Because of the ice storm we experienced, our friends across town asked if we needed assistance with the cleanup_ helping right fallen trees, cutting branches, and stacking logs and brush that would be hauled away at a later time.
Conveniently, they have a man who works for them once a month in the garden, and has done that now for several years since he lost his job at the plant where he had worked. Our friend said, “he has a family and really needs the work and charges $100 for the day. If you could use him, I know he would appreciate it. Also, if you want you could feed him lunch.” $100 for 6 hours amounts to a healthy $16.66/hour, but that would be helpful for us all. Agreed, and she would call to make the arrangements.
Jamie arrived at 8:30 and to our surprise with another person in tow, and without first having asked if he could bring someone else. He was a young lad, his nephew, and so we thought why not, two more hands would be helpful and he could probably use some money for Christmas.
My husband and I worked right alongside, and the morning went smoothly and with good progress despite the young man (whose only job was to pick things up and stack) would pick up a few things, then stand back and watch until urged by his uncle to do a little more.
When we called it a day, and Jamie said he could come again tomorrow and also the following week for a few days, we were pleased and thankful. We handed both him and his nephew their money. Jamie looked at the folded currency, counted it, looked up at me while shaking his head and said, No.
With indignation, he said, Not enough! I want $30 an hour.
$30 an hour. That’s what I get when I do other jobs.
We were told it was $100 for the six hours.
They told you that?! No! No!
Astonished and silent as my husband and I looked at one another. We said we would go get more money, turned and started toward the house and heard him say, “Wait, for you I will do it for $25.”
After they were paid and they left, we called our friends and told them to call him and say we wouldn’t need his services any longer. They were appalled, embarrassed… could not believe what had happened. My friend said, Teachers don’t make that much! Electricians don’t make that much! We are so sorry.
Listen, it is not your fault.