Wednesday 2 July 2014

IWSG: A Reminder To Be Grateful

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  


  1. What a terrible person! And she's how old? Way past the age where she needs to grow up.
    Sorry that she took advantage of you and made your husband look bad. What is wrong with people that they can't be grateful? Will the next generation just expect things to be handed to them without a word?

  2. I cannot believe that she is acting that way at 35 years old. Very very sad...

  3. I hate to say this, but she sounds like a prime example of the "entitlement mentality" that pervades people growing up these days.....except she should -already- be grown up, but still.

    Anyway, it was great that you had the chance to turn it into a life lesson for your children and, hopefully, it's one they won't soon forget.

    With that sort of attitude, her life will never be fulfilled.

  4. You can be happy knowing you and your family handled yourselves well in a difficult situation. Definitely take pride in that!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

  5. LOL - I guess you will have to make her a bit more tame in your next book so she is believable. (said with a wink). I agree with Alex, what a terrible person. I had actually assumed it was a teenager until I got to her age.

  6. Pffft damn, is she insane or something? Sounds like a spoiled little bratty kid that doesn't want to get off her ass. That is why I will, almost, never ever let anyone move in with me, it always ends badly or doesn't end because they won't leave.

  7. Sounds like she has a terrible attitude! I hope her character in your book gets what she deserves. ;)

  8. What the heck is wrong with you Elise?! I can't believe you didn't bolt out your door and frantically beg her to come back! Jeez.

    Seriously? She's 35? WOW...

  9. Wow! A lesson to be learned.
    Makes me think of the saying once bitten, twice shy. Though in your case is it, twice bitten... thrice shy?
    She was damned lucky that you gave her a second chance... and she still blew it! Unbelievable!
    Sorry you had to endure such an unpleasant experience...

  10. Wow, I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this person is 35. Sorry you had such a difficult experience.

  11. Ugh. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with that. I've dealt with similar smaller scale stuff (like severe amount of time trying to help someone to have them spit in my face). But you're good people who don't deserve that. And you're better than that. You're so right. I couldn't be as good at writing as I am without help. And right now I'm bugging the crap out of my sister for help with my query. I don't need editing help all that much anymore, but I still need someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to help me believe in myself, someone to help me work out kinks in my plot. You just really need people, you know. I worry for that girl because her laziness has clearly already bit her in the ass and it's only going to get worse. :(

    Also, I wear contacts and I'm actually allergic to dust, and that still sounds like the stupidest excuse.
    You're the best. >(^_^)< HUGS

  12. Wow, I admit I was thinking all along this was probably a teenager. But there are a lot of dysfunctional adults out there too. All you have to do is read the news.

    I am sure this made an impression on your kids. They were probably horrified by her behavior, and hopefully they will be able to recognize people like this in the future and stay far away!!!

  13. You did right to offer help, and you received invaluable insight into who she really is so you know how to deal with her next time she attempts the same. As painful as it might have been you now know how your kindness will be received so you can save it for someone more deserving. Everyone's a winner (except her, obviously).

    Moody Writing

  14. You did your best. She didn't. By 35 you usually know how to handle situations better than she did.

  15. I'm sorry to hear what a mess you've been through. Some people are just users. Any bit of kindness you show them will be stretched to the breaking point. I'm sure she will be back at your doorstep again, with a new sad story to try and extract your sympathies. Good luck.

  16. Too bad there are people like her. I'm sure her problems go back a long ways in her life, and she apparently has no desire to change. Three strikes and you're out. Maybe two strikes is enough in this case.

  17. OMG! I thought for sure you were talking about a teenager, and I was smirking to myself, thinking, "Yup, that's a bratty immature teen for you. Wants money but doesn't want to sully her hands working for it." But she's THIRTY-FIVE??!! What a total idiot! She obviously has mental problems. I feel very sorry for her parents. Our writing community can be wonderful, but I've done some crits for people (long, detailed but polite crits) who didn't thank me. Like you, I've learned my lesson.

  18. Thanks for stopping in everyone, I do appreciate each and everyone of your comments. :)

  19. Oh Elise I am truly sorry, I understand the hurt (followed swiftly by the fury!) when you put your hand out to help someone and they cr*p on it. In the long run it is her loss, one more family has been added to her list of people not prepared to help her. And at 35, maybe she has other issues, but actually sounds like she is also a spoiled lazy brat!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe

  20. I'm sorry this happened to you and your family, Elise. As you pointed out, when something doesn't work in our favour, a simple explanation is all that's needed. Most of us are wired to help others without thinking twice about any kind of repercussion that may come, the sad part is when people take advantage of other people's generosity.


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