MONEY MORAL DILEMMA:Is it time for Rhys to leave Sienna?

in Money Saving Polls
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Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Is it time for Rhys to leave Sienna?

Rhys has just finished studying and is job hunting. For his work, London is the place to be and he’s been staying at the flat of his only friend there, Sienna. She originally said he could stay a fortnight and he’s been there a month. He’s unemployed, got no cash and can’t contribute and Sienna’s getting a bit tetchy. The friendship’s on the line, but so is his future. Should he push it and keep staying or is it time to give up the job hunt.
Is it time for Rhys to leave Sienna?

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  • Yup, time to move on!
  • I would suggest 2 ways forward, either:

    As Rhys is an adult then surely he's entitled to unemployment benefit, so why can't he claim this? Or find a casual job, e.g. temp office work, washing dishes in a restaurant - not great I know, but he needs to earn some cash. Then negotiate with Sienna to stay, say, another month and he will make an agreed financial contribution. (She may even be happy to have him stay as a paying lodger if he does this).

    Or, depending on the kind of work he wants to do, he can go home and start applying for jobs via agencies, websites, phone calls, email, all the usual.

    If he's really convinced that he needs to be in London, and Sienna wants him out, then he needs to get some kind of work (anything!), and a room in a shared house, whilst he keeps looking for the job he really wants.

    Ultimately, though, Sienna is not responsible for his getting a job and shouldn't give in to emotional blackmail. She should set a firm deadline and stick to it. She's already helped him out. If she doesn't do this, he could still be on her sofa - jobless - in a year's time!
  • droniddronid Forumite
    592 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Indeed. He should be signing on as a matter of course. He is not employed and is looking for work. He should've been claiming from when he arrived - at least that way he'd be able to contribute for the time he's staying.

    Whatever work he's looking for he needs to find something to do immediately in order to find accommodation - that should be his driving force. Once he has accommodation he can afford on interim temp work he can then look further for permanent work in the are he wants to be. He shouldn't be just imposing on his friend. He is unlikely to be looking for work for 7 hours a day so should be offering other support round the house - cleaning and helping out.

    Rhys should offer his own deadline of another week, some money from benefits and help around the house and should find his own place asap.

    I could make it better myself at home. All I need is a small aubergine...

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  • He should stop freeloading and move out. He also needs to lower his sights on the job-hunting front & accept that it isn't his right to get a job in a certain field just because he has finished his course. There will be thousands of students out there just as qualified, if not better.
  • liz105liz105 Forumite
    378 Posts
    If he needs to stay he should offer to do everything around the house for Sienna, washing, cooking, cleaning, she might be a bit happier about not getting any rent from him then.
    Mummy to two girls, 4 & 1, been at home for four years, struggling to contend with the terrifying thought of returning to work.
  • Beware friends needing favours! What starts out as a kind gesture can quickly descend into a lost cause. Rhys is relying on Sienna's good nature and should stop. He should be getting any job to bring in some money, sign on in the meantime and do housework, odd jobs, cook, etc and generally make himself useful if he wants to stay. When he's earning then he should show his appreciation properly. He should be doing all of this off his own bat without anyone having to suggest it to him. That way the friendship will stay intact and no one will be taking the other for granted.
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  • As I see it Rhys has two main choices (assuming he is putting in as much effort as possible in his job hunt).

    He can sitting down with Sienna and making some kind of a deal such as soon as I get a job I'll take you out to the restaurant of your choice or double his own workload by doing all the housework, cooking etc on top of his extensive job hunting.

    If either of these option s fail, I think it's time for Rhys to pack his bags, bow out graciously and move back in with his parents or look for a council property and live off state benefits. (It can be done, that is how I am surviving lol).

    What ever that end result Rhys should still do something really kind for Sienna once he does find a job.


    Dave S
  • Nothing will sour a friendship quicker than money.

    Forget signing on - London isn't exactly an unemployment black spot! He would be able to get bar work the next day if he pounded the street for five minutes. This will allow him to look for a job/go for interviews etc in the day time. If Sienna asks for the right money for a flatshare off him instead of just a menial contribution it will spur him on to finding a good job that will allow him to move out quicker.

    Sienna needs to set him a deadline for getting out, and also a rota for the housework. It sounds like he's been getting too comfy!
  • olly300olly300 Forumite
    14.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I've been in both situations.

    If you do have a friend who is going to stay or you are going to stay with a friend, it is always easiest if you have lived with them in the past. If you haven't then you are going to encounter lots problems as you can get on with most people until you live with them. If the friend staying is not completely selfish and realises there are problems they will move on in a month.

    In the case where myself and my housemates have had people staying only one guy annoyed us all. This was because he was selfish. He made loud late night telephone calls, didn't clean up after himself, was in the communal areas all the time and didn't offer to or pay his way. All the other people who stayed where very considerate, cleaned up after themselves and sometimes after us, and paid a proportion of the bills without even being asked.

    In this case Rhys should talk to Sienna about how long she is willing to put up with him, find any temporary job which can be done within a week and move into a shared room (there are plenty of ads in the gumtree in London) OR move to his parents or relations house outside London, and job hunt from there.

    Strange as it may seem due to the internet you don't have to live in a location to do a job search you just have to be available to go to interviews at short notice. And he does move from London now and needs to go to an interview Sienna will be more tolerant of him staying over the night before (to save on expensive train fares) then if she has to force him out.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

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  • I've been grateful to friends in the past for giving me house room when I was doing voluntary work in London, and again for putting me up when I moved down with a job at short notice. But I always paid my way as far as I could, or did shopping/cooked meals when relying on others generosity, and I was very conscious of not outstaying my welcome.

    When I was in a position to do so, I've 'paid back' by letting friends stay for free while flat-hunting, knowing how helpful it was when it was done for me. But my friends didn't take advantage - I knew they were looking hard, and while not paying rent they helped out with food etc, and moved into their new flat 3 weeks to a month later.

    Sienna should definitely sit down with Rhys and establish some kind of boundaries or their friendship could be at risk. He needs to demonstrate a bit more vim and flexibility in the job hunt, and contribute as much as he can around the house. She should probably set him a deadline - another fortnight/month tops, and then he needs to either move into shared accommodation (I agree that gumtree is great for finding this), or search for a job from home. Her generosity should be rewarded with some consideration from him.
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