to measure the rest of the house. The project started small with purchases made at the DIY building store. I thought that was where it was going to stay.

Mr. B did get the installers name from T.

The installer also does sales so when I asked what product he sold and he said "X" I asked if he knew T - that is how the whole thing came about.

If we do use her that could cause problems - as everyone here pointed out along with Mr. B.

If we don't use her and order products from elsewhere that could cause another whole set of problems as she might feel insulted.

I think the best plan is to just backburner this whole thing.
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Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 01:09 pm
Should I not buy the high quality, local product just because of this connection?

Aunt T scares the **** outta me.

And my initial gut reaction was
"what the hell is she thinking?" meaning.. you.

I absolutly see your point in the local companies/ this is a company you may buy from later..

So, buy from them later.
but not now.

I agree with soz, this will be a 'favor' with strings , and I think they have too many strings with you as it is.

If this 30% is a large enough amount of money that you cant find it currently in your savings account, then you can not afford the strings that come with it.
No matter how genuine she may appear RIGHT NOW, her track record shows she isnt.

I wouldnt do it. No way no how.

later on down the line, when you are ready to buy from that company, go right on ahead. And if she decides to meddle in small purchases, so be it.
But with that large of a discount being offered, no.. i just wouldnt take the chance..

but that is only my opinion.
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Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 01:26 pm
My parents were wont to remark on a variety of occasions, "Caesar's Wife must be above reproach."

I'd love saving 30% on a pie-in-the-sky-today household makeover.

I can also see Auntie T's laquered toenails insinuating themselves past the Welcome Mat, through the front door, inching over the threshhold, "Cackle, cackle, one percent. Cackle, cackle, two percent. Cackle, cackle...."

Auntie T's toenails are more impressive than "economical" home improvement.

I think the chances the Powers That Be derailing Mo's adoption because you sucumbed to Auntie T's Employee Discount are very slim, but you can appeal to her as a wonderful, ethical person who is wise in the ways of the world and who wants the best for Mo. Explain that you must avoid even the appearance of seeming to profit from the connection.

Perhaps in heaven, you'll get the home improvements, too.
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Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 02:08 pm
Adoption first, home improvement discount later.
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Reply Wed 3 May, 2006 06:32 pm
Yeah, yeah, pie in the sky makeover.


If we had been talking a few hundred dollars in savings I would have never considered it. I was certainly tempted though, by the prospect of around $3,000 off.

But yeah, if I wouldn't consider it I shouldn't consider it.

It really is better not to be "beholden to" anyone, to revive a phrase my father was fond of.
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