Sucker

Monday night when I got to work, I noticed that my second shift coworker seemed a little distracted and upset. He confided in me that his ex-wife had just cleaned out his bank account, and he had no funds for anything, including gas for commuting. He wasn’t even sure if he had enough gas to get home. (His commute is sixty-seven miles each way.)

He is an idiot. I mean, who doesn’t open a new bank account immediately after splitting up? And who gets fucked with both child support and alimony, especially with no expiration date on the alimony, other than when the bitch remarries?

He has some significant health issues, which I will generously blame for his lack of emergency cash or credit card. And for not following the “half a tank of gas equals empty” rule.

Even so, he is a decent guy. He shows up when he is supposed to, and has a conscience when it comes to his job. He occasionally misses work due to his health, but he doesn’t abuse the system like many do.

Even a cold-hearted bastard like me who has been taken for too many rides in the past by similarly sad tales of woe, felt a pang of something resembling compassion. I asked him how much he needed to make it until payday (Thursday). He grimaced. “Ten dollars?”

“Ten dollars will barely get you home.”

“I was going to take a personal day tomorrow and pawn something. Do you need an iPad?”

To make a long story short, I pushed $100 on him. After he gave up convincing me that I did indeed need an iPad, I thought he was going to cry, hug me, or both. “I’ll pay you back. I promise. I might not have all of it this week, but I’ll get it to you no later than next week.”

“Don’t worry about it. $20 a week is quickly enough.” Poor guy couldn’t stop thanking me. I almost regretted giving him the money. OK, not really.

True to his word, he gave me a twenty as soon as I got to work last night.

I’ve been burned in the past, both loaning money to people I thought I could trust only to find out the hard way just how wrong I was, and buying bullshit sob stories. This was different. I hope to be repaid, and I truly believe that I will be. But even if I never see the remaining eighty dollars, that’s OK.

But for the grace of God, it could be me. Lord knows, I’ve made more than my share of poor fiscal decisions.Ā  I’m just glad I could help. I never carry much cash. That day, I did.

EDIT on 4/7: Received another $40. Looks like he’s going to pay me back, and ahead of schedule.

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8 Responses to Sucker

  1. Craig says:

    Underneath all that bluster there is really a kind soul. Ya oughta let it out more often. You can’t help but have a little compassion for someone that is really down on their luck, even if it is of their own doing. Who hasn’t made a regrettable choice in life? It’s when it becomes a habit when the compassion needs to stop.
    When it comes to giving money I don’t expect a return….. pay it back when they can, or not at all. However if they say they will and don’t that is also when the compassion ends too.

    You’re a good man Charlie Brown.

    • alaskan454 says:

      But I’ve worked so hard to cultivate the opposite reputation. I should never have admitted to this. šŸ™‚

      Seriously, thank you for your kind words.

  2. Neal says:

    good man indeed

  3. Larry says:

    Better be careful. Somebody might get the idea you’re not quite the sumbitch you claim to be. šŸ˜‰

  4. Wraith says:

    God bless you, brother. “Insomuch as ye have done this for the least of these, you did it for Me.”

    • alaskan454 says:

      Thank you.

      I wasn’t compliment fishing. I swear. It was just uncharacteristic for me – that I actually had cash on me, that I happened upon the situation, and that I felt so compelled to help the guy.

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