DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a neighborhood that got hit hard by snow recently. I told my sons to go around the neighborhood and ask if they could help people shovel out their driveways. When I was growing up, we used to do that for a few dollars. We don’t have as much snow these days, but I thought it would be good for my boys in terms of helping out and also making some money. Turns out, people did let them shovel their driveways, but several of them didn’t offer the boys a dime for doing it.
I am really disappointed. My boys worked sometimes for hours to dig out cars and paths. At the very least, they should have been offered a healthy tip. Do you think I should say something to the homeowners who were so stingy? My boys are high schoolers, so they should have spoken up and negotiated a rate on the front end, but I hate seeing them being taken advantage of. -- Snow Days
DEAR SNOW DAYS: Your boys should have been clear with the neighbors that they were offering to clear the snow for a particular price. When negotiations are handled up front, everybody is clear, and misunderstandings diminish. Of course, the neighbors should have offered the boys something. But their rudeness is your boys’ problem, not yours. They need to navigate talking to adults and standing up for themselves. If there is another snowstorm, tell them to make a price list for services that they say before the work begins.