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Woman Called ‘Heartless’ For Refusing To Pay Kids Who Shoveled Her Driveway Without Asking Her First

Photo by Nick Night/Unsplash

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Mr. Roger’s made that such an inviting question.

But it’s not inviting for everyone.

Being a good neighbor can be judged by many angles.

And neighborhood drama is never easy to navigate.

Case in point…

Redditor beaversm26 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA For Not Paying the Kids that Shoveled my Driveway?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Hello. I am one of the many in the midwest hit by the snowpocolypse. I think we got like 14 inches where I live?”

“I also want to pretense this with I don’t like kids.”

“I don’t hate them, I just don’t have any experience with kids and haven’t felt the need to produce any of my own (26F[emale]).”

“I work from home and received a knock at my door today.”

“There was a group of like 4 12 year oldish boys, and they had shoveled my driveway and side walk and were now requesting payment.”

“They expected $15 each.”

“I was really confused because they never knocked to ask if they could shovel my drive way.”

“They just did it without asking and were expecting to be paid.”

“I was really just dumb struck and kind of said ‘I don’t have any cash’ and one of them pulled up a smart phone saying they had their mom’s venmo account.”

“Again, me just being extremely confused I started saying that I never agreed to pay them for anything.”

“I was going to shovel my driveway at lunch time.”

“If they had asked, I would have said no.”

“The kids got really upset, and were like ‘You’re not going to pay us for our work??'”

“But again, I didn’t ask them to shovel my drive way. They started yelling at me and I just kind of shut my door.”

“Fast forward a couple of hours, their mom comes and knocks on the door.”

“I open it and she started screaming at me for not paying their kids. Her points were:”

“It’s only $60 and clearly not going to break me (not wrong).”

“They put in the work and should be paid.”

“Her boys did a nice thing for me.”

“She was proud of her boys for using their snow day to help people, and I was being really ungrateful and going to make them turn to drugs next time.”

“This is where I started to get kind of mad.”

“I said that I never asked for their services, and it was nice that they shoveled my drive way, but I never agreed to pay them and they really should have asked first.”

“She insisted I pay them this time and they’ll ask in the future.”

“But I don’t want to re-enforce bad behavior.”

“Just because they’re children and people feel the need to let them get away with whatever, this is just not a cycle I want to perpetuate for these kids.”

“You can’t manipulate people into paying you for something they never asked for.”

“I don’t know, so far I’ve refused to pay and I’m now getting torched on NextDoor for being a heartless monster who took advantage of children.”

“So I’m turning to you, reddit, AITA here?”

“If I am, I’ll just pay them I guess.”

“I don’t know if I’m not seeing the situation clearly because I just don’t have any experience with kids.”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. Shakedowns are against the law. Fire back on nextdoor if you care about that, but this is a perfectly acceptable hill to die on.”  ~ saintjimmy43

“The way mom was escalating things, I would have threatened trespassing charges for the boys being on your property without permission!”  ~ alliu23

“And like, what’s next? They come around in the summer and mow her lawn without asking her?”

“‘Hey lady, we mowed your lawn! Yeah, you didn’t ask us to, and we also mowed down all of the flowers you planted that you wanted to stay there, but you need to pay us for doing it!'”

“(Not far-fetched, since I hear from my friends who have lawns that even getting professional lawn-service people to leave some of the damn flowers alone is a struggle.)”

“NTA, OP.”

“I also gotta add — why do parents whose kids do something wrong always think that showing up and SCREAMING at the person the kids wronged is going to make the person okay with it?”

“Like, if you were on the fence before about maybe paying the kids and setting up a standing order to shovel in the future, her screaming at you and demanding you do it is exactly the wrong way to get you to decide in her favor!”

“And I’m saying this as someone who lives in the NE, and whose back isn’t getting any younger.”

“I would kill right now to be able to pay someone $50 per storm to clean off my car and the drive around it.”

“But, *at my request*, you know?”  ~ eregyrn

“I’m honestly curious if mom sent them out to do this exact thing and she’s planning on taking some of their money, expecting that the whole sad kid face thing will get people opening their wallets or helpfully providing their mom’s Venmo.”

“OP, I have a kid and obviously I like her but I generally don’t love other peoples kids either – not all kids and parents are assholes like this family. NTA.”  ~ MerryE

“NTA. You should just lie to everyone here (the yelling mom and the kids) and tell them that your “nephew” was promised this job because he needed the money for school.

“And that they robbed both you and him of those earnings. Turn the tables.”  ~ toss_it_out_tomorrow

“I vote OP shows up at their house and staples/superglues a crappily-made birdhouse to their tree and demands an immediate $60 for her efforts in improving their property.”

“Afterall, that’s apparently how things are done in this neighborhood, right?”  ~Frejian

OP came back with a few more details.

“Edit to Add:”

“A few people don’t believe that I did not hear them shoveling.”

“That’s a fair thing to be suspicious of. So we did get 14 inches, but my husband and I shoveled yesterday.”

“I’m not sure how much we shoveled vs what was left, but these kids did not shovel 14 inches on their own.”

“My home office is in the far back of our house, overlooking the back yard.”

“It’s the furthest back you can get and still be inside.”

“And 90% of the time I have headphones in for meetings or music.”

“So I really didn’t hear them.”

“Other question is my drive way length. It’s a 2 car wide driveway, and it’s probably 2 cars long.”

“It’s pretty standard so I also felt like $60 was outrageous.”

She continued scrolling…

“As a parent, firstly, I wouldn’t be allowing my children to do stuff like this WITHOUT ASKING FIRST.”

“You are completely correct in saying that they should have asked.”

“Then it just doubles down as extra f**ked up that they demand you pay them, then mom demands you pay them.”

“She’s lucky you didn’t notice (presumably) and call the cops for trespassing or something.”

“BUTT WEIGHT, then mom triples her entitled a**holery by publicly bashing you.”

“NTA OP. I wonder if this counts as libel?”  ~ SmileyMcTrashbag

“I’m a mom. Hell no, that is not what you teach your kids is appropriate.”

“Not only is she teaching them entitlement, she’s teaching them to trespass, and basically manipulate and guilt people.”

“You are NTA. It’s a scam, kids or not.”  ~ sweetpeasss

“Hard NTA – if you wanted to try to get some heat off of you on Nextdoor you can make a post requesting that parents talk with their kids and let them know that they need to ask homeowners before shoveling their drive way.”

“Ask them to educate their children on trespassing and fraud.”

“Add in the post that you were put into an uncomfortable position when some kids shoveled your driveway without your knowledge or permission then asked for payment.”

“Though, anti-kid shoveling (or mowing/leaf raking) pro tip: Put in a Ring camera and hide.”

“Anytime someone to my door I check the camera and if it’s a kid, I don’t answer the door.”

“I mean sometimes I feel ridiculous being 30 yrs old and hiding from kids at my door… but they always want something!!!”  ~ EnterWitHere

“If mom thinks it’s that important to reward the kids with money for work they did unprompted and unrequested, she should pay them herself. NTA.”  ~ Announcement90

“NTA- its a common scam in my area of people doing ‘helpful’ tasks and then asking to be paid for it.”

“Firstly I never gave permission for you to be on my property and 2ndly I never agreed to paying for you to do a task I do each week/month.”

“Thats not being helpful thats scamming.”  ~ shadow-foxe

“NTA. Those kids are intrusive. It’s like someone jumping on your car in the middle of traffic, force cleanlng your windows and then expecting cash for it .”

“Honestly I would have just shut the door.”

“It’s obvious where those kids learned their bad and intrusive behaviour.”  ~ SaikaTheCasual

Well hopefully our “nextdoor” neighbor can take comfort in knowing Reddit has her back,

And maybe it’s time for the ‘heartless’ lady to have a heart to heart with mom and the boys.

No need for superfluous neighborhood drama.