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How do I handle this, advise please.

(48 Posts)
Kateykrunch Tue 10-Oct-17 10:24:40

Elderly newish neighbours had difficulty setting up their computer and wifi, I volunteered hubby to see to it, he wasn't happy and I had to force him to keep my promise. He sorted it out, they were really grateful, he felt kind, I was glad. Then their phone needed sorting, hubby spent ages and sorted it all out, they bought us a plant as a thankyou. She is now phoning and calling round, she brought us some apples. She has a bad leg which she told my hubby was caused when she fell outside, but when she came with the apples she told me that her partner had kicked her!, I was shocked and she said it had been a one off thing, had never happen before!, but says he is grumpy and bad tempered. She has phoned again this morning to say her printer has broken and her partner has chucked out or hidden the instruction booklet my hubby gave her and will I go round and sort the printer out (I wont know how to do it, so again have offered hubbys services and lied saying he wasn't in at the moment). We, well I am, happy to help, but this lady has loads of friends and visitors (we have lived here 35 years and hardly know many people) so I dont feel she is 'alone'. Hubby moved from where he was sat in lounge as he thought she may know we are up and in (back gardens ajoin) and I may take note on our phone that it is her calling, I feel so mean, but I am not sure how to ensure this doesn't develop into us getting involved in some thing we dont want. We have enough to keep us very busy with family as it is. How would you handle it (I know the possibility of abuse is a biggy, but I am not sure if this part of the story is true as she convinced my hubby that she had fallen), thanks in anticipation of any advice.

Teetime Tue 10-Oct-17 10:30:25

I think I would just be unavailable but kindly - 'yes of course I will help if I can but I cant come at the moment' and then just keep stalling till they go away/get fed up with waiting. I think I would certainly stop promising my husbands services (I have) its not fair on them really. At some point you could say I'm afraid its beyond me', and give them the number of a computer firm.

silverlining48 Tue 10-Oct-17 10:32:23

I do understand that you want to help but If she has plenty of visitors/family who visit perhaps encourage her to speak to them about any problems.
Its awkward i know.

Blinko Tue 10-Oct-17 10:32:48

Good advice there, Teetime.

harrigran Tue 10-Oct-17 10:33:10

If this lady has loads of friends and visitors and they are not doing the jobs for her then there must be a very good reason. It looks as if she is using you as unpaid odd job people, I think you will have to say you are busy at present and why not ring A or B who know much more about the subject.

Nonnie Tue 10-Oct-17 10:40:59

I think she may be lonely and is looking for excuses to meet her nice neighbours. Yes, she may have lots of visitors but could still be lonely.

I can see your point of view but I know I couldn't live with myself if I had a neighbour in need and didn't help.

devongirl Tue 10-Oct-17 10:56:18

There is in need of serious help (e.g. health emergency) but this does sound like she has latched on. As regards the computer printer instruction booklet (or any other for that matter) these are all online these days so I'd suggest showing her that on a one-off basis.

M0nica Tue 10-Oct-17 10:56:56

I think Teetime's advice is right, Be friendly, but be slow to offer help and delay when anything can be done.

Kateykrunch Tue 10-Oct-17 12:28:31

Thank you so much, some good ideas here. My hubby has just come back from sorting out their IT issues again , he was there about an hour, but we are hysterics as I think, they think he is some sort of Wizard! (he scanned a document) lol. They now want On-line shopping setting up, hubby told them it was me that 'knew' how that worked, so touche, hubby. I will stop offering his services even though they are 'magical'.

annsixty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:33:12

How do you handle it.
With a 20ft pole. You are being used and will continue to be unless you hold back a bit whilst staying friendly and smiling a lot as you make excuses.

DanniRae Tue 10-Oct-17 12:34:31

I agree with what has already been said - don't make yourself too available. It's not as if they don't have any visitors.

Peep Tue 10-Oct-17 12:37:39

Do you have a local library? They should run courses, or be able to help, with on-line shopping set up etc., etc.

Telly Tue 10-Oct-17 12:43:30

The thing with technology is that there will always be issues. So if you don't want to be at their beck and call then you will have to set the boundaries. ie. Make them wait until it is convenient for you to go and sort their next problem out. The possibility of abuse is a different thing, so a chat over a cup of tea could let your neighbour open up. If there is an issue you could suggest she talks things over with her GP. But if you get involved there will always be demands on your time, its just how the world works!

Serkeen Tue 10-Oct-17 12:54:52

mmmm complicated one ...

I think that honesty is the best policy but also tact.

If your hubby is not keen then you are sacrificing his happiness and well being for your new neighbour that you have only just met.

Your hubby has been good enough to help out a little and that should have been enough.

Bottom line, help when you can and if you can not it is OK to say sorry hubby has his hands full today smile

Christinefrance Tue 10-Oct-17 17:10:59

I agree with Serkeen be honest but tactful. We all need a little help at times.

LoobyLoo33 Wed 11-Oct-17 10:09:33

I think it's a mistake to offer somebody else's services and expect them to fulfil your commitment to somebody else.
My nan used to say that the more you do for somebody, the more they expect. I have found this to be so true.
I would meet any future requests with a very polite 'we'd love to help but we're tied up with family matters/other commitments right now' and distance yourself.

razzmatazz Wed 11-Oct-17 10:15:09

Don't offer hubby's services. Is she asks say he is terribly busy at the moment , not out . Just keep stalling. She will get fed up asking and go elsewhere . It is not cruel because it is just not fair on you or your hubby. Stop being so nice . LOL

lemongrove Wed 11-Oct-17 10:21:43

To be, and have good neighbours is a wonderful thing.
If they are elderly it’s good to be helpful now and then ( note the now and then) smile We try and be helpful with gardening issues, although not exactly young ourselves, and am sure DH would offer help with anything at all tech.
So, I think you are doing the right thing Katey but guess if they are overstepping the mark, then you will have to do as others suggest and say you will try and do it soon, but put it off a bit.
At the moment, because they are so new, you haven’t really had the time to get to know the sort of people they are.
At least they are thanking you for your help.

IngeJones Wed 11-Oct-17 10:32:43

How elderly are they? If the kicking is a new behaviour then he might have a medical or mental issue, and she may be too old to know how to cope with everything. Social services might have a role here.

maryhoffman37 Wed 11-Oct-17 10:37:33

I think the problem began when you offered your husband's services without asking him first! That was a bad start. This will cause trouble between you if you don't put your foot down soon.

MissAdventure Wed 11-Oct-17 10:41:08

I think its important to look after your own wellbeing. Its very easy to get to the point where you're 'responsible' for someone else, in some way.
The voice of bitter experience, here. I helped out an elderly neighbour years ago, and ended up with almost a full time job, doing almost everything for her. Poor soul, it wasn't her fault at all, but it took over my life, bit by bit.

JanaNana Wed 11-Oct-17 10:45:21

It is not a good idea to volunteer someone else to do jobs for other people however well intentioned. It can cause lots of problems and arguments. I have seen at first hand how my late MiL used to volunteer FiL to do a variety of jobs for others and the friction it caused. A friend of mine actually ended up moving house to escape from a situation similar to this, which was caused by kindness initially, but then resentment set in as they felt their lives were not their own anymore. Yes it was a case of drastic situation needing drastic measures. There have to be certain boundaries set in being a good neighbour and being taken for granted. As you are the one who volunteered your husbands help it should be down to you to disentangle yourselves somewhat from this situation. Not easy, otherwise this will cause friction between yourselves.

jenwren Wed 11-Oct-17 10:45:54

Hmmm why go out and buy a computer if you do not know how to use it? I live in a retirement complex and no one knows how to use technology, BUT when my apartment was put up for sale within days everyone knew. We arn't allowed to have 'For sale' boards up and I do keep myself to myself. It was the House Manager who asked me 'where I am going' because one of the residents asked! cheek. The answer? Rightmove the estate ajency on the internet. Another new resident asked 'did I drive' my reply yes and quickly she said 'I could give her a lift' her age 60. These retirement places are great for being safe but if you like your privacy it wont be for you.

granma47 Wed 11-Oct-17 10:48:11

We have a similar problem with a neighbour who found out that my husband is a volunteer with
As the name suggests it is a godsend for people struggling with their computers, however, a phone call must be made to register the problem with head office which he can then action.
Our neighbour has a speech impediment which means when she phones the head office has difficulty understanding her. Consequently, she keeps coming to the door (front & back) asking for help. I am less sympathetic than my husband and try to turn her way whereas he will help.
It has now got to the stage where we too pretend we aren't in.

granma47 Wed 11-Oct-17 10:49:25

I will add that is for the over 60s as well as disabled people.