Giving Ride to Work
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 2:23 am
The threads about allowing or not allowing people to use pools has made me think.
I'd really love opinions on my dilemma.
I work in a huge medical center.
It's a half hour to 40 minute trip each way.
For the last two years I have been giving a woman in my neighborhood a ride to work.
She's not a friend, just someone who heard I drive to our mutual place of work.
She doesn't drive and the only way for her to get there is to take 3 busses.
She knew this when she took the job and has been wrangling rides with people for years.
When I stop to fill up the gas tank she never offers to pay or even contribute.
Before a few chagim she showed up with a toiletries gift bag, as a token of her appreciation.
This woman was recently asked to increase her work days.
When I was giving her a ride home she asked me if I'd be willing to give her rides on the extra days.
One of those please be honest questions.
So I honestly answered that I think she should contribute for gas.
She was really taken aback.
Since then she's texted me several times.
Asking price for trips, bargaining to lower the cost with explanations of mileage and gas prices.
By the way, the price I asked for door to door service was 5 shekel more than the 3 busses she would have to take.
I've really controlled myself.
Not mentioned that I've basically been a free taxi service for years.
But I've had it.
Told her I'm not comfortable with the bargaining and obviously this is not going to work and wishing her well.
So let me have it.
Am I horrible person?
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 2:35 am
You are not a horrible person, and she is WAY out of line!

As a person who has never driven, I need rides a lot. I always offer something in return. Cookies, gas money, babysitting, anything I think the other person would appreciate. Most often I'm told it's no problem, but I think it's my responsibility to at least put it out there without waiting to be asked.

I would never ask someone to go out of their way for me unless it was an emergency, like I needed a trip to the pharmacy.

If she wants this job so badly, she can hire a car service or call Uber.

Trying to negotiate down the price of gas is real chutzpah. What about your valuable time? Sorry, a couple of soaps and a body lotion once a year is not enough.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 2:57 am
In israel, it's pretty standard that she would contribute to gas. She's getting paid for nesiot. I think it was pretty nice of you to do it for free for all these years, and totally reasonable to ask for money moving forward. It's weird that she was taken aback
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 2:57 am
First of all, she sounds pretty resourceful, so I'm sure she will figure something out with rides, so you don't need to feel bad on that account.

I wouldn't want to deal with "bargaining" either. I understand you feel bad it ended this way, but it's probably just as well, it would have been uncomfortable all around.

I don't think you should feel guilty, you gave her 2 years worth of regular rides. Maybe in the end it was a favor, to make her a bit more aware of proper etiquette for this type of situation.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 3:56 am
Thanks for the responses.
Feeling better
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 3:58 am
Any regular ride-share should involve splitting gas. Her bargaining on your request (which you shouldn't have had to ask for in the first place) was just plain rude. I think you pulled yourself through responsibly and generously, OP.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 4:25 am
When my husband started working, over 10 years ago, in tel aviv, he found out that a friend in the yishuv was driving the same exact way that he would need to as well. He was not able to drive every day, so he asked if he could ride with this guy a lot. And my husband of course asked if he could contribute to the cost of petrol.

Ill go one further. My husband drove home from the train to our area for a while. My father was going to be going that way too, without a car. My husband offered to take my father home. My father offered to share the cost of petrol.

Of course she should chip in. And no, you did nothing wrong. Actually the opposite, you did something right by asking her to chip in. You are not a free taxi service. Kol hakavod to you.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 4:49 am
OP you were totally fine and classy. You sound like a baalas chesed who knows when to put her foot down so as not to be taken advantage of. We should all be like you! She sounds like a real nebach and socially off.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 6:44 am
I don't think you did anything wrong.

But you have been giving her a ride for 2 years and you are not friends yet? She's obviously odd.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 7:18 am
I can understand your feeling, but know you are not a bad person, rather a person who does chessed and knows when to set boundaries. IMO, It's kinda guts, after 2 or so years FREE rides, to try negotiating. Feeling being taken advantage of usually causes resentment.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 7:25 am
No, you should not feel bad. You've made her life easier for 2 years. Let her work out her transportation issues for herself from now on. That bargaining would annoy me and leave a bad taste in my mouth. If you weren't there, she'd manage somehow.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 7:35 am
You are 100% in the right. she literally gets a transportation stipend which she should have been giving to you this entire time.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 7:46 am
I think I would compromise to ask for the cost of a chufshi/ whatever she gets to pay for nesiot If she is really tight for money. If she is doing it just to be stingy then I would insist on full cost of gas share. You are definitely in the right to ask.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 8:25 am
Glad you are feeling better Op.
hugs and hatzlocha
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 9:18 am
Yes! Finally a thread where someone sticks up for themselves.
You did it for free for two years. She asked if you’d be comfortable doing even more and told you to answer honestly. Then when you answered honestly she tried to talk you out of it, and you stuck to your guns!
There’s no mitzvah to be a doormat. There’s a mitzvah to do chessed but even if she pays a little money, you’re still doing you’re still doing her that favor.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 9:43 am
This thread was exactly what I needed to read today! Something upsetting happened to me at work and I was in a terrible mood...this thread had me laughing out loud, and I'm already starting to feel like myself again. The lady trying to bargain you down...too funny!
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 9:48 am
whenever we give my father a ride to a destination an hour or 2 away, he always whips out his credit card to pay for gas! As a matter of fact he always forces me to get gas even if the tank is half full.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 9:56 am
What everyone else said.
This woman has no class.
She should have offered at the outset, but if she didn't, she should have agreed when you asked her to chip in.
That she tried to bargain you down is the ultimate in grubbiness.

OTOH IN THE DLKZ DEPT: Maybe the travel cost really is a financial hardship for her.
OTOOH: If she gets a stipend for travel expenses, she should have turned that over to you up to the cost of the bus fare.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 11:53 am
By the way, the price I asked for door to door service was 5 shekel more than the 3 busses she would have to take. 

I've been thinking about this.

First if all, if it is a regular arrangement, you are absolutely right to expect that she would help to pay. I would think that approximately half of the cost of the fuel (and parking if you need to pay parking) would be appropriate.

It's not clear to me how you calculated the price. If this is an approximation of half of the cost of the journey, maybe with a small amount added on to cover the convenience of door to door service and any time you spend waiting for her, that is fair enough.

If you are calculating what each bus would cost her, and then adding the extra five shekels for convenience, you may have miscalculated. Once you take into account the cost of a chofshi, or ma'avar when one payment covers all the buses you get on within 1 1/2 hours, the cost of the ride could be a lot less than three individual bus rides. You don't say whether this is all within the city or whether you live in a yishuv or a different city. If the buses are all within one city, the whole journey would only cost a few shekels by bus.

The cost of running and driving a car may have come as rather a shock to her. Also, once you buy a chofshi, the price is the same, regardless of how many days you travel. She may not have been thinking that more journeys cost more money. I know it seems obvious. But if you are used to calculating a budget one way, you don't always think that it can work other ways.

She gets nesiot, so if you are her regular transport, she should pass on that amount to you. You are entitled to ask something above that for the convenience involved and the service you provide. But I would base it in your expenses, rather than on what the alternative would cost her.
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Post  Tue, Aug 04 2020, 12:09 pm
I don' think she did anything wrong by asking for more rides from you but you have every right to ask for gas. I am actually shocked she wasn't paying all along. When we only had one car, my husband was in a carpool at a time when I needed the car. He was never able to drive but he always contributed gas money in lieu of driving.

Bargaining you down is a little strange and pathetic on her part.

Unless this woman is a "chessed case" you are not at all in the wrong and rightfully shocked that she tried to bargain with you.
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