How does this math work?? [NOT 11/5/21]

screaming opossum with the text "unfortunately due to recent events: AAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
Screaming opossum sums up my reaction to this conversation

Hi, friends!

I hate conversations where people clearly are asking a favor or for some assistance and then their expectations completely don’t match what they’re saying they are asking for…

My parents called earlier and want to jaunt down to Tennessee for some Civil War site event where there are night time lantern tours. They begin the conversation with asking if I could watch the 7 month old puppy… saying it would be 2 days. Which…. okay maybe.

Then my dad explains their actual plans and I get told this –

“Yeah we’d drop the dog off on Monday night and then pick up on Thursday afternoon.”

HOW IS THAT TWO DAYS?????????????????



  1. …I don’t know how or why exactly but some people routinely undercount the amount of your time the thing they want done is going to take

    …there’s one person in particular that I do stuff for where it’s gone from being annoying to being a joke…& then all the way back around to being annoying again…I know they need the stuff done & that they aren’t going to get it done themselves but they’re a special combination of demanding & unreasonable that honestly sort of defies description?

    …this particular math tends to be in hours rather than days…so they’ll say they have some things they need me to do that “should only take a few hours” & I’ll say “so, like an afternoon?”…& they’ll say yes…then I’ll get there & they’ll rattle off a list of stuff that would likely take a full day for maybe two people…then demand that each thing be done in some particular way that’s extra time consuming…& in the order they specify rather than one that makes any sense…assuming they don’t think of different things & demand those be done immediately rather than after the original list…all while somehow managing to always be standing in the most inconvenient spot while never actually being helpful…& then bemoan the fact that not everything got done in the time they inexplicably claimed it could be

    …all of which is to say that I feel your pain…& also that I kind of hope the buddhists are right about the whole karma thing…because I’d like to think dealing with that kind of thing is bankable?

  2. In marketing that’s called “bait and switch.” 
    A long time ago a friend of my wife’s called us and wanted us to come “help” her change some light bulbs in her apartment. She has cerebral palsy and we thought there were just a few things that she couldn’t do. Boy, were we wrong. 
    When we got there it was a nightmare. She’d actually had some sort of breakdown. There was garbage a foot deep on the floor, the kitchen was stacked with filthy dishes, there was bugs crawling on everything, and it was sickening. I went to talk to the landlord and the problem was that she was going to be evicted because the neighbors were complaining about vermin. We had to clean it up or she was out. We couldn’t just walk away.
    For some of it I literally just used a shovel and shoveled it into garbage bags. Dozens of bags. We threw most of her things away. We scrubbed and cleaned and scoured and it was spectacularly awful. She sat in a corner and cried and sobbed. She was a high school friend of my wife, and so my wife called her friend’s mother. The mother simply wouldn’t believe us. This was before cell phones or digital photography and we couldn’t capture evidence. 
    We got it sufficiently shipshape to pass the landlord’s inspection, but sweet Jesus it was disgusting. The same person invited us to a alumni party a year or so later. We got there at the designated time, and the host said, great. You help set up the tables. You start slicing the vegetables. We were somewhat bemused but hey, we’ll pitch in. So we did. Then we were told, okay, the guests are arriving so you need to leave and be back here at 9 pm. We’re standing there with our mouths open. Turns out she told the host that we were “staff” and we would help with setup and teardown. We didn’t come back. Dunno how they got the tables put away.
    Eventually the apartment started getting filthy again and we just told her to call her parents. Nope, I’m not scraping up maxi pads ever again. They went and collected her and brought her home. She’s actually fine now (still has CP). But I will never assist her with anything and she’d better never ask. 

    • @bryanlsplinter I had almost an identical experience! A friend was moving and asked if I’d come help with some last minute items. It turns out he was being evicted because he was a hoarder. He has MS and is in a wheelchair. He hadn’t packed and there were bugs everywhere. The movers had also been told they didn’t have to pack, just load the boxes. My friend only had one other helper, a cousin with COPD, she could barely walk and was wheezing the entire time. The moving crew called their boss and explained. He was kind and told them to help me pack. We worked well into the night. It was so gross and I actually had a fight with my friend over the contents of his refrigerator. Most of it was so old it was dangerous. I threw it away and he was furious with me. On the way to his new place, his recently deceased mother’s home, I stopped and got money from the ATM to give the movers. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I still cook for my friend, or did up until the pandemic. But I won’t even open his fridge. I told him I can’t fight like that with him again. I leave the food on the counter and let him deal with it. 

      • You have my sympathy. We are still friends with this woman but at a distance. I think her parents got her into some sort of mental health program. She wasn’t actually a hoarder, she literally had some sort of psychotic break. 
        The faux “party” pissed me off worse. I can understand depression. But the “party” was just pure selfish manipulation. I mean we literally showed up at this place thinking we were guests and ended up eating fast food somewhere after putting in a couple of hours of free labor. 

    • Oh wow.  I feel your pain.
      It’s in a way how I got stuck with the cokehead narcissist. 
      “Oh I need a place to stay for a few months.”
      “Uh sure?” Just so you don’t sick your (non-existent) gangster buddies on me
      Which turned into a year and a half of sheer misery.

    • Sounds like there were a couple of issues on her newsstand there, yeah, but I certainly hope you’re not setting up the CP to have been one of them in and of itself.

      • No, not at all. I didn’t mean to imply that. CP is why she couldn’t change light bulbs (balance issues) which is the excuse she used to lure us to her apartment but had nothing to do with her behavior. I know other people with CP who are not unbalanced. This woman had (has – we don’t spend time with her any more) mental issues that had nothing to do with CP. Certainly depression, at a minimum. As to whether she felt depressed at least partially because she has CP, I couldn’t say. She seems to be happily married now (although she’s a Trumper). 

    • the first incident is unpleasant, but kinda understandable.
      The second…  That’s some middle-school bullshit.  Maybe it’s worse than that, but my limited imagination and memory blocks aren’t helping me to bring up something more appropriate.
      Expecting someone to do uncompensated labor FOR you is bad. 
      Hiding your real friends from your wannabe friends is worse.
      both, together, that’s like the reeses peanut buttercup of despicable, or something, i dunno, I haven’t drunk enough to be able to actually put enough thought into that chain of events…

  3. I remember trying to drop someone off after a night out.  Every time I asked “how much farther?”  “Oh not much farther.”  It was 40km before my friend and I dropped her off at her place.  I was pissed that she kept being so fucking vague rather be honest about it.

  4. My parents and in-laws are all retired, and yeah, there’s a disconnect when it comes to “how much time does X take”. We turn down a lot more “opportunities” than we accept.

  5. It is often incredibly difficult for disabled people to ask for help and I can see how things can get desperate. I’m not condoning bad behavior but I have seen this first hand, when the going gets tough, people run away. I developed mobility issues about 25 years ago and one family ‘friend’ became so angry that she refused to speak to me because I was physically unable to go to her house and do her hair every week. I am extremely cognizant of not asking too much and luckily for me am able to hire people to do things I can’t do.

    • …yeah…there’s a reason I still do stuff for the person I referred to up there…I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that they can drive me up the wall…but it doesn’t mean I don’t have sympathy for their situation or a desire to make things better for them

      …either way you’re right both that it’s hard for people who need some sorts of help for them to ask for it…& that for a lot of people it’s asking to much when they do…which is a pretty horrendous feedback loop all round

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