Sunday, October 2, 2011

Special guest post.

Last night I was surfing the web on a site I have long been a member of and saw a post by someone that I kind of liked. I asked him if I could post it here and he agreed.

I know nothing of this person save I like his post. Here it is.
By SigP226 from ARFCOM

Give this guy a guest shot on the blog

I hear this more and more, everywhere I go. I run into 7-11 for coffee in the morning on my way to work.

"I'm hungry. Can you help me?"
I can't help you.

I park my bike in the park to enjoy a sunny morning.

"I'm hungry. Can you help me?"
I can't help you.

Years ago, I used to feel bad, knowing that I had a full stomach and this person was crying hunger, even though I knew that whatever money I gave them was going straight to the nearest Stop and Rob for a some cheap beer or right down to the river for a joint. But I felt a little guilty with my cold six pack, my smokes, and pizza delivery on the way, so I tossed them a couple of bucks.

That was a long time ago and even then I knew it was wrong.

I got my first job when I was fourteen, running the supply shack at a boarding school. It was a school for troubled kids and I was one of the troubled kids. The supply shack was a shithole and the last kid they put there told all the staff to take whatever they wanted while he watched tv and got high. Guess what happened to him. There were three rooms full of supplies thrown on top of piles of trash and birdshit from the birds that came in through a hole in the wall and nested there. Out you go. There was an attic, too, and if I was a serial killer I could have stashed the bodies in that place for years.

It took me three months to clean that place up and get rid of all the refuse. When I was done, I asked my boss if someone from maintenance could fix the hole to keep the animals out. I learned my first lesson in bureaucracy when a month went by and nothing happened. It seems the maintenance director didn't like the facilities director and a turf war was in progress.

One day I found one of the maintenance guys and played dumb. I asked him to come look at a problem and he was bored, so he went to look. I opened the door and invited him in. He had seen the place in its previous state. He stared, then he quietly said, "No shit."

Then he said, "That attic is pretty messy, you know. I'm going to have to go up there to fix the hole." I put an old ladder up to the attic entrance and told him that I thought he'd be able to get at the hole. He opened the panel and took a look.

"I'll be back in a few minutes," he said. He came back with another guy. They cut a piece of plywood and fixed the hole. Then they pointed at the windows. "I know these windows are pretty old," he said. "I think we can make them a little easier to open. I know it gets pretty hot in here." They straightened the window frame and sprayed some lube on the track. The other guy went out to their truck.

"We got an extra one of these," he said, and gave me an old box fan that fit in the window. It was dirty and it didn't work on high, but it was heaven compared to August in the side of an old barn with no cross ventilation. After a year. they gave me two other kids who were supposed to help me. I think they were supposed to see my example and learn from it, but they wanted to watch tv and sneak out the back to get high. By that time, I was writing purchase orders for a boarding school and I was fifteen. Guess what happened to them.

Years later I was on my own. I lost my job, which I wasn't really good at anyway. I also couldn't pay my rent and I ended up sleeping on my friend's couch that night. I was hungry, and I wanted a cold beer more than anything in the world. The next day, I got up, walked into town, and started looking for work.

There was a guy remodeling an old building in the middle of town.

"Are you hiring?"
"What can you do?"
"I can shovel up all that broken concrete you've got in that pile and get rid of it."
"Be here at 7:30."

I was at it for a couple of hours when he came by and asked me if I wanted some coffee. I didn't have any money. He pulled out a ten dollar bill and told me to get coffee for him and the other guys, and myself, too. I got it and went back to the pile of broken rocks, He bought me lunch every day that week, too. There were guys who would get high and avoid working while they laughed at the little shithead with the long hair who was sweeping the floor and humping commercial sheetrock up to the top floor. Guess what happened to them.

I learned how to frame a house, hang windows and doors, install siding, tile, shingle, drop ceilings, stairs, sheetrock, spackle, trim, and the proper way to evaluate tits according to an Italian contractor. I was sad when the work ran out, not just for me, but for my boss who was going to have to scrounge and find a job working for somebody else. We had a couple of beers at the Valley Pub and pronounced ourselves experts on the subject of tits.

From there I got my own house, became a volunteer EMT, became a paid EMT, went to school, ran a business, ran my friend's business, and took whatever lumps came my way. I got in the gun business seventeen years ago and found something I really liked. I had an old boss who knew everything there was to know about guns and he knew plenty of other stuff, too. He was a great and generous teacher, and a great boss. I miss his company very much. He was also an expert on the subject of tits.

"I'm hungry. Can you help me?"
I can't help you.

The reason I can't help you is because I've been watching you for the last 34 years and I've noticed that there's a reason you can't feed yourself. Either you spent your money on beer and pot, or you refuse to do any work and you haven't got any money because of it.

"I'm hungry. Can you help me?"
I can't help you.

See, I have a cart full of groceries. The reason I have it is because I worked fifty hours last week and I spent time when I was off to make sure I was up on what's happening in my industry. The reason I worked fifty hours last week is because even in a down economy, I've got people calling me up and offering me jobs.

"I'm hungry. Can you help me?"
I can't help you.

I can't teach you that when someone hires you to work for him, you need to actually work. I'd fire you, too. The reason I'd fire you is because I've heard that story before when I had to fire some idiot that didn't understand that part of working is in fact, working.

"But I need this job."
"But I need somebody who will do what I ask and that's not you."

"I'm hungry. Can you help me?"
I can't help you.

You could have offered to wash my car for twenty bucks. You could have offered to help me with the bags of stuff that I had to carry. You could have even offered to show me your tits and I, being an expert on the subject of tits, might have gone along with the gag.

"I'm hungry. Can you help me?"
I can't help you. You're the one that's overweight and begging for money in a parking lot at 9:30 on a Saturday night. You can't help yourself.

my other blog is:

1 comment:

  1. As they once said on ARF.COM:


    I dumpster dived once, for a week, just out of the Army, after I'd paid my rent, - tuition, fees and books at the college I attended back in the 70's. (In retrospect - I maybe shouldn't have partied so hard the couple - three days I did when I ETS'd from the Army - but damn, it was fun)

    I have had a multitude of different jobs, over the last 30 years, and in all of them, as long as I showed up on time, ready to work, I was golden. I haven't seen that attitude in the younger folks, all that often lately. I've my own ideas as to why that is, but now isn't the time or place to discuss them.

    That being said, SIG 226's article is something I'm going to copy and paste into the file I'm building for my 13 year old daughter. If she hears/reads "variations upon a theme" from someone other than a parental unit, (she gets tired of her grumpy old daddies pontifications sometimes), some of this stuff may soak in.

    She's a great kid, but like many of todays kids (and us, at that age, for that matter) they/we knew we were immortal and knew everything we needed to know already.