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End-of-life clean-outs

August 11th, 2013 at 04:52 am

I was wryly amused to notice another deception in the prominent ad I'd seen from the tree guy. He said he had "27 years of experience."

Since I researched him by name online, I learned from Intellius and other data collection resources that he's 42, so with 27 years of experience, he'd have had to start tree cutting work at age 15. Not wholly outside the realm of possibility, except that I also learned from my online research that he used to drive a truck before he got into the tree cutting business.

The funny thing is, he came across as unusually friendly, reassuring and polite when I spoke to him. The last person you'd think might be lying to your face.

...last night I spent a few hours helping longtime friend R. clean out his dad's assisted living apartment since his dad (age 95) has been moved to the nursing home on the same property.

I worked in the kitchen, packing up dishes and other stuff for Goodwill, and occasionally asking R. if he thought his sister might like this or that. R. also let me take a number of things I know I can use, like half-used rolls of tinfoil, and a few items he said I could try to sell in my upcoming garage sale. Like, there was a nice set of 3 largish pots with lids, the dark blue metal with speckles in it? I forget what that's called.

The clean-out was one of those necessary things, but it was a little sad at the same time. As R. commented, it was hard to believe that a person's lifetime could be reduced down to three small rooms of stuff. I reminded him later that it's life experiences and relationships that are most important, not "stuff," and in that sense, his father had lived a rich and full life. I mean, he was still golfing with R. up to age 94!

Like my mother, R's father was a child of the Great Depression, and so it wasn't surprising to find untold quantities of metal soda tab pulls, plastic containers, the plastic caps from dish detergent bottles and other stuff that most people would throw away, all stuffed inside the kitchen drawers. There were also pieces of dried up orange rind thrown inside the cabinets as a means of non-chemical insect control. (I wonder if it worked...I never saw any signs of bugs.)

We recycled a bunch of stuff. There were a lot of old mugs with "World's Best Dad" and similar sentiments written on them, but they were too dirty to just box up as is. R. said don't bother washing them, just throw them away. (R. can be very sentimental, about some things, but old mugs aren't one of them.) I got about 3/4 of the kitchen dishware wrapped and boxed up and told R. I could come back to help him on Thursday, my next day off.

Afterwards, we stopped in at the nursing home to visit his dad, who looked smaller and more frail than last time I saw him when he and Ron. came to my house maybe 6 months ago. He took my hand as he often has and said I still look like I was 14. It's nice to know that, at least to a 95-year-old, I look like a teenager. Smile

He was a little confused. He said a few things that didn't make sense. He mentioned he'd just had his breakfast, when actually, it was dinner.

Meanwhile, I spotted lobster at $3.79/lb at Caraluzzi's, alerted my mother and now we're supposed to enjoy lobster dinner together later in the week. She's very excited.

I don't have anything specific lined up for today, although I did buy some organic peaches with the thought in mind that if they're ripe enough to use today, I might make a peach/wineberry crisp. I also need to think about workday lunches for the upcoming week.

I haven't taken a walk for a very long time, and this seems to be the day to do it.

I am getting more and more push back from the recruiter about having to keep paying me that extra $1/hr difference each week for my job. He keeps saying he's going to try to "get you more money" on an hourly basis, though I'm thinking, why would they agree to pay more for someone who's already working there? He's going to make a case that I've been underpaid to start with, but since the agency accepted the employer's lowering of my pay rate to start with, I don't see why the employer would now say yes, you're right, we need to pay her more. Even if I'm worth it, and it's the right thing to do. Because employers just don't do that. Employees are not their most important constituency; shareholders are.

I foresee that extra $1/hr going by the wayside soon; of course, the job may not last long either.

4 Responses to “End-of-life clean-outs”

  1. snafu Says:

    Blue cookware is likely 'enamelware.' When do you plan your garage sale? It's so important to regularly purge the stuff you no longer use, need, love or serves your needs. It's too much work to look after excess stuff. I find it so freeing to have what we need when we need it, where we need it. I feel so frustrated when someone tells me ...'I have it here - somewhere.' I've a friend who regularly buys a replacement because she can't locate that item she needs until weeks after she needed it! I see that as a waste of both energy and $$$.

  2. scfr Says:

    It's very kind of you to help your friend with the clean-out process. It is a little sad and can be emotionally draining, so I'm sure he was happy to have a friend with him. I went through that process with my grandparents, with the move from their house to assisted living, so they had to get rid of a lot of things. Your comments on the Depression-Era "keeping" makes me smile ... with my grandparents it was bread bags & twisties. And my grandpa had a box of keys that we never figured out what they went to! Never thought of dried orange rinds for insect control ... I wonder if that would work in our garage???

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    I feel the same way, snafu. I don't like to have a lot of stuff I don't really use around...hence the garage sale. I plan to have it last weekend of August, provided it doesn't rain and there's no heat wave. Otherwise, it'll be 2nd weekend in September. I needed to coordinate with my helper friend.

  4. Kiki Says:

    So sorry about the push back from your friend about paying the difference but remember, there is an admin cost associated with the dollar amount the company is paying. He doesn't have to ask the client company to pay you one dollar more an hour, he has to get his own company to agree.

    The client company you work for would have signed a contract. Any way to get a copy of that, maybe from the client company, and see what they are paying for your services? It will be more than what they are paying you, otherwise your friends company doesn't make a profit.

    Here's hoping you find the perfect job for you!

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