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Do you clean your neighbor's driveway?

  • Yes

    Votes: 87 68.0%
  • No

    Votes: 37 28.9%
  • Only if they pay

    Votes: 4 3.1%

  • Total voters
    128
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Discussion Starter #1
I feel like a jerk for even bringing it up, but I've been the guy with a snow blower for over 25 years. In heavy snows where I see my neighbors darn near about to die, leaning on their shovels and looking over here, I always give in and go back out there and help them. Problem is, I'm now 56, with a bad back, operated-on shoulders and a hand that won't close all the way. Additionally, I've had to replace equipment they don't have to purchase, maintain, fuel, or store. Several of them don't mark their driveways with stakes before the storm, so I don't know where I'm going or what I'm into.

Still, when the shift hits the fan, I feel like a heel if I don't go and help everyone. I'm not sure why that is, but I guess it's the way I was raised. My wife tells me to stop, and even gets angry with me for doing it, but I end up doing it regardless. Now I got the Mrs. PO-ed at me on top of it. My wife reminds me -- "they know where the snow blower dealers are, just like you do!" She's a sweet lady, who's just looking out for my old carcass.

Well, this year I bought what I hope will be my last machine. Spent a bundle on it, so it'll probably never snow again. Blacktopped the driveway last year. Now I really don't want to go sucking up gravel in this new machine from the neighboring driveways where they don't bother to sweep the stones even at the end like I used to, so you're going to suck it up and strip the paint.

So what do you guys do? Do you find it a b**ch to just put the machine away and go inside, like I do?


Am I a sap!?
 

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I am in good enough shape still to help my neighbors out. One has offered sweet Bonny and me the use of his house in Myrtle Beach, S.C. we're going to take him up on it. Another neighbor will clean the sidewalk off for us so that is a good thing. There is another neighbor who gives me a gift certificate for $50.00 to a local restaurant. However, I don't feel necessarily beholden to any of my neighbors to do any of their work for them. If they never offered anything or if they didn't thank me I would simply stop but they all seem to show some appreciation. Really, thanks is enough.
If you're doing the work for your neighbors and there is no reciprocity of any kind I would simply do my driveway and sidewalk and go inside. Your wife is thinking right. It's nice to be nice but it's a whole other thing to be taken advantage of.
Just my humble opinion.
 

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If you can help great, but don't kill yourself or wear out any more joints or body parts just to be a nice guy. If you end up unable to operate your machine, who's going to bail you out?

I am somewhat older than you are, and have the back problems, knee problems, and others, and by the time I finish my sidewalk and driveway, I'm pooped.

During heavy storms, I have been known to loan the machine to the neighbour so HE can do the work on his driveway.
 
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I have 2 close neighbors.
One is a late 60's lady, I snowblow her driveway but I also take care of the grass and leaves for a reasonable fee.
A few times I've offered to do the snowblowing service free of charge to my other neighbor (late 40's lady with 3 teenager kids) when we have considerable snowfalls and have gotten a NO thanks for an answer.
If I see a neighbor in need of snowblowing, I have the time and they allow me to, I'll be willing to do it free of charge if needed be.
:snow48:
 

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After the huge Winter storm here in CT 2 years ago, I helped the neighbor lady clear her driveway. Her husband was underway on a submarine, and she only had a snow shovel. Yeah, they didn't prepare for CT Winters!
I cleared their driveway because the 2 feet of snow that fell would have taken her forever to clear. Our other neighbor was an elderly man and his plow guy didn't show up after 2 days, so I cleared his driveway. Both were very grateful, and that's all the payment I needed!
I certainly didn't make it a habit of clearing the neighborhood driveways every time it snowed, but in an emergency, I'll help my neighbors out.
 

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I think it really depends on the people you are helping.

Do they stay outside and help you clear the snow? Or do they go inside and watch you while you work? Do they offer thanks, or just shrug it off like you owe them something? What about "payment". I know you probably dont ask for anything, but some people give back (baked goods, gift cards, cash etc.) even when they aren't asked.

If they just shrug it off like they expect you to help, then I say f**k 'em and let them suffer. But if they are super thankful and offer goodies as "payment", I'd be tempted to help too.

EDIT: You said you had purchased a new machine for your nicer, clean driveway. Why not use the old one on their driveway, so if you suck up gravel, it wont damage your new, clean machine? Just an idea.

EDIT 2: This past winter, I was the only one who didn't have a snow-blower. I was trying to do mine by hand. All of my neighbors around me had a snow-blower, and not one offered to help. However, I am not one of those people who expects help (in fact, i hate asking for it). It didnt bother me that they didnt offer, and if they did help, I would have surely did something to repay them. Luckily my dad was able to plow my driveway when it got too deep for me to shovel. This year, I bought a blower so I could be a little more self-sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thought about using the old one, but it's only a year old and it's really a brand new Cub 528 SWE, except for a few scratches inside the impeller area from their driveway. If I keep the old one, in other words, it's costing me the $700 that I would have sold it for, just so I can clean stuff for neighbors and not mess up the new one.


When my father-in-law was living across the street before he died, he was sick and I was mowing their 1.5 acre plus my own. The neighbors all saw it and did nothing to help -- similar to your situation with the busted blower and no one jumped in to lend a hand.


Thing is, the folks right next door are a sweet young couple, and she did come help me mow my bank once right after I had shoulder surgery. It was great of her. I just don't know how much I should continue to do anymore. I'm on the fence about it and wondered what you all were doing. What I need is a younger me somewhere close by -- to take the reigns to help others with his young back and his equipment and fuel. I'd like to pass the torch I guess is what I'm saying.


I'm very impressed with everyone on here. Everyone is helping in one way or another. I fully respect those who say no, too, as that's where I'm getting to be at this point. We probably all did it at one point. I think I've paid my dues and it's time for those I've helped to step up, is all I'm saying.

Still, I think I know what's going to happen when I see them leaning on their shovels about to pass out .... I think I need a backbone!

I think it really depends on the people you are helping.

Do they stay outside and help you clear the snow? Or do they go inside and watch you while you work? Do they offer thanks, or just shrug it off like you owe them something? What about "payment". I know you probably dont ask for anything, but some people give back (baked goods, gift cards, cash etc.) even when they aren't asked.

If they just shrug it off like they expect you to help, then I say f**k 'em and let them suffer. But if they are super thankful and offer goodies as "payment", I'd be tempted to help too.

EDIT: You said you had purchased a new machine for your nicer, clean driveway. Why not use the old one on their driveway, so if you suck up gravel, it wont damage your new, clean machine? Just an idea.

EDIT 2: This past winter, I was the only one who didn't have a snow-blower. I was trying to do mine by hand. All of my neighbors around me had a snow-blower, and not one offered to help. However, I am not one of those people who expects help (in fact, i hate asking for it). It didnt bother me that they didnt offer, and if they did help, I would have surely did something to repay them. Luckily my dad was able to plow my driveway when it got too deep for me to shovel. This year, I bought a blower so I could be a little more self-sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I saw that, Uber. It makes you stop and think. And then scratch your head. Most folks are a joy to help, and you feel good about yourself afterward. Except anymore when I look at the machine I had to replace and I realize -- had I not done that for everyone else, I'd still have the old machine in working order, not worn out, and more funds like the neighbors have for not investing in the equipment.


 
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Don't get me wrong, I'm Mr Helpful with stuff like this. However, attitudes have shifted and I do a lot less assuming nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agreed. I'm mostly talking about those who know I have the machine and they want me to do it.


Then, you do it. And again. And the next time. And the guy up the road and his neighbor because you can't say no. In other words, it's when they want it done and they've live here long enough to know what happens in these storms, but they'd rather let someone else have the expense of buying and maintaining the equipment. All they need to do is utter "thanks!" while someone else shells out the dough. I don't know. I guess it's because it's a new machine and I don't want it messed up yet. Kind of like when you get a new car and park away from everybody until it has a few dings, then who gives a ****, park right up front next to the carts.


Don't get me wrong, I'm Mr Helpful with stuff like this. However, attitudes have shifted and I do a lot less assuming nowadays.
 
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It's nice to be helpful. It's not nice to be taken advantage of. You have to figure out which one is taking place.
 

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I'll gladly admit it-I'm the one who chose "only if I get paid".Here's why:

My two closest neighbors are VERY wealthy-I'm not at all.The house across from me(I snowblow for them only) is owned by a couple from RI who own the vacation home here,two houses in RI and are looking to buy another here.

The area I live in is a gated community.All of the residents,except me and occasionally my RI neighbors, only live here in the summer.Although there is an association(I'm not a member),nothing ever really gets done about road(gravel) maintenance ,roadside mowing,ditch cleaning,etc.I take care of it and certainly don't get paid for it,or even a "thank you" from 99% of the residents.

We had a big snow storm here one winter and my RI neighbors just happened to be here.I went out,blew out my drive and walks and put my machine away.My neighbors spent the day shoveling and didn't bother me in the slightest-they never offered once to help me with any of the work I do for free for the association .Tough toenails,baby!

The next winter,another storm,neighbor lady walks across the road and asks me to do her drive.I agreed,did it,put my blower away and after lunch walked over to neighbors house where I presented them with a bill for my services.

I could tell she wasn't very happy,but she paid me and has been ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mike, I think you're a hero. You helped that neighborhood so often without compensation or even thanks. It's a special breed who can walk up to your neighbor like that and present a bill after the fact, and by my estimation you did it well. I applaud her for coming to ask you, rather than doing the pity routine, but she stopped short of telling you she'd pay you for it. The effort can be like asking someone to clean out their garage and haul it away. Will someone do that for free? And if you suck up their newspaper and cut off your fingers trying to clear it, will they take your blood-spewing carcass to the hospital in their car? Anyway, I've always said "that's okay" about the money in the very rare cases where it was offered, so it's my own fault. But maybe they should have stuffed in in my coat pocket. Right is right. Gas isn't free. Machine wasn't free. Etc.


Anymore, I just don't want to wreck my equipment and I figure they know what things are like by now and somebody besides me should buy one -- and if they've been helped, then now it's their turn to help. But year after year -- nobody steps up. Again, probably my fault. Maybe they're thinking -- "Old Tom would be disappointed if we did it; he's been doing it for so long." That's a stretch. They know the score. Get a machine and offer to do mine when it's 2 feet, for a change. Ain't happened in over 25 years.


Me thinks this year it's going to change. I'll do mine and hang tough. We'll see how long I can last.

I've been around sweet gray-hair old ladies who privately laugh about how they got the guy down the street to do something for five bucks. They know the score, believe me. I've seen them jeopardize a guy's back rather than pay for two people to do it safely, just to save a lousy fifteen bucks or so to get someone to help the guy. For them, if the guy gets hurt, it's "Next!" If he won't do it someone will feel sorry for me ....




I'll gladly admit it-I'm the one who chose "only if I get paid".Here's why:

My two closest neighbors are VERY wealthy-I'm not at all.The house across from me(I snowblow for them only) is owned by a couple from RI who own the vacation home here,two houses in RI and are looking to buy another here.

The area I live in is a gated community.All of the residents,except me and occasionally my RI neighbors, only live here in the summer.Although there is an association(I'm not a member),nothing ever really gets done about road(gravel) maintenance ,roadside mowing,ditch cleaning,etc.I take care of it and certainly don't get paid for it,or even a "thank you" from 99% of the residents.

We had a big snow storm here one winter and my RI neighbors just happened to be here.I went out,blew out my drive and walks and put my machine away.My neighbors spent the day shoveling and didn't bother me in the slightest-they never offered once to help me with any of the work I do for free for the association .Tough toenails,baby!

The next winter,another storm,neighbor lady walks across the road and asks me to do her drive.I agreed,did it,put my blower away and after lunch walked over to neighbors house where I presented them with a bill for my services.

I could tell she wasn't very happy,but she paid me and has been ever since.
 

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had to vote yes on this one, but i dont clear neighbors driveways so to speak. the people north and south of me have the drives plowed....but the dot plow comes much later than the contractors and dumps the eod. i open my main driveway after a storm and then clean up the eod stuff for myself and both neighbors. they are people that are 70+ years old and i couldnt ask for better people to live near, when i say near....both their driveways are at least 1/8 mile long, so i rarely see them !
 
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I only help two of my neighbors...an elderly lady that lives with her two daughters, and an older gentlemen that is retired, and has a bad arm. I don't help my other neighbor because he is just as capable of clearing his snow as I do mine. He is the type that only comes out to clear his snow after everyone has cleared theirs, and has never offered to help anyone either...I have NO simpathy for people like that.
 
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