How do you deal with over-helpers?

I have relative who is able to share a job-related perk. The perk is somewhat restricted and unreliable, but if you can assume that risk, it’s very helpful and economical when things work out.

The problem is, whereas most people would provide the perk, explain the limitations, and expect to be thanked deeply and sincerely (and possibly a reciprocating favor), that’s not enough for her. She has to hover over the whole process, fret over every twist and turn, obsess over every detail, email several times a day with new ideas and concerns, pry into the details of the experience… you get the picture, I hope.

Really, my only option is to say “I’m sorry, but I find it worthwhile to pay the extra $1200 rather than deal with your over-helper neurosis.” Of course, I can’t say it exacdtly like that, but because I can’t, the pattern is going to pop up with other things.

How do you deal with people who are supremely over-invested in “being helpful”, as opposed to actually helping?

I really don’t understand why you can’t tell us what the hell the perq is. But I’ll go ahead and assume we’re talking about something that results in a savings of $1200, like a Buddy Pass for an airline.

My advice? If you feel uncomfortable telling this relative that she’s being overly helpful, you have no business accepting the perq. I’m not telling you to be rude to her. But politeness is reserved for strangers, not someone who is giving you a thousand dollars. If she’s the type who’d flip out if you said, “Hey, you don’t have to hold my hand. Stop worrying so much”, then you probably aren’t very close.

If a non-close relative offered to save me $1200, I’d expect there to be strings attached. If the only string is her being annoying, then I would consider myself lucky, if I were you.

I may have been guilty of this myself. I was able to get moving trucks free through the leasing company I worked for. When I did take out a truck for a family member or close friend I would worry they were going to screw something up until the truck was returned. I may not have been as bad as your aunt but I know I was slightly irritating.

I’m putting myself in her shoes and as perverse as it might sound, I would feel worried if you were having any trouble with the perq, even though it’s a favor to you. I would want to make sure it went smoothly for you because even though it’s a favor, I am responsible for it and any extra trouble you might have to go through. So, be gentle. :slight_smile:

Turning down that big a gift from even a not-very-close relative seems far more odd to me. As you point out, the strings attached aren’t all that bad.

As for how I’d deal with it? I’d thank her for checking up, but tell her that I’ve already got <insert item here> worked out. I’d tell her that, if I do have any problems, I’ll be sure to get in touch with her. I’d thank her again for giving me such an opportunity and wish her well.

And if that doesn’t work the first time, I’d do it again. At no point would I see any need to tell her that she’s doing something wrong.

I would want no part of it. I’d just say “no thanks” at the get-go. Helpful people are very hard to peel off oneself.

Or else don’t answer her calls/texts. Except to occasionally text back, “Things are going great!”

What is all this “perq” nonsense?

She simply means well but yeah it seems like at the same time she’s a pain in the ass. It’s almost like eating at a Restaurant. Have you ever had a server that was annoying with kindness? You’d be having dinner with someone and every 10 seconds the server would come over to ask you if everything was alright or can I get you this or can I get you that. Meanwhile you lose your train of thought with who your with and whatever you were talking about. So just grin and bare it.

My parents are like this when I visit their house and they want to feed me. It’s ok if they are having an actual meal already and it’s all planned out, but generally it’s not. So I get a never-ending litany of choices and options and checks on how everything is. Cheese on your salad? What kind of dressing? What kind of bread? Toasted? Do you have a fork? Do you have a napkin? Let me turn that light on. It’s exhausting.

The reality is that I will eat almost anything if it’s free, standing up, sitting down, in the dark, with my hands, whatever. And I feel very uncomfortable feeling like I am making work for anyone, so the way they go about it is just way too stressful.

I rarely eat over there anymore. It’s just not worth the stress.

In a restaurant? I think not!

It’s short for perquisite.

I was going to post that. Word for word. Exactly as you phrased it.

I don’t care. Knock it off.

Is “perk” OK?

Knock what off? Using words correctly? No can do.

You learn something new every day!

Of course it is! People who say ‘perq’ are the same people who refuse to pronounce ‘forte’ as ‘fortay’ when referring to ‘a special skill set or talent’. Then you have to hear them go on and on about how the Italian word refers to…blah blah blah. You know the type.

As to the OP, I as others have said, it’s all about how badly you want that perk, man. If I want it badly enough, I will put up with all manners of hovering and control freaks. A free moving van?? Heck yeah, you can call me every five minutes and bug me.

The point was not to grin and bare it in a restaurant. It was meant for the person being smothered with Perks. The sever in the restaurant was only an example of being bombarded with kindness.

I say “perq” just like I say “perk”. But ever since I realized where the word comes from, writing “perk” just feels wrong.

I would have expected the true word snobs–you know, the ones who make a big deal out of pronouncing “forte” correctly–to be the ones throwing a fit in this conversation. Not the so-called anti-snobs, who are too damn cool to worry over how people choose to spell a word. So I’m kind of laughing inside over the irony.

You grin and bare it…when the over-helper sees what you have bared, she runs away in horror. Grinning and baring it in a restaurant might get you arrested. :eek:

OK, I was trying to maintain a fig leaf of privacy, but since I’m drunk, you guessed it. Buddy pass, standby tickets. And so she has access to all the airline systems and can hover over the whole affair and offer and endless amount of information over probabilities and alternatives and availabilities. But in the end, it’s really no better than rolling the dice… you get on the flight or you don’t. No need to obsess over it.

**Google hits for “free perks”: About 69,800,000 results (0.35 seconds)
Google hits for “free perqs”: About 28,800 results (0.34 seconds) **

In short, you are excused, toss off, and may you never experience true intimacy.

Edited to add: DICKBUCKET