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<p>we need 4 tires replaced on dh car and i on mine.  dh bought the tires online and now we need a place to put htem on.  my brother is a mechanic and works in a shop that he doesn't own.  he often will do little stuff for me, like if my check engine light comes on he will run the computer so that i don't have to pay 150 dollars for them to tell me i need a new filter.</p>
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<p>well, dh thinks that we should ask my brother to put hte tires on.  my brother would never charge me.  i called him, after much arguing with dh, and my brother said he was really busy, but he would come in on saturday for me to do this. </p>
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<p>my brother would never tell me no.  it just isn't him to tell someone no. </p>
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<p>i feel like we are taking advantage of my brother.  dh says that is what family is for.  sometimes we use his family's business for things, and they give us a discount, but its never free. my brother would be doing this for free.  he would never charge me. </p>
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<p>am i taking advantage of my brother? or am i just being sensitive? i decided that i would tell dh that my brother called and something came up and he can't help us.  its not like its gonna break the bank to go to someone else.  it would be around 150 dollars for all five tires, but that is a big job to do for free, and on your day off.</p>
 

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<p>Could you give your brother a nice gift card for half the amount or something? That way he might not perceive it as payment, just a thank you gift, and you'd still be getting a steep discount. I think your DH is leaning towards the "taking advantage" realm. If he balks at buying the gift card, remind him that his family gives you guys a <em>discount</em>, not free stuff. </p>
 
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>limabean</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16049720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Could you give your brother a nice gift card for half the amount or something? That way he might not perceive it as payment, just a thank you gift, and you'd still be getting a steep discount. I think your DH is leaning towards the "taking advantage" realm. If he balks at buying the gift card, remind him that his family gives you guys a <em>discount</em>, not free stuff. </p>
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<p><br><br>
That's a great idea!</p>
 

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<p> </p>
<p>The gift card is a good idea. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Since it's your brother's day off, is there something you can do for him to give him some free time in return?  Cook and freeze a week's worth of dinners so he doesn't have to grocery shop and meal prep? Help him with some gardening or home maintenance chores that he's been wanting to get around to doing? Anything that will demonstrate your appreciation and return his generosity. </p>
 

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<p>Yup, this is what happens in my family.  My Dh is an accountant and he was doing my sister's taxes for a few years.  He did them for her for free but she, in turn, would treat him out to lunch or take us out as a family for a meal.</p>
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<p>I agree that your Dh may be vering on the side of "taking advantage of", but you can even out the balance by doing something nice for your brother or his family.</p>
 

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<p>Since he is doing work at a shop that is not his then I do have an issue with it.  He is taking potential earnings away from his boss (stealling). If he was doing it in his own shop or using his own tools, I would have no problem.  But I draw the line when someone else owns the tools. </p>
 

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<p>OP - I commend you for thinking about your brother.  I think those types of situations can get a little hairy and whilst I don't think you need to give your brother a GC every time he checks something for you, I think it does go a long way to make the person feel appreciated!<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>limabean</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16049720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Could you give your brother a nice gift card for half the amount or something? That way he might not perceive it as payment, just a thank you gift, and you'd still be getting a steep discount. I think your DH is leaning towards the "taking advantage" realm. If he balks at buying the gift card, remind him that his family gives you guys a <em>discount</em>, not free stuff. </p>
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<p>This is what I would do and I agree, if your DH has an issue with the gift card, you should remind him about the <em>discount</em> his family gives you.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16050059"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Since he is doing work at a shop that is not his then I do have an issue with it.  He is taking potential earnings away from his boss (stealling). If he was doing it in his own shop or using his own tools, I would have no problem.  But I draw the line when someone else owns the tools. </p>
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<p><br>
I think this is a broad statement when we don't know the details; plenty of businesses allow this type of thing with stipulations.</p>
 

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<p>what do YOU do for your brother? you wrote of your dh's family business. does your bro use those things too at a discount? </p>
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<p>is there some form of reciprocacity?</p>
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<p>the amount is not the issue here. its all about take, take, take and not give. i would do stuff for your brother if you feel there is no giving. just get him stuff on a regular basis. not really for a give and take but more of a 'hey i saw this, i think you will like it' and buy it for him. i would definitely not go into oh you changed the tires so i bought you some groceries. i would keep my eyes open to see what bro needs. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>meemee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16050277"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>what do YOU do for your brother? you wrote of your dh's family business. does your bro use those things too at a discount? </p>
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<p>is there some form of reciprocacity?</p>
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<p>the amount is not the issue here. its all about take, take, take and not give. i would do stuff for your brother if you feel there is no giving. just get him stuff on a regular basis. not really for a give and take but more of a 'hey i saw this, i think you will like it' and buy it for him. i would definitely not go into oh you changed the tires so i bought you some groceries. i would keep my eyes open to see what bro needs. </p>
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<p>this is where i am struggling.  my brother and his wife never seem to need things. i have in the past passed on books to my DSIL who teaches (things i used that i thought she would like) but generally, they don't seem to need help. when i have offered (they were doing house repairs and i told him repeatedly to call us to help) they don't take us up on it.</p>
<p>so, i do feel like i am taking advantage. i think that other stuff he does that takes 5 minutes (like check my chck engine light, or a few months ago he replaced a little plug that took literally 5 minutes- i didn't even take the kids out of the carseat) then i really don't think its a big deal.  but this is going to be at least an hour, on his day off, for a job that would cost at least 150 dollars.  i am still uncomfortable with the idea of giving a GC.  i think i will just tell dh that he is too busy and can't do it and we need ot jsut take it to another place. and buy my brother a GC anyway cause he always helps me in a bind.</p>
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<p>for those who are uncomfortable cause it isn't his shop - most mechanics are required to have their own tools and tool kits.  the only thing they don't buy themselves are the lifts and some of the larger machines.  it is kind of like at a salon where the hair stylist basically pays rent on thier chair but maintains their own tools- they don't buy the chair or the shampooing equipment, but they have to maintain their own tool kit, scissors, hair dryer, etc.  a mechanic basically rents the space and they have to supply their own tools.  both of the shops he has worked in let him work on his own cars or family members.  often they will have a designated day or afternoon, but it is completely allowed. i think that is also why he said saturday. cause its gonna take awhile and it would interfere with a regular work day.  i also have a feeling he said saturday in the hopes that i would decline (cause that means waiting 6 days) and then he wouldn't have to tell me no.<br><br>
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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16050059"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Since he is doing work at a shop that is not his then I do have an issue with it.  He is taking potential earnings away from his boss (stealling). If he was doing it in his own shop or using his own tools, I would have no problem.  But I draw the line when someone else owns the tools. </p>
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<p>This is a little over the top IMO</p>
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<p>OP, the giftcard idea is a great idea. So is the food idea. Or, maybe take him out to eat at a nice restaurant or get him tickets to a game, etc. Whatever he enjoys.</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ollyoxenfree</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16049815"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>The gift card is a good idea. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Since it's your brother's day off, is there something you can do for him to give him some free time in return?  Cook and freeze a week's worth of dinners so he doesn't have to grocery shop and meal prep? Help him with some gardening or home maintenance chores that he's been wanting to get around to doing? Anything that will demonstrate your appreciation and return his generosity. </p>
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I agree with this. Pay him back with time and skills rather than money.<br>
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<p>My bro would do it and I would let him. But I would bring him lunch or take him out or get him something I know he wanted for helping me out and saving me $.</p>
<p>Actually DH and he would probably do it together and hang out and have fun. And my brother would probably be a bit insulted if I didn't let him do it, actually. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></p>
 

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<p>If you feel weird about it, for whatever reason, I would listen to that.  In my family this would be pretty normal, but you are the one that knows your brother and your relationship with him best.</p>
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<p>FWIW, in my family this is the type of favour that can easily be repaid with a case of beer.  Of course your mileage may vary.  :D</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>raelize</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16050335"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"> but this is going to be at least an hour, on his day off, for a job that would cost at least 150 dollars.  i am still uncomfortable with the idea of giving a GC.  i think i will just tell dh that he is too busy and can't do it and we need ot jsut take it to another place. and buy my brother a GC anyway cause he always helps me in a bind.</div>
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<p>i am not very happy with a GC. its glorified cash and not really personal. its the non personal part that bugs me. esp when he doesnt need anything. if you have not done anything like that just out of the blue i feel would look strange. </p>
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<p>ugh dont know. this seems like such a touchy subject. if 150 is not a big deal for you guys then yeah dont ask your brother. however if he is the kind of brother who always likes to help and would be sad that you didnt ask him first then ask your brother. make sure what you are seeing is also what your dh is seeing. for instance never, ever, ever would i ever want my bro to do something for me in return just coz i did something. i would not be concerned with return. however you can have someone do the tyres and maybe have your brother make sure they did a good job?  </p>
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<p>instead next time you know your brother is doing something offer yourself concretely. dont offer and wait for them to call. instead tell them hey i have three hours free on saturday morning. will 10 am suit you? <br>
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<p>however in a sense i agree with your dh. families help out each other. its not something you conciously work on equating. for instance xinlaws helped us out a lot. i didnt really feel i ever really returned the favour. but then they feel ill got on hospice and i moved in with them and helped them die. for me it was nothing. for them it was huge. i didnt do it because i felt i had to contribute or return any favour. i did it becuause i could not stop myself. if you know what i mean. </p>
 

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<p>DH's uncle is a mechanic, and used to do similar things like this for us, tuneups etc, before he retired. No money exchanged, except for parts. However, DH always tried to return the favor in some way. DH still does emergency plumbing/home repairs for them now, even though this relative no longer works on our car. This relative often did side work like this for family, and he did mention feeling taken advantage of by certain family members sometimes (the ones who never showed appreciation for his hard work).</p>
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<p>But-- DH has two sisters, and yeah, he often does maintenance things like change oil, fix brakes, etc for his sisters, and he would never think to charge them. He does appreciate the little gifts they pick up for him from time to time (DVDs, t-shirts that they know he will like, etc). ;)</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16050059"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Since he is doing work at a shop that is not his then I do have an issue with it.  He is taking potential earnings away from his boss (stealling). If he was doing it in his own shop or using his own tools, I would have no problem.  But I draw the line when someone else owns the tools. </p>
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<br><br><p>I'm sure the rules vary from business to business, but DH's uncle's boss never minded, as the mechanics were using their own tools, bought with their own money, which they kept at the shop, outside of business hours.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>major_mama11</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16051981"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16050059"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Since he is doing work at a shop that is not his then I do have an issue with it.  He is taking potential earnings away from his boss (stealling). If he was doing it in his own shop or using his own tools, I would have no problem.  But I draw the line when someone else owns the tools. </p>
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<br><br><p>I'm sure the rules vary from business to business, but DH's uncle's boss never minded, as the mechanics were using their own tools, bought with their own money, which they kept at the shop, outside of business hours.</p>
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<br><br><p> yeah, as i posted above.  most mechanics own their own tools and the shop owners my brother has worked for have never said anything about it. </p>
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<p>i talked to dh last night.i told him how uncomfortable i was.  he reminded me of a time earlier when i had offered to pay my brother for his work and my brother got offended.  so, i am on the fence. i don't think my brother really cares one way or the other. </p>
<p>i agree meemee, that i shouldn't offer some sort of payment, GC or otherwise, i should just be much better about offering concrete help, or pickingup things for him that i know he will like when i see something/get a chance.  Also, when i originally called my brother about tires (before we bought them) he told me go to xxx website and then let me know and i'll put them on for you.  so....augh, i'm on the fence.</p>
<p>dh said whatever i want to do.  if i feel anxioius about it, then we won't.  so, i dont' know....maybe in a few weeks (so that it doesn't seem like payment) i will go pick up some fancy dog treats/toys for his dog.  i'll keep you all posted.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>raelize</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16049704"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>we need 4 tires replaced on dh car and i on mine.  dh bought the tires online and now we need a place to put htem on.  my brother is a mechanic and works in a shop that he doesn't own.  he often will do little stuff for me, like if my check engine light comes on he will run the computer so that i don't have to pay 150 dollars for them to tell me i need a new filter.</p>
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<p>Just a FYI, if you ever need to run a quick diagnostic test when your engine light is on and if you don't want to bother your brother, Autozone and Advanced Auto Parts (and I believe most major auto parts stores) will run a test for free. <br>
 </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>meemee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279741/am-i-taking-advantage-of-my-brother#post_16051964"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container">i am not very happy with a GC. its glorified cash and not really personal. its the non personal part that bugs me. esp when he doesnt need anything. if you have not done anything like that just out of the blue i feel would look strange.</div>
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<p>instead next time you know your brother is doing something offer yourself concretely. dont offer and wait for them to call. instead tell them hey i have three hours free on saturday morning. will 10 am suit you? </p>
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<p>Re: the GC, I guess it depends on the family dynamics. In my family, GCs are not considered impersonal and it wouldn't be strange to give a thank you gift in direct relation to a service like this. </p>
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<p>I do agree with your suggestion of the OP offering help more concretely -- it's awkward for someone to be in the position of having to call you to take you up on your offer of help. One of my close friends dropped the ball on my birthday this year, and I could tell she felt bad but she kept saying/texting things like, "We still need to do something for your birthday! Let me know when you want to go out." And I never did, because it'd be so strange to me to call her and say, "Hi, I'm ready to claim my birthday gift." ??? She should have said something more like, "Hey, let's go out for your birthday next week! Does Thursday or Friday work best for you?" </p>
 
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