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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Jul 31, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: My husband and I have been good friends with another couple for more than 10 years. We meet them for dinner with our families on a regular basis.

I have noticed that my friend (who is an affluent money manager) will order water, get a cup and then serve herself soda from the "self-serve" soda fountain. This theft embarrasses me to no end, and frankly, I find stealing on even a small level to be a sign of bad morals.

We have small children and I do not want them thinking this behavior is OK.

The more I venture out in public, the more I see people stealing drinks, making me wonder how people justify this behavior? The knowledge that the cost is passed on to the rest of us is also irritating.

On the other hand, we do love these people and I don't want to anger my husband by offending them.

How should I handle this?-- Conflicted

DEAR CONFLICTED: Your children's morals will not be polluted (or diluted) by being around other people who behave unethically.

Why? Because you are raising them. If anything, this presents a "teachable moment," where -- if they ask you -- you can say, "I would never want you to help yourself to something you hadn't paid for -- but she is making her own choices and I'm not her mom."

Also, I can't understand why it would anger your husband to have you bring up a topic reflecting your own point of view with someone who is your friend. You can say to her privately, "I notice you always help yourself to the soda when you haven't paid for it. Do you think that's ethical?" Leave your husband and children out of it.

She'll have a ready answer for why this is justifiable behavior, and you can respond honestly by telling her that you completely disagree.

DEAR AMY: My husband and I are 70 and are doing what a lot of people our age seem to be doing -- trying to sell our home and downsize to another area. We are active and in great health.

Our children and grandchildren would like us to move closer and we would enjoy that -- except for the fact that we would be moving from the southeast to the northeast, and it would be a tremendous burden financially on us because the cost of living is so much higher there.

My husband and I have found another location that's affordable and which we love -- however, it's only about a half-hour closer to our children compared to where we are now, bringing our distance to about four hours.

Do you have any thoughts?-- Feeling Guilty

DEAR GUILTY: You should live where you want to live -- and where you can afford to live.

Obviously, cost of living aside, there could be tremendous personal and practical benefits to living near your children and grandchildren -- and these benefits are hard to quantify using a cost-benefit analysis, but you should do your best to weigh all of your options and the impact on you and your relationships.

Part of your planning should take the medium- and then the longer-term view into account.

You might want to rent for a year or so at the new location to see how all of you adjust -- and tell the children, "We're going to try this out for the time being and revisit this issue in a year or two."

DEAR AMY: Your response to "Gentleman Waiting," whose fiancee is unfocused in her career and not contributing financially, may have ignored some important warning signs.

When I met my lovely wife 17 years ago, she was underemployed relative to her intelligence and education and seemed, in some ways, a lost soul. She also exhibited a lack of attention to monetary details. After some challenging years, the fog cleared once she was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and received proper medication.

She is now a responsible, gainfully employed, high-performing woman. I would encourage this gentleman to rule out treatable conditions before making a life-changing decision, such as leaving someone he loves.-- Gentleman No Longer Waiting

DEAR GENTLEMAN: I hear from so many people that an adult diagnosis of ADHD is life changing.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Jul 31, 2012
 
1- I HATE cheapskates that can't fork over a dollar and some change for a soda! Call them out on it every time. Hopefully at least you'll embarrass them enough to pay for a soda while they're out with you.

2- It ain't hard. You can't live somewhere you can't afford.

3- Pills are the answer to everything.

Since: Jan 10

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#3
Jul 31, 2012
 
L1: You think she's a trustworthy money manager? I do not. Stealing is stealing. She justified it in her brain.$10 says she'll be in the news for embezzling/pyramid scheme some years down the road.

And I agree with Amy: You're giving other people too much imaginary power when it comes to influences on your children.

Maybe just tell the cashier, "And my friend over there is helping herself to pop without paying for it, so add a small pop to my order so I can eat with a clean conscience." Personally, I wouldn't trust her in my home. She's justified things in her head, so she will be okay with taking a pair of earrings out of your bathroom, or going through your drawers when you ask her to house sit while you're on vacation.

L2: I think Amy's suggestion to rent is excellent.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#4
Jul 31, 2012
 
L1: Right, call them out Amy's way and start WWIII. If you must, next time they get free soda ask them if they need to borrow money to pay for the beverage. When they say no, tell them how you feel it's stealing and then leave it at that.

L2: Live where you can and the idea of renting is a good one. You can try out a place and see how your budget survives. You're healthy now, you might not be in another 5 years and you may need that family closer, although there are plenty of options for that situation as well.

L3: Is adult ADHD widely rampant?

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#5
Jul 31, 2012
 
L1: Petty theft, no matter how small, is still theft. Restaurants look the other way so the servers get their tips, but you have to teach your kids what's right.

L2: You decide where you want to live, not your kids.

L3: Q: How many adults with ADHD does it take to change a light bulb? A: Wanna go for a bike ride?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#6
Jul 31, 2012
 
LW1: YOu are not the soda police. How should you handle it? Leave it the F alone. The fact that the actions of others embarrasses you annoys the hell out of me. The only actions that should have the potntial to embarass you are your own and perhaps those of your children. Actions that in some way can be a direct reflection on you. No one ties this man's actions to you. Further, no one in the restaurant is paying that close attention to what other people do anyway.

LW2: GUILTY? About what? If the whole point of your move is to downsize and make your money stretch and moving close to them does not achive that, then the decision is made.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#7
Jul 31, 2012
 
edogxxx wrote:
1- I HATE cheapskates that can't fork over a dollar and some change for a soda! Call them out on it every time. Hopefully at least you'll embarrass them enough to pay for a soda while they're out with you.
This is terrible advice. If she wants to continuie to hang out with them, which she apparently does, why would she go out of her way to make things unpleasant? I know if someone was calling me out on bad behavior every time we got together, I would not want to get together with them very much. This does not concern or affect her. If it bother's her so much that she is fine with not hanging out with this person anymore, then badger away. But that ain't how this reads.

Since: Nov 10

Brooklyn, NY

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#8
Jul 31, 2012
 
L2- Four hours isn't that far. My parents live 15 hours from me.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#9
Jul 31, 2012
 
1 First off, where are you meeting on a regular basis that has self serve soda? Chucky Cheese? Mc Donalds? Try eating more upscale like Denny's or Chili's where they dont have self serve soda.

2 North=Cold old peeps not like cold!

3 Yay! Better living thru chemistry.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#10
Jul 31, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Maybe just tell the cashier, "And my friend over there is helping herself to pop without paying for it, so add a small pop to my order so I can eat with a clean conscience."
Not to excuse the soda stealer, but people like this would bother me even more. I can't comprehend the need for you to compensate for the shortcomings of others that don't concern you. I had a discussion with a friend's wife(who annoys me as it is), and we were talking about paying for lunch and tipping. If she thought someone else atthe table was not tipping enough, she would pitch in more. Generally when I go out to lunch, everyone gets seperate checks. I tip appropriately on my check. I don't give a rat's ass if everyone else at the table stiffs the waitress. That's not my concern. That's between them.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#11
Jul 31, 2012
 
RACE wrote:
1 First off, where are you meeting on a regular basis that has self serve soda? Chucky Cheese? Mc Donalds? Try eating more upscale like Denny's or Chili's where they dont have self serve soda.
Lots of places a step up from McDonalds have self serve soda. Pei Wei, Panera, Crispers, Jason's Deli(they got ice cream too)...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Brooklyn, NY

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#12
Jul 31, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>This is terrible advice. If she wants to continuie to hang out with them, which she apparently does, why would she go out of her way to make things unpleasant? I know if someone was calling me out on bad behavior every time we got together, I would not want to get together with them very much. This does not concern or affect her. If it bother's her so much that she is fine with not hanging out with this person anymore, then badger away. But that ain't how this reads.
Interjecting my own prejudices. I don't understand why the lw wants to be friends with such thieves anyway. I disagree with your opinion though. Just do nothing? Screw that. Stealing is stealing. I wouldn't surround myself with such scumbags.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#13
Jul 31, 2012
 
edogxxx wrote:
Stealing is stealing. I wouldn't surround myself with such scumbags.
And I said, if you are cool with not hanging out with them anymore, then fine, badger away. But this woman does not want ot burn that bridge. If you want to remain friends and continue to spend time with them, badgering them about their bad behavior is not a good means to that end. They are not going to see the light because you chided them.

Since: Jan 10

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#14
Jul 31, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Not to excuse the soda stealer, but people like this would bother me even more. I can't comprehend the need for you to compensate for the shortcomings of others that don't concern you. I had a discussion with a friend's wife(who annoys me as it is), and we were talking about paying for lunch and tipping. If she thought someone else atthe table was not tipping enough, she would pitch in more. Generally when I go out to lunch, everyone gets seperate checks. I tip appropriately on my check. I don't give a rat's ass if everyone else at the table stiffs the waitress. That's not my concern. That's between them.
I would tip more as well, especially if service was particularly good.
Berkshire Hathaway

Lombard, IL

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#15
Jul 31, 2012
 
L1. What you have witnessed is the tip of the iceberg. Those people are white collar criminals who have no principles.
They will burn in hell for their misdeeds.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#16
Jul 31, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I would tip more as well, especially if service was particularly good.
So what do you do? Interrgogate everyone as to how much they are leaving before writing your tip amount? Sneak a peek?

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#17
Jul 31, 2012
 
LW1: Whatever.

LW2: Whatever.

LW3: Yeah, for every woman like that, I bet 9 never change.

Since: Jun 09

Madison, WI

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#18
Jul 31, 2012
 
L1: I probably would just mind my own business and recommend you do the same. However, if your goal is to change their behavior, I think Amy's will not work. It will simply start a debate and leave room for the thief to use justification. If you want to get her to stop, shame and embarrassment are the way to go. "Oh, honey, if you can't afford to pay for that soda, I'll be glad to buy it for you." Tell the cashier somewhat loudly: "My friend forgot to pay for her soda. How much is that?" Repeat this as necessary, but note that this may also do nothing to change how your husband would feel (since you're worried about angering him).

L2: What do you Amy to do? Find you an apartment?
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

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#19
Jul 31, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>And I said, if you are cool with not hanging out with them anymore, then fine, badger away. But this woman does not want ot burn that bridge. If you want to remain friends and continue to spend time with them, badgering them about their bad behavior is not a good means to that end. They are not going to see the light because you chided them.
I'm sure that restaurant workers see this kind of stuff all the time and have to look the other way all the time. McDonald's here now dispenses sugar and cream from a machine on request rather than let you help yourself to individuals packets. If people can slip condiments in their pockets, they'll do it. Not making excuses but some people can't help themselves, they're petty thieves in that way.

I even saw this at work. A single lady at work routinely helped herself to the sugar packets, on the sly, in the coffee room so she didn't have to buy sugar for her home use. Drove me nuts cause I did the ordering to replace the stuff. I could go on and on with examples of how weird these people can get.

Since: Jun 09

Madison, WI

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#20
Jul 31, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>So what do you do? Interrgogate everyone as to how much they are leaving before writing your tip amount? Sneak a peek?
Depending on the group I'm with, plastic is not always used. I try to pay cash when eating at restaurants, and I notice some do and some don't.

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