One of the many downsides to being homeless and/or unemployed is that your sense of pride goes out the window. If you once loathed asking for help, well, if you want to survive you have to give that up. If people offer to do you favors then you gratefully accept . That’s a problem if the people offering favors suck at it.
Let me take care of it for you!
When I was preparing to move to New England, I could only take what would fit into my roomy Mustang. Furniture, dishes, books, clothing, everything had to be left behind. All on her own, without me asking (or even thinking about asking) my friend (as I thought of her at the time) offered to store my things for me. I asked “Are you sure?” several times, and she affirmed it each time. I gratefully accepted. I was in awe and thanked her profusely as often as I could. I carefully packed and boxed everything. I did a careful itemization. I numbered boxes and cross-referenced it with the itemization.
This friend was never much of a communicator, and that had caused problems in the past, but minor ones. After I moved I emailed her, and kept her apprised of what was going on, but I rarely heard much back. She never wrote first. Because my situation in New England didn’t work out like anyone imagined, my stuff stayed with her longer than it should have. I wrote to her, expressed my sorrow, and truthfully voiced how much I missed my stuff!
Finally, she out of the blue said “it has to be moved” and she offered to deliver it up to me. I was shocked. It being the middle of a New England winter I had to be amazed at the timing. There was a lot of lack of communication on her part, and the way it was done was problematic, to say the least; but, considering that she had stored it and then was going to deliver it, how could I be anything other than eternally grateful? Being grumpy at some things was just…wrong.
Then my things arrived. It was a fiasco, and a long story. The short version is nearly everything I owned was ruined in some way. The boxes and items that I so carefully packed were a mess. Things I shouldn’t have gotten, and didn’t want, I got (like boxes of HER garage sale crap). That wasn’t as bad as not getting things I should have, like Irish cut crystal that had huge sentimental value, or my Wacom tablet and so many other things. Considering most everything not received was valuable I don’t know if the omission was by accident or theft.
An expensive, leather chair was crushed. Anything glass, like mirrors, were broken. An oil painting ripped. What wasn’t outright broken was ruined by mildew. She had moved my stuff to what must have been a swamp. Some boxes I opened and just said, “ew” and tossed the whole box. Anything leather was gross, goodbye Coach bags. My apartment smelled of mildew and vinegar for months. Oh, and I’m deathly allergic to mildew.
I felt angry. Then guilty. She did me a favor! Two favors! I was a horrible person for being upset.
I’m over the guilt. The stupid bitch never contacted me saying, “This is a problem” or, “I have to move your stuff, and it isn’t going to stay dry (or mouse or spider or snake proof).” Nothing. Had she, I would have done what I could. She never said, “I don’t have anyone to help me load the truck” or “There will be apes throwing your stuff into the truck” so I had no idea that everything would be broken.
I assumed reasonable care would be taken. If I had done such a thing, her items would have received better care than if they were my own. If that had to change, then I would have let her know. If I couldn’t responsibly care for her items, I never would have volunteered to. Concept. I assumed similar behavior in others. Never do that.
I volunteered to help the delivery process as much as I could with such short notice, and borrowed money to do it.
Her favor really wasn’t a favor. It was rude, irresponsible, and possibly criminal. Instead of me having the wonderful, optimistic story to share, I just have one more report of being kicked while down, all with a friendly smile.
Is the moral here that you don’t trust anyone to do favors? No. The advice here is that if you are going to offer to do a favor, then be damned sure you can do it! It would have been so much better for everyone if she had never offered to do this. But she did offer, and she sucked at it. I paid a heavy price for it.
End of part one.