Social Question

laurenkem's avatar

If someone is doing you a favor and giving you something for free, do you expect them to deliver it, as well?

Asked by laurenkem (3408points) July 29th, 2012

For this scenario, you are a single mother without very much money, and always struggling to make ends meet. If a friend of yours wanted to give you clothes that her son had outgrown so that your son could wear them (thereby eliminating the expense of new clothes at the start of the school year), wouldn’t you be grateful?

Is expecting your friend to take the time to load 3 bags into her car, drive it to your house (even though you have a car) and deliver them to you over the top?

I won’t even state my opinion on this, as they are both my friends. I would just like to know if any of you find this ungracious and ungrateful behavior towards someone trying to do you a favor.

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20 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

It would depend on the details, at a glance it would seem too much to ask. However, if you look in to it it could turn out that the mother simply does not have time to go get them. Maybe she works 2 jobs, and between the school run, shopping, cleaning and work she just can’t.

If I had to gamble a nut on it, id go with it is over the top.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Eh, the devil’s in the details, here it could go either way. A favor isn’t much of a favor if the would-be benefactor can’t reasonably partake; on the other hand inconveniencing the offeror isn’t a particularly good way to thank them for their help.

Sunny2's avatar

Sounds like a failure to communicate. There’s no right or wrong on either side. Why didn’t the giver say what she expected? She’s the one in control of the deal.

creative1's avatar

Does the friend that you offered the clothes to have a car? If she didn’t it sounds like a lot of expense for her to go get them and bring them back in a cab. I also see this as you wanting to get rid of something your not using now if you were to donate them to good will wouldn’t you be going and dropping the clothes off? I know when I give something away I tend to deliver it to the recipient since it then clears it out of my place instead of waiting on someone to come pick it up.

JLeslie's avatar

I have zero expectations of anyone giving me anything, and certainly not of whether they will deliver or not. Usually it would be within the conversation I would think?

I gave/offered friends (husband and wife) a table and chairs and a sofa and ottoman. I didn’t have a truck at the time, so it was kind of up to them to take it if they wanted it. They borrowed the wife’s sister’s SUV to tranport the table and chairs and decided not to take the sofa ans ottoman in the end.

I really don’t think it is up to the person giving the items to transport them, but it would just depend on the circumstance more than anything.

Judi's avatar

You couldn’t help it. I can guess your opinion by the way you phrased the question.
It sounds like more of a communications problem. Being a single mother is hard. Even with a car, If the single mom has more than one child, packing up putting in car seats, taking out of car seats, getting bags in car, putting back in car seats…. It can all get overwhelming.
Frustration with ones situation can sometimes lead to unrealistic expectations from others.
Why don’t you do your friends a favor and transport the stuff for them? (Assuming you don’t have a million kids to pack around as well.)
The generous giver might have said, “if you can find a way to pick these clothes up you can have them.”
Yes, if the receiver were gracious she would just be thankful for the gift, but I give a lot of grace to people who are in survival mode.

laurenkem's avatar

Okay, I’ll elaborate just a tad. I was not involved in this situation, simply caught in the middle. it was between Friend A and Friend B.

Friend A offered Friend B lots of clothes for Friend B’s child, but Friend B was too busy drinking with her boyfriend at a bar across the street from Friend A and couldn’t be bothered to put that activity on hold long enough to get the clothes. And was actually indignant as to why Friend A didn’t just deliver them.

josie's avatar

I heard somebody call this “looking a gift horse in the mouth’. That is over the top. But, it is also becoming typical of the time we live in. Not much you can do but bring it out for public judgment. Sort of like people who live on other people’s income not only expect a check, they expect it to be delivered by mail to where they live, postage also paid by somebody else. They ought to at least go pick it up.

JLeslie's avatar

Friend B sounds like an idiot. Drunken, stupid, self-centered, immature, idiot. She doesn’t have to put her drinking on hold that night to pick up the clothes, maybe that is her first night in months she was able to enjoy herself away from her child (I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I really don’t think that is probably the case). I think it is fine if she arranges to pick up the clothes a different day, but for her to complain about friend A? Obnoxious. The only thing that sounds logical to me is friend B actually doesn’t care about getting the clothes.

laurenkem's avatar

@JLeslie , I think I’m with you on this one. If someone is offering to just flat-out give me something that I need, no cost involved, I’m going to try my best to make myself available for that offer.

That’s me trying to not be judgmental, but I understand that I sound like I am being just that. I truly don’t mean to be – I guess I’m just trying to understand the reasoning behind such a decision.

JLeslie's avatar

@laurenkem I still think friend B simply doesn’t care about the clothes.

Bellatrix's avatar

It really does depend on each individual’s circumstances. I don’t think there is a rule. However, in the case you described the recipient of the donation has no good excuse for not collecting the clothes. If I was donating them I would have been a bit put out too. I certainly wouldn’t have delivered them to her.

People are strange though. I knew this lady (who was also a single parent who wasn’t working) and her phone had died. I had a spare phone here and gave it to her with a phone charger. Better someone use it than it sit in a drawer. After a few weeks the phone charger died and she contacted me and acted very put out because the charger I gave her had died. Did I have another one? The way she spoke to me was as if I had somehow let her down and had a responsibility to get her a new charger. Odd.

laurenkem's avatar

Thank you, @Bellatrix ! That’s exactly the kind of sense of “entitlement” that I’m feeling that Friend B has over the whole thing. You just put it much more eloquently than I ever could have. :)

aquaticeyes's avatar

Depending on the size of the item.. if it’s a candle holder, for example, I would make the trip to the giver’s home just to show my appreciation. If the item you’re being offered is a couch, it should be brought to you!

jca's avatar

I get rid of clothes a lot as I just lost a lot of weight. I deliver them to people as I am happy to get rid of them and want them out when I want them out. I am also happy to give them to people I know will appreciate them, so I sacrifice by putting them in my car and when I see the person, I give the stuff to them.

Adagio's avatar

If Friend B really wants the clothes she’ll collect them.

woodcutter's avatar

I tried to give some of my excess? firewood to a friend in the next town over if they wanted it. Hell yeah she will take it, but asked “could you also deliver it ,put it behind the house?” Sheesh girl, you know how hard I busted my ass just to get it here? I told her where it was if she wanted it. She never came out. you try to be nice

If you do someone a solid they need a good reason to not meet you part way.

jca's avatar

I look at it like when I’m cleaning out clothes and want to get rid of them, it’s just as much a favor to myself as to the recipient, for me to have them out of the house, out of my way, off of my mind. Also, the fact that my good stuff (my expensive clothes) are going to someone who appreciates them is nicer than them possibly going into a junk bin and going somewhere where they may not be appreciated as much. Therefore, I don’t look at this exchange as being “one way” and I wouldn’t and don’t mind delivering. Now if the recipients were in a bar and didn’t want to leave, I would probably not plan to bring the clothes at that time. I might arrange a time when it’s better for all and not make too much of a fuss about it. Maybe the recipients never get out and they finally have child care and this is the first time they’ve been out in a long time? Who knows. Who am I to judge.

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t think there is a right or wrong. It depends on the person giving and whether or not the transportation is part of the gift. Sometimes you live and learn when you are trying to be nice to someone and get taken advantage of in the particular situation. Take it as a lesson and move on.

Mariah's avatar

Oh hell no.

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