“Am I Wrong For Not Paying The Kids That Shoveled My Driveway?” Interview With Author
Being a good neighbor means slightly different things to different people. For some of us, it means baking an apple pie for someone who just moved in. Or helping out a neighbor who clearly needs the help. All without any selfish intentions. However, some people think that it’s fair to be compensated for the help.
One redditor shared how they got into an argument with their neighbors over snow. Four of the local kids shoveled their driveway without asking and then demanded 15 dollars each (or 60 dollars total) for their services. The redditor refused, only to be visited by their mom later. Scroll down for the full story, as shared on the AITA subreddit. Were the kids being entrepreneurial or a bit greedy? What do you think, dear Pandas? Would you have paid them or refused just like the redditor? Read the story and share your thoughts in the comments.
Bored Panda got in touch with the author of the post, u/beaversm26, and had a chat with them about what happened. They told us that they’re feeling much better about choosing not to pay them now that some more time has passed.
“There has been a lot of speculation on them intentionally running this as a scam or shakedown, and also speculation on if the mom is sort of the mastermind. I think the internet can get really carried away on imagining these elaborate scenarios, and I don’t know what the truth is. Either way, even if the whole scenario was an innocent mistake, I think it was probably a good lesson in boundaries and consent which needs to be talked about more with kids,” they said. Scroll down for the full interview about what exactly happened.
Bored Panda also reached out to financial expert Sam Dogen, the author of ‘Buy This, Not That: How To Spend Your Way To Wealth And Freedom’ and the founder of the Financial Samurai blog. He said that it is “very important” that people ask their neighbors if they want help before charging them for the services rendered. “First, there is the issue of trespassing. An owner may not be comfortable with someone on their property. Second, there’s liability risk! If the shoveler slips and falls and breaks his leg, then what? The owner could be sued,” he said.
A bunch of local kids shoveled the snow from their neighbor’s driveway. However, things got a bit heated
Image credits: julie corsi (not an actual photo)
Here’s the full story, dear Pandas
Image credits: Kara Babcock (not an actual photo)
Image credits: Igal Ness (not an actual photo)
Image credits: Elizabeth Warren (not an actual photo)
The author of the post, u/beaversm26, said that they didn’t expect their story to get so much attention online. However, it was very relatable to a lot of people. “Apparently this is a more common scenario than I realized because several people have brought up similar experiences of their own,” they said.
The redditor shared a bit more about what happened with the kids that were shoveling the driveway.
“The kids knocked on the door and were very much like, ‘We did X, and now you have to pay us X amount.’ It very much seemed like they didn’t think there was any other choice; like they didn’t think ‘no’ was an option. I think that confidence has worked in their favor in the past,” the redditor explained.
“They immediately got upset and defensive and it was kind of just the 4 of them yelling at once about how they needed to be paid because they did the work. I guess they were rude, but mostly they just seemed so entitled to being paid that they were just so bewildered that someone said ‘no,'” the author of the thread explained to Bored Panda.
One thing that the redditor wishes they did differently is to at least have said ‘thank you.’ “They did ultimately help me for no pay, but their attitudes and then the mom’s reaction stops me from feeling too much regret. I ultimately wish I just hadn’t opened the door,” they pointed out.
They were very candid that, at the moment, they “don’t have a strong relationship” with their neighbors. “Everyone kind of keeps to themselves, and my husband and I are by far the youngest people in the neighborhood. But we’re quiet. I didn’t respond or engage in the next door nonsense and so I imagine some people will hold a grudge, but that’s okay. I think the neighbors that do know me will know there’s more to the story.”
The redditor told us that they doubt the local kids will ever knock on their door ever again. “Which is totally fine. I like doing my own yard work,” they said.
“I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond and share their own experiences,” they thanked all the redditors who contributed in the comments.
Financial expert Sam told Bored Panda that, generally speaking, having an entrepreneurial spirit early on in life is awesome. “It helps you appreciate the value of money. Further, it instills a work ethic that will take you far in life. I firmly believe that grit and perseverance is the secret to success!” he said.
“The oldest and easiest way to be a kid entrepreneur is to buy and resell candy for a profit. Another way is to send fliers to all neighbors to do yard work. The final best way to make money is to brand yourself online with a website or over video,” he shared some of the ways that kids can start learning about business, money, and financial security.
Sam also shared what parents can do to encourage their kids to think about their future. “Parents need to explain as much as possible why things are the way they are, instead of just telling their children to do things. The more parents can explain why it’s important to save and invest and why it’s important to learn as much as possible, the better,” he noted.
“I see too many adult kids still living at home with their parents because they were never explained the importance of good financial habits early on. Yes, it’s possible to convince your parents to buy you everything as an adult child. However, where’s the satisfaction in that?”
Here’s what some internet users thought about what happened
The crux of the problem, according to the author of the post, was that the local kids didn’t even ask them if they wanted their driveway shoveled. They were planning on doing the work themselves later that day.
In short, the redditor felt like they were the victim of racketeering. They also explained that they couldn’t hear the kids shoveling the snow because they were working at home while listening to music.
Most AITA users thought that the OP definitely didn’t do anything wrong. They stressed that shakedowns are illegal, while some even joked about ‘slippery slopes’ if someone gives in to the demands even once.
Whether someone helps someone out for free or asks for a reward is up to them. However, our bodies are hardwired to reward us for altruism either way.
Vanessa King, the Head of Psychology at ‘Action for Happiness,’ explained to Bored Panda that humankind is a social species. Helping others is what we do, naturally. By lending a helping hand, we help keep the community together.
“When we do things for others, it activates the reward center in the brain, so when we give a gift, it feels the same as receiving a gift,” Vanessa said.
“Small daily actions one at a time can help us to make altruism a lifetime habit. You could start out small by deciding you are going to smile at everyone you meet or pay three people a compliment today.”