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Old 01-18-2009, 06:17 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Two years ago, one of DW's best friends tells us: "We got a new treadmill. The old one doesn't work, but you can have it -- maybe you can fix it."

We take it home (Weslo Cadence 340), and I futz around with it, and find a cable that is loose. I plug it back in, and the treadmill works fine. I've used it regularly since then, when it's too wet to run outside.

Recently, the friend tells DW that she'd like the treadmill back to give to her daughter.

I don't plan to say anything, although I'm not going help them take it down the stairs (very heavy). I can find one that's just as good on Craigslist for about $50. But I'm curious as to what others would do.

If I were to say something, it would go something like this: "I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that I'm only charging you $58 for the repair. The bad news is that the $1/day storage charge comes to $912."
Definitely not an ideal person to deal with. But, it's your wife's best friend.

Let her have it back in its current working condition. You got some satisfaction out of fixing it, you got to use it in the last two years.

Sam
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:32 AM   #42
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Car's tailpipe?
How about both?
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:34 AM   #43
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Careful, I did that to a teacher once in school and caused $500 in damage to the emmissions system.
Well, if that isn't costly enough for your purposes, you could always do the jalapenos in the gas tank trick. Start driving and they rise up to the intake and choke the car. Stop for a bit and they settle so you can start driving again, until... No real way to fix it without removing the fuel tank.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:49 AM   #44
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Interesting dialog. An ethical dilemma. I could even see a friend of DW pulling the same stunt. I would say:

"As you may recall, it was not working when you gave it to me. However, even with the cost and effort of repairing it, I have enjoyed its use for two years and you are welcome to come and get it. I recommend you hire a moving company as it is too heavy and bulky for you to move yourselves."
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:02 AM   #45
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As for the neighbor's wife and her comments about the cart, well, you'd just have to take my word for it...she was weird! Once she made her husband get up on the garage roof WITH THE SNOWBLOWER!!!! to remove the snow off the roof because she didn't want the risk of snow sliding off the roof onto her car. Nevermind that her husband had a bad back & was in his late 60s at the time...like I said, weird!!
Another theory . . .maybe she didn't "make" him do it, maybe getting up there was his idea, and he hoped the slick roof and gravity would combine to put an end to the daily hell that living with her had become.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:27 AM   #46
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The fundamental problem with these give away/reclaim activities is, the underhanded idea getting free repairs, improvements.

If the dear friends want a free repair, they should ask for it. It is then up to the skilled friend to decide on such effort.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:30 AM   #47
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Ditto on similar sitation...I cleaned houses for extra cash when I was fresh out of college. My (now ex) MIL decided she wanted me to clean her house, too. She totally underpaid me, $20 for 8 hours work. But she did give me 2 unframed watercolor paintings she had done. They were laying around her basement art room floor with a bunch of other unframed works she had done.
I had both professionally matted and framed. They looked fabulous. When visiting, she remarked that she wanted them back now so she could enter them in an art show. Her attitude was they were loaned. I knew they were given.
I would not let her use my marriage to her son as an excuse to bully me.
I still have those paintings.
Someday you will take them to the Antiques Roadshow and they will be appraised for $10,000.

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #48
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I think I'd go with "pull the cable", as well as the banana AND potato AND jalapenos in the tailpipe. People like Al's wife's friend count on OTHER people acting decently but make no such behavior THEIR priority! What nerve!
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #49
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T-Al:

I vote to take the high road. She probably thinks she is "special" in your eyes as much as she is in your wife's. I would not move it for them though (hurt shoulder, bad back, hernia, etc). I would remind her how my birthday, Father's Day, etc is soon and hope somebody can afford you a 'mill. Additional statement: "Maybe she can pitch in or talk to the wife about a replacement since you may never get to replace this one!"
See which option she takes will tell alot.

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:59 AM   #50
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She probably thinks she is "special" in your eyes as much as she is in your wife's.
I think Al's DW's best friend (that's a keyboard full) is a particular personality type who believe they retain some sort of ownership rights in any 'gift' of one of their possessions to a friend or relative.

My SIL had a brother like that. Anything he 'gave' to another family member was subject to recall at a later date. Didn't matter what the circumstances were or how much money the new 'owner' invested in repairing or improving the item. His behavior was the source of several serious family squabbles. He died a few weeks ago (age 50) so it will be interesting to see if his absence improves family harmony.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:39 PM   #51
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I think it depends on how the "friend" asked for it back. Did she say "GIVE IT BACK" or did she say "i'd really like the treadmill back so I can give it to my daughter who really needs one...please". If she asked nicely not like you owed it to her then i'd give it back graciously otherwise it's yours not hers and you don't owe her anything.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:48 PM   #52
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Strange how someone thinks they can "re-claim" their item after giving it away. I'd fume and fuss a bit and then decide to stick with the motto of "pick your battles" and carefully help them get it moved out and simply forget about it....life's too short.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:36 PM   #53
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Interesting dialog. An ethical dilemma. I could even see a friend of DW pulling the same stunt. I would say:

"As you may recall, it was not working when you gave it to me. However, even with the cost and effort of repairing it, I have enjoyed its use for two years and you are welcome to come and get it. I recommend you hire a moving company as it is too heavy and bulky for you to move yourselves."
Perfect. It assertively states the facts ("gave it to me") and yet takes the high road.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:01 PM   #54
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You could always get someone to help you load into a pickup truck, and deliver it for her. And as you get ready to pull into her driveway, goose the gas a little too much and watch in the rearview mirror as it "accidentally" falls out of the truck bed, and onto the pavement. OOOPS!!!

I have a friend that did that with a big ol' stove one time...it was one of those stoves that has an overhead oven in addition to the normal oven. He turned onto the road he was supposed to, and the tie-downs must have slipped or something (wink-wink, nod-nod), and it "accidentally" went careening off the back of the truck and along the road for about 20 feet. He stopped, and they loaded it back on the truck....in several pieces! All he could say when he got it to it's destination was "Dang, I'm really sorry 'bout that!"
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #55
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Your husband is a class act.
Thanks! I agree -- my initial reaction was to tell the neighbor to pound salt...or have the neighborhood kids T.P. their bushes, but DH's more rational head prevailed. Not the first -- or last -- time, incidentally.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:31 PM   #56
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T-Al

You are hilarious! That fattie comment had me cracking up!

Anyway I learned a long time ago to be cautious about accepting things from others.

Since this was a family issue I will make it vague in case anyone knows who I am.

There was a person who died in our family and they gave away some of his stuff before the house was sold. I was asked if I wanted an item that would cost about I don't know $300 or so. I didn't think anything of it and took the item.

Well this ticked off one of my other family members who wanted the item not for himself but to give to someone that is not even a blood relative. So I got pestered about this item for YEARS I was asked like 20 times about it and my parents were also pestered about it. I would have just given it up but I knew it would go to someone who is not even family anyway and I used the item. Not to mention this person had also took way more of the deceased relatives stuff than I taken already....and other than one other item that was worth about $10 this was all I took.

My lesson learned is not to take anything just buy what you need with your own money. I got more than $300 worth of grief out of that item!

But what to do now...just give it back and help them carry it out. I would be very cautious about this person from now on for sure though........that is just really rude behavior on their part!

Jim
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:46 PM   #57
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OK Al, the Jury has spoken - what will it be?
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:47 PM   #58
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one of my other family members who wanted the item not for himself but to give to someone that is not even a blood relative. So I got pestered about this item for YEARS I was asked like 20 times about it and my parents were also pestered about it. I would have just given it up but I knew it would go to someone who is not even family anyway and I used the item. Not to mention this person had also took way more of the deceased relatives stuff than I taken already....and other than one other item that was worth about $10 this was all I took.

My lesson learned is not to take anything just buy what you need with your own money. I got more than $300 worth of grief out of that item!
Unfortunately, that is so typical. When my mother passed away, I didn't take any of her things, because others wanted them and I just didn't have the heart to get into all of that.

But when visiting me last spring, my brother brought me something that meant a lot more to me. It was a little white handkerchief she had, with red hearts on it. I had bought it for her for Valentine's day, 1956 when I was 8 years old. It cost $1 and I saved my entire allowance, a quarter each week, for four weeks to buy it; thank goodness the storekeeper didn't charge me tax since I didn't have it.

I had no idea that she had kept it all these years. I was so touched.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:38 PM   #59
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I Know!

I think a few people have been insulted that I turned down things but I learned my lesson.

I had a nasty neighbor that lived across the street from me. She basically was a total trouble maker and sued everyone. Her own daughter hardly interacted with her because she was so awful. So when my neighbor finally has to be moved to a home to be cared for her daughter sells her house.

So my neighbors daughter just starts taking stuff out of her house and put it over on my porch. She then calls me and says she is giving me this stuff because of all the times I helped out her mother. I didn't even get asked if I wanted these items they just showed up on my porch.

So a few weeks later her Mother (my nasty neighbor) calls me from her new old folks home and wants me to bring some of the stuff back to her and is all upset!

I was so glad she moved away and even after she moved away she was still causing grief.


Same thing with my family. I was like 24 years old and I was asked if I wanted the roughly $300 item. At the time I didn't think anything of it. Looking back I wish I would have just said "Thanks but that's ok!"

So yeah I learned my lesson about accepting things like that!


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Old 01-19-2009, 12:07 AM   #60
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Recently, the friend tells DW that she'd like the treadmill back to give to her daughter.
I'd let your spouse make the decision: "Whatever you want to do, honey, but is it possible that you need a new best friend?"

If that marital complication wasn't in the picture and it was just between me and my own best friend, I'd have to say that I'd never expect a friend to turn on me like that.

But if one did then I'd comment: "Well, I was under the impression that you'd given it to me because you'd decided it wasn't worth repairing. I put the troubleshooting time & effort into figuring out the problem and fixing it, and I think that gives me the ownership rights. But if you think this is worth testing a friendship then you can have it-- because I'm not interested in putting a price on our friendship by having this come between us. Please bring your own handcart & truck."

And then I guess I'd turn my attention to finding another best friend...
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