Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gas Money Rant

Gas is expensive.  Much moreso lately.  As a person who regularly drives people around, I feel it's my right to ask those whom I drive around to chip in and help me get the gas I need to continue driving them around.  I haven't really been exercising that right until recently.  Up until now I've been accepting other monetary transactions in place of giving me gas money, such as buying me food.  But there's one lingering fact about that.  The reality of it is simple: food in my stomach doesn't put gas in my car.

Some of the people I've been driving around have had a hard time accepting that I now want gas money from them.  Because I've never really kept track of how much I drive people around, I haven't been able to formulate a specific amount of money that I should expect from them, and for that reason I haven't been asking for it directly.  This will change soon.  I'm going to write a gas money accounting system and spend a fillup or two collecting data to see how much I really drive people around.  It is regular, it's every week.  But within that there are a few different groups that will each have their own "accounts" in my system.

Any driving I do that I wouldn't have done myself is going into one or another of the "accounts", and each time I fill up, I'll figure out how much each group needs to pay based on the percentage of the number of miles I drove since the last fillup.

It's kind of ridiculous to expect me to just continue driving people around with no monetary compensation.  Especially when prices are what they are right now.  $20 will only get me about six gallons, my gas tank is twelve gallons.  I don't expect others to pay for driving I do by myself, so of course I'll have my own "account" in the system.

I have a feeling I pissed off a friend of mine earlier because he was operating under the assumption that I'd be paying him back for $10's worth of gas that I'd considered to be a donation.  My gas tank was almost empty at the time, and I needed the gas to ensure we'd be able to continue driving around that night.  I asked, and he said he'd pay for it.  I timed mentioning it wrong, because I ended up having to buy myself food when we went out whereas usually he bought it for me.

I'm fine with driving you around, but honestly, I do it every week and if you don't feel like contributing to make sure it continues to be able to happen, I don't have to drive you around.  I'll stop stopping by your place before meetings and showings.  We've been getting to meetings way too early and showings late anyway, it'll be nice to actually get there when I want to for a change.  I have every right to expect gas money from the people I drive around, and it seems like everyone's taking it for granted that I haven't been exercising that right.

I'm not naming names, but he'll know who he is if/when he reads this post.

Most of my driving anywhere, period, is because of CAINE.  If I wasn't in CAINE, I probably wouldn't leave the house.  If I can't get gas money from individuals, I can always print up a nice little bill and deliver it to our treasurer at the next CAINE meeting after I fill up.  If the club doesn't have it in the budget (which I already know it doesn't), then people should start paying up.  Plain and simple.

Even if I was employed, I'd still expect people to help out.  I might go back to caring a little less, but that would depend on how much I made.  Right now, I need all the help I can get and it doesn't help that people are so adamant about not helping.  "But they're your friends, shouldn't you just enjoy their company and not charge them money?"  Friends help friends out, right?  I drive you places, you chip in for the gas I use to get you there that I wouldn't otherwise be using.  It's that simple.

I can bring my own food to game night anyway.  Why should hanging out with friends have to cost me money?

For the record, any time anyone buys me food, I'm grateful.  Even if I don't show that externally, inside I'm grateful.  I don't want there to be a misunderstanding on that part.  But as I said earlier, buying me food doesn't put gas in my tank.  If people really don't want to continue buying me food once it no longer means they don't also have to chip in for gas, so be it.

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