I went to the dentist today. He and his wife are my good friend. Not best friends forever, but solid ‘good friends’.
He treated me before and gave me some discount. Was I wrong to assume that it will continue? Obviously I was!
When I went there this time we had a nice chat about his wife and my friend, about our children, who are friends too, about his house renovation and mine too. Then he dealt with my tooth, then we chatted a bit more. We hugged, kissed, and I went to pay the bill.
Not only he charged me full amount for the filling, but he also added £50 for ‘consultation’, which was, I presume, checking my teeth and telling me which of them need feelings. I’m sure dentists have huge markups on their services. Fine, running a surgery costs, so do materials. I get it. Charge me for that. But whacking £50 for ‘consultation’, which costs him nothing?
I admit. I was a bit taken aback. Of course I didn’t say anything, after all we are friends. After all that doesn’t automatically mean that he has to give me discounts.
Perhaps I’m too demanding. Perhaps in western society things don’t work this way.
I asked my boss (who was, together with his wife, my friend prior to becoming my boss) if I could get a product for myself. Sure, why not. How much would you like me to pay for it, I asked.
He knows I know exactly how much the things cost. After all I’m the one ordering them from the supplier. We get them at 65% off, plus additional 15% off that. Plus 20%VAT on top. So say item that retails at £100 would cost us £36. I think. I suck at math. But I think. He said I can have them for £50. We are a small company, it’s not like thousands of employees would abuse the system if they were given things at the cost price. But am I demanding too much?
So should friends do professional favours? Or not really? Would you?