What do you do for a living?

Let’s say for the sake of this essay, that you’re a nurse. And one day you go to visit a friend, and while you’re there your friend asks you if you could lance a particularly hard-to-reach boil for them. Aside from the disgust factor, it seems as though this might be a touch out of line other social norms, wouldn’t you say?

Or maybe you’re an auto mechanic and instead of being allowed to watch the game while you wait for Thanksgiving dinner your Aunt Betty hints that it would be wonderful if you had the time to help her figure out where “this funny noise keeps coming from in her car when she’s driving on the highway”.

Or, let’s say you’re a CPA and you stop by your sister’s house to visit a couple days before taxes are due. You don’t know she hasn’t filed her taxes yet, but the moment you walk in the door she begins to hint that she needs help filing before it’s too late. Of course she’s desperate and a doesn’t really ask it like a favor, but more like, “How can I get more deductions so I don’t have to pay?”  Because she’s not really asking if you’d be willing to help, that part is just assumed.

Most people wouldn’t dream of obligating someone to help them with something that important without a prior request or warning, right? Not to mention, how do most people feel about doing more of their job after they’ve leave work?

So, why do people feel it’s acceptable to do the same thing to your friend/family member who does tech support for a living?