Helping those who won’t help themselves

/ posted in: General

Longtime readers will know that we have a love-hate relationship with a father and son team of handymen (known as Deadbeat Contractor and HandyBoy here.) HandyBoy owes us about $500 worth of work. We wanted him to start redeeming this by helping stack hay. The husband calls to set this up and finds out from his girlfriend that they only have $9 to their name which is not enough to eat on, let alone have enough gas to get to our house and back. So the husband goes down there with some gas money and some extra for some food for their kid. He encourages HandyBoy again to get his GED and a real job instead of working for his Deadbeat Contractor dad. He finds out that HandyBoy has gotten the GED study materials but hasn’t done anything with them. The husband sees HandyBoy as a work-in-progress who he wants to help so he arranges to pay him half his hourly wage in cash and to subtract the other half from the work that he already owes us.

He agrees to come out at 9:30 in the morning to start working. We pick that time because I can help from 9:30 to noon and then I have to get ready to go to work. Stacking hay can be done by yourself but it is exponentially easier if you have at least two people. The husband and I plan a few other odd jobs for him to do after the hay is finished so he can work a full day.

At 10:15 I call the husband and tell him that HB hasn’t shown up yet. He calls and wakes him up. HB finally shows up at 11:55. I explain how the hay needs stacked and say that I can’t help now because I have to go to work. He cheerfully says to me that he is tired because his brother and some friends showed up with a case of beer at midnight.

I sweetly sarcastically say, “So you sent them away because you had to work this morning?” HB laughs because he finds me amusing.

“No, man! Then I got to sleep and then (the husband) is calling me and he’s acting all pissed because I wasn’t up.”

He was honestly flummoxed as to why, when he had made a committment the evening before to be at our house at 9:30 AM and when at 10:15 AM he was still in bed at his apartment an hour away, the husband had issues. I know the husband sees potential in him and he feels bad for the kid involved but a person needs to take a bit of responsibility for himself and his family.