Architect Demands In-Laws Pay for Services

Gillian Sisley

Should anyone do work for free, even for family?

We live in a world where money is king. We all have a particular set of skills and training that we can apply to the workforce, and get paid in exchange for our labor.

No one should work for free. In fact, basic human rights laws protect individuals from being taken advantage of by not being paid for their work. This can especially be the case when it comes to family looking for handouts or discounts.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a man offers his architectural services to his in-laws, who expect his to do the work entirely for free.

Should anyone do work for free, even for family?

A Reddit post published on April 28th, reported on by Taylor McCloud from Newsweek, has gone viral with 8,100 upvotes and 1,500 comments

The author begins his post by explaining that he is a trained architect, and makes a very good living. He clarifies that his husband and mother-in-law are both dentists, while his father-in-law is a dermatologist. The three co-own a clinic together, and have recently decided that they are going to do a complete renovation of the site.

The author first tried to refer his family to a trusted colleague, but they insisted he draw up the schematics and help with the project. The author indicates that the project would include five new offices, and new operating, x-ray and ultrasound rooms.

After visiting the site to discuss their plans and budget for the project, the author asked about whether or not his payment was included within their budget. His family members looked at him and his mother-in-law replied, "Wait, do you expect us to pay since this is your husband's and one day it'll be your kids?"

The author replied that he absolutely expected to receive payment for designing and supervising the renovation. However, later that day when the author and his husband got home, his husband told him that expecting to pay for his services was something that never crossed his mind, and that he expected his spouse to do the work for free.

No one should feel entitled to another person's time or energy.

Time is money. And in a world where a person has to make money to survive, many of us go to school or get formal training so that we can go out into the workforce and make money. Every person deserves to be paid for their labor, as well as the time and effort they put into their services.

The author, being told that they wanted his free services, re-negotiated that he would be willing to give a 50% discount, but his in-laws said that that was entirely 'out of the question'.

The author concludes his post by stating that he thought a 50% discount was more than fair, and that he would actually lose a substantial amount of money if he agreed to design his husband and in-laws' clinic for free.

What do you think? Is the author entirely in the wrong for asking for payment for his services? Or is he entirely justified, because it's very clear that his husband and laws are trying to take advantage of him?

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