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Need some advice on how to politely tell this lady NO!

I clean houses for several people each week. I charge 10.00 an hour. This one lady, who happens to be the sister of my daughter's aunt (does that make sense. lol) is driving me crazy. At least three times a month she will ask me to take her grocery shopping, but she says she can't pay me to take her. It's 45 miles to the nearest grocery store (one way!!!), she cant walk and requires a rider chair, so this shopping trip takes at least 4-5 hours. PLUS, I have to put all the groceries away(200-300 bucks worth).

I really don't want to be rude, but I have things to do and paying jobs. Furthermore, I don't want to do it. I keep making excuses to get out of it, but she still pesters me. I really need a polite way to tell her no without being rude. I'm one of those people that has a very hard time with the no word. lol.

So, first off do you think it is ugly of me not to help this elderly lady? And how can I get her to stop pestering me without being rude?


Asked by texasgurl33 at 5:46 PM on May. 2, 2012 in Money & Work

Level 34 (66,457 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (28)
  • I think that you expalin to her you just can't do it for free, and you enjoy cleaning her house, but can't afford to pay a sitter for your kids, tell her if she would like to buy your family's food on the next outing you can take her,, she is trying to take advantage of you! I would just say "Mary" I can't take time away from making an income, as much as I would love to do it for you, but we can't afford it at the moment. I think she probably likes "hanging" out with you,, and wants you to be her friend,, not an employee.

    Answer by kimigogo at 6:12 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • Maybe try hooking her up with a service that does this.
    It's your right to say no, there are organizations that specialize in this kind of thing.

    Answer by Ludvik_Smith at 5:50 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • so I'm going to suggest the way I say no to my kids and that is to redirect instead of outwardly saying no....before you say no, have another plan or two or three ready for her to think about. "I thought you might be interested in this service...." as you show her a pamphlet of a grocery delivery service or some other kind of home-help service.....

    Answer by FXmomTo3 at 5:51 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • No you are not being selfish. You are being a good mom & being fiscally responsible for your family. It would not be financially wise for you to not be paid for your time & gas, esp. considering it costs you extra in day care. It's only fair. Look into the extra help from agencies or family & don't give another thought about it. If you can't help yourself, then get a grocery list from her, & the $ to cover the groceries, & the next time you can shop before you go to her place to clean.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:57 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • If she's very rich then why can't she pay you to take her? If she's rich she CAN pay your to take her. Do not start your request by saying I'm sorry....just state it as a simple fact....."I charge $10.00 an hour for whatever service I am providing for you. Would you still like me to take you to and from the store and put away your groceries when I take you home? This is normally a 5 hour job so I will expect to be paid $50.00." You don't have to apologize your don't have to explain yourself. If she's very rich..she is just using you and being cheap.


    Answer by meooma at 6:33 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • I assume you are charging her for the 4-5 hours that it takes to do this? You need to just let her know that running errands is different than cleaning house. Your fees are the standard $10/hr plus $2.00 for every 10 miles to cover gas and such.

    Answer by daylily888 at 5:53 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • So I have an idea. Present it as a choice. Tell her you can take her to the store on your cleaning days, for the same price, but you won't be able to do the cleaning. Ask her which she would prefer. You may find that she'd rather you did the shopping than the cleaning and it may open new doors for you with regard to income.

    I don't know.....just throwing things out there


    Answer by BrawnwynII at 5:59 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • I would either try to hook her up with a service that can assist her or Option 2 Tell her that due to the price of gas and food costs, and that grocery shopping for her interferes with your work schedule you will have to charge her an extra fee and in addittion she would need to provide you with a list prior to you arriving at her house so you could get the groceries before you go over to save time . Option 3 If you really don't want to do it anymore be honest. Politely tell her you have other jobs you need to do and you can't afford to keep doing her shopping. Do what you can to help her get another arrangement but don't feel obligated to keep doing it for free.There's a line between doing a good deed and letting someone use you cuz you can't say no. She got groceries before you arrived she can find another way. You are being paid to provide a service so be clear on what is included and what is not.

    Answer by LBoogie0617 at 6:14 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • I like FXmom's idea!!!

    Answer by daylily888 at 5:53 PM on May. 2, 2012

  • FXmom: I was thinking the same thing about the agencies that do that for elderly people. You can do that for her & just tell her you have other jobs to get to & you need to keep those other commitments so you can continue to support your family. Does she have family nearby? They should be helping her out too. Hope you get the help you need for her. GL :)

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:53 PM on May. 2, 2012