Would you expect to be paid for this?

A friend of mine and his wife, whom I’ve known for about two years, will be putting their house on the market soon. In getting the place ready, they wanted to spruce up the outside of it, including scraping and painting the trim all around. On Monday, he sent an e-mail to four or five of us, asking if we’d come over and help them paint.

No problem; we all just took the bar exam, and we’re unemployed and have nothing better to do (this is my group of law-school buddies). Also, this guy, along with several others, helped me move about two weeks ago, when the temperature outside was around 107 degrees. So two of us went over there on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to get the painting done, as the others had good excuses.

This afternoon when I wrapped up, my friend’s wife tried to pay me. I wouldn’t take it; it had never occurred to me that this was a paying gig. She was dumbfounded, but I insisted. Heck, I enjoy painting and stuff.

Moreover, I said, stuff like this is what friends do; it’s not just about being drinking buddies. Especially for people who, like us, don’t have any family in town, friends are the support system to be called upon in exactly this type of situation.

She seemed really upset and determined to give me something, so I finally said they could just buy me a few beers sometime. Beer is the standard payment for such things anyway.

So what would y’all have done? Would you expect a friend to pay you for this? Even if you didn’t expect it, would you have accepted the money?

(One funny aspect of the painting is that today I spent a lot of time on a ladder right above a big rosemary bush, so afterward I smelled like a sweaty, paint-covered lamb cacciatore.)

I wouldn’t expect to be paid, but if it were offered I might take it depending on my personal financial situation at the moment and then use some of it to take the person who paid me to dinner.

No, I wouldn’t expect to be paid. I would (and have) gone with the “buy me a beer and a pizza sometime” and that worked well to keep the situation cool.

I have also attempted to pay someone for doing me a favor that wound up being way more than I thought I was asking (“At least let me pay for the GAS”) and have been met with adamant refusal.

Don’t be upset with her…she was just trying to do the right thing by her husband’s buddies. :slight_smile: Hopefully she’ll get you a case of really good beer because (whether you want to hear it or not :smiley: ), you did a nice thing and there aren’t too many friends like you out there.

Beer is the coin of the realm, yes.

It seems simple to me - buddy helped you move recently. The compensation was cold and frosty? As long as it is similarly cold and frosty this time around, everything’s even-stephen.

Given that it was 3 days worth of work (workdays, too, not weekends), I wouldn’t expect to get paid, but wouldn’t object at their efforts to try to “reimburse” my time.

I don’t drink so beer’s not an option, but I would’ve only taken a % of the total they were offering, and then applied that to a nice housewarming gift for their new place.

If I go to your place and help you move, paint, whathaveyou, I expect beer an’ pizza. Any friend coming over to my place to help me move, paint, whathaveyou, gets beer an’ pizza.

Money’s for contractors.

Yeah, we took everyone to lunch with beer. Also, since we were at the peak of the (continuing) brutal heat wave, we made sure to provide plenty of Gatorade and ice water.

I feel I should mention that since the wife offered and I’m female, beer as the “coin of the realm” was a “guy thing” that had to be explained to me. A buddy of his did us a favor, and DH provided pizza and beer that day, then bought him a case of his beer of choice. I, aghast at DH’s poor manners, said “Shouldn’t we PAY him?!” :smiley:

I received a quick lesson on the economics of ManLand and have since learned that it is indeed a good way to both buy and be paid (she says as she sips Wild Turkey given by an appreciative friend).

I’d do exactly what you did. You don’t get paid, and they don’t notice any places you missed. :slight_smile:

We once moved from one half of a house to the other. We got a bunch of our friends from the neighborhood to help, and put on a barbecue for everyone afterwards.

Yep, much beer and much pizza. And, maybe a six-pack (maybe even a case, if you did that much work) for each to take home even, if they feel real guilty. If the wife was the baking type a box of cookies is always appreciated by the single-dudes.

The only cash is gas money. And then only accepted by the un-employed.
“Real friends help you move. True friends help you move… the bodies.” :smiley:

Depends on how long the days were. If they are expecting 8 hour days/3 days a week then I would expect something more than just beer. I would never except cash, but I would except them to cover me in the future for whatever (meals, movies, trips).

I wouldn’t expect to be paid cash. I would however expect to be paid in pizza or takeout.

I never realized that was a Guy Thing, though. I must hang around with my brothers too much.

Well, there’s an exception. If a dude does this for his girlfriend he expects “other renumeration”. :wink:

When they all helped me move a few weeks ago, my take on it was similar: “A friend helps you move. A real friend helps you move when it’s 104 degrees outside.”

I took a photo at the time to commemorate everyone’s heroic efforts.

Exactly. You don’t pay friends for helping you out! Pizza and beer is fine, but what’s really required is reciprocity. If a friend has helped you move, or helped paint your house, or similar, then you help them next time they need moving, or painting or similar.

If the friend helped with a really large job, then a gift might be a nice gesture. My husband helped the neighbors tile their kitchen and foyer floors, kitchen countertops, and backsplash. Huge project – all told it took over a month to be finished (since they only worked on weekends and some evenings). The neighbor bought Kevin a roofing nailer as a thank you gift. But you don’t pay friends for favors.

I have also heard that if the participants are into that sort of thing, a joint or a few tubes are also appreciated.

I would not be expecting to get paid nor would I have excepted it. A couple beers and some grub would have been fine.

The last time we moved my sons friends helped us and since they were all underage I had a BBQ on the following Saturday after we moved to pay them back for helping.

I would expect to be fed and given drinks during the painting days, but not to be paid. If they insisted, I would put it in the slush fund for the next time we all hung out.

Concur fully, unless prior arrangements are made.

When I moved into my condo, the e-mail I sent a friend had as it’s subject line “How much beer would it take” and as the first line of text “to talk you into helping me move?”

It also depends on the size/difficulty of the job and the closeness of the relationship.

Several years ago we put a new roof on our house. My dad and brother came to help, as did my cousin and another cousin’s husband. There were assorted beverages and snacks all day, I fed them really well at the end of the day, but we also slipped the cousin and cousin’s husband a little cash. That was a monster job to pull off in one afternoon, and we knew finances were tight and some money would be well appreciated.
We did not pay my brother or father. That relationship is different - they would have been insulted.

Lesser job / close relationship = no necessary Major work / distant relationship = may very well be appreciated