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Doing Free Work for friends (OT)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rich427, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Candy-Man
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,713


    There are people who are "User Fiendly", then there are people who are "Friendly Users" !

    Call him out, I did, I was the bad guy and would do the same thing over again !

    You know who your Friends are....
  2. Expect nothing, and you'll never be disappointed. :cool:

    The work I do for my friends, I do because their friendship is valuable to me. Doing for them makes me happy. Friends and people I'm friendly with are two different things though, and treated accordingly. ;)
  3. greasemunkee
    Joined: Jul 13, 2009
    Posts: 174

    from San Diego

    I got a buddy who's restoring a '64 Impala who's over here using all my tools and asking so many damn questions all the time, we've started setting a place at the table for him. The difference? When the dizzy on my '51 Chevy went to shit, he rogered up the freshly rebuilt dizzy he had purchased for his '49. He went a bought himself another one the next day, said "don't worry about it, you help me out all the time." I guess my point is that if you're not getting anything out of it, and he's taking the credit anyway, maybe it's time to leave him on his own for a while.
  4. I charge FRIENDS $50 hr. with a one hour minimum. You'd be surprised to see how fast those friends stop coming around.
  5. Model-A-Bomb
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 165

    from Orlando,FL

    The least he could do is say "we did this...." instead of "I did this...." especially in front of you. My car was a full custom project done by my friends and I and I give them all the credit in the world, because I learned so much from them that there is no way in hell I could have done it alone. At car shows they will lean on my car and people will ask why I'm ok with it and I say it is as much my car as it is theirs. Friends help friends, friends don't use "friends"
  6. rosco gordy
    Joined: Jun 8, 2010
    Posts: 648

    rosco gordy

    What I found .is doin the work and lettin so call friends go without colecting the bill if you goin to get screwed it will be from a so called friend had a nostagia world famous old drag racer that got me pretty good too! I,m not in the habit of kickin the shit out of some one as those days were long ago, but I could hold my own, cash is king and DO NOT release something till you been payed. If you goin to get it it will be from a friend in the new millenemum , just the facts as I see ,em now!!
  7. mramc1
    Joined: May 26, 2006
    Posts: 418


    I helped my friend with his car this year. We both put a lot of time in on it. He runs an auto lab and has helped me out with the lift and mounted several hundred dollars worth of tires for me so we're even up.

    When I fix stuff for people at work I charge them $20/hr. I fixed a guy's Subaru that smashed a deer. Body shop wanted over $2000. I found the same color hood and the other parts (better than what were on the car originally) and fixed it for about $250. His wife was so grateful she gave me an extra $100. That was nice, but not expected. I figure I'm no pro so $20/hr sounds fair to me.

    If you're building someone's whole car or house or hot tub or computer etc and the person is an ungrateful asshat then stop working on it.
  8. I've had kind of the same thing going on, but from the other point of view. When I first got into cars, man... I didn't know shit. At all. But, I had a good friend that had been wrenching since he was a tyke, and he would help me. He spent a lot of time showing me what went where, how things meshed, why this did what it did. I of course offered him compensation, but he told me to shove it, he enjoyed helping his friends. When people would say "man that sounds good" or "that came out real nice" he would say "nah, brado did it, I just helped and showed him."
    Besides being a good friend, he was a good teacher as well. He kept me involved in the work, even when it was obvious that I was just making shit worse by touching it. He'd have me taking something off while he put something else on, then have me take off what he just put on "didn't seem to fit right" while he went behind me and fixed what I messed up.

    You gotta sit your friend down, and tell him you don't wanna do the whole job yourself. Keep him involved in the project, even if he messes something up. Sounds like you've known this guy for a long time, and it sounds like he wants to be a car guy, but doesn't know what he's doing. That's two reasons right there to have a chat with him, 1) keeping the friendship strong, and 2) explaining that he can't be a car guy if he doesn't build the car (with help of course) :D
  9. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,954

    seb fontana
    from ct

    ""as far as other people I do work for, I cant recall any of them ever doing anything for me and I am completely done with all of them""

  10. This dude may well be a class A dick...but sometimes people do not know what is going on until a little do-do gets rubbed in their face (I carry a towel as this has happened to me before). You can approach it in a few different nice about it (mentoring) or be hard ass about it (potential for a major conflict). If you had a bad day-you may feel like blackening an eye? Might be the most gratifying but in the long term bad news if he is your neighbor and long time friend.

    Someone suggested maybe make yourself "busy". This is not all bad. If the guy wants the car done, he will then have to be resourceful and figure it out by himself. During this time you hope he reflects on your generosity.

    If he ends up like Cousin Eddie-you may have to take him out.

    Wish you were my neighbor though! I need some body work done! I do supply some pretty good beers!

    Good luck-great post by the way. Looks like when you can fix somethings others can't-you tend to get used a little.
  11. LEFTY_
    Joined: Mar 15, 2012
    Posts: 66

    from The 702

    I really do enjoy the comroddery s/p?. But i have to agree, this is why i dont have any friends, when i meet some one i like i do everything i can for them no worries. if i need something and they arent around i cut my losses. My dad allways said "Friends are expensive how many do you want " the other side of that is if the agreement isnt in black and white it is very easy for one party or the other to be taken advantage of.
  12. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,599


    Friendship is a two way street. When it becomes one way..... you have a user or a customer or you are their enabler.
  13. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,043


    I've learned over the years to help because I want to, not because I expect something in return. I'm not let down that way and I'm fulfilled in doing something for others. I can, however see a user from a mile away and avoid those relationships.

    When I needed help moving the contents of shop, one person out of a half dozen showed up. I made sure he ate and drank well and would have no qualms getting my hands dirty for him in the future.

    I'd rather get stuff done myself than ask for help. This drives my wife crazy. However, it's taught me to be self-reliant as well as a pretty good problem solver. After the first time I had to install a ridge beam or a large header on my own, I figured I could pretty much figure anything out.
  14. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    from 4077th

    Had it happen to me with a friend I've known 25 years. He apparently got quite comfortable over that time driving around the vehicles I resurrected and customized for him and I never knew exactly what he said about them but he'd bring me paying jobs and I assumed I got the credit.

    Then one fateful Saturday a few years ago it changed. He was busy doing an oil change for a coworker of his and I showed up. I was introduced to the guy and as we stood there standing next to the latest finished project this new guy turns to me and says "Bad ass, huh? Don built it."

    I glanced over at Don(who looked like he saw a ghost) and said "Oh, I think he had a little help."

    It dawned on me right then it'd been quite a while since he brought me a paying job.
  15. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,153


    I keep a chalk board up on the wall. When someone starts to abuse my goodwill I put up the hours I helped them out next to the hours they help me out. Some get the hint real fast. Some get told about it by the other guys and wise up. Sometimes I get told about it from the other guys and wise up myself.
  16. BadgeZ28
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,102

    from Oregon

    I want to give thanks to my friend and HAMB member RDR. He let me use his place, tools, and gave me great support working on cars. This was on a long term basis. He is a very giving human. Thanks Randy.
  17. I have a really good friend.....I like to let him store his stuff at my house and pretend it's mine. ;):D
  18. I used to do a lot of wrenching with some friends from about 1974 to 1986. When someone had a project, everyone pitched in, be it a motor swap, body work or whatever. We all drove our cars to work.. had no second car so it was imperitive to get a man up and running again.

    Probably did more than my share of the work at times, but taught a few guys some good skills. Those who were less skilled watched and took notes, ran for beer, hand rolled a smoke or two... it all worked out in the end.

  19. j54house
    Joined: Jun 3, 2012
    Posts: 3


    the thing is, your friends bragging is really his insecurity. the most talented guys i know, know their talented. When ask'd if they know what their doing, they usually have some smart ass remark like "i'm just good at faking it" or "i got lucky, metal just got perfectly straight by itself".

    Take the high road

    when it comes time to paint, take your girlfriend out to dinner, pretend to actually listen to her for like 5 minutes. And with any luck you'll forget all about him!!
  20. mixedupamx
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 513


    "If you dont want to be a doormat, dont lay down." had a friend from high school like that. always wanted you to do things for him but seldom recipricated. didn't take me long to be "busy" when he wanted something done, but it wasn't just me-he also did the same thing to another buddy untill he also got sick of it and quit being avalible to help. havent heard from the USER for several years which is too bad as he realy was a good friend at one time.
  21. 40 & 61 Fords
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,000

    40 & 61 Fords

    This is the system my buddy and I use. We do keep "Score", but the scores always the same....I still owe you "one". He's got better skills and tools, but I have a truck, riding mower and a few tools he doesn't. Things seem to stay pretty even.

    My Dad used to do a lot of work for friends including almost full builds on cars with barely a thank you. I saw a lot of guys use him pretty badly. I also saw guys that were there at the drop of a hat when my Dad needed help in return. I remember one guy in particular who even though my Dad didn't charge him, he'd show up every couple weeks with a huge box of canned goods for our family. He was a sales rep of some sort for campbells soup, and would bring by all the dented cans that he had collected at the stores. We didn't have a alot of money then, so it really helped out.

    After a while, my Dad got fed up with his day job, and decided to build cars full time in our garage. It's amazing how most of the leaches disappeared when he started having to charge for his time. He was charging pennies on the dollar compared to most shops at the time, and had to go back to a full time job because he couldn't make enough. Nobody wanted to buy the cow when they had been getting the milk for free. That pretty much ended him doing anything for all but those he KNEW he could count on for help in return.
  22. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    from boron,ca

    this thread just cracks me up. i know exactly what you are all talking about. i don't really have any friends anymore. i finally got to where i just tell anybody that asked for help, "i don't work on other peoples cars" then if they say why not? i tell them it's not very profitable for me. usually what they offer as compensation is a joke. my problem is i worked for 40 years to aquire all the tools and parts and projects i have. i didn't go to cool places, go to dinner all the time, didn't have fancy houses, big bank accounts and such. when i need something done, i usually have to pay a pro shop, since i can do most anything myself. i have never had a problem paying for work done for me. i just can't see why other people don't appreciate your time. not to sound like a Dr. Phil show but, i think we need a singles site for mechanics looking for real friends.:D:D
  23. I had a buddy one time that needed some work done on some heads for an off topic car that he really wanted to get on the road. I told him i would help him out because i knew how much he wanted to get it going. He came by my place while i was working on my truck, we drove down to my familys shop and I spent the rest of the day working on his heads. We got back to my place, he went inside hang out with my roomates while i went back to work on my truck. He sold the project less than a week later for something like $700. I told him i was glad i burned a whole day for nothing and asked when he was gonna pay me back for the work i did that he made money off of. Needless to say, I don't do work for him anymore.

    As said before, if he isn't giving you credit or helping you out, heis using you. Let him know about, Depending on his response send him on his way.
  24. coolbreeze1340
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,340

    from Indiana

    I have a friend that does the same stuff. I have worked on all his heavy equipment, trucks, cars, bikes, etc.... I will need some concrete work soon and I figure he owes me about 1000 yards of mud or more!! LOL
    I did find one thing that helped out. When he calls he is always in a hurry. Not that it has to be done but in his mind it is a life or death emergency. I make him wait a week or two before I can get to it. He has backed off a lot because now he knows I always have 10 different things on my plate.
    My wife would also like to volunteer my services until I explained to her that I enjoy playing with my own stuff but I am not a full time mechanic for a reason. I will still help out anyone in a pinch but I am not doing brake jobs/ oil changes just so someone with a pocket full of money can be a tight ass!
  25. 296 V8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 4,666

    296 V8
    from Nor~Cal

    My favorite “friends” are the ones that sell the car after I build um all kinda cool stuff
  26. Ter409
    Joined: Sep 19, 2007
    Posts: 70

    from NE Oregon

    After years of laying on my back working on my projects I saved up and bought a 2 post lift. I have spent a life time building up my tools and shop. When people see my shop they always say "Can I use your lift to do this and that" won't take but a few hours!! Well most of the time they did not know what they were doing and needed me to do the work they could not. Also a few hours turned into days and weeks. I no longer let anyone use my shop for their projects! Ter409
  27. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    Years ago when I was racing on an almost weekly basis there was a group of about six of us. None had money to throw around but we all had a skill of some sort. And we did for each other with never a mention of money. It was a great set up that pissed a lot of people off as they wanted their stuff fixed the same way.

    I can understand being hurt or annoyed with your friend taking credit fro your work. The next time he takes credit for your work just give him that look and go "Really???" But the best thing to do is slowly taper off your help and make him do more of the work himself.
  28. Kona Cruisers
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,074

    Kona Cruisers

    I'm very good friends with RichardD and Sam navaro on here. We had a rule. No score board. We do stuff for each other and once its done its forgot. as in no "well i did this for you now you need to do this for me."

    there was no question. they ask i help. i ask they help. no question!
  29. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    Very interesting topic, because it's close to home for me.

    I've realized some friends I had since childhood were one sided friendships. I thoiught the crumbs of friendship were really cake, and they took advantage.

    I didn't have a shop for years, so I'd use friend's places. If they wouldn't take money, I'd buy some parts from them for top dollar or buy them some nice tools, and I'd always pay for lunch. Another guy I'd slip him some cash every week or two, buy stuff for the yard, and always ask if he needed anything before I came over and bring lunch or whatever. Another friend ofmine I offer to pay cash for a couple small jobs he's done for me with a tig welder and always bring beer when I come over and help out with other stuff.

    I"ve never had anybody help me with my car, really, aside from letting me use their driveway and sometimes tools, so I don't have experience with repaying someone for labor somehow.

    Me personally, I don't want to be in anybody's debt, so I gotta pay them back asap. I don't want it on my conscience or my permanent record that I'm a guy that asks for favors he doesn't return.

    Sorry for the rant.
  30. you sound like the kind of friend I need! :)

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