He wants a loan. Can I demand that he be vaccinated first?

My husband and I, both 80, are cautious of Covid. Six months ago, we fired the man who helped us with household chores on weekends beca...

My husband and I, both 80, are cautious of Covid. Six months ago, we fired the man who helped us with household chores on weekends because he refused to be vaccinated. We discussed our concerns with him, but it was clear that his decision was based on misinformation and that he would not change his mind. Recently we got a text from him asking for a loan to buy a used car. His wife’s car is dead, so he has to drive it every day to and from work. We think we are helping him, but only if he gets the vaccine. We recognize that this is a kind of blackmail. But would it be so terrible?


Not at all! Lenders put all kinds of conditions on loans to increase the likelihood of their repayment. They often ask borrowers, for example, to insure cars or other property they buy with borrowed money. Asking your former employee to get vaccinated against Covid-19 is one way to increase the likelihood that he will stay healthy enough to pay you off.

My concern is that he may reject your direct request and attack the vaccine. He was prepared to lose his paid job, after all, to avoid shooting. Now it may be that the inconvenience of transporting his wife to and from work has changed his calculation. Nonetheless, I would suggest a softer approach that gives it more autonomy.

Ask him to speak to a mutually agreed upon expert about the vaccine as a condition of your loan – a medical provider, for example. By expanding his sources of information, you can convince him to want the vaccine. It would be the best result. Not only would he get his loan, but you could also get your weekend aid back.

I know a family that suffered a terrible tragedy: their son died, leaving their young grandson without parents. The family lives small, but I think their net worth is substantial. (I’m guessing around $ 50-75 million.) So I was surprised to learn that the family is apparently asking for donations for a grandchild trust fund. It almost seems offensive to me. Am I wrong?


What a nasty question! First, you assume the great wealth of a family without proof. (What do you base your “estimate” of their net worth on?) You don’t seem to know anything for sure. Then you add that they are “apparently” asking for donations. Well, are they or aren’t they? You don’t even know it. You seem to be exchanging vain gossip, none of which affects you personally.

Instead, let’s focus on the facts: A family has lost a son and a young child has lost its father. How does it feel to speculate on their finances at such a terrible time? If you don’t like the (maybe fictitious) trust fund, don’t contribute.

Due to the pandemic, my husband and I temporarily moved from one town to my suburban town. We miss the city, but have decided that staying in the suburbs for the foreseeable future is best for our family. (We recently had a baby and the family support is amazing as is the lower cost of living.) The problem: I’ve always based my identity on living in the city and my friends despise the suburbs. I’m afraid they’ll think less of me, and I’ll think less of me, if I tell them we’re staying here. To help!


Many readers can quickly assume that you and your friends are conceited urban snobs. But I understand: transitions are difficult! In your mind, the city is synonymous with youth, dynamism and culture. (In fact, none of these qualities are exclusive to cities.) Still, it takes you a minute to recognize that as new parents with limited means, you aren’t likely to be outside (much less children of the club) for a long time.

Now, the whole point of having friends is sharing experiences with them. So tell yours how you made that decision. Also share your ambivalence. But don’t forget to mention what extra you gain: more space, greater affordability, and integrated daycare. Suddenly your idea of ​​”cool” pales a bit in comparison, doesn’t it?

I referred a friend who was injured in a slip-fall accident to a lawyer friend at a firm specializing in personal injury lawsuits. My friend ended up getting a good settlement. Would it be appropriate to ask my lawyer friend for payment for setting up the referral?


In most states, it is illegal for lawyers to pay referral fees to people who are not lawyers. (Creating incentives for more and more lawsuits is bad public policy.) But even without this rule, helping an injured friend isn’t the best time to cash in. I understand your frustration at seeing the gravy train pass you by. Instead, try to focus on your good deed.

For help with your sticky situation, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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Newsrust - US Top News: He wants a loan. Can I demand that he be vaccinated first?
He wants a loan. Can I demand that he be vaccinated first?
Newsrust - US Top News
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