Something happened a couple weeks ago and while I had planned to post funny, profanity-filled pictures for today, I’ve had a change of heart. While I still plan to post my original pics (most likely Sunday so you extra sensitive folks beware), today I want to talk about gratitude. I apologize for the length and understand if you need to skim this, but I need to get this off my chest.
A couple weeks ago, we took a family member into our homes that needed a place to stay. She had no job, no money and was having a hard time figuring out this thing called life. We took her in with open arms, happy to help in anyway we could, and we did. We never asked her for a dime, she had access to our entire house, had her own room, I fed her, etc, etc. Anyway, this person had no particular job skills and told us she didn’t want a desk job because she had trouble sitting for long periods of time. Fine. My husband suggested he pull some strings at work to see if he could get her an entry level assembly job. It wouldn’t be glorious work, but the pay and hours were good, and it could be temporary until she found something more suitable. She agreed.
After one day at work, she burst through the front door, LITERALLY stomped her feet, said a few choice words about how awful the job was, and slammed the door to her room. My mouth dropped, my kids were there and I struggled to figure out what happened. She sulked in her room all night and I decided to let her cool off so we could talk about it the next day. Now, a mature adult would have simply said, something along the lines of ‘Thank you, I tried but it didn’t work out, I need to find something else.’ No big deal and at least she tried. Well guess what, the following morning she was gone. Yep, gone. She packed her stuff up during the night, never left a note, or phone call, did nothing to explain what the hell was going on. Frantic, we made a few phone calls and found out she had gone back to her parent’s house. We were floored. I tried to figure out what we did wrong, but you know what? Screw her. She used us for over a month, never once expressed thanks for anything we did for her, and when it came down to actually doing a real job, she bolted. Her actions had some serious consequences. Guess who had to explain why she didn’t show up for work the next day? And guess whose reputation got tarnished after recommending her for this job? Not her reputation that’s for sure. We later found out via her parents that she didn’t want to work there because of the dust particles in the air that irritated her contact lenses and that she didn’t feel well working on the line. Sounds like a spoiled teenager, right? Except she’s not a teenager, she’s an ungrateful 35 years old, who has now secured a spot in my next book and it ain’t gonna be pretty.
Folks, you cannot imagine how upset and disappointed I am over this incident and I truly wish it could have ended differently, because make no mistake, this relationship has ended. Twice she’s come to us for help and twice she’s treated us like fools. There will not be a third time. On the bright side, I’ve had ample material to talk to my kids about gratitude, about working hard for the things we want in life. Nothing in life is owed to you and at some point along the line, you are going to need help. A word of advice: Do not shit in the hands that are trying to help you. In today’s writing world, authors can’t write successful books without the help of others, be it editors, beta readers, writing groups, tech specialists, or even as simple as moral support from friends and family. We all need a little help and there’s nothing wrong with that, so be grateful, be kind, and be willing to pay it forward. So in light of this incident, I want to give thanks to the writing community, to all my writing buddies near and far, the commenters who stumble across this little blog of mine and to IWSG for giving us a platform to express our insecurities and encourage others to keep writing. I want you all to know how grateful I am that our paths have crossed, virtual or not. <3