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View Full Version : Two closest buddies at work--drop dead!


pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 05:32 AM
Every fucking time I see you outside of work, together at least, for anything social, I end up pissed at you, and always over the same fucking thing--money.

For years, we three would go out for a meal, and I would invariably order a salad and a glass of wine, while you two would order the freaking menu and a few barrels of wine, and when the check comes, one of you (the less socially clueless) would make some gesture towards approximating who had what, which the other one would hand-wave away with a derisive "What, are we a pack of old ladies? We always just split it equally. Here's my 12 cents!" It would then be a struggle to persuade him that his share of the meal--even splitting it equally--after tax, tip, bbbyyy comes to slightly more than 12 cents.

So I would take a ten-dollar hit, usually twenty or thirty dollar hit, every time we three dined out (they always insisted on a swanky french restaurant, too, in their neighborhood--they live five blocks apart, I live a forty minute subway away). Why do I tolerate this? Well, the more socially clueless one is in a wheelchair, and I feel the need to accomodate him with a restaurant that's accessible, plus he'd have to take a cab if we went someplace out of his neighborhood (and believe me he'd bitch about the expense, notwithstanding I've probably paid enough in subways to his place that I could have bought a cab by now). And he actually hired me (twenty years ago) or at least was on the committee that hired me, and also sat on the committee that granted me tenure fifteen years ago, so I rationalize his cluelessness by saying that I might not have my job if not for him.

The other one is, technically, my boss these days (our working relationship is more like equal partners--when we disagree on work-related stuff, I get my way much of the time) but work would be unpleasant for me if we didn't get along, so I'm reluctant to make a big deal out of fairly petty stuff--ten bucks here, thirty bucks there--in the larger context.

Last night took the cake. I announced I'm eating a strict macro-biotic diet (which is only a slight exaggeration) so I couldn't dine with them, but we agreed to see a movie before they went out to dinner. It was the opening night or so of the new Woody Allen movie, and we suspected there would be a line, and I would be free before the movie, and in the neighborhood, so I agreed to purchase the three tickets an hour before they would show up (one of them wheeling the other to the theater), and--you guessed it. They accepted the tickets I handed them (and there WAS a line, that stood on the sidewalk in the rain, which they were spared) but nary a gesture towards anyone's wallet. Afterwards I walked them to their restaurant, and I sat with them until their food arrived. Nothing. Nada.

Guys, I just can't do this anymore--it burns me up too much to know I'm either going to have to lose money, even small sums, whenever I see you socially, or else get into a position where you make it seem that I'm a bean-counting, petty asshole.

FairyChatMom
08-16-2008, 06:55 AM
Would it really have been that hard to say, as handing over the ticket, "They're $10 each" or whatever? I don't think that's bean counting or being petty. Tho you've been covering them so long, they may think you like doing it.

Still, pretty cheesy of them not to even pretend to want to settle their debts.

Alessan
08-16-2008, 07:00 AM
Next couple of times you go out, "forget" to bring your wallet. See what happens.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 07:06 AM
Well, at that moment, we were standing outdoors in the rain, trying to get a wheelchair through a crowd--not really a good moment to have them reaching for wallets.

I agree-- I could make an issue out of this if I really wanted to. I just think it's far more polite for them to cough up with zero prompting on my part. At this point, I'd almost settle for them just saying "Thanks for the movie tickets, man." From the check-in-the-restaurant moments, I dread the whole uncomfortable ensuing discussion--"I didn't pay you for that? Are you sure? I thought I did. I thought I slipped you a ten. I slipped you nothing? Really? Okay, if you say so..." Fuck it. If you can't acknowledge it on your own, I don't want to do shit with you at this point, is basically how I feel.

Harmonious Discord
08-16-2008, 07:46 AM
Talk to the waitress on the side if your chicken, and tell her to bring separate bills. Watch their faces when she hands out bills to each of them. Priceless.

You're making excuses even now. I'm sure you will have an opportunity to collect from them in the future, when it doesn't happen to be raining and you bought stuff again.

Kalhoun
08-16-2008, 07:52 AM
That blows. Next time you go out, maybe you could say something like, "Hmmm...I picked up the movie tickets last week. Do you just want to pick up the first round? Then we'll call it even." Something like that.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 08:28 AM
You're making excuses even now.
Sure I am.

The thing is, rationally, it makes no sense for me to make an issue out of this.

It costs me, max, a hundred bucks per year, maybe, probably less when you account for my pathetic attempts to get some of it back (let one of them buy me a soda more often than I pick one up for one of them, etc.), and the guy who's nominally my boss could be a real ball-buster if he ever got to disliking me (refusing to sign expense reports without receipts, challenging my travel expenses, even signing on for my annual raise or other compensation.) I could file a grievance if he got grossly out of line with this stuff, but that's not the point, which is: economically, the risks of making them dislike me (which neither of them do--they would say I'm a great fellow, fantastic colleague, etc.) are nowhere close to what I'm being nickel-and-dimed out of here.

It's just that I don't have to go out socially with them as much as I've been doing over the years, and now it's reached the point where it would be less vexing just to say, "No, sorry, fellows, can't make it that nght. or that night. Or that night, either. Have yourselves a good time. Maybe next time. No, that night doesn't work for me either."

Duck Duck Goose
08-16-2008, 08:47 AM
Did I miss something here? Why on earth don't you simply announce, "Dutch treat!", and then everybody pays his own way?

ETA: and you tell the waitress, upfront, "Separate checks, please." Good friends--true friends--don't have any problem with going Dutch treat.

LurkMeister
08-16-2008, 08:56 AM
For years, we three would go out for a meal, and I would invariably order a salad and a glass of wine, while you two would order the freaking menu and a few barrels of wine, and when the check comes, one of you (the less socially clueless) would make some gesture towards approximating who had what, which the other one would hand-wave away with a derisive "What, are we a pack of old ladies? We always just split it equally. Here's my 12 cents!" It would then be a struggle to persuade him that his share of the meal--even splitting it equally--after tax, tip, bbbyyy comes to slightly more than 12 cents.
As you've said in later posts, it may not be a lot of money over the long run, but the second guy, who insists on splitting the check equally and even then apparently can't divide by three, is obviously manipulating the situation to his advantage. As Abby (or was it Ann?) used to say, no one can take advantage of you without your permission.

ivylass
08-16-2008, 09:05 AM
It seems to me that you're afraid of speaking up because one is your boss and the other is in a wheelchair.

In an employer-employee situation, the employer ALWAYS foots the bill or goes dutch treat. Under no circumstances should you be paying for your boss...unless you want to, like a birthday dinner or something.

And I strongly suspect your wheelchair-bound friend has mastered the trick of pulling his wallet out from his pocket, even in the rain.

There's no need to be confrontational about it. Next time you go out to dinner, tell the server "separate checks, please." It's quite possible your friends think you enjoy treating them, so next time, speak up. I never understood the practice of splitting a bill evenly, regardless of who ate what. There was a Friends episode about it. Either someone willingly pays for everyone or everyone pays their own way.

I know you say it's not the dollar amount, but what's really bugging you is the expectation that 1)You'll cough up the dough and 2)They don't seem to appreciate it. The money is irrelevant. For the sake of your relationship with these two, speak up.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 09:11 AM
Did I miss something here? Why on earth don't you simply announce, "Dutch treat!", and then everybody pays his own way?

ETA: and you tell the waitress, upfront, "Separate checks, please." Good friends--true friends--don't have any problem with going Dutch treat.

Me: "Dutch treat!"

Buddy #1: "Oh, please [eye-rolling]! Are we a bunch of old ladies?"

Buddy #2: "What's the problem--have we been taking advantage of you?"

Me: "Well, I didn't want to bring it up, but the last few times we've gone out--"

B#2: "You've been keeping records?"

Me: "Not at first, no, but this has gotten so extreme, it's hard NOT to notice--"

B#2: "Okay how much have we robbed you of? And going back how far, exactly?"

Me: "Let's just forget about what's happened in the past, okay, and just each pay for ourselves from now on."

B#1: "What, are we a bunch of old ladies? [falsetto] Did you order the side order of toast, dearie?"

B#2: "[falsetto] and who ordered the extra pot of tea?"

Me: "If I was just talking about toast and tea, guys, yes, I would be petty--but you guys have been ordering for years like the train is leaving for Dachau in forty minutes, and you both drink more during a meal than I put away in three months and it adds up, trust me. I'd just rather pay my own bills, okay?"

B#1: "What, are we a bunch of old ladies?"

I think it's easier all around to vent here, thanks, than it is to discuss this rationally, because if they responded to rational cues, this would have been resolved ages ago, and easily. It's not my job to teach them social behavior, nor is it cost-effective to make an issue out of this with them--and yes that does make me reconsider them as friends. This morning I think of them as "jerks from work."

PunditLisa
08-16-2008, 09:13 AM
If money's tight, simply ask for separate bills. And stop offering to pre-buy tickets if you're not willing to ask for the money.

I'd also advise you to quit keeping mental ledgers on how much each of you is spending. That's rather petty. I mean, if you're all in school and living on a shoestring budget, then it's understandable. But you reached a certain stage in life (I hope) where $10-20 here and there shouldn't be a big deal. Just chalk it up to the cost of entertainment and relax. One day you may need their help, either professionally or personally, and you can cash in those virtual chips. That's the way friendships work.

Alessan
08-16-2008, 09:19 AM
Let me reiterate - don't take money when you go out with them. Force them to pay for you. What are they going to do? Demand you pay them back later? If they do, then start talking about who owes who what - after they bring the subject up.

Fight fire with fire.

Duck Duck Goose
08-16-2008, 09:23 AM
yes that does make me reconsider them as friends. This morning I think of them as "jerks from work."
Good. Pursue that line of thought. ;)

IMHO the hypothetical conversation you just posted adds up to "Jerks Bordering On Assholes", and if *I* had quote-unquote "friends" like that who rode roughshod over my wishes and desires like that, and who made hooting fun of my expressed preferences like that, I'd be dropping them from my A-List pretty damn quick. "Gee, sorry, I'm busy, can't join you" would start cropping up in my response to their invitations.

I'm seeing moochers here, dude. World-class moochers, who have gleefully learned that they have a ready mark in you, easily intimidated into funding their steaks and movie tickets. That whole hypothetical conversation was an exercise in passive-aggressive behavior. Are these people really your friends?

Duck Duck Goose
08-16-2008, 09:25 AM
One day you may need their help, either professionally or personally, and you can cash in those virtual chips. That's the way friendships work.
I have to disagree with this. In my experience, asshole moochers, being unperceptive people, never perceive that there's an implied debt in all those times when you paid for more than your share at the restaurant and all the movie tickets they never reimbursed you for, and so when you go to call in what you perceive as a marker, you get a blank look. "Gee, sorry, wish I could help you..."

mswas
08-16-2008, 09:29 AM
One of my best friends for years has been something like this. He always wants to leave the absolute minimum for the tip regardless of the quality of service. I worked it out with him ultimately but it took years. Still he's inattentive to basic social cues and the other day I unreasonably blew up at him, immediately apologized when I calmed down, then a couple of days later he wanted to get back into it and go the rounds. So I just cut off all communication with him. He thinks I need to come to my senses, and is just blissfully ignorant of how obnoxious his day to day behavior is. So every time I think about calling him to settle stuff I just think about how it'll probably be me eating my hat and apologizing again while getting nothing in return. So at this point I simply don't want to talk to him, and each day that goes by my desire not to talk to him has not abated one iota. So yeah, if people are this casually clueless or contemptuous of your feelings, just remove yourself from their company.

Litoris
08-16-2008, 09:30 AM
Your "friends" sound like assholes. I understand why you feel you can't do anything but avoid them, and vent here -- may I suggest one option? Next time you go out with them, tell the server "I need mine on a separate check, please" and look at them and say "I have to run an errand/hit the grocer/call my mom/whatever, so I will be leaving early. I'd never ask you guys to pay my way." Do that a few times and see if the next time you don't if they've gotten the hint. I also suggest the "oh, shit, I must have left my wallet on the subway!" excuse, it's easy enough to get them to understand that you know what's going on and aren't willing to continue. Me? I'd do what you're doing and just not go out with them anymore.

mswas
08-16-2008, 09:47 AM
My opinion about this sort of behavior is that subtley people like this know they are taking advantage. They might not talk to themselves about it in their internal monologue, but I think they know. To confront them about it exposes the lie and makes them angry.

Lavender Falcon
08-16-2008, 09:53 AM
From the OP, it sounds like the topic of fairness does come up, and the two of them have a routine down to keep the status quo. I find that life is too short to deal with such folks. If you live in a city, there are plenty of other people to be friends with.

It's not about the money, really, but balance in the relationship. If it feels like there is a give and take, people don't keep tabs on things--or at least I never do. Whenever I find myself feeling the urge to keep tabs, that's when I start thinking about the relationship as a whole, and whether I'm always getting the short end of the stick. If I am, then it's not a friend I'm hanging out with--it's a moocher. There are plenty of moochers in the world. Sometimes they mooch money. Sometimes they're emotional vampires and mooch support. The worst ones are both. None of them are worth the energy.

My friends are as giving and generous with me as I am with them, and not because anybody discusses it or thinks about it. We simply care about each other and get pleasure from doing nice things for each other. Everyone comes up short sometimes, be it financially or emotionally. Friendship is about taking turns to even out those bumps for everybody. Dismissing that as an "old lady" thing is really sad and pathetic when you get down to it. As if age or gender should define friendship and fairness?

I'd ditch 'em in a New York minute.

ivylass
08-16-2008, 10:01 AM
Me: "Dutch treat!"

Buddy #1: "Oh, please [eye-rolling]! Are we a bunch of old ladies?"

Buddy #2: "What's the problem--have we been taking advantage of you?"

Me: "Well, I didn't want to bring it up, but the last few times we've gone out--"

B#2: "You've been keeping records?"

Me: "Not at first, no, but this has gotten so extreme, it's hard NOT to notice--"

B#2: "Okay how much have we robbed you of? And going back how far, exactly?"

Me: "Let's just forget about what's happened in the past, okay, and just each pay for ourselves from now on."

B#1: "What, are we a bunch of old ladies? [falsetto] Did you order the side order of toast, dearie?"

B#2: "[falsetto] and who ordered the extra pot of tea?"

Me: "If I was just talking about toast and tea, guys, yes, I would be petty--but you guys have been ordering for years like the train is leaving for Dachau in forty minutes, and you both drink more during a meal than I put away in three months and it adds up, trust me. I'd just rather pay my own bills, okay?"

B#1: "What, are we a bunch of old ladies?"



Is this a hypothetical or truly a conversation you've had with them? If it's the latter, then that would be the last time I'd go out with them. Honestly, who in their right mind thinks someone who orders a salad should chip in for someone ordering steak and lobster? Unless there's considerable cuddling afterward, then I'd have to say you're getting screwed in the Not Good Way.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 10:09 AM
One day you may need their help, either professionally or personally, and you can cash in those virtual chips. That's the way friendships work.

I agree. This is not in essence a social situation. It's a cost of doing business, and I need to treat it as such, and not sucker myself into thinking that I'm going out with buddies to have a good time. I'm going out with jerks from work, and I will expect in the future to get soaked for 10 or 20 or 30 bucks per night, which I have gotten back or will get back in the future in the form of smoother relations in the workplace, and the less I let on that it pisses me off no end, the better off I am. It's just frustrating, and I appreciate being able to vent here.

ON EDIT: Ivylass, it's a hypothetical example of what would happen IMO if I tried the "Dutch treat!" gambit. Some of it, esp. the "pack of old ladies" stuff, has occured like clockwork in the past.

ivylass
08-16-2008, 10:14 AM
Then I would submit that this type of employer/employee relationship is inappropriate. You are feeling pressured to pony up the entertainment bucks in order to keep things running smooth for you at work. Your office relationships at work should not be contingent on how much you can shell out (unfairly) during a night out. I can understand not wanting to antagonize someone in authority over you, so maybe I would just be "unavailable" the next few times they want to go out. If they "retaliate" in some manner, you may have the basis for a complaint.

Plynck
08-16-2008, 10:16 AM
It costs me, max, a hundred bucks per year, maybe, probably less when you account for my pathetic attempts to get some of it back (let one of them buy me a soda more often than I pick one up for one of them, etc.), and the guy who's nominally my boss could be a real ball-buster if he ever got to disliking me (refusing to sign expense reports without receipts, challenging my travel expenses, even signing on for my annual raise or other compensation.)In a way, you do owe these guys. Just not in the way that they are taking advantage of you, though. It sounds like you are close colleagues and that you owe your initial hiring and current position (and salary) to them. As a result, you are obligated to treat them with respect and to perform your job with professionalism. It doesn't sound like this is the problem.

Similarly, they owe it to you to treat you as a colleague and good employee. They are stepping over that line in their behavior.

Before saying anything that may damage your professional relationship, however, you may want to ask whether the $100/year is worth it. For example, I have never worked for any business that would accept an expense report without receipts. Do they just give you an average raise, or do they go to the wall and give you the maximum, or even a bonus? They are wrong in thinking that they are justified in taking advantage of you, but you probably couldn't say a thing that would change their way of thinking and would only make things uncomfortable for you.

It really is amazing to me to see the number of managers who feel that their subordinates somehow "owe" them something other than professional and competent conduct.

As tough as it may be to accept, if you think that you have had more than $100/year benefit from this relationship, it may be more expedient to grin and bear it. And (this is a moral question here) I'd try to read between the lines to see if the expense report approver is tacitly encourage you to pad it out a bit to account for your nights out.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 10:26 AM
I would just be "unavailable" the next few times they want to go out.

exactly what I meant in post #7:
It's just that I don't have to go out socially with them as much as I've been doing over the years, and now it's reached the point where it would be less vexing just to say, "No, sorry, fellows, can't make it that nght. or that night. Or that night, either. Have yourselves a good time. Maybe next time. No, that night doesn't work for me either."

If I can remember this for a few weeks, until the next time one of them suggests, "Hey, let's catch a move and dinner next Friday! It's been a while," I'll be okay.



OE: Plynck: Precisely. Point taken. This is better than therapy, plus I can do this in my underwear.

Boyo Jim
08-16-2008, 10:37 AM
Them: "Oh, please [eye-rolling]! Are we a bunch of old ladies?"

You: "Yes, yes we are. Pony up, grandma."

End of conversation.

eleanorigby
08-16-2008, 11:03 AM
Frankly, I think this is terribly inappropriate of your boss and the wheelchair-bound fella is playing you like fish. I'd be tempted to get really snarky with Sir Handicapped if he tried that old ladies stuff on me. Real, able people pay their share kind of stuff.

Well, that's what I'd want to say. In RL, I'd probably never say anything like that. I would stand my ground, though re the separate checks. If they're bad tippers, you can choose to supplement their lousy tips OR just tip well on your check. The wait staff will then know who the dicks are.
I would also cultivate some more friends so that you are genuinely busy the nights these clowns want a free ride call you up.

Jodi
08-16-2008, 11:08 AM
Or:

YOU [to the waitress as you order]: Mine on a separate check, please.
THEM: What are we, a bunch of little old ladies?
YOU: Nah, I'm just trying to keep better track of where the money goes. Did you see the Laker game?

Don't get me wrong: I completely understand your POV. I also am the type of person who does not deal well with the suspicion or belief that I'm being taken advantage of. It ruins the whole evening, and can ruin the whole relationship, as it seems to be doing in your case.

But I think you have to decide whether you value your social life with these guys enough to start inobtrusively pushing back on this, or whether you're just going to drop them. It sounds like you've resolved to just drop them which is of course fine. I'd just ask you to make sure you're not shooting yourself in the foot by doing so, depriving yourself of society you actually enjoy (except for this one thing), and giving up the chance to maintain a friendship with your boss, which is always a good thing to keep if you can.

If you want to try to maintain the friendship and push back a bit -- because I agree just taking the continued exploitation is not an option -- my suggestions are: (a) to construe it as your problem, which you are addressing ("I need to keep better track of my money" not "you two a a pair of mooches and it pisses me off"), and (b) keep changing the subject if either of them seems to want to harp on it. Under no circumstances should you tell the truth about how you feel (the truth is so overrated in situations like this) or allow them to piss you off. Just "I'm trying to keep better track of my money, [change subject]." Rinse, lather, repeat.

diggleblop
08-16-2008, 11:14 AM
Man up and speak up.

dalej42
08-16-2008, 11:52 AM
I'd also chalk it up as a cost of doing business. It is the same thing as being in an office when you have your arm twisted to buy shit for co-workers kids.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 12:39 PM
your arm twisted to buy shit for co-workers kids.
Which I also do, and get steamed.

Y'know, I've been thinking about doing a 360 on them.

Once I accept that it's really not the 100 bucks a year (max) this is costing me, and that I DO have other friends I would (and do) choose to spend my time with after work, friends who are, you know, respectful and helpful and understanding and, well, you know, friendly, and that I need to maintain a relationship with these guys for business purposes, instead of resenting their maddening practices, I'll go them one further.

I think, if I go out to dinner with them again, next time, I'm going to INSIST on picking up the entire bill--"Your money is no good here, you guys have been so helpful to me over the years, I'd never be where I am today if it weren't for the two of you, this is the least I can do to show my appreciation, you always have my back at work," etc. almost to the pointing of making them nauseated. (To an extent, as Plynck points out, it is all true in a narrow but very real sense.)

If they take me up on my offer, which is entirely possible, I'll at least get some credit for generosity, and I won't resent it since it would be a simple business expense: I need to wine and dine these guys in all but quid-pro-quo acknowledgment of what they've done and will do for my career. I can live with that, much more than I can live with having infuriating friends who treat me shabbily.

I hope this doesn't seem like spinning my wheels, but this conversation (in the Pit) is really helping me to see this in perspective, for what it really is.

Alessan
08-16-2008, 12:57 PM
Seems like that would made everyone happy. Just a good, healthy S&M relationship.

Rubystreak
08-16-2008, 01:20 PM
Contrariwise, next time you go out with them, don't eat the entire day before, so you're good and hungry. Go in order an appetizer, then soup, the most expensive thing on the menu, plus a billion drinks, and dessert. Consume flagrantly more than the amount of food and drink that you know they'll order, and then insist on splitting the bill evenly three ways. If they protest, ask them if they are old ladies. You know, turn the tables on them. That could be fun. Do that the next 5-6 times you go out, you may find they've adjusted their attitude towards how the bill is paid.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 01:24 PM
Contrariwise, next time you go out with them, don't eat the entire day before, so you're good and hungry. Go in order an appetizer, then soup, the most expensive thing on the menu, plus a billion drinks, and dessert. Consume flagrantly more than the amount of food and drink that you know they'll order, and then insist on splitting the bill evenly three ways. If they protest, ask them if they are old ladies. You know, turn the tables on them. That could be fun. Do that the next 5-6 times you go out, you may find they've adjusted their attitude towards how the bill is paid.


You crack me up. I'd probably laugh so hard during that meal I'd puke it all up by the third course. (If I'd even get that far, after living on salad and wheat germ for the past six weeks.)

gonzomax
08-16-2008, 01:37 PM
The internal dialogue of your friends is such that they have justified it. You may feel robbed but they have found a way to make it alright. If you make a point of it ,they will feel offended and wronged.
Either take your lumplets or quit going out wit them. Confrontation will result in an ugly encounter and you will be the bad guy.

Rubystreak
08-16-2008, 01:47 PM
You crack me up. I'd probably laugh so hard during that meal I'd puke it all up by the third course. (If I'd even get that far, after living on salad and wheat germ for the past six weeks.)

The way I see it, weeks of wheat germ and rabbit food + eons of being taken advantage of = perfect excuse to order the most extravagant dinner in history and make them pay more than their share. Passive aggressive? Yes, but filling.

Boyo Jim
08-16-2008, 02:19 PM
Contrariwise, next time you go out with them, don't eat the entire day before, so you're good and hungry. Go in order an appetizer, then soup, the most expensive thing on the menu, plus a billion drinks, and dessert. Consume flagrantly more than the amount of food and drink that you know they'll order, and then insist on splitting the bill evenly three ways. If they protest, ask them if they are old ladies. You know, turn the tables on them. That could be fun. Do that the next 5-6 times you go out, you may find they've adjusted their attitude towards how the bill is paid.

Make sure to ask about and order 2 or 3 bottles of the priciest wine on the menu.

But that other idea you have, OP, about loudly insising you'll pay for the whole tab? That's a BAD idea -- really, really bad. It won't even phase them. They won't get the irony -- or they won't admit to it, at least. You will simply go from paying more than your share to paying everything, and we'll see another Pit thread a few months down the line.

ZipperJJ
08-16-2008, 02:34 PM
This is horrible but all though this thread I imagined you going out to dinner with these guys (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05BRw3_62mA). Maybe you can imagine them as that now instead of "jerks from work." hehe

ivylass
08-16-2008, 03:05 PM
I like Rubystreak's idea. Turns the tables on them quite nicely.

muttrox
08-16-2008, 05:11 PM
One of my best friends for years has been something like this. He always wants to leave the absolute minimum for the tip regardless of the quality of service. I worked it out with him ultimately but it took years. Still he's inattentive to basic social cues and the other day I unreasonably blew up at him, immediately apologized when I calmed down, then a couple of days later he wanted to get back into it and go the rounds. So I just cut off all communication with him. He thinks I need to come to my senses, and is just blissfully ignorant of how obnoxious his day to day behavior is. So every time I think about calling him to settle stuff I just think about how it'll probably be me eating my hat and apologizing again while getting nothing in return. So at this point I simply don't want to talk to him, and each day that goes by my desire not to talk to him has not abated one iota. So yeah, if people are this casually clueless or contemptuous of your feelings, just remove yourself from their company.

I'm kind of curious about this. You say you are the one who acted unreasonably. Then rather than discuss it (or any other issues) you decided to end the whole relationship. Is that right, or was that just the trigger event or something?

pbbth
08-16-2008, 05:19 PM
Next time bring cash, specifically a bunch of singles, and be the first to pick up the bill. Figure out exactly your share and place it in the thingy they always use to bring the bill to the table (you know the thingy I am talking about...it is plastic and folds in half with a little pocket for a credit card.) Then pass the bill over and let the other two bicker over how to split the rest of the tab.

descamisado
08-16-2008, 05:20 PM
I'm kind of curious about this. You say you are the one who acted unreasonably. Then rather than discuss it (or any other issues) you decided to end the whole relationship. Is that right, or was that just the trigger event or something?I may be wrong but I think he meant the blowup was unreasonable but not the information he was trying to convey.

Fish
08-16-2008, 05:38 PM
I like Rubystreak's idea, but add this: order some food to go and make them pay for a third of it.

Harmonious Discord
08-16-2008, 06:23 PM
At first you made it sound like a major unbalanced exchange was continually on going, but changed it to $100 a year. It's not that big of a deal, because that would be like $8 a month.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-16-2008, 07:25 PM
At first you made it sound like a major unbalanced exchange was continually on going, but changed it to $100 a year. It's not that big of a deal, because that would be like $8 a month.

Sorry if I made it seem like a major international crisis at first. I was upset.

I go out with these guys socially four, maybe six times a year, and I overpay 15-30 bucks a shot, which is 4-6 times I get pissed off at them. Last night, by carefully avoiding dinner, I thought I'd found a way to avoid getting pissed off, but I failed, and vented my frustrations here, which helped me think it through.

Cat Whisperer
08-17-2008, 09:00 PM
I don't get hosed for $1 four to six times a year without getting pissed off about it. I don't appreciate anyone taking advantage of me (which is what your "friends" are doing). If you don't like it, stop participating in it - fairly simple.

ETA: If you do a 360 on them, you'll be doing the same thing you've always done. If you mean a complete turn-around, that would be a 180. :D

BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed
08-17-2008, 09:59 PM
ETA: If you do a 360 on them, you'll be doing the same thing you've always done. If you mean a complete turn-around, that would be a 180. :D
Yeah, but you'd get a nice range of behavior while he's going through the 45-135 range, and then on the way back as well. Also: isn't it funny how when you spin completely around, you make a 360, but a complete turn-around is something different?

Vinyl Turnip
08-18-2008, 12:06 AM
I'm kind of curious about this. You say you are the one who acted unreasonably. Then rather than discuss it (or any other issues) you decided to end the whole relationship. Is that right, or was that just the trigger event or something?
I won't speak for mswas, but my experience is that people who are assholes about money (unrepentant moochers, consistently poor tippers) tend to have other characteristics that make them undesirable as friends.

Among my closest friends, there is no one I don't feel comfortable taking turns paying the check with, because I know we won't screw each other over.

Kevbo
08-18-2008, 12:22 AM
ETA: If you do a 360 on them, you'll be doing the same thing you've always done. If you mean a complete turn-around, that would be a 180. :D

Looks like someone has been studying the "conversational geometry" chapter in Dogbert's "Clues for the Clueless".

Maeglin
08-18-2008, 10:36 AM
One of my best friends for years has been something like this. He always wants to leave the absolute minimum for the tip regardless of the quality of service. I worked it out with him ultimately but it took years. Still he's inattentive to basic social cues and the other day I unreasonably blew up at him, immediately apologized when I calmed down, then a couple of days later he wanted to get back into it and go the rounds. So I just cut off all communication with him. He thinks I need to come to my senses, and is just blissfully ignorant of how obnoxious his day to day behavior is. So every time I think about calling him to settle stuff I just think about how it'll probably be me eating my hat and apologizing again while getting nothing in return. So at this point I simply don't want to talk to him, and each day that goes by my desire not to talk to him has not abated one iota. So yeah, if people are this casually clueless or contemptuous of your feelings, just remove yourself from their company.

This sounds very familiar.

Pazu
08-18-2008, 03:09 PM
If your boss isn't a real stickler about receipts, why not just submit the amount you figure they owe you on your next expense report? ;)

Acsenray
08-18-2008, 03:35 PM
I wonder whether there is some cultural factor here. I've never heard of anyone complaining about paying for what you ordered.

It won't even phase them.

It won't faze them.

Sanity Challenged
08-18-2008, 04:51 PM
pseudotriton ruber ruber, you need to become a more assertive person, and start commanding a little respect. If these were just acquaintances that you could start to ignore, that would be one thing, but this is your boss. If you think that these are some kind of favor that will come back to pay off in the end, you're dead wrong. You are a doormat. Doormats don't get promoted. Doormats get the minimal raise during annual reviews. Doormats get the crappy jobs and the "I'm gonna need you to come in this weekend" speech.

Don't be a dick about it, and definitely don't do any of the passive aggressive nonsense like "forgetting" you wallet. Just conduct yourself with self respect, and be more assertive. When you say "separate checks", make it a statement, not a conversation opener. When they make the old lady comments, make a quick joke or give Jodi's "keeping track of your finances" excuse, but re-state that you are getting a separate check, and make it a statement. Don't get dragged into a conversation of the why's and who paid for what last week - that just sounds whiny. Just state your desire confidently and as if there's no reason you owe anybody in the world an explanation for your desire for separate checks (because, news flash: you don't!).

When you buy the movie tickets, don't wait for them to offer cash out of the kindness of their hearts. Either hand 'em the tickets and say "these were $10 apiece, please", or go for the "I bought the movies, dinner's on you guys." Again, make it a statement, which is done with eye contact and confident body language.

Honestly, this little social situation might be a blessing in disguise: it may be just the opportunity you need to practice some assertiveness with your boss and coworker outside of the office.

Boyo Jim
08-18-2008, 05:00 PM
I wonder whether there is some cultural factor here. I've never heard of anyone complaining about paying for what you ordered.



It won't faze them.

Wrong, I was talking about a futuristic weapons system. :p

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-18-2008, 05:01 PM
pseudotriton ruber ruber, you need to become a more assertive person
You haven't been around here very long, have you? ;)

Sanity Challenged
08-18-2008, 05:16 PM
You haven't been around here very long, have you? ;)

Hmmm, either you mean "If you knew me, you'd know I'm assertive", in which case, no, sorry, I don't know you, and in this thread you come across as very, very unassertive. Not just in the story you tell, but in how you respond to some others' suggestions.

Or, you mean "If you know me, you'd already know I'm not assertive. Duh!" If that's the case, hey, that's cool and all, but this is your boss here, and your lack of assertiveness could affect your career.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-18-2008, 05:26 PM
Let's just say that I agree I'm being unassertive in this anecdote (for reasons you may not support, but which make sense to me) and have to hold back my natural assertiveness in the context of my larger career goals, which depend in part on support from these two colleagues. It simply struck me as funny to be told I need to be assertive--I think that's the first time I've gotten that suggestion here. Though, in your defense, I have tried to suppress my assertiveness since you've been a member of the SDMB--I was having a joke that you're in no position to get, and (having explained my little joke) I'll apologize for having you on for the amusement of others.

Boyo Jim
08-18-2008, 05:38 PM
Let's just say that I agree I'm being unassertive in this anecdote (for reasons you may not support, but which make sense to me) and have to hold back my natural assertiveness in the context of my larger career goals, which depend in part on support from these two colleagues. It simply struck me as funny to be told I need to be assertive--I think that's the first time I've gotten that suggestion here. Though, in your defense, I have tried to suppress my assertiveness since you've been a member of the SDMB--I was having a joke that you're in no position to get, and (having explained my little joke) I'll apologize for having you on for the amusement of others.

This very post has qualified you for entry to the SDMB Wuss Hall of Fame.

Cat Whisperer
08-18-2008, 06:13 PM
I'm having trouble picturing what kind of career aspirations make you have to pay for your boss' dinner and movie tickets instead of just politely declining the invitation.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-18-2008, 06:27 PM
I'm having trouble picturing what kind of career aspirations make you have to pay for your boss' dinner and movie tickets instead of just politely declining the invitation.That's exactly what I'm going to do in the future--up until this point, I'd been holding out hope that this was simply an unfortunate series of coincidences, some uncharacterisitic poor behavior on their parts, forgetful on their part as to who paid more the few times, some concerns about me worrying too much about getting screwed out of petty sums--but I think it would be better just to decline future social engagements with these fellows from here on out.

As to the kind of aspirations--simply being in an environment where my friends continue to outnumber my detractors. So far, these guys are squarely in my camp at work, and it would short-sighted to alienate them because they lack a social grace or two. A sharper line between "work" and "going out to dinner with the guys" is pretty easy to achieve, as long as I remember that I really want to draw that line in the future.

Rubystreak
08-18-2008, 07:44 PM
it would short-sighted to alienate them because they lack a social grace or two.

Here's what would bug me: is a lack of social grace, or is it that they know they can both sucker you for $10 each time you go out to dinner? Is it accidental or deliberate? The fact that you've brought it up and they've responded with the "old lady" comment makes me think that it's deliberate. They are using you. It's not lack of social graces, it's chiseling. They're schnorrers, as my dad would say. If the only way you can cope with this fact diplomatically is by not going out with them, so be it, but prepare yourself for comments about that, too.

pseudotriton ruber ruber
08-18-2008, 07:53 PM
They're schnorrers, as my dad would say.
"Hello, it's Captain Spalding, the African explorer!
(Did someone call me schnorrer?)"

I agree, and I'm prepared to nibble on rabbit food forever, if it means I can avoid dining at Chez Messieurs Les Schnorrers ever again.

you with the face
08-18-2008, 07:56 PM
As to the kind of aspirations--simply being in an environment where my friends continue to outnumber my detractors.

I can only deduce by this that you have a lot of detractors (or a few powerful ones) that makes this self-inflicted pain in the crotch a net gain to you. Can I suggest that perhaps you work on making more allies at work instead of putting all your eggs in these two manipulative baskets? With friends like yours, I'd be reluctant to see your enemies.

jacquilynne
08-19-2008, 10:24 AM
Perhaps you could bring up the issue before dinner? When plans are being made, say something like, 'Sorry guys, I really can't go. I'm trying to be cautious about my finances, but even if I don't order much, we always end up splitting the check evenly, and I can't risk my budget that way.'

Of course, that makes you look like you're having money troubles. Maybe 'I'm trying to save up for INSERT REALLY COOL, EXPENSIVE THING HERE so I'm trying to cut back my non-essential expenses and even if I don't order much, we always...'

Cat Whisperer
08-19-2008, 11:22 AM
I can only deduce by this that you have a lot of detractors (or a few powerful ones) that makes this self-inflicted pain in the crotch a net gain to you. Can I suggest that perhaps you work on making more allies at work instead of putting all your eggs in these two manipulative baskets? With friends like yours, I'd be reluctant to see your enemies.
I agree. These two are your allies the way some kids let a mentally handicapped kid be in their group so they can push them around, from what you've described here. I'd unentangle myself from them very carefully.

Vinyl Turnip
08-19-2008, 12:02 PM
Let's just say that I agree I'm being unassertive in this anecdote (for reasons you may not support, but which make sense to me) and have to hold back my natural assertiveness in the context of my larger career goals, which depend in part on support from these two colleagues. It simply struck me as funny to be told I need to be assertive--I think that's the first time I've gotten that suggestion here. Though, in your defense, I have tried to suppress my assertiveness since you've been a member of the SDMB--I was having a joke that you're in no position to get, and (having explained my little joke) I'll apologize for having you on for the amusement of others.This very post has qualified you for entry to the SDMB Wuss Hall of Fame.
It's even funnier if you read it in the voice of "Droopy."