Friday, June 19, 2009

Why, yes, I am a judgemental bitch! Thanks for noticing!

Have you ever heard the phrase, "when you are pointing a finger at someone else, four more are pointing back at you"? I'm willing to take that risk with this post.

There's a guy at work, I'm going to call him Lou, that just bought his first house. Lou is rough and gruff, and often socially unacceptable. He'll tell you the truth as he sees it whether you ask for it or not. He works out in the shop, and is the kind of guy that you can't imagine in anything other than a tee shirt and jeans, usually dirty, with the jeans always falling off his ass and him hitching them up. I've never seen him with clean hands, and I've never seen him not in motion. He doesn't make a lot of money, and he works hard for it. His wit and humor are almost as quick as his temper. But his heart is pure gold and the size of Texas (provided you stay on his good side, of course).

He's the kind of guy that will bend over backward to help you anytime you need it, no matter what you need. He might grumble a little bit about it, but he gets it done. I'm not just talking about stuff at work, he doesn't see a line in the sand like that. If you need something personally and he can do it, he will. He won't take anything for his help, either, although he has been known to accept any kind of chocolate as repayment.

When there are leftovers in large quantities at any kind of work function, he's the kind of guy that will ask if he can take them to the battered women and children shelter. He personally donates his own free-from-the-company turkey to the shelter every Thanksgiving, and asks if he can take any of the extras to them, also.

He's the kind of guy that has faced many personal demons and has beat them into submission. He may still be haunted by them, but he uses humor to get past that. I admire and respect him for that.

I'd put him in his early 50's, and he's been saving for years and years to be able to buy his own house. A few years ago, he had a set-back where he used his savings to rescue his only child legally. His kid repayed him by moving up to Maine and never paying him back. Then, 2 years ago, Lou had a heart attack. He went through all of his sick time, vacation time, and short term benefits. Then he went through most of what he had started saving again just to survive and pay the medical bills.

When Lou told me early last month that he had finally found a fixer-upper and made an offer on it, I was so happy for him. All he has wanted for so long was to own his own home. He made jokes like, "did you know when you buy your own house, you have to buy curtains and blinds and stuff, too?". I bit, and said, "Lou, don't you have curtains in the apartment you're in that you can bring with you?". Turned out he has been living in a basement apartment for eight years with only those 2x3 basement windows, he has never needed curtains or blinds before.

Lou decided that he was going to just move in, and let the neighbors take up a collection amongst themselves. "After a couple of weeks of me living there, they are going to pay me to put up blinds!" Like I said, he's pretty funny.

I took up a collection at work to give him a house-warming type of gift card that he could use. I got permission to send out an email to the office (about 20 of us) and the field (about another 40 people) asking for donations for Lou for his new home. I'm not a pushy "in your face" type of donation collector, either. I'm more of a "it's your personal choice if you decide to donate toward a cause" person. Everyone's financial situation's and personal beliefs are their own. No hard feelings.

I guess I knew Lou better than some people did, and maybe my idea of helping him wasn't what other people had in mind. I won't even go into some of the negative comments that were made. Those people have their right to their personal opinions.

I had gotten quite a few responses that people wanted to contribute, but they didn't actually come through with the money right away. So I delayed it by one week, even though Lou had closed on the house the first week of June. I sent out a reminder email, and got a few more stragglers. I waited one more week, and then gave up. Out of all those people, I had only collected $150. I was disappointed, but I had done all that I could. I wasn't going to hound people about it, that's just bad taste.

I anonymously put a card and the cash in Lou's mail box yesterday. The card was a simple congrats on your new home thing, and I put in block lettering, "from your friends at (our company)". I decided to go the cash route because basically every appliance he had been counting on had failed as soon as he moved in. The seller had really taken him for a ride. I chose not to have just the contributors sign the card because I didn't want him to know who did and who didn't contribute.

Since Lou didn't know who to thank, he paged over the loudspeaker system, "Thanks, everyone, for the card!". When you page in our office, each individual phone is also a loudspeaker, and you can see who is sending out the page. Instead of responding to him personally at his phone, at least four people paged the whole office saying, "You're welcome". Which was probably supposed to be funny. Except two of those fuckers hadn't even contributed.

I was livid. LIVID! How dare you say "You are welcome" when you didn't contribute, you fucking scumbag? Some people gave $5, some people gave $10, some people even gave $20. You didn't give one fucking cent and you're going to try to take any fucking credit? Are you kidding me? You are the lowest of the low, the slimiest of the slimy. I wouldn't touch you with a 39 and a half foot pole.

I am too much of a professional to confront them on it, but I will not forget it. Maybe I need to get a life. Getting this upset over something that happened at work is not healthy. What it comes down to is that I still want to believe the best in everyone. I actually think that might be a good sign. I haven't evolved completely into a horrible cynic who only expects the worst, and every time I am confronted by the pond-sucking bottom-dwellers, it pisses me off.

Anger is better than laying down and rolling over, right? Or should I be striving toward not even letting things like this bother me in the first place? Hard telling, not knowing.


Jodi said...

Good job Fancy! I've done a lot of this type of thing and have discovered there's always assholes. We should never do something like this "expecting" a thank you from the recipient - although you almost always get it like you did. We should also always expect some jerk-off to take credit for anything you've done. What really counts, is that you know in your heart that you did something good for someone who needed your help. Thank you or not, it should give your heart peace to know you helped.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Nice Grinch reference.

Yeah, that's pretty shitty to try and make a joke about that, especially when people didn't contribute. And, I'm guessing that four different people did it at different times, so you know the ones who didn't contribute did it as a tactical strike to make it look like they were good people.

Fuckers. I want to slash their tires. I'm not a very diplomatic person when people are fucktards.

Gwen said...

Your heart is of a size that I can't fathom. What kinds of things does Lou need? Because I've collected way too much shit for my house and I'd like to help a brutha out.

Gorilla Bananas said...

You were right to be upset by those two-faced snakes.

Shana said...

There are a lot of pond-sucking bottom-dwellers, unfortunately, but you can't help what other people do.
YOU did good. And so did all who contributed, no matter how much money.
Oh, I like the word 'fucktard' I am going to start using that!!

Scope said...

Fancy, I strongly recommend that you buy a couple of these:

Just make sure you don't leave any fingerprints on them.

Or this:

Or at least think about it, laugh at the mental image, and then actually don't do it.

mylittlebecky said...

i loved the description of lou first of all. second of all, you are a wonderful person for doing all that you did. they'll get their karma in one form or another and now you know what's up.

Girl Interrupted said...

I've seen similar things happen in places I've worked, the fact that you're shocked and disgusted but dealt with it in the most impeccable manner just shows what a great human being you are. You did a good thing. Be proud that you feel that way.

JD at I Do Things said...

Your reaction to those dicks was perfectly appropriate. I might've gone a step further and gotten on the intercom myself: "Please ignore the responses from X and Z. They did not contribute and they are dicks."

But that's just me.

Cora said...

Oh I hate when that happens!! They were just trying to look like good people. Bastards!!

Lady Jane said...

It would have upset met too!! I would have lost sleep...but I still wouldn't have confronted them...however at some point I might bring it up in a conversation in a half joking manner. can you say passive-aggressive... Good for you for helping him out:)

Paige said...

Oh I have so been there--this is an ongoing battle at my work too. People suck, that is all there is to it, sister!

kate said...

What Jodi said. ; )

Anonymous said...

I think I want Lou to be my friend. He sounds pretty great.

And I too have been in similar situations where I've witnessed assholes taking credit when they contributed nothing. If you don't want to contribute, by all means don't, just keep your trap shut and don't joke about it and don't take fake credit. I think I'd have been incensed enough to call them on it too. Idiots.

Hopefully Lou now has curtains.:)

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Oh no girl, you are sooo right.

People like that are scum sucking bottom feeders and you have every right to feel that way.

I always say,"I'll just file that away under 'Z' for when I need it again". I may not say anything right away, but I never forget.

WendyB said...

I've been trying to not let the assholes get to me so much. I haven't been trying very hard actually. It's more like I keep thinking that I SHOULD try.

LegalMist said...

What jerks. I'd probably do the same thing you did. Seethe silently and dream of revenge that never happens.

And plead "too broke to contribute" if and when anyone ever takes up a collection for those fucktards.

BeckEye said...

Co-workers are a constant reminder that, in general, people are assholes.

JoJo said...

You did the right thing, trying to help out Lou. Those other people are losers. Karma has a way of sorting out that stuff.

SILVER said...

i know what it must feel like when it's some jerk getting the credit off your work. It's commonplace esp at work. The superior always gets the glory. But for screw ups, guess where they will be going? sorry it happened to you.

SILVER said...

i should be sticking around here for a while. You write good. ;) Like a girlfriend out on a coffeebreak with me.

spleeness said...

That would piss me off too!

Maybe you could say something like "someone mentioned you'd wanted to contribute to the gift but hadn't had a chance -- it's not too late if you want to do it now." or something like that. (Or leave a note on their desk, anonymous! lol)

That was a really nice gesture, very kind-hearted.

Raine said...

I agree, angry is definately better. I am a real advocate for not rolling over, but standing up for what is right. I would be pissed too. If they couldnt contribute, thats fine, but to say "Youre welcome"? Bad taste.

Thanks for visiting my blog, too, neighbor!! :D

Cowguy said...

Loved your post and you've got a pretty good handle on the less desirable pieces of the human race.

I've been appalled by peoples reactions to another's needs and one a couple of occasions I've been totally blown away by generosity when I've been the collector for someone less fortunate.

Again, great post.

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