If you are a neighbor, would you ask for compensation if you shoveled someone’s driveway? The answer to this would direct the article that follows. As it stands, the very concept of a good neighbor is subjective. It is different for different people. To some, it entails baking an apple pie for someone. For others, it is helping them out when they need it. But one idea seems to be common. A good neighbor would do things for their neighbors without any selfish intention in their head. So if you ask for compensation for a very trivial thing you do, you might not be a very good neighbor to your neighbor.
“Thou Shalt Not Shovel Your Neighbor’s Driveway Without Consent”
But this has always been an age-old question. Even Moses spoke about it in his commandments. And here, we would discuss the events that took place with a Redditor who shared an argument that they had with their neighbors. As it stands, four kids in her area shoveled the Redditor’s driveway (without the Redditor asking them to do so), and then asked for payment. OP naturally refused, only to be paid a visit by the mother of the kids. This then took the form of an argument between OP and her mother, which led to OP wondering if they were an A-hole.
OP, or u/beaversm26, stated that they were indeed feeling good about not paying the kids for shoveling the driveway. Simply because they hadn’t asked the kids to do this in the first place. They mentioned:
“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.”
Who Gets The Short End of the Stick If the Kids Injure Themselves While Cleaning the Driveway?
When Sam Dogen, the author of “Buy This, Not That: How To Spend Your Way To Wealth And Freedom” was asked about this, he believed that it was important that neighbors maintained strict boundaries with others. This would help in negating situations exactly like this. The founder of the Financial Samurai blog mentioned, “First, there is the issue of trespassing.
An owner may not be comfortable with someone on their property. Second, there’s a liability risk! If the shoveler slips and falls and breaks his leg, then what? The owner could be sued.” And he is right. Would the mother of the kids take any responsibility if one of her children hurt themselves? Or would she sue OP for having a snowed-out driveway?
As it usually happens on r/AITA posts, OP didn’t really expect their story to go viral. But with the entire internet waiting to judge someone or the other, should they really be surprised? The Redditor was justified in their place. They didn’t ask the kids to shovel the driveway, so there was no point in them paying the kids. Sure, the kids did do a good job and maybe this was simply a kind gesture- but again, boundaries matter. No one would really be happy with their neighbor walking all over their property on the pretext of ‘helping’.
Read: Man Shamed for Demanding Girlfriend Pay for New Sheets After She Leaked on Them
Reddit Judges, and Their Verdict on the Curious Case
Nevertheless, OP does feel guilty about not thanking them. After all, they did do a good job:
“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.”
OP further clarified that they don’t have a tightly-knit neighborhood: