What is considered appropriate etiquette in the United States for handling requests from family to use your job skills on their behalf?

Expert Answers

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One generally fraught topic in the United States is the relationship between business and family life. In general, it is best if they are separate. If you are a plumber, electrician, mechanic, etc. at some point extended family members and friends will ask you to use your skills on their behalf. This leads to an awkward situation. If you agree, you are taking time away from your own limited leisure and family time to do more work and will feel justifiable resentment. If you accept, you get involved in various uncomfortable positions (there is always another family member saying "if you could help your cousin, why can't you help me?). It is best to keep a list of professionals you respect and recommend them to your family, pointing out that this will, in the long run, be the most harmonious solution.

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