Professional Conduct Guaranteed: Take TwoMarch 20, 2016
Neurotic Life: Part IApril 11, 2016
I trust people. I tend to believe what they tell me. I’m big on trust. If they tell me they will do something, I believe them. If they share with me information, I take it as face value. In short, I’m an idiot.
It all started with Anna, her real name (go ahead Anna, sue me), who came to the house to help us with various domestic chores. Within a few days, my wife Ora and I discovered that a few things were missing, and I went crazy. I DO NOT misplace things. I may be totally naïve and somewhat of a moron sometimes, but I’m NOT DISORGANIZED.
First, my iPhone charger disappeared. This is a small thing, so against my best judgment, I resigned myself to the fact that I had probably misplaced it. Then one of my expensive brown Tumi bags disappeared. I DO NOT misplace Tumi bags. Then it was one of Ora’s skirts. This went on for a few weeks until Ora and I dared question Anna’s integrity. When we gently asked Anna if she had seen the missing items, she denied ever seeing them. We had a thief in our midst and we kept employing her for fear of offending her. We had reached a new level of stupidity. It took us months of missing items and lies to realize we had been had.
When we finally said enough is enough, I warned my friend, who had also employed Anna. Our friend, in turn, warned her daughter, who warned her husband, who was home when Anna worked there. The husband was under strict orders not to leave Anna by herself. When he left her for a minute, Anna stole none other than the dog’s house before leaving the premises.
For years we had gardeners who neglected our yard. We did not want to fire them because they just had a baby, and we felt for them, and they did show remorse once in a while. These guys had a special talent for driving their lawn mower over our sprinkler system. Not a single visit went by without me warning them not to destroy it, to no avail. Occasionally, they would charge us double. We ignored that. We thought it was an honest mistake. After eight years of secure employment, and after three hundred warnings, pleas, reminders, and requests to be more careful, we fired them. The next thing you know we got a bill that was triple the usual. All of a sudden, after we fire them, they sent us a bill that included dandruff treatment for our grass, pedicure for our trees and manicure for our plants. The sprinkler system had been driven over again.
Compared to the pool guy, the gardeners were beyond reproach. One day Ora and I returned from the University to find our pool empty. Where did the water go? It was hot, but 77,000 gallons of water do not just evaporate. Being the handy man that I am, I immediately reached for the phone. I called the pool guy and asked if he had visited today. After the affirmative reply I asked if he did something to empty the pool. “Nothing, just the usual” he said.
Our pool guy, let’s call him Innocencio, was vehement that somebody else must have tampered with the pool. I thought I could trust these guys, but something was fishy. After talking with the owner of the company and pressing the issue, they told me that I must have done something wrong, that it was my fault. Innocencio thought nothing of lying. At that moment I remembered that we had installed security cameras on top of the pool whatchamacallit. I run to the control panel, re-winded the tape, and could clearly see Innocencio moving a lever to “empty pool” — an oversight. There he was, caught on tape, in the act. Oh, the sweet taste of revenge. After producing the evidence, the company stopped sending Innocencio to the house and paid for the zillion of gallons required to fill the pool again.
Strangers, OK, we were fools with strangers sometimes; but friends, that’s another story. A childhood friend needed some money, and shelter, and a lot of TLC, a lot. He had just separated from his wife. Ora and I immediately responded to the call, opening our house and our ears and our wallet. The promise of immediate return of the money was sufficient for us to lend a nice sum of money so he can pay the divorce lawyer. The money was eventually returned, but not before my friend completely disappeared from the face of the earth for several years, and not before I expressed my indignation, which I’ve come to cultivate since coming to Miami. Thank you Miami, nowhere else could I have grown out of my innocence so fast. Now I’m fully ready for a Trump presidency.