Ask Amy: Volunteer seamstress needs to ask for a bigger donation


Expensive Amy: I’m a individuals pleaser, volunteering at a nonprofit that helps Afghan refugee ladies. We offer material and an area with stitching machines the place they’ll come and work. Currently, these ladies are making gadgets that they can promote.

Not too long ago, “Kara” contacted us and requested us to create a duplicate of a costume she had. She advised me that if we discovered easy methods to make this, we might let the Afghan ladies make and promote them. She offered material for the copy.

I spent six hours determining easy methods to make the merchandise and documenting it with pictures and directions. I then made a pattern. I’ve been knowledgeable seamstress, however I’m additionally a delicate contact. I by no means cost as a lot because the work is price. On this case, I supposed to ask Kara to present a donation to the charity so we might buy extra material. 100 {dollars} didn’t appear out of line.

Because it seems, Kara beloved what I did and wore the pattern out the door. I gave her directions and the sample items, and he or she gave me $20 to donate to the charity. She additionally advised me that she and a pal may make these attire and promote them. (I did inform her that I assumed the undertaking was not going to work for the Afghan ladies.)

After she left, I felt used, so I referred to as her and advised her that she wanted to pay me for my time if she was going to promote this costume design for a revenue. Nonetheless, now I really feel responsible! I hate myself for calling her. Was I fallacious to name her? Or am I fallacious to really feel responsible?

In Stitches: Individuals typically ask if they’re “fallacious” to really feel a specific means. And my reply is at all times the identical: Your emotions are your emotions. They’re neither proper nor fallacious. They merely are. Your job is to let your emotions information you towards understanding and (probably) change.

Your preliminary selections prevented you — and the group you help — from receiving a justified compensation. I recommend that your persistent undercharging is extra a mirrored image of your confidence within the price of your work than your want to please. “Kara” swanned out the door sporting a custom-made costume (in addition to the sample and directions) for $20.

If you happen to don’t set your value and state it clearly earlier than doing the work, then you definitely depart it as much as the client to guess a good compensation — or to softly rip you off. I give your option to comply with up with Kara a “5 star” ranking. I hope you’ll take this episode as a chance to regulate your online business mannequin.

Expensive Amy: Over time my brother and I’ve stopped speaking. He’s poisonous, bossy and creates issues amongst members of the family. In consequence, we siblings don’t actually talk with him. We are actually all elders — with him being the eldest.

I assume I’ll outlive him as I’m the youngest. As we age, I typically surprise what I’ll do when he passes. Ought to I am going to the funeral of an estranged brother if I’ve fond recollections of our relationship from my childhood, and I nonetheless have an excellent relationship along with his son? (He additionally has a daughter who has eliminated herself from all household communication. Nobody is aware of why, however our niece’s silence occurred lengthy earlier than we stopped speaking with our brother.)

I might wish to do the fitting factor by my nephew by supporting him, however I additionally wouldn’t wish to create any issues inside my brother’s household. I and my different siblings and all our youngsters all stay on good phrases with household gatherings and communications. I imagine I’m the one one which makes an attempt to remain in contact with my nephew.

Anticipating: Except you strongly suspect that your presence would make issues tougher to your brother’s household and different survivors, then sure — it is best to attend his funeral. Be discreet, categorical your condolences, and do your finest to learn the room.

Expensive Amy: I assumed you went means too simple responding to the query from “Apprehensive,” the waitress whose fellow waitress was smoking cigarettes and pot whereas pregnant. That is youngster abuse!

Upset: Whereas that is positively unhealthy for each mom and youngster, I stand by my recommendation for this co-worker to be nonjudgmental and to attempt to affect this pregnant girl towards higher selections.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company.

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