Roy L. Harbin : The DANG - DInGIE American aka,, The Evil White Man


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Fair is Fair,,Or is it? prt 5 by Roy Harbin

prt 5

   After the storage shed period in which my wife worked for the mid eastern store owner we wound up renting a mans kitchen floor as sleeping space.As bad as that sounds,,it gets worse.

   The fellow we were renting from seemed to be a very nice person who happened to like to drink vodka.A lot.He was working midnight shifts as a clerk at the convenience store across from the one my wife worked at .My wife had spoken to him on many occasions throughout the time she worked at that store.And having said something about no shower and etcetera,,,he offered a shower and a bit of floor space to us.

   To fully recount this episode here would take up way more space than planned. It's a story suitable for telling seperately. So,,I'll say it like this,nice place,,nice man from a Catholic family with mental or emotional problems who drank too much,help up from a drunken stumble claimed to be an attack,,lunatic landlord,constantly changing rent fees due,,and someone 'molesting' my male dog.On top of that,fire danger from improper,unneeded,overuse of electric space heater narrowly averted,,twice.And more stuff.

   Then,,we answered an ad in the classifieds for a warehouse unit.For the price of renting a house,,and without first,last and security,,we moved right out of the shed and kitchen into a commercial warehouse unit with a roll up bay door and 2 little office rooms.

   My wife was working for the celebrity and I was,,again,,trying to put together a web site/domain while attempting to cultivate some paying work.Although I wound up being limited by our dog howling when left alone.The painter next door and the self named 'Preacher' guy on the other side called the Humane Society several times about her.Even though the HS approved their care and quarters I was informed that repeated calls can lead to removal of the dogs.

   That meant me leaving while my wife wasn't there increased the risk of 'losing' our dogs since the dog wouldn't stop howling,,and we knew that.I focused even more on the web and custom work.My wife showed the celeb some of my notebooks and according to my wife she seemed interested in what she seen. During the course of this period I even designed and made templates for a multi-model line of unique beach,resort or yard furniture.The celeb never seen them,,but I worked them up.I still have the plans today,,somewhere around here.I never spoke to the celeb though,,not even on the phone.

   Even though one would think that working for such a celebrity as she did that my wife would have been raking in some decent pay.Especially since the 'head chef' had been a teacher of hers in a culinary class she took years ago,,and still had to show him how to do stuff.But she was only getting 9 bucks an hour.Literally 37 years of experience and she was getting paid ONLY 9 dollars an hour.And the celeb was of an ethnic group that alledgedly disliked and opposed 'socialist' type ideologies in their country of origin,has more money than some small states have in their budgets and she pays crap wages for hi dollar resort work.And the person in question is more skillful,productive,efficient,talented and experienced at managing a kitchen to turn profits with higher customer satisfaction levels in the food service biz than the 'head chef' is!Oh,,yeah,,he,,the chef was an immigrant from a small island nation.Fair is Fair,,Or is it??

   That situation was adjusted by Frances and Jeanne,,those two big blowhards.They came along and blew the resort into the surf.Exactly which one did it,,I am not sure.But it went into the surf regardless of which one blew it over.It was no surprise to me since I had worked at the place a couple of times through my life doing remodeling work and knew the pool had been cracked and leaking for about 2 decades.It was a reason the former owners had a problem selling it untill the celebs husbands company came along.2 direct hits by strong,wet hurricanes in a 2 week period was bound to take a toll on the damaged pool.It was between the two towers of the small complex so when it was taken out,,one of the towers went with it,,and fell in the surf.Eventually,,the fish would be happy with their new 'resort' accomodations once they dragged it further out to make it a reef base.

   Now,,the hurricanes and their aftermath IS another story that I won't get into here.It involves,,our new landlord,,a SNAFU with FEMA due to an 'incorrect landlord address' on our lease,a long wait for repairs,,bad teeth,black mold,, puking,the worst pains I ever felt,puking,,inability to eat for about a month,pain, puking,an ambulance trip to Wendys to meet an S.O.,puking,pain,a doctor going on Christmas vaction,pain,puking,infection getting into my nervous system, puking, pain,being told to go home and die by a hospital employee, pain,,puking, two painful heart attacks,,maybe a third,,puking,internal organ shutdown, pain, puking,two hospitals,a solid week on iv's,puking,pain,the 'literally over crowded with hispanics' clinic telling me there was nothing wrong with me and saying I needed to go to a mental health program,,pain,puking,being sent to the wrong place and having the dentist at the clinic want to pull just one tooth,puking, pain,, ulcer medication rather than treatment for pancreatitus or painkillers,pain,pain, puking,puking,being told by a nurse that the doctor prescribed certain medications  (painkillers) but that I wasn't gonna get them,pain,puking, pain, several hospital stays,pain,puking, multiple visits and over 100,000 dollars in painful medical bills.Puking and pain.And thirst like I had never had any water ever in my life.

   Of course all the above means,,I allmost died a couple of times and as of this writing,, have not yet totally recuperated from the effects of it all and am heavily in debt.The really bad thing is,,I still hurt.I sometimes hurt all over,,for hours and hours.Like I have been in a day long bar fight,,and got the worse end of all the pool sticks and bar stools in the joint.Or fighting a 'wild fire' during a Florida summer for a couple of days in a row.Or lumping cabbage trucks all week long.Other times I get transitory pains that feel like they start in one place,,then shoot to another part of my body,,leaving a trail of fire as they go.Some times some part of my body or another will just throb like a bass drum or vibrate with what feels like the after effects of being shocked.My whole body feels like that on occasion.Then there are the 'blossoming blooms' of electricity that come out of nowhere and hit me like a bare electric wire,,pulsate for awhile then just disappear only to show up some where else.Often,,a pain will settle in one spot and stay there for hours or even a couple of days,,just throbbing hard enough to not let me forget about it.Naggingly.And it is the worst when such as I described hits me in my guts,,internally.It scares me untill I can tell if it's actually a 'new problem exhibiting' or if it's one of the 'come and goes'.

Like I said,,too long for this piece of work.

   After the towers fell into the surf and the money from FEMA ran out,,officially,, that Dec 25th was the day that the last of the money was used to pay rent.It was also the first day of the second hospital stay for me,,with a dire prognosis.

   Well,,I think it was.The date,,not the prognosis.My memories from the time and the two months or so before it are really blurry for the most part and totally absent for some parts.And for a long while after,,they aren't that sharp either.Believe it or not,,part of what they were medicating me with was adavan(spl?).I suppose as a tranquilizer or sedative,yet one of it's listed uses are to 'induce amnesia',,among many others.

   Some time before my first hospital stay,I think,my wife had started working for the painter next door.Yeah,,the one that called the HS about our dog.No,,she had never painted before.But,,like my baby does,,she is currently the best painter he has and customers like her so much they ask for her specifically.

   He also employs many immigrants.That's not a bad thing.He also has a tendency to hire 'disadvantaged,desperate,white folks with problems'.That's not a bad thing either.How he seems to expect folks to beg him for work is a bad thing. The way he plays up and often appears to instigate,,a workers 'desperation',, regardless of immigrant status or not,,in order to gain what he seems to believe is advantage,,is as well.

   I have watched how this man runs his biz for awhile.He is,,in my estimation,, using common biz practices.The welder across the street and most I have ever seen work the same way.Hire the 'disadvantaged and desperate',,especially those with little or no related skills..for low,low wages.Charge hi and pay low rates for labor.Deliver inferior goods or products produced by unskilled, inexperienced, disadvantaged,desperate workers.Complain about insurance costs inflated through events involving those types of workers.Inflate the costs called 'overhead' while purchasing inferior goods for a lesser price,then complain about not being able to find good help while telling his customers that they have to pay for what they get,,,even if he doesn't extend that to his employees by hiring and paying for good workers.And complain,cry,lie,cheat,befuddle,belittle and demean in order to play boss.I say that because,,playing boss and being a business owner aren't the same.Bossing a business and managing a business are two entirely different things.

   The welder,,who is also my landlord made a deal with my wife and a friend of hers to clean up a vacated unit and the property of debris after the hurricanes for 10 dollars an hour.After I got out of the hosptal,,and in between stays,,I took over the property debris aspect since the friend had left and my wife was working for the painter.In the course of four months I put in 30 hours bringing the total due to 40 with the 5 each my wife and her friend had put in on the unit.That's a total of 400 bucks that the guy still owes us,,me.

   The ironic thing about that is,,before I got ill,,before the deal was instituted by him,,I had been keeping the property up simply because it needed it and I make it a practice to take care of my surroundings.It was due in part to my efforts that added impetous to him purchasing it.Now,,I don't do a thing outside of my duly prescribed by the lease obligations and responsibilities.And since paying ten bucks an hour was too much to pay a white native American for good yard work he now has an employee of his welding shop who came over on a boat from Haiti under an assumed name over 20 years ago doing it badly for about 8 dollars an hour.And he treats the guy like a dog.In my opinion that is.

   Just recently he was looking for someone to spray paint auto quality finishes onto his shops product and a truck or two.I do not know what happened with the guy he had doing it for the five years we have been here but maybe a lack of adequate compensation for quality work had something to do with him leaving.As I understood it from a welder who left his employ not long ago he pays too low for the work wanted from his employees.Yet,,even though it is indisputable that I can deliver the quality desired,,he owes me 400 dollars and would have to make good on that before I even discussed anything else with him.And he knows I won't do it for less than 20 bucks an hour,,because that's fair in my estimation for that type of work.

   AND,,like he did do,,he can put a different Haitian immigrant with no experience at it for about 8 dollars an hour to work on it.

   Like the painter next door.He accepts inferior workers for low pay,,then complains his business suffers from lack of quality on his employees part.Claims costs go up due to it,,yet hires two like that instead of paying one man both wages for hi-quality work.Yeah,,me.I can out spray anyone he can find,,but I won't do it at such muck layer wages as he can pay the Mexicans he has working for him.Even my wife gets shamed and demeaned,,she out paints every man he has working for him,,runs the jobs by default,and provides great customer relations and repeat cutomer conversions,,yet she only gets 13.50 per hour.

   Thats the same as the guys that put out inferior quality work at a slower rate with more aggravation and delay.Shouldn't the better worker get the better pay?Check this out,my wife has been bucking for more money for awhile,he won't increase her pay a penny,,yet,,,the other day he asked my wife if she wanted to have two guys with her on the jobs,,simply to keep her company.Sounds like a kind, considerate man,,right?

   He was,,or is,,willing to add 27 dollars to the hourly cost of the job to keep her company,,but won't pay her 20 dollars an hour to do good,quick work while by herself.Oh,,yeah,,the two guys are Mexican immigrants on worker visas that don't work all year because they have to go back.I don't get that.

   To top it off,,,I have offered to work for as low as 5 dollars an hour in his shop for 30 hours a week and he has flatly rejected the idea.I have offered to handle daily management duties for the same rate.Imagine,,,paperwork,cleanup and equipment management as well as maintenance for 5 bucks an hour.I can't get that.BUT,,he pays 13.50 for slow,low quality work,that gets him nothing more than 'paint spreading',which is just as much as he pays my wife for above average, quick, efficient work.I don't get it.

   Why pay the same price for slow work that the workers have to go over more than once to get right when you could pay good workers more money to do it right the first time?Isn't that a sound business principle?Doesn't it make fiscal sense?

   How about thism one,,we had a few jobs come from our former landlord who is a contractor.We charged 20 per man hour and beat his time schedule by two weeks.He was happy,,we were happy.

   He was a country fella,,rode horses and such,,typical redneck type.But he didn't seem prejudice at all.He had many Mexicans working for him and seemed real nice and sociable with them.

   The day came when he wanted us to do his fathers house real quick,,in one week,,inside,outside and a garage shop out building about 25 by 30.In one week.We could do it but we needed two more people to do it that quick.No big deal,,we had done it before and there was satisfaction all around.Well,,two days went by,,we advanced at a good pace.It was planned that during the day,,my wife and two workers would do the rolling,cutting,caulking and etcetera during the day and I would come spray as needed at night.

   That went okay,,untill he finally showed up on the site and seen our workers. They were black.According to the workers,, while my wife had left to come get me and the sprayer,he had went off on them.He was hollering about how people were trying to nigger him then started telling them to do stuff they weren't hired to do,,in other words,,not painting related.Started attacking their work and then he ordered them off the job and property.When me and my wife showed up they were gone. He claimed he didn't know where they were and tried to say they hadn't been there and how we were trying to nigger him over the job somehow and that HE was going to do the spraying and we could keep rolling and brushing.Like suddenly he was a painter and could do it himself.He even said that to me.

   When he did,,I took into consideration that since he had a sprayer,,an old,old one that he had just now got running,,that would get splatter everywhere and cause a solid week of cleanup,,that we could let him do just that.Do it by himself.

   We packed up,,gave him an invoice for work done,,and left.We haven't done any jobs for him since,,and don't miss it.Well,,to our surprise by that time,,we did get paid for the job,,yet not surprisingly,,,minus the man hours for the two black workers.We paid them their due out of ours and ate the loss.

Fair IS fair.

Or is it?

intro ) ( prt1 )  ( prt1of prt2 )  ( prt2 of prt2 )  ( prt3)  ( prt4)  (prt5)

Fair is Fair,Or is it?©2007/RoyL.Harbin®

Roy L. Harbin:The DANG - DInGIE American agrees with Robert Heinlein,,,'specialization is for insects'.And who want's to run with a pack of flea bitten butt sniffing mangey mutts when they can stay on the porch with the food and folks?
Hey,,you could run on over to and check out what I'm building over there.

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