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FF Sparks (Casual)

Tex Update...

Prompted by a query nlazarus made.

Back in June, we got a request from someone Jen knew online. This guy, Sam, had a bad home situation in Texas and wanted to get out on his own. He had a job lined up in Seattle, and needed a place to crash for two weeks. So we said 'okay'. He showed up with his duffle bag and computer. He had a pretty pronounced Texan accent, so Jen christened him 'Tex', and after a while it rubbed off on Brent and I. Of course, it took a little longer than two weeks...

You'd think I would know better by now. Given what happened the last time I let someone move in for 'two weeks,' I should've probably advised against things. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tex's job fell through and he was in Seattle with no money, no job and nowhere to stay. So he got to stay a little longer. There were any number of dramas; he didn't wash his clothes or shower than often, making things a little odiferous...he had a really violent reaction to the girl he was interested in having another boyfriend (stomping around and mulling over ways to kill his rival)...and so on.

Tex claimed to be job-hunting, and turned down the lead I gave him back in like August, with the chain of stores my mother has worked at for most of my life (and since the early days of the chain) as one of the higher-ups. And time went on. Eventually, he was told to be out by October...but we let the deadline slide with no consequences. Then he was told to be out by November, and again we let it slide because he was unable to reach his parents or anything.

In December, we found another house. Tex still didn't really freak out or anything. Then suddenly one day he woke up and came out of the bedroom he was camped in, to discover that most of the furniture -- and really most of the house as a whole -- was gone. THEN he began to panic a bit. He kind of retreated more within himself, and closed himself into his campout room except when on his computer. When the DSL went down (shutoff, in preparation for the account being re-opened at the new house), Tex packed up his computer and stuff and totally retreated within that bedroom.

Taking pity on him, I made him a bargain. I didn't want to see him homeless and on the streets, after all...though I admit I agree with Jen's feeling that letting him know where the new house is would be asking for a continuation of this whole situation.

I would try once more to get him in with a job at mom's store, and I would even get him a bus pass so that he could get to and from job interviews and such. IF he got a job by the time we finished clearing everything out of the house, I would pay a monthly rent for him at one of the really low-cost hotels (i.e. the couple-hundred-a-month ones) for one month so that he had time to get his own paycheck. Took him by the store chain's main offices and got him an application. At the end of last week he got called about a job. (Well, rather, we did because there's no phone at the old house anymore.) I went by and told him, gave him all the information he'd need to get in touch with the person in question, and he said he'd go in during the day today.

So...Tex blew off the job thing today(!). He couldn't get to sleep last night (still stressed, understandably), so didn't want to go and fall asleep during things. *sigh* This is /precisely/ why I gave him a dose of my non-prescription sleeping pills on Sunday afternoon. Worse, when he came out of the camping-room, the wave of 'unwashed boy' scent literally assaulted me. Ugh...!

Anyway, hopefully he'll do it /tomorrow/...and take a shower and do some laundry. *sigh* :(


Ugh. Just ugh. Grawr. Ugh.

And no. We are not telling him where the new house is.

We have gone out of our fricking way to help this kid in so many ways, for so bloody long, that it is no longer our responsibility if he ends up on the street.

Seriously. 8 months free rent is too much. He knows where home is. He can start walking.
Sometimes, people need to hit bottom, not have a crutch to stand on before they're willing to stand on their own.

Sometimes, the best way you can help someone, is to let them fall, and pick themselves up.

I know it's hard to do for folks like us, but it's an important lesson. :/
Ok, this is going to sound callous, but it's true, too.

YOU are your first responsibility, and there does come a point where helping someone turns into enabling them to continue doing their crappy habits.

If someone is determined to ruin their life, they're going to do it no matter how hard you try to help. And not giving this person an ultimatum and sticking to it isn't exactly helping him, it's hastening the time when he'll be homeless due to a lack of a job.

Plus, did your roommates /ask/ you to cook for you? Because there's nothing wrong with everyone taking a third of what you cooked and then fending for themselves to fill up the corners, rather than you cooking something and giving it all away.
No, they didn't ask me to cook. I made the decision to do the teriyaki on the basis of 'whups, my bad on the ingredients, oh well.' :)
No, we didn't ask her to cook, and she did a lovely job with it. (Yummy!)

She's also a teriyaki chicken junkie, so we didn't feel too bad. Not to mention the fact that she'd already dished everything up and set a place at the table by the time said roomie (moi) got home.

Anyway, I've made dinner for her so many times that I reckon it evens out. :)
Don't mind me, I'm just one of those people where, if I cook it, I'm damn well getting some of it. I don't cook things I don't like, but I don't mind sharing. I just want to make sure I get some of it.
haloedone is spot on with this one. Let me tell you a little story. Something I may or may not have told you about me.

I got kicked out of the house and hitch hiked cross country when I was 18. When I was 17, I'd dropped out of HS (got GED) to go straight into college, and failed abysmally at that. My dad made a very clear deal to me then: After I was 18, I had to either be in school or employed and paying a nominal amount of rent. I had failed at school, and I was failed at being a useful adult, too; I couldn't hold up a job longer than a month or so. After a few months of being basically another mouth and active net connection, he told me I had to find another place to live. I had nowhere to go, and plenty of friends across the country from online; I decided to go on the road.

My father is ex-military; he outfitted me with all sorts of useful things from Army Surplus, bought me an REI backpack, and taught me a number of tidbits from when he was on the road that later kept me alive. That done, he dropped me off at an I-5 on-ramp, and off I went. For eight months.

I fucked up. A lot. I had screwed up repeatedly and proven that I could not support myself as a responsible adult. When a kid is still learning to be a toddler, they don't learn to stand up by being propped up all the time. They don't learn to walk by being caught every time they're about to take a step. And Tex, like I did, apparently needs to learn how to fall in order to learn how to pick himself back up.

It was several years before I had enough hard knocks to be able to responsibly pay rent on my own, and at least six or seven before I got an apartment solely on my own merits. Let the kid fall. You've gone above and beyond the call of duty, and at this point, propping him up any longer is /not/ helping him grow as a person, it is holding him back.
Maybe so. It's still hard to do...but there's also a selfish reason in all of this. See more recent post. :)
One word. -Used-.

It sounds like you guys have given him a lot more consideration than many others would, especially you with your deal that he didn't take you up on. His excuse was a load of -bullshit-. If he really wanted to, he could've been up. Hell, with the way it seems I wouldn't be surprised if he illegally boarded up at the place long after you were gone if it were easy to do so.

You guys have tried to be understanding, and definitely have been gracious, and caring. You've done all you can do. Please don't abuse yourself over this. He'll survive somehow.
I wouldn't even have offered that low-cost motel rent. As long as he has a crutch to lean on, he's going to lean on it. From your description, it doesn't sound like he's lazy.. it sounds more like he needs counseling. People just don't closet themselves in a room, go unbathed, and get scared over job interviews like that. The guy's beyond your capacity of aid. If you still want to help him, refer him to a local shelter or other such organization which can order aid, and let them take it from there. Otherwise, your friends are right: Sometimes the only way a person can wake up is to receive a harsh shock.
Rar! It's hard to make people stop taking advantage of you. Don't feel bad about cutting him off and washing your hands of him if he doesn't hold up his end of the bargain - or even if he does but then slips back into freeloading and wants to make a new bargain.
i'm a bit biased on the whole sam thing, admittedly.

i offered him once a place to stay when his situation got bad, and he chose to go down to texas. he's got other family somewhere in the carolinas. he just doesn't want to go back. that's not your problem, it's his.

i agree - none of this one month rent crap. you'll end up in a place where you feel obligated and it'll never end. he could sell his computer if he needed rent money. let him do that.

you can only be kind for so long. he's using you.