I'd love to hear more on the issue of it being easier to work for strangers. Is it because business is business, and if the customer is being unreasonable, you can just walk away? Whereas with friends you end up putting a strain on a friendship? Thanks for any responses you care to give, Sean and Levi.
Relatively speaking.... as in, they're not a stranger in the purest sense, but relative to a friend or family member they are in the stranger category.
Tim, I'm just a grumpy bastard and not in the part of my life/career where I want to work for free or discount. A stranger get's the price, if they don't like no worries, no love lost, next! Every time a friend or friend of a friend calls I feel I should give them a deal or should I charge them full price or free? I'm not good at stuff like that I prefer the cut and dry and not to mix my working life with my personal. I try to keep them separate as much as possible, like you said business is business and for me that's about it.
Thanks for the answer, Levi. The job is no less risky just because you're doing it for free or at a discount. You have only so many years and minutes in your life in which you'll be capable of doing such challenging work, so I can see how a person would not wish to give away his life's blood to someone else he barely knows without adequate compensation. A value for value exchange would seem more fair. The question is, what value does that other person bring to the table? If I had the time, I would consider giving old retired military veterans a price break, as they made a sacrifice that I was never asked to make. So the value does not always have to be in dollars. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
I always say pay me what you feel is right, they usually go wayyyyyyyyyy overboard and it becomes a back and forth over the too much, i owe you more! I've always thought I've been generous to a fault, especially with my time. Working construction, you end up with buddies that do about everything under the sun for a living, so what happens is that you trade work back and forth and everyone wins. When i got married the wife didn't quite understand that the more you give the more people bend over backwards to pay you back. If they don't you just learned a lesson about their character and that takes care of itself in time. If you find yourself trying to run a tab, just stop and just do what you think is right, and you will notice life works out better for you the more and more generous you are. If you don't believe me try it and watch what happens in time, being that kind of giving person attracts people to you that are the same. The leeches suck but they end up sucking themselves to where no one will touch them and they fall away, and are easy enough to spot. Even if someone has no skills they are useful in some way, and so call them on it and they should be happy to help. If you are living right, your phone contact list becomes a list of people you can call at any time day or night to help bury bodies