Thursday, May 9, 2013

A LESSON LEARNED

My brother is always telling me that because I have a disability there will always be people who will try to take advantage of me.  Something happened this week that made me realize how true that statement is.

I needed someone to cut my lawn.  I did not know who to ask.  Two young men were cutting a neighbor's grass and asked if I needed someone to cut mine.  I refused, at first, because I didn't know them, but with  my grass growing higher, because of all the rain we've had, I finally made an appointment for them to come.  They quoted me one price, but then said because my grass was so high, they'd have to charge me more.  I paid them, they did the work.  Everything was fine. 

Five days later there was a message on my answering machine from them asking if they could come cut my grass again.  In the five days since the two young men had cut my grass, the neighbor who had been doing my yard work, said he'd continue to work for me.  So, the call on my answering machine, was deleted.  I thought if they didn't hear from me that would be the end of it.  I was wrong.

The next morning I received a call from the one young man.  He asked if they could come cut my grass.  When I explained my neighbor was going  to do it  the young man asked if they could cut my grass one last time as they were trying to start a lawn care business and would really appreciate it.  Wanting to help them and knowing how hard it is to get a new business going, I said they could cut my grass one last time.

When they arrived they asked for the money because they needed to get gas for the lawn mower.  I gave it to them. They assured me they'd be back.   I'm sure you can guess what happened.  They took my money and never returned.  I called them,  my caregiver called them. They assured my caregiver they'd be back.  The police told me it was a civil matter and there was nothing they could do.  The one young man hung up on the officer, who came to my house, when he called their cell phone number.

I guess this story makes me sound naive and foolish.  I guess I was.  I am guilty of wanting to help two young people. For that, I got my money taken.  This entire experience has made me very cynical and distrustful of people.  It will be a long time before I  help someone again. That's sad because I always try to see the good in people. I will only deal with people I know well from now on or people who have been referred to me by someone I know..

I have to wonder how many other elderly or disabled people those young men have taken advantage of.  I hope someday the disabled and elderly won't be viewed as easy targets by people.  I would like to ask the young men if they are proud of what they did.  Just remember what goes around comes around.  God knows what you did.