Monday, 21 April 2008

Kicking ass; being too soft; a job well done.

J. is a certifiable “con”. He wanted to jump ahead of the shower list at Res. House today, as, according to him, he had not showered in 5 days, and had a Court appointment at Noon.

I pushed him ahead of 20 others, at 11:00 a.m. He showered. At 11:55 a.m. he was still in the building. That pissed me off. That pissed me off. He had taken advantage of me. So I (verbally) “kicked his ass”.

That seemed to amuse him, for he knew that he had “won”.

He’ll not con me again! Am I too tough?

J. J-B asked me to lend him some money, pending a cheque from his mother. I did so. Not a huge sum, but enough for a month’s groceries.

He promised to meet me last Saturday at Noon to repay me. He did not show.

We “re-negotiated” so that I would meet him at his Venice apartment after the 8:00 a.m. service in Englewood last Sunday.

Of course he was not at home that morning.

So I took his unlocked bicycle as an earnest

He called me in a panic and said that he would meet me at the ‘bus station in SRQ at 3:00 p.m., to regain his bike, and to repay me.

He shewed up, but he had no money. He had spent every penny from his mother’s cheque (if it ever existed!). Of course I gave him his bike. He promised that his mother would repay the loan.

“Fat chance!” Am I too soft?

M.B and C.T - a heterosexual couple, are regulars at Res. House. I like them and we “kid around” a lot.

Last Thursday they mentioned that M.B. can “detail” cars. (Clean inside and out, shine, polish etc)?.

I said that they could work on my car today.

Bless them. They showed up on time. And they did a wonderful job, leaving my car to look as if it were new. Even the tyres/tires were polished.

They “charged” below the going rate, and I paid them with more that they had asked, such was the quality of their work, and their genial spirit.

I asked many of the other volunteers to look at their great work, and already they have a new client for next Monday.

This time I was neither too tough, nor too soft.

A homeless couple and I had a fair business transaction.

And so it goes…………


  1. A good and faithful friend and pastor to a hurting community. Thanks Michael: they are as much of a blessing to you as you are to them. Laurie

  2. I would suspect most of our human transactions are similar. In my experience, the percentages are a bit different -- I'm probably conned about 1/3 of the time, and dealt with fairly 2/3 of the time.

    You are not too soft. You are giving a chance for trust and respect to develop. It is up to the individual as to whether they can accept it, and I suspect some of the folks you are dealing with, due to their circumstances, have long ago forgotten what trust and respect is. Perhaps you are offering them something no one has offered in a long time, and they don't quite know what to do with it. Being used to manipulating to get what they need, many might not know how to do otherwise anymore.

    That's not a reason to stop trying, however. Still, I wouldn't let the same guy jump the line again! :)