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Social Situation: What Would You Do?
Old 01-17-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
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Social Situation: What Would You Do?

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."
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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Unplug the cable before they pick it up.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:11 PM   #3
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Wow, what nerve. I would probably do the same thing that you are doing though. I would try to keep in mind that she is your wife's friend and people are definitely not perfect.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:17 PM   #4
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dh2b sez "what the **** ! I'm glad I'm not this woman's [original owner of broken treadmill] husband."

I say nay to the Indian giver. She discarded it as a broken treadmill.
Key here is "...broken, but you can HAVE it". She gave it to you. It was not loaned, nor was a repair and return requested.

You moved it, you fixed it, possession is 9/10.
<gavel raps>
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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I would take a couple of acting lessons and cheerfully give it back to her. And forever wonder why she WAS one of your wife's best friends.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:22 PM   #6
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Remembering that you have gotten two years of treadmill time for free, and that she is your wife's friend, I'd graciously let her have it and even smile pleasantly if possible.

Mentally I'd keep track of this sort of thing, though hopefully she won't make this a habit.

I'd then buy an equivalent treadmill from Craigslist for $50. I'd try not to say much about that in front of her, though it would be so tempting to say "No problem that you wanted that treadmill back, since I got a MUCH better one for only $50 - - had my choice of three at that price - - and didn't even have to repair it!"
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
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I'd be careful about not helping them take it down the stairs---you might get your walls or whatever beat to crap!
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:34 PM   #8
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Is the daughter a 'hottie'? Maybe you could work out a deal where the two of you work out together?
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:35 PM   #9
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While I think she is totally out of order in asking for it back, it is your wife's friend so if your wife wants to give it back, I wouldn't want to upset my wife so I would comply. But I would not do anything to help in the move.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #10
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Honestly, I think I'd call her and say that you're confused because you thought she gave you the treadmill. And then see what she says. Hopefully she would be graceful and tell you she forgot....Oops...nd that you can keep it. After all, it's been multiple years.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:37 PM   #11
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I would let her take the treadmill, but I would never lend her anything again, nor would I accept any "gifts".
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:39 PM   #12
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I say bite your lip this time, what goes around comes around.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #13
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Banana in the tailpipe?
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Is the daughter a 'hottie'?
I think the daughter is a fattie, and that's why her mom is desperate to get her the treadmill.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:50 PM   #15
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Had an analogous situation about 15 years ago. A pleasant couple, friends, gave me a nice old mantle clock. Same story, ie. it does not work.
So I spent a good bit of time and effort finding rare parts, fixed it. It had a very nice chime.

Some years passed, whenever they visited, commented how nice it sounds. Then one day the lady decided it was a really nice clock, and that they only "loaned" it.

I returned the clock, now in a functioning condition to these charming folks.

Somehow, I can't remember the last time I've seen or talked to them, or even if they are alive.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:54 PM   #16
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Chew on it a while, consider what free sometimes costs, consider two years of use for plugging in a cable, do my best to give it back with grace and maybe a custom magazine rack you made for reading while jogging. Giving back more than you got - and not asking for what you gave back - is evil revenge dressed as guileless good spirit. Costs you very little extra effort and will give you something nice to keep in your mind - makes you really obviously the better person.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:59 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Unplug the cable before they pick it up.
Definitely, the way to go - if you give it back.
I wouldn't and along the way I would make it as awkward for them as possible.
Two years, and she want it back? Instead of acting gracious it might be more fun to act like - "I don't remember getting it from you - two years ago? I don't remember that."
It is tacky to give you something and then ask for it back.
This could be a good time to keep the machine and move the "friends" out of your life.

To me part of living a good life is to have good people around you. Bad people sap your positive life energy.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:21 PM   #19
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Definitely, the way to go - if you give it back.
I wouldn't and along the way I would make it as awkward for them as possible.
Two years, and she want it back? Instead of acting gracious it might be more fun to act like - "I don't remember getting it from you - two years ago? I don't remember that."
It is tacky to give you something and then ask for it back.
This could be a good time to keep the machine and move the "friends" out of your life.

To me part of living a good life is to have good people around you. Bad people sap your positive life energy.
Problem is, it is not one of Al's friends but a very good friend of his wife. If refusing to return it is going to upset his wife, then give it back. (could loosen a few screws - ideally it will break shortly after it is returned).
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:34 PM   #20
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Banana in the tailpipe?
Careful, I did that to a teacher once in school and caused $500 in damage to the emmissions system.
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