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BOTD 2/3/17 "Clean Car, Dirty Mouth" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
CLEAN CAR, DIRTY MOUTH
A DMK Production


Bobby is your thirteen-year old son.  You do use spanking with Bobby if needed.  Bobby has starting having issues with his language and his fondness for the dreaded "F" bomb concerns you.  You realize that Bobby and his friends use some harsh language when they are hanging out together but Bobby has been letting things slip in to inappropriate situations. It got to the point to where you promised Bobby a spanking if you heard of him using profanity.  Things improved.

Bobby has been wanting a new video game system and has been working odd jobs in the neighborhood, doing extra chores and saving allowance money.  You are proud that Bobby is trying to earn this for himself.

Today your neighbor, Mr. Willis, approached Bobby having heard that he was for hire for odd jobs and chores. Mr. Willis hired Bobby to wash his car for him and offered twenty dollars for the service. Bobby jumped at the opportunity.


BOBBY - 13
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About an hour and a half later Mr. Willis brought you a very angry looking Bobby.  You could tell from Mr. Willis's expression that there was a problem.  You sent Bobby inside and talked to Mr. Willis.

Mr. Willis said Bobby scratched his car and so, even though Bobby did a good job of washing the car, he refused to pay the boy.  Mr. Willis said Bobby denied scratching his car and got angry and cussed at him.  Mr. Willis told you what Bobby said to him. You told Mr. Willis you would handle it.

You find Bobby seething in his room.  As soon as Bobby sees you he says that Mr. Willis is trying to rip him off.

You get Bobby to calm down a little and are able to talk with him. Bobby insists that the car was already scratched.  Bobby says Mr. Willis just didn't want to pay him and so blamed him for the scratch.  Bobby says he did get mad and "sort of" yelled at Mr. Willis.

"Bobby, what did you say to him?"

Bobby gets quiet for a minute and looks down at the floor and mumbles his answer.  "I told him I didn't scratch his f**king car." (That answer matched what Mr. Willis told you.)

How do you handle this situation?


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Pi Beta

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RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
Much will depend upon how well I know Mr. Willis and what I know about him. If he is an acknowledged skinflint, I'll have more than a little sympathy for a 13 year old going a bit over the top when it comes to arguing for what he reasonably thinks is his due and being denied it - in which case, no spanking and, if I can't persuade Mr. Willis that Bobby really is telling the truth and that he DIDN'T scratch it, then Bobby will have learned a useful lesson in business. I'll probably also slip him whatever I'd normally have paid him for washing my car as compensation for his disappointment.

If there is absolute proof that Bobby did scratch the car and Mr. Willis isn't a known skinflint, again there is a lesson to be learned in when to own up to a mistake and how to handle it since if he had owned up to the scratch and apologised profusely, it's likely that he would have been paid and there would have been no need for the argument descending into the use of foul language. Again, if he acknowledges that he could and should have handled it better, I'll not be spanking Bobby.

I suspect that there will be no proof either way - it's easy for a bit of grit to get into the sponge or leather, I'd hope to be able to negotiate a two-way apology - but how well do I know Mr. Willis?

Jack

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Admin
First of all, how in heck does he know Bobby scratched his car? Was Bobby washing it with a wire brush?

Honestly, my first impulse would be to tell Mr. Willis that, if he pulled something like this with anyone working in autos, they'd put a lien on his car. What he's doing is not just wrong, it's illegal. if he doesn't pay Bobby, I will be filing a complaint with the police, but it will probably end up in small claims court (or on Judge Judy?).

As for Bobby, I'm going to have a talk with him about how this kind of language doesn't help things, but since I'm pretty sure I would have said the same thing, I don't really feel like I can spank him for it this time.


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18Smacked

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Cowboy
I think I will excuse my son for the language he used, in consideration of the circumstances. But, I will have a talk with my son, and explain that in the future, before washing someone's car, if he sees recent scratches (or any scratches, for that matter) he should have a piece of paper and say that license number whatever, type and year of car has scratches on door (and take a picture of the scratches ), and he and the owner should both initial that piece of paper. I will also tell my son that in the future, if someone does not pay for the agreed upon price when the job was done, rather than arguing at all, he should simply come and get me. If there is any arguing to be done, I prefer that I be the one to have that privilege!

Overall, I like Pi Beta's response, and will pretty much agree that I will likely be reimbursing my son the $ 20 that my neighbor should have paid.

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AFinch

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Sherrif
Jack wrote:First of all, how in heck does he know Bobby scratched his car?  Was Bobby washing it with a wire brush?  

Honestly, my first impulse would be to tell Mr. Willis that, if he pulled something like this with anyone working in autos, they'd put a lien on his car.  What he's doing is not just wrong, it's illegal.  if he doesn't pay Bobby, I will be filing a complaint with the police, but it will probably end up in small claims court (or on Judge Judy?).

As for Bobby, I'm going to have a talk with him about how this kind of language doesn't help things, but since I'm pretty sure I would have said the same thing, I don't really feel like I can spank him for it this time.

I basically agree with Jack. However, it costs $30.00 to file a small claim, and an additional $75.00 to have a process server "serve" the defendant. Financial realities assure that it won't end up in small claims court. I'm excusing the language.

Adric

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Cowboy
18Smacked wrote:I will also tell my son that in the future, if someone does not pay for the agreed upon price when the job was done, rather than arguing at all, he should simply come and get me. If there is any arguing to be done, I prefer that I be the one to have that privilege!

Overall, I like Pi Beta's response, and will pretty much agree that I will likely be reimbursing my son the $ 20 that my neighbor should have paid.

This is an unfortunate turn of events.  I'm inclined to believe my son in this case given the scenario as described.  I'll advise him to avoid confrontations with his customers in the future and to be more careful with his language, then I'll give him $18 = $20 for the wash job - 10% fine for the foul language.

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ivor

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Marshall
I'm with Pi.

The idea of going to the small claims court would never enter my mind, but I live in the UK not the US Smile

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squarecutter

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Sherrif
I will try to talk our neighbour round and apologise on Bobbys behalf for the language, There seems little point in Bobby doing so if the man is in this mood.I'm nos sure how Bobby can have scratched the car while cleaning it and I will be believing Bobby till proven otherwise. I like Adrics idea of paying Bobby for the work he's done but will dock a fiver for the swearing as it is a habit we are trying to get him to quit

MemoryMan

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Sherrif
I like Pi's reasoned approach.

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