About colleague asking for lifts home?

(146 Posts)
tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 08:44:54

Hello! I'm a bit of a lurker - first aibu - anyway:

I'm not sure what to do about a situation I seem to have landed myself in - I was giving one colleague a lift home a few weeks ago, (she is not the issue here - I don't mind at all with her as she is the least assuming person I have ever met and never asks - also I have worked with her a long time and we get on well), when we bumped into someone who used to work in our dept a while ago and now works on a different section. He asked where we were going and asked if he could have a lift too as it was on his way. Ok I thought as I wouldn't be going out of my way and was giving a lift to someone else anyway.

I then mentioned this the next day to another colleague who said "Oh don't fall into that trap!" and regaled me with stories about how she had given this person a lift and he had asked her to stop while he popped into the Co-op and made her wait while he did his weekly shop and also how someone else who doesn't live anywhere near him dropped him off and he gave the driver completely wrong directions home and sent him hours out of his way.

Now the lift asking colleague has started to send group e-mails to our dept in the evening asking if anyone is going his way home. I know these are directed at me - half the people on our section don't know him and I'm the only person who goes that route home. I now feel obliged to say yes as he knows I'm at work and drive his route. Then last night he e-mailed me directly.

He has never offered petrol money but that's not what I'm bothered about as I don't go out of my way. It's more that I feel my personal space is being invaded. What with working full time and two kids sometimes that 20 minute drive to work and back is the only me time I get! Also last time he got in he reeked of aftershave/deodorant - I had to drive home with the windows open and explain what was going to DH in case wondered why I was driving random men about.

I wouldn't mind so much if it was someone I knew really well but it does feel awkward having to make conversation. His girlfriend used to drive him home but they have recently split up so I do feel a bit sorry for him. There are buses and know these take longer but that's not my fault is it?

So am I being reasonable about not wanting to share my own bubble on my way home or am I just being a big old meanie as I don't have to go out of my way and all he's really doing is sitting in the passenger seat for 15 minutes?

rainbow2000 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:53:31

Dont go with exscuses he will always have a comeback.It will be worse trying tostop teh lifts than not starting at all.Just send the group email you cant give lifts.End of

Mutt Wed 10-Apr-13 09:56:26

Do not make excuses - thick skinned people who think nothing of asking people for lifts will always think of a way around them.

Do not blame it on your husband not liking you driving men around - it makes you sound like a submissive little wifey without a mind of her own and he, as you said, like a possessive twat.

Just Say No

I speak from experience and it really is the only way. I would never dream of putting upon someone like that so don't you dare feel bad about refusing.

Mutt Wed 10-Apr-13 10:00:25

seeker - OP isn't a big old meanie, she sounds lovely, so don't lay the guilt on her; she's doing enough of that herself.

She is allowed to have 15 minutes of quiet space or of listening to her choice of music full blast or of doing her shopping list in her head or whatever else she wants in her bubble, without feeling obliged to pass the time of day with an entitled freeloader.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 10-Apr-13 10:08:36

LOL at ScienceRocks, a non driver, suggesting that you give him a lift once a week. Only a non driver would suggest that!

YANBU, OP. I would just tell him no. People like him get away with their behaviour as they hound others, and give a sense of obligation and guilt to others. He will soon move on to someone else.

RevoltingPeasant's email is perfect. It's inoffensive and perfectly clear, if you're worried about colleagues thinking badly of you, don't worry, they really won't.

Good luck with shaking him off. It will only be awkward for a short while and then you'll have that wonderful feeling of having stood up for yourself. (I've been a doormat at times in the past, I know how good this feels).

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 10-Apr-13 10:10:52

And I totally agree with others that have said don't give reasons or excuses as he will just bend those to suit him and come up with a 'plan' to mean you can still take him home.

He sounds awful. I dislike him and I don't even know the bloke!

I don't mind giving lifts, but I do enjoy singing along to the radio loudly too...
Would only do it for him in an emergency or terrible weather since he's known for taking the piss

rhinestone Wed 10-Apr-13 10:15:14

If he carries on speak to HR. He is effectively harassing you.

tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 10:15:56

MrsMangel he's not a horrible person - just someone I don't know that well but feel sorry about the bits I do know - is worse to be disliked or pitied? I thinks it less a sense of entitlement just more a combination of desperation/brazenness.

Mutt Wed 10-Apr-13 10:16:12

Oh FGS...no need to get HR involved!

The world's gone mad...

Mutt Wed 10-Apr-13 10:17:54

But he's not desperate.

He can get a bus like everyone else without a car has to.

Or learn to drive/buy a car.

I wouldn't expect other people to ferr me about OP, and I'm sure you wouldn't either.

BOF Wed 10-Apr-13 10:18:15

Another vote for RevoltingPeasant's email.

RollerCola Wed 10-Apr-13 10:19:35

You are me, 15 yrs ago! I was in a VERY similar situation and had very similar feelings to you. The guy in question used to wait for me to finish work, even though he finished over half an hr earlier some days and could have WALKED home in that time!

I used to find myself finding extra work to do in the hope that he'd give up waiting for me and go home by himself. It became a standing joke in the office - I was a fool!

In the end I came to my senses and told him I couldn't give him a lift any more, it wasn't convenient. He got the message but you need to spell it out to these people in black & white. As the others have said don't make excuses, just say you can't as it's not convenient and leave it at that. He can't give a counter-excuse to that reason.

Stick to your guns and DON'T give him any lifts AT ALL. Good luck!

fromparistoberlin Wed 10-Apr-13 10:20:40

keep saying, "oh I amnot going that way tonight" until he gets hint

visiting mother
picking up partner
shopping

etcetc

arabesque Wed 10-Apr-13 10:24:51

YANBU. I would have no problem giving someone an occasional lift home but would absolutely hate to get into a regular arrangement that would tie me down. Also, sometimes you really do just want a bit of time on your own to wind down after a day at work. Or to suddenly decide to stop off at the shops or work a bit late or leave early or whatever.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 10-Apr-13 10:29:51

The problem is people like him genuinely do believe they are entitled to have the world do favours for them, and they also genuinely believe that anyone that won't accommodate their request is unreasonable and unfair.

Mutt Wed 10-Apr-13 10:30:45

I have given plenty of people lifts during the course of my working life, some on a regular basis (by my instigation), some as and when, some in emergency situations.

I have always been, and will continue to be, very happy to do so.

What I object to is people like the OP describes, who would rather tag onto someone else as a long-term solution to their transport problems. Often people will ask as a temporary measure but never quite get round to sorting out another arrangement hmm. Believe me, it is far more difficult to put a stop to an existing arrangement than to never start it in the first place.

You have been warned!

tulippa Wed 10-Apr-13 10:32:50

RollerCola he did that to me once as well! I have set shifts so finish at different times to nearly everyone else so was bit hmm when he asked for a lift in the daytime knowing that he wouldn't finish the same time as me. Turned out he did wait round 30 minutes for me to finish. Surely the bus would have been easier??

DontSHOUTTTTTT Wed 10-Apr-13 10:38:05

Tell him that you are learning French using an audio programme and that you have to practise in the car. grin

...or just tell sorry but you can't give him a lift. NO explanation is best

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 10-Apr-13 10:56:01

Smile, stay pleasant, say, "Best not to rely on me, good luck with the driving lessons", then at random times if it suits you, offer.

fudgeit Wed 10-Apr-13 10:56:52

whoa he waited around for you?! how did you handle that? is there any way you can fashion a situation where you are suddenly without car and relying on DH? maybe he can see him off a bit for you?

abbyfromoz Wed 10-Apr-13 11:00:55

Yanbu- haven't read the whole thread but just explain that unfortunately you can't as you now need to go in the opposite direction to pick up your children (therefore he won't fit in the car anyway)wink it's a lie but it will get you out of a sticky situation

clam Wed 10-Apr-13 11:10:51

I fully understand your reluctance on this one. However, I'm now feeling a bit blush as I've been relying on lifts from friends/colleagues recently, since I broke my leg. Thank goodness I'm now back on wheels.

Mutt Wed 10-Apr-13 11:11:37

No, no, no...don't start inventing lies.

Lies only come easily to duplicitous people, which the OP is clearly not.

Lies have a habit of coming back to bite you on the arse when you forget the lie you told and catch yourself out either with the bloke asking for the lifts or someone else and word gets back to him.

Then you're not just someone who didn't want to give Harry Freeloader a lift home, you're a Liar.

Which is never good.

Mutt Wed 10-Apr-13 11:12:34

clam - a broken leg is a completely different thing! I'm sure your colleagues were only too happy to help out.

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