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Doing Free Work for friends (OT)

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

  1. ok, i got to chime in here; the thing that i have tried to stick to is to know that the person who i am helping is truly grateful and appreciative of my help - cars, manual labor, whatever. if the person i am helping is grateful and appreciative of the fact that you are taking your precious time (not to mention experience, tools, equipment, fill in the blank) to help their poor soul, then it goes a very long way with me. I have realized that the people that are this way will be willing to help you in turn.
    I have a small group of people that i will drop anything and come running if they call. I also have a group of people that has life long 'friends' in it that i will be leery of getting in too deep with them as some of those are the ones that have burned me the most. I believe in helping out a person when they need it. I grew up dumb and dirt poor and have had many a hand help me, i make sure that they know what it means to me.
    This line of thinking ties hand in hand with who do you loan your trailer, truck or tools out to? I bet it is the same list isn't it. My best friend burned me so bad with the way he handled damaging my trailer that it ended our friendship. This guy used me and my good nature and it really bothered me for a long time, hard to get over. I know this thread has went to 5 pages pretty quick, i'd like to know what the OP is doing now. I think that i would mention it to the user and also get just busy enough that you can't stay to help, just advise and i would bet if the user is like he is played out to be, the car will get sold in a few weeks.
  2. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,620


    My price sheet breaks down like this:

    Maximum amount of time I will invest within 7 days: 1 hour

    Maximum charge for labor: 1 case of Budweiser
  3. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,620


    And that's the homie hook up. Been burned too many times
  4. PaulD
    Joined: Mar 25, 2012
    Posts: 48


    I used to do a lot of free work for people and it ended up interfering with my home life. I wasn't doing my stuff and my wife used to say where are you going now.

    I still get people phoning me up wanting me to do this and that. They now offer to pay but I tell them I am too busy.

    I got the shits with the constant requests for help and in the end I just told people I was too busy. The way I look at it is I work from 6 am to 4pm monday to friday. I get home around 5 and bath the kids and help with dinner. After tea I wash up the dishes and put the kids to bed. I then sit back on the lounge and talk to my wife about her day till about 10 then call it a night. Saturday is usually the kids sports day so it is kinda stuffed all round and that only leaves me Sunday to do house chores and maybe a bit of project work.

    If a person wants to pay me for my work then it had better be enough to make a wage of it until the next job comes in or there is no point doing it. Every one wants jobs done cheap and I won't do that. I charge out at $125.00 per hour. That is what my boss charges me out at so why not get the same working for someone else. I don't need the extra money that bad so I usually tell people to go somewhere else.

    If you enjoy doing this work for your best mate then continue to do it for him. But if it is becoming more of a hinderance tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine. The longer you leave it the harder it gets. If he values you as a friend as much as you him he will understand if he doesn't I guess that is what they call tough love. One less person in your life to have drama's with.

  5. Real friends don't/won't take advantage.

    Those that do, deserve to be set straight.

    Tell him: "I've done my part, you can finish it off by yourself."

  6. The ones with the money, seem to be the worst, trying to collect.
    The more they have, the less likely they want to part with it.

    Gave up on that crowd.
  7. thats it right there.

    never give someone something if you expect it returned.

    i know who my real friends are BEFORE i do anything for them, but even then, if it needs to be in my shop during business hours, they expect to pay the same as an off the street customer (but never do) because they value my life also. i have to make a living. i rarely get involved with anything for people that interferes with my family life. if it does, they can bring it to the shop. that doesn't mean that i haven't helped the random individual who was legitimately in a bind. i have a pretty good radar, and if i hook someone up its based on the fact that I'm O.K. with the outlay simply for the fact that i'm helping someone.

    i've never worked for free, ever. there is always some sort of payback, whether financial or personal or simply the feeling of helping someone in need.
  8. Ive got/had plenty of "Friends" who over the years have got far more from me than ive ever had in return. Seems as soon as you are in the car building business every body thinks you owe them something for nothing because your a friend. Ive been stung so often over the years that ive just changed my ways and now ask my so called mates if they want a quote or just charge them, it weeds them out pretty quickly.
  9. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,913

    El Caballo

    It shouldn't bother his "friend" to pay for what he's gotten either. A friend has my '58 right now, and in addition to paying for the storage, I'm paying him to do some R&R stuff to it before I get back home. The best way to prevent losing a friend is to keep business, business, and charge for/pay for services rendered. You are a good guy Happy, and lucky to have good friends as well.

  10. Had that happen, he does his own shit now.:rolleyes:

    And his race car isn't nearly as fast as it was.:eek:
    Don't understand why.:D
  11. Exactly. Im happy to say i have several great friends like this. :)
  12. zep058
    Joined: Jan 9, 2007
    Posts: 599


  13. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,328

    from South Indy

    I do about the same thing. I say I don't know anything about cars newer than 1980 [I work on my newer cars but know my limitations] and that rules out working on anything thats a P.I.A. I mostly have true friends that are eager to help me out when I need it or at least we LIKE working on the cars together. It's easy to get burned out though on a looooong project like paint and body work and most guys still think a paint job is $500.00!
  14. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,495


    I ripped myself 2 weeks ago doing work on suspension. Not really worth it...right inguinal hernia,,,
  15. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,445

    from oregon

    i don't work for free,per se,but if i do something for some one by my choice and don't charge then it's thoughts on true friends is if you argue or go roll in the gravel if you cant get up and shake hands,there was no friendship the op say something or your gonna be mad a long aint worth it. jack
  16. Have had similar request to use my lift over the years.
    I always tell them I'll rent it to them.
    They ask "How much?"
    I tell em $4000.00
    Them -"why so much"
    me - Just go buy yer own, and ya won't have 2 rent mine !
    They kinda get my driift.
  17. don't blame your friend, blame yourself for not saying no! I learned along time ago when I opened my business that if you do a favor thats exactly what it is...don't expect anything in return and you won't get that sinking feeling. Real friends know you got rent to pay. I still feel bad saying no, but at least I ain't homeless! Hang in there man.
  18. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    good advice here.almost all of it. kinda take your pick. i too had the same problem, and most from family. sometimes from some family i havent seen in yrs. they show up one day just to see how your doing then the next day they have the damn car with them or on a trailer and i didnt even know there was a problem car comin at me! lol. lucky for me i moved 3 states away.guess what, so did some of them .true!! im now crippled up from a bike wreck so that helped me get rid of the what few friends i have left dont ask me because i have a memory problem.nothing like forgetting to tighten up a i dont but they dont know that. most people have stopped askin me to do it for them when i told them i cant do it for free anymore because i like to eat.and when im workin for free im loosing time i could be workin for pay.and most really understood. most but not all.and the ones who really know me know im a asshole anyway.
  19. KCsledz
    Joined: Jun 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,333


    Ask him to help you with something you need done around your place. Let him know that you can't help him out anymore until you get your projects done. Tell him that if he helps you then you can get back to helping him sooner. If he is unavailable to help you make sure that your list is longer or you already have stuff scheduled on that night. If you can't think of anything that needs to get done then ask your lady. I bet she has a list.
  20. TheDozer
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 80


    I've been in this boat and there are 2 types of friends 1 will own up apologize and do their best to return the favors/help.
    The 2nd will be an ass and see nothing wrong with what they're doin aka not a friend
    As mentioned sit down and talk to him, he may not even realize it until ya say something

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  21. fbama73
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 989


    Just to add a bit more balance on the side of bragging on friends who do it right, I did a wheel bearing job from a long time friend (since first grade) last year, and now, anytime I have something going on, he jumps right up to volunteer. Posted last night on Facebook about having to change rear springs, spring mounts and shocks on my OT truck, and his FB response was "When are you doing it? I'm calling you right now." and my phone rang.

    Another great one is my buddy (since we were five) who was given his great grandmother's '59 Bel Air. I told him we could handle al of the bodywork on it. When we started, he was like a fly, buzzing around me "What can I do? What can I do?" During the process, he watched and learned, and by the time we finished, he was doing more work than I was, and he'd give me shit about getting out of his way."

    Yeah, there's plenty of users, but there are also plenty out there who get it right. I got contacted by another longtime friend last night about replacing a head on an OT Jeep. He was offering to pay by the second sentence. I see him donating a lot of his time to help kids, so I don't think his money will be worth anything in my garage.
  22. @ Rich427, your friend is clearly going too far with taking credit etc., and you've helped him out a ton, but there needs to be some reciprocation. Have there been any opportunities for him to help you out, has he, or not?

    In my OT racing circle, this issue comes up. A guy gets negative points for not giving someone a ride, or the recent example to swing by and throw a timing light on the race car.

    I crew chief for a buddy and we went racing for the weekend in GA, he picks up most of the meals which is cool. He knows if I some day get back into really fast racing (not this year for sure) he'd help me get the car going.

    But think about whether you are looking for (a) some affirmation and credit, (b) money, or (c) have some things where you can use a hand like swapping a rearend, taking a tree down etc. Try him.
  23. Sounds like you need to do a better job of picking friends.
    Its not his fault you picked him, or the others who you let take advantage of your kindness.

    Back to hotrods now maybe ?
  24. frankenfords
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 278

    from SoCal

    I've been expected to work on friends cars for years. I typically have no problem with it, especially if they need the car to get to work or move their family around. When they buy a car knowing it needs a ton of work that they have no idea how to do, and expect me to fix it in my precious free time for nothing, so that they can sell it for a profit, all the while telling other people they did all the work, I'm too busy these days. It's happened. Not cool.

    Another beef is when you fix one problem (for nothing), something totally unrelated goes wrong, and now your on the hook for the new problem. Also not cool.

    I'm all for helping a friend out, but I've gotten in the habit of just hanging out for guidance while they do the work. They way they won't need me around teh next time. Kind of like a shadow. I'll try to talk them through things and coax them out of making stupid mistakes, but sometimes they think they have it all figured out (and don't).

    I had some guidance when I first started, but I also screwed a lot of shit up on the path to progress. Part of the learning curve.
  25. killerbunny
    Joined: May 21, 2012
    Posts: 51

    from serbia

    You are a, lucky man because of that..<object width="1" height="1" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase=",0,40,0"><param name="undefined" value="" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="1" height="1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="" undefined="" allowScriptAccess="always" allowscriptaccess="always" /></object>:)
  26. Just about a hour ago a guy I thought was my "friend" called me and asked if I would sign off on the termite repairs (not OT if you own a pre-war chevy! LOL) he had some illegal alien do to his house to sell it .... he trys to save money having this guy do the work and wants ME to sign off on the quality of the work and take liability for it .... I dont think so.

    Sometimes the best friends are fences.
  27. feeeser32500
    Joined: Sep 30, 2011
    Posts: 23

    from PA

    I just did 2 jobs for friendis first guy is a I.T computer guy and cant do anythinf for me so it cost him $1200 for me to wok on his brand new jeep. second guy is a tattoo artist with a 54 chevy and it cost him 1 bad ass tattoo so it come down to what you can do for me i am more than happy to work for trade with friends
  28. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    from Seattle

  29. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,254


    I'm more than happy to pitch in if my friends need help but I won't fix it for them...
  30. KooDaddy
    Joined: Oct 16, 2006
    Posts: 753

    from Wis.

    Amen, then brag about how much they got for the car.
    Then come back in a little while with another and expect you to do it again!

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