Thursday, January 04, 2007

The "Should I Pay for It?" Poll

Time for a poll! Here's the question:

You're watching someone's animal (okay, the cockatoo) in her absence. You go to the apartment 2 or more times a day, play with the creature, talk to it, give it food, make sure it's okay. One night you wake up at 2:00 am and realize you forgot your nightly rounds, so you get dressed and head over to make sure the creature is fine and get back to bed at 2:20. On exiting the apartment, you accidentally knock over a ceramic piece and it crashes to the floor in a thousand pieces. On the bottom of the piece is a label that says "handmade in Africa."

When you tell the owner she says, "I'll let you know what it's worth." She wants you to pay for your accident.

THE POLL

1. Should you be expected to pay for the broken piece (handmade in Africa), which broke by accident in the course of doing the owner a favor?

OR

2. Should she just have said, "Forget about it. I appreciate that you're taking care of my pet in my absence--I would never dream of charging you."

Please vote in the comments section.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Matt said...

Since you broke it, you should both offer, and be fully willing to pay for it if the owner asks you to. It is part of being responsible.

That being said, if the owner actually asks you to pay for this in light of the fact that it was an accident (and while in the duty of keeping her pet alive) then she is a total heel and you need not have any contact with her (or her bird) after you pay her for the broken vase.

Jan 4, 2007, 1:07:00 PM  
Anonymous JavaJabber said...

I agree with everything Matt said.

If, however, they are asking for a sum of money that is beyond your ability to pay ... find out if your homeowner's insurance (or theirs) covers the cost.

Accidents happen. If it were ME and it were MY plate, I'd say forget it. Most people would.

Jan 4, 2007, 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ditto from me. I think it'd be incredibly lame to ask you to pay.

Is it too late to blame the bird?

Jan 4, 2007, 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous teri said...

#2, no doubt. that's my 2 cents.

Jan 4, 2007, 1:53:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

That makes sense, everyone. If I have to pay for it I will, but I won't be happy about it. In fact I may just be extremely grumpy for a day or so.

Matt, thanks for your sensible input.

Java, I like the homeowner's insurance idea.

Chris, it's too late to blame the bird. :)

Jan 4, 2007, 1:58:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Teri, that's what I was expecting, but it didn't turn out the way. Drat! :)

Jan 4, 2007, 3:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tanya Espanya said...

Or you can look blankly and say, "What bowl?"

Jan 4, 2007, 3:39:00 PM  
Blogger SushiBoy said...

I guess it depends if you did them a favor by breaking it or not. If it ugly, you definately shouldn't have to pay, just give them a lesson in taste and call it even. (ok so I 'm kidding) I would offer what I could afford to replace the peice, if it was totally out of my price range, but I don't feel that you should be held 100% responisible. When people bird sit for us, we take the bird to them. If they had you coming by to take care of the bird, they are responsible too.

Jan 4, 2007, 3:44:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

They shold never had asked you to pay.

If they were a friend they admitted belongings are more important than friendship.

If they hired you, javajabber is right. Homeowner's insurance...

Take Care
Michael

Jan 4, 2007, 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Thanks Michael. Nope, I'm just a friend doing a favor. I've been sitting here grumbling to myself for the last hour. I think I need to get over this and move on. :)

Live and learn, huh?

Thanks for stopping by.

Jan 4, 2007, 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Tanya, exactly. But no. I had to actually CALL her on vacation to report the breakage. My pathetic idiot level seem higher than usual today.

Sushiboy, to me it was "less than beautiful", but to each his own. She might think it was great art. Now if she had brought the bird to ME, Frankie & Johnny might have devoured him by now, saving me the expense of paying for any accidental breakage. :)

Jan 4, 2007, 4:50:00 PM  
Anonymous mixednut said...

How much could it be worth?
It's from Africa for pete's sake.

Jan 4, 2007, 5:33:00 PM  
Blogger Tanya Espanya said...

You phoned her?! You nerdo!

Listen, if you're taking care of my baby or cats and something happens, DON'T CALL ME!

I'm on vacation so I don't have to hear about this kind of junk until I get home. In fact, if my cats drop dead while I'm away, just put them in the green bin and call it a day.

Jan 4, 2007, 5:51:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

That's what I was thinking all afternoon, MixedNut. But she said it was sold at a museum shop in Florida (there are museums in Florida??? Really??), so the store probably marked up the piece by 2000%.

Tanya Espanya said I should ask the owner on her return "What bowl?" I think I should ask, "What bird?"

Jan 4, 2007, 6:03:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Tanya, the sort of over-the-top honesty I used with her by calling her on vacation is indeed "nerdo."

I'm working hard to improve my nerdo skills daily. It's just not happening quickly enough.

Jan 4, 2007, 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

#2 you're doing him a favor
he's a lame ass if he wants you to pay!

Jan 4, 2007, 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

oops
she not he..

Jan 4, 2007, 8:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

I look at it this way, the vase is just stuff, it means nothing! The fact is her pet is still alive due to your caring and attention (I mean you bled for this bird!) so she should be grateful for help never dream of asking for money for an object.

Jan 4, 2007, 8:43:00 PM  
Blogger Teena said...

You should make the offer to pay but hopefully she'll decline.

Jan 4, 2007, 9:49:00 PM  
Blogger Nobody said...

Upon her return simply kill her and dispose of the body. Problem solved.

If it's at all valuable, they should turn it in on their insurance.

Jan 4, 2007, 9:58:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Jen, I'm with you!

Mel, exactly. And I think I'll have scars from the bites. :)

So far she hasn't declined Teena. :(

Nobody, yours is the best advice of all. First I'll do in her bird; next I'll do her in. Thanks. Sounds like a plan! :)

Jan 4, 2007, 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Freckles said...

did she pay you to feed the bird? Or are you being a friend? If she is paying you, you should pay for the vase. If it is a favor, she shouldn't make you.

Jan 4, 2007, 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Freckles, I'm not getting a dime--it's strickly a favor. So in theory, I should be off the hook, but so far ... no.

Love your name, Freckles. I have a few of those as well. :) Thanks for the advice!

Jan 5, 2007, 12:29:00 AM  

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