Freeloading co-worker expects a ride to work

Q:

My co-worker refuses to buy a car, instead, he asks me for a ride everyday.  How can I get out of this without coming off like a jerk?

We live a 5 min drive away from each other. I have to drive the opposite direction from work to pick him up. The previous person who gave him a ride, no longer works with us, so now I am the next person he is asking. A taxi would cost him $13 each way. The bus would cost him $3 per trip.

A:

First of all, car ownership is expensive, so not everyone can afford this.  On the other hand, your co-worker sounds like a freeloader.   He might be blissfully unaware that he is freeloading, so calling him that might surprise him.  In his mind, you are already paying for gas and he is a small detour on your route.  He might think that he  isn’t any causing any kind of inconvenience for you – why wouldn’t you give him a ride.

In any case you are going to have to explain your feelings on driving to this person.  Start with hinting and if that doesn’t work, you are going to have to be more assertive and state your position.

1.

You don’t want to drive him at all.  You don’t want to spend the extra time to pick him up.   You like the peace and solitude in the car.  You don’t want to be responsible for getting this person to and from work on time every day.

Use a hint – “I don’t think I am the right person for you to depend on to get to work.  I sometimes need to go to the gym/run errands/attend appointments/meet friends, etc before and after work”.  If that doesn’t work and he doesn’t get I, you’ll have to be more assertive – “I cannot commit to giving you a daily ride, please don’t plan your travels based on me”.

2.

You don’t like his freeloading. If you want him to pitch in with costs (since you went into the economics of getting to work, I assume that this might be the issue vs. #1)

In this particular case, ask him to meet you at your house before work and drop him off at your house after work.  This saves you some time.  Also ask if he is willing to and split or chip in for the gas/parking costs.  It he is against this idea – work to understand why. (Maybe he’s cheap. Maybe he needs to pay for an expensive surgery for his family member)