Tag Archives: Freebies

Knowing When To Fold Them

There is an old Kenny Rogers song that goes something like this:

“You gotta know when to hold ’em
know when to fold them
know when to walk away
and know when to run
Don’t count your blessings
while you’re sittin’ at the table
there’ll be time enough for countin’
when the dealin’ done.”

My apologies if I didn’t get it exactly right; its been alot of years since I heard that song but it has been playing in my head lately.

Hal really pissed me off the other day and I felt helpless to do anything about it. I hate, I mean really hate, being dependent on anyone, so really did not want to accept more money from Jim to get home that night.

It burns my butt to not be totally self sufficient and I can hear JC’s voice ringing in my ears,”See?! I told you you couldn’t make it on your own, I told you someday you’d realize all I did for you”.
But he was wrong, I see all the things he did to me not what he did for me.

When Hal started accusing me of avoiding him, demanding to know how much I was getting for the truck, and talking over me when I was talking and then getting angry with me for not shutting up and saying I was talking over him. I found myself getting frustrated because he was twisting my words and refusing to understand what I was saying. Then it hit me; I don’t have to put up with this any more from anyone, ever again. I know what is fair, I know what is right, and I know when I am being played for a sucker.

I was frustrated, crying and angry but I took control of the situation.  I know he is bad mouthing me and you know what? I really don’t give a shit, I don’t have time for that kind of highschool bullshit. Yeah he’s got $350 of my hard earned money and I got the “shaft” (excuse the pun I couldn’t resist) Like I said to Hal that night, “If I wanted to get screwed over I would have called JC.  I don’t need to go looking for assholes. You knew the position I was in financially and you took advantage of it. I am done with you. You have nothing  to say that I want to hear and I have nothing I want to say to you.” Sure I sat in a parking lot in Langley crying my eyes out, sobbing to the dogs about how unfair life is and asking them ,”what do I do now?”

Then I saw the dumpster behind me and thought, “Nothing like digging in a dumpster to take a girl’s mind off her troubles.” I got a really nice vase, a tall one, you know they’re about 2 & 1/2 feet tall? the kind that sits on the floor with tall grasses in it. It has a $60 price tag on it and I can’t find a thing wrong with it. I also found the cutest Halloween decoration, a Styrofoam pumpkin head with a top hat that just needs a bit of glue, priced at $25. Three nice sweat shirts, 3 cardigans; a white one, blue one and a black one and they all fit me. A few blouses and a dress and jacket in an oriental design I haven’t tried on yet. I also got some really nice smelling vanilla hand soap in a pretty clear glass pump dispenser that I gave to my girl friend and she loves,  she also picked out a glass flower ornament that she liked.

When Jim called to say he was in Langley I was already asleep with my head on Laila, one good thing about really bad times; you know a night sleeping in the truck isn’t going to kill you. The worst thing that happens is you don’t have a toothbrush in the morning, your contacts are stuck to your eyes because you slept with them in and you kinda look like a raccoon because your mascara is smudged.

Sure I fell into a depression the next day and wasted most of the day feeling sorry for myself and when every one told me I should have called the cops and when the guy who wanted to buy it offered me $400 and said he had a tow truck waiting to pick it up I told everyone, “I can’t talk about it right now, I can’t make a decision right now, I will have to get back to you.” and I weighed my options.

I call the police;
I know Hal is an N and I know he’s probably already done damage control, I have a 50/50 chance the police will even listen to me, I have nothing in writing and neither does he so it will be a he said/she said scenario and the cops probably can’t do anything and will tell me to take him to small claims. It would prolong dealing with an asshole and I really don’t need that in my life.

As it is Hal has cost me $850 ($350 I paid him, $300 I lost in the sale of my truck, and at least $200 I would have made on the job in Port Moody I missed and someone else picked up) Plus I’ve wasted more hours on that man than can be calculated because he is always late and if I hadn’t bought the other truck I wouldn’t have been royally screwed because he took so long fixing my GMC and I wouldn’t have had any way to make money to pay him.  I shudder to think about it and it makes me really angry but do I want to waste any more time on the asshole? Do I want him in my life in any way? No!!

Some times doing nothing is really doing the best thing. I don’t want to feed Hal’s need for attention through conflict.

So if I am not calling the cops my other option is to find a driveshaft, buy it and install it myself but that means I have to sit on the phone trying to track one down. Not having phone reception where I live means I will be cutting into time I could be using to make money. I need to make money because I am dead in the water without it.

So like the song says, “I decided to fold and walk away.”
I called the buyer and told him I can’t accept $400 could he do $500? He said he’d ask his son; yes they would go $500. He got a tow truck to pick it up and take it to his place. I said I have to work to make enough money to buy fuel to get the registration to him and he said not a problem. I did a few pickups that I missed last week when my truck was down, now there was even more. So I had a good money making day and got $279 for 3 hours work.

I called Jim and said I’d have his $550 by the end of the day. He said not to leave myself short, he would be happy with $300. I said I wanted to at least pay the $400 he lent me to buy the 1974 Chev. I also owed my girlfriend $100 and wanted to pay her.

So yesterday I was able to buy a jug of oil for the truck, a new pair of work gloves, stock my cupboards with groceries and dog food, and even bought myself a pair of cowboy boots at Value Village for $20. ( For whatever reason wearing cowboy boots makes me feel more confident, when I was still with JC he told me that when I wore my cowboy boots I had an air of confidence about me, that can’t be a bad thing)

Now that I have walked away from the table what are my blessings?
1. I handled it, I didn’t let the bastard intimidate me, I didn’t feed his sick need for drama and attention and walked away with my head held high.
2. The guy who bought the truck got a good deal and I was out $350. Oh well, I really like the guy who bought the truck and guess what! he owns dump trucks and rebuilds antique cars; what does that means? he has scrap! and he is going to call me to come pick up within the next week.
3. I could have spent all day
looking for a driveshaft and then gotten frustrated trying to put it in and possibly had to deal with Hal again today and wasted another day I could have been working. Instead I made almost as much as I lost ($25 less) big deal and today it is all ancient history; I can close that page and move on. It was 10:30 by the time I got to Jim last night but I paid him for the truck and that felt wonderful!!!
I paid my girlfriend and by midnight I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking a ice cold Mike’s Hard Lemonade and eating a turkey tv dinner.

With that out of the way I can focus on getting my butt out of this trailer and I have a few ideas about how to do it. I’m quite excited about one idea but will save that for another post.

Once I am out of here and have an internet connection I have a new career idea I am excited about and could put all my experiences over the past 12 years to good use. But that is a post of it’s own also.

So that’s all folks!
Like my blog says; Playing with the cards I’m dealt, the best I can. This time I decided to fold and walk away. Next time? who knows; I guess we’ll see what I get dealt in the next hand.

Hugs to you all.
off to work I go……hi ho hi ho.

(written Tuesday morning and posted on Wednesday)

Poverty Is For “Other” People

Why don’t they get a job? You would never be caught dead begging for money or digging in someone else’s garbage. Don’t they have any pride?

That’s what most people are thinking even if they don’t say it out loud; and some do. Every where you look there are pan-handlers jockeying for position at the most lucrative intersection or the prime location; outside the liquor store. You can’t drive down a back alley without seeing someone climbing into a dumpster or someone pushing a shopping cart full of their possessions. It has become so common place you hardly take notice any more.

Why don’t they get a job?

They must be drug addicts or alcoholics, or maybe they have a mental problem; certainly they don’t have an education, children, or job skills.

These people couldn’t have been YOUR neighbor a few years ago, their kids couldn’t have been over at your house playing not that long ago. You don’t know anyone who would be reduced to begging for money, do you? Well, IF you did know someone in that position they got there by their own doing, they must have made poor choices; you know YOU would never be that desperate. It could never happen to you, could it?

What ever did happen to that nice young couple that lived next door? Such a shame their house got foreclosed on and they moved away; they were good neighbors, hard working, always friendly, they’d watch the house when you went away and such cute little ones; remember when the first one was born, all the neighbors got together and had a baby shower? Nice little family………wonder what ever happened to them. Well, you know how it is` every one is so busy these days; you promised to keep in touch, take the kids once in a while but just never got around to it. I’m sure they’re doing fine, they were young, they’ll recoup¤

Or when the company you work for was down sizing, what a shame “Stan” was laid off only 10 years from retirement, just when the kids were finished school and oh yeah, their daughter was getting married, that’s right and then they were going to concentrate on saving for retirement. Stan had 10 years to really sock it away, too bad……wonder what ever happened to good old Stan….he must have gotten a job somewhere by now.

What about the woman you always talked to when you both went to pick up your kids from school, she showed up looking like she’d been really crying a few times and kept to herself mostly but you and her had a few good chats, she was really nice and had a pretty smile. Then one day she wasn’t there any more, her kids had switched schools, then they came back but you never saw her again. You asked about her and heard she was in an abusive relationship and she finally left the asshole, good for her! She must be doing so much better without him, she must be happy now, just her and the kids without him beating her down emotionally and physically. Good for her she finally left.

That nice young couple? After they lost their house and moved into a rental, he was laid off from the job he’d had for 6 years at the mill and has been getting work off and on ever since, she is working two part time jobs, one at a big box store and the other one at a bank, she gets 20 hours a week from each place which means she doesn’t get benefits or her stat holidays paid and sometimes works 16 hours in a day because she gets scheduled at both places on the same day. They try to schedule their shifts so one of them is home for the kids because day care is so expensive and it’s hard to find a day care that will take kids for a few hours, they want full time children because they are only allowed so many children at one time and can’t keep a slot open for a few hours.

After the stores close he goes out dumpster diving, often times he finds things he can repair and resell at the flea market, sometimes he finds toys for the kids, or even food, he doesn’t make a whole lot of money but it is what keeps their heads barely above water and food on the table. They fight a lot these days, the stress is getting to them; the kids have started to have behaviour problems and the oldest one started school but hates it because some of the other kids saw their dad dumpster diving and now tease them at school.

Times are tough for everyone, I’m sure they’ll get back on their feet if they just work hard. Right?

Good ol’ Stan, didn’t you know?
He’s a greeter at WalMart, you know the guy who gets you a shopping cart, smiles and says “Hi” when you walk in.

He got unemployment benefits for a year and then they had to start using the little bit of severance package he got because you can’t collect welfare if you have any money and they had to sell one of the cars because welfare won’t pay if you own two cars over a certain value. It was so degrading for Stan to go into welfare, paid into it his whole life, always worked, and he was treated like a second class citizen when he finally got up the courage to go in because they can’t afford to pay for his heart medication on the little bit they make. He was choking back tears when he left the office. He sure didn’t ever think he’d be asking for a hand out, he believed if a person worked hard they would be ok. Everything they had Stan had worked damn hard for but they remortgaged the house for their daughter’s wedding while Stan still had a job and now they were afraid they are going to lose the house. Forty years Stan worked, raised his family, was a good provider, his wife had worked once the kids got into school and she has gotten a part time job now at a grocery chain store and often works until midnight. It bothers Stan that this is the time of their life they should be enjoying each other, kids out of the house, they’ve done their time, they struggled and they did it side by side; always looking forward to this day. He’s been looking for a good paying job but now a days every one hires over the internet and Stan never even had a resume in his life, he walked into places, asked to speak to the manager and walked out with a handshake and “You start Monday.” Now you don’t even see a person plus they look at his resume and see that he is almost 60, the companies he has talked to say he is over qualified, he tells them he doesn’t mind starting at the bottom but they don’t call back, so here he is at WalMart, putting a smile on his face and handing you your shopping cart.

The woman who left the abusive relationship? Well she isn’t doing so well, her ex husband decided to make her life hell and went for custody of the kids and won, she didn’t have money for a lawyer and he lied about her and got people to back his lies. Losing the kids almost killed her, she could barely function for almost a year and it breaks her heart that she lives in a one bedroom apartment in a bad area and she can’t provide a nice place for the kids to come and visit. They say it is ok they love her but she knows at their dad’s they have everything all the other kids have and even if they don’t say it she feels they are ashamed of her. She was with her ex for 10 years, she had a job but he wanted her to quit when the kids were born. She didn’t mind being home raising them, her husband had a good paying job and even though she had to account for every penny he gave her and never had money of her own; he gave her enough to keep the house and the kids looking presentable. As the years went by though he got more and more abusive and controlling, it seemed he was never happy no matter what she did and she was always walking on egg shells. Sometimes she could feel the tension in him building and she knew she was going to get hit. She would try to not react when he pushed her buttons but eventually he would blow and she would get punched in the head and told he’d had enough and wanted her out.

He did it one too many times and one day while he was at work she packed up the kids and her clothes and left, with no money, nothing. He tried to get her to come back, put on the “I’m so sorry, it will never happen again” routine she’d heard so many times in the past, but she was strong this time, she was determined.

He got reinvolved almost immediately and told every one that she was crazy and he’d suffered through years of hell with her and now he’d found a woman that understood him and appreciated him. He moved the woman into their house, just slid the new woman right into her role as his wife and the woman is so cocky and rude to her; she must believe his lies too. Sure someday after a lengthy court battle she should get ½ of the house but she can’t afford a lawyer and he’s got the best; besides she doesn’t think she has the strength to keep fighting him.

Maybe he was right; maybe she is nothing without him.

She is getting welfare, which barely covers her rent and food from the food bank but having the kids come and stay always put her behind financially and the hydro is going to be cut off today; so she puts on her coat and heads out in the rain to ask for spare change at the liquor store.

Hopefully she’ll make enough to keep hydro off her back for another week. It’s getting harder and harder to believe she is better off, maybe getting hit once in a while wasn’t so bad after all.

You don’t know anyone who begs for money or digs in other people’s garbage, it’s not your problem. Whose problem is it?

Posted by Carrie the Lady Witha Truck