# Some friends want math help all the time

1. May 6, 2009

### JasonRox

Ok, I have a beef.

Some friends want math help all the time, and like now I just say no now. Most people just want answers and not help. I prefer to help people I don't know who actually work, and come to me with real questions.

I think people forget that when I help them in math that I am providing a service that I charge no less than $20 an hour doing is easily worth$30 or more.

I have a friend who owns a business too. He doesn't hand out free cooking constantly, so why should I be looked down at for not wanting to help? It's the same thing.

2. May 6, 2009

### humanino

Re: Friends/Tutoring

Don't do it if you don't feel like. Imagine a friend who owns a restaurant, and does invite his friends constantly to try out new stuff. Not because it might be toxic, just because he likes to share his passion. If a penniless "friend" were to walk in his restaurant every day to get a free lunch, he would probably not enjoy the "sharing" anymore.

3. May 6, 2009

### JasonRox

Re: Friends/Tutoring

Yeah, it's them not noticing that this is a service. Not free. Duh.

I like to share my passion like the guy at the restaurant, but not through doing some of the most annoying and tedious work for them. If I owned the restaurant, and they just came to eat fries, I wouldn't consider preparing fries as one of my passions... so it will get annoying if not appreciated.

4. May 6, 2009

Re: Friends/Tutoring

I will help my girlfriend and my "real" friends for free. But, like you say, if people just want answers, I just tell them I don't know how to solve that.

5. May 6, 2009

### JasonRox

Re: Friends/Tutoring

lol

But I tutor that class regularly. So I know all of it, and can predict test questions with good accuracy. There is no way they will believe me not doing it.

I will help real friends of course but only if they are actually trying and not being a bum and want something handed to them. Some do that. People just aren't aware that school work costs time and money.

6. May 6, 2009

### Pengwuino

Re: Friends/Tutoring

Hmm, i'm not sure how to handle friends that dont appreciate your work and just want answers. Mainly because I don't call those people my friends. Case closed.

I know someone who use to help people and he basically solved whole problems from Genesis. If you didn't really appreciate his help and just wanted an answer, you eventually gave up on having a problem explained for 30 minutes to you and stopped asking him for help. For the rest of us, we either appreciated the work and "learned to fish" or at least let him work the whole problem for us and wait for the final answer because sometimes, the material was just absolutely over our heads and we didn't want to basically have him relecture to us what we should have already learned. It's enough to have to ask to help without going "Hey, I know i have notes to class and a book, but please re-teach me something i can learn on my own".

On a slightly more serious note, if they demand answers, tell them to show some effort first. It's not hard.

7. May 6, 2009

### JasonRox

Re: Friends/Tutoring

Even if it's not to show answers, maybe I just find it to be like work now. Maybe I'm the problem now.

Who knows.

8. May 6, 2009

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Re: Friends/Tutoring

If he wants help, tell him to bring the food. I don't mind bartering with friends if they ask for favors on a regular basis. If they never reciprocate, then I stop calling them friends. But, if they will help me out with something in return when I need it, then we don't need to discuss money or keep track.

But, yeah, either way, I wouldn't just give them the answers. If that's all they're looking for, I agree with you just telling them no, or telling them that you're not going to give answers, but can help them with how to study better, depending how good of a friend they are and how generous you feel toward them.

9. May 6, 2009

### Pengwuino

Re: Friends/Tutoring

The deal with my friend who helped out me and another friend on homework was 1 burrito at this placed called Qdoba per "tutoring" session :D. Half the time we ate, went back to his place, and just watched TV instead though (our idea, not his!)...

now THATS friendship :).

10. May 7, 2009

### JasonRox

Re: Friends/Tutoring

Yeah, that's what I do. I tell what to study and what's important and so on. Atleast that.

11. May 7, 2009

### junglebeast

Re: Friends/Tutoring

JasonRox,

I think you can help most people, but the level of depth depends on what you feel like. If you don't feel like working through all the nitty gritty work, you can still point them in the right direction by telling them where to find the answer on their own, say something like..I think you'll be able to find the answer here, after reading there let me know if you are still totally lost. Sometimes pointing someone in the right direction is all the help they really need. At the very least it buys you time during which they might happen to stumble upon the answer, or lose interest in it. Just sell yourself as a valuable yet limited resource rather than a first-stop answer key that will solve all their problems faster than a Google search.

12. May 7, 2009

### Count Iblis

Re: Friends/Tutoring

I have helped many students. My experience is that if you help them for free then they'll often come back and offer to pay quite a lot for more help. Thing is that at most universities you have compulsory homework problems that are graded and an exam. The Prof. can easily check to see if someone got too much help with his homework assignments by looking if there is a big difference between the homework grades and the grade for the exam. Also big difference between different homework assignments are a red flag.

This then means that if a student who isn't doing too well is getting help from me, causing the student to get a straight A for a particular assignment, then that student better make sure he/she does very well on all the remaining problems and the exam.

13. May 7, 2009

### moose

Re: Friends/Tutoring

I help my friends for free because they all give me favors too. Ones who work at restaurants give me free food, ones who work at kinkos give me free copies and such, friends let me borrow their tools that they paid good money for, etc. That's why I would never charge any of my friends...

EDIT: That being said, I only help when I have the time and feel like tutoring them.

EDIT2: I just remembered about a time when an employee I didn't recognize gave me his employee discount, then said he remembers me from when I helped him out in biology soph year of high school. So even 4 years later some people are still thankful and more than willing to help out with whatever.