Someone does you a favor, but does it badly

would you be ticked, or just grateful because they didn’t have to do it in the first place?

I’m thinking of things like… your co-worker offering to give you a ride to work when your car is unavailable, but being an hour late picking you up. Or someone offering to take you out to lunch and pay when you accidentally leave your wallet at home and then, when you’ve ordered, reveal that she only has a dollar and a half for your lunch. Or someone telling you they’ll lend you their old prom dress for homecoming and then you get to the day before homecoming and you still do not have the dress.

On one hand, they’re being nice giving you a ride to work at all or paying that dollar and a half for your lunch and you were never really entitled to the dress, but on the other hand, it kind of sucks when your plans get messed up.

So what do you do? get mad? thank them anyway? return the favor?

I wouldn’t wait for an hour for a pick-up to get somewhere. If the person was contactable by cellphone, I’d make other arrangements – but nicely. There are times where the favour offered doesn’t quite work out, through other factors outside of anyone’s control; still, it was an offer of help, and should be looked at in that way.

In the meal example – if one person has left the wallet/purse behind, and the other doesn’t have enough money to pay for the meal, I’d say it was the act of forgetting the wallet/purse that “messed up the plans”, not the failed offer. Still, such an offer is a cool thing.

I would be grateful, after all it’s the thought that counts.

If the favor “fell through”, then I would just make a note to self to politely decline favors from that person in the future.

I have a friend who frequently offers to do things for me - specifically, to come listen to my sing when I have a solo in church, or to help out with other activities.

She never makes it. Ever. Wait, I take that back. In three years of friendship with offers at least every couple of weeks, she’s pulled it off once.

Even when I take her offer in a spirit of “she’s just trying to show her enthusiasm and support for me. I know she’s not going to make it,” it really, really hurts when she doesn’t show up. If I bring it up to her, she puts on her hair shirt and begins the self-flagellation. Really, it’s not nearly as satisfying as it sounds, especially when I know that her behavior isn’t going to change.

Sometimes things are unavoidable. Sometimes people commit to doing something when they don’t realize they don’t have the resources. Those are all excusable. Someone who makes a practice of it, has been called on it, and doesn’t change? Not so much.

For me, it would depend on the person’s intent. If I think the person made a sincere effort and things got botched up due to factors that were uncontrollable, then I would appreciate it. I would only be angry if I thought the other person purposely messed out of malice or if in the past, I have done many favors for the person, and s/he did not try to reciprocate.

I think it’s “both.” “Grateful” and “ticked off” aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive feelings.

If somebody offers to do a favor for me, I’m grateful for it – but I am now working on the premise that it will be happening.

If the favor (that I am now counting on) doesn’t materialize, I’ll think of it the same way I’d think if it were a regular arrangement that wasn’t carried through.

I will not call the offerer on their failure to perform, however… it’s (IMO) not done… but I’d feel both grateful and ticked off at the same time.

(I’m assuming no malice or repeated failure to deliver on part of the offerer – just a garden-variety “oops.”)

It depends on the Intent, the Attitude and the Pattern.

If their intent was good but events got away from them and fouled things up, most people feel really bad about it and I would be grateful and supportive.

I’ve had people mess up ‘favors’, then show up with a smile on their face and attitude that says that if I don’t like it, then I’m the jerk. Sorry, but I lived that path long enough and I don’t follow it anymore. Smile in my face as you betray my trust and we’re no longer friends.

Long term, the pattern is the important part. I’ve seen people who have good intentions, but never manage to do what they’ve promised. After a while it gets really old and it shows the person’s true character and integrity. You might as well stamp LIAR on their foreheads.

That’s a tough one. I’m a very independent, self-sufficient person; when someone does me a favour and it’s not the way I like it, I am truly grateful that they tried to do me a favour, but if I don’t like the result, it’s not really adding anything to my life. Thinking about it, I don’t actually like people doing me favours, because the favours that I let people do for me in the last couple of years have been truly stressful for me (they said they would do something, then when I made plans for it and started anticipating it, they didn’t come through or put it off for ridiculous lengths of time), and I became quite resentful - if you can’t come through on a favour, don’t offer in the first place, dammit. This is an impossible situation - how do you complain about someone not doing something for free, even though it was their idea, and they insist that they will do it, and then just keep on not doing it? I would just forget about it and move on, except they keep insisting they will come through.

So, short answer to your question, I try not to let people do me favours because I’ve been burned by them in the past.

I’m thinking of how angry the ex used to make me when he “helped” by doing some of my laundry.

While I appreciate that he was just attempting to be helpful, it was infuriating that he couldn’t grasp that my clothes are made of different material than his, and that most of my stuff is made out of fabrics that should be washed on the delicate cycle. Putting them through on heavy duty with his work clothes wasn’t just bad for them, it outright ruined them. What was particularly upsetting was that he did it over and over again, and no amount of explaining or teaching could get him to do it properly. When I got upset over the destruction of my favourite clothes, he’d get angry that I wasn’t happy with him for trying to be helpful. It took months of forbidding him to do my laundry before he stopped attempting to help me by putting my clothes through on shred cycle, and he was bitter that I didn’t see it as the “favour” that he did.

I just couldn’t be grateful to him for destroying my clothes.

Maybe that’s the key to a successful favour - it has to be done with the recipient in mind, rather than whatever the giver wants to do.

This dilemma is, to me, similar to the poor quality of much volunteer work. It’s great and all, but in many ways both the employer and the employee will be more satisfied that a job has been well done if they are clear about what the employee is getting out of the deal, even if the rewards don’t happen to be financial.

No ,I have come to identify over years of excrutiating experience that there are people who make grandiose offers that they have no realistic chance of fulfilling .
They make the offer on the spur of the moment to make you like them and then dismiss it from their minds minutes later .

When my car has been out of action and I’ve arranged a regular taxi at modest expense these people have insisted on giving me a lift to work instead and then gone on to make me late for work or not turn up at all because they are so disorganised .
But I’m not supposed to get annoyed because they are doing me a favour .

No sorry ,we’re all of us human and can mess up once due to total bad luck ,but when people do it on a significant occassion or on a regular basis they’re not doing you a favour ,they’re dragging you down to their own level of incompotence.
Sorry if that sounds harsh but I’ve been bitten too many times .