Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The boy that paid the people to take the donuts away

I am sure that this past Saturday morning starting at 5:00 am, there were customers of an unnamed donut shop here in town, that were looking for the boy that last week was paying them to take the donuts away from the store.

Before you get too excited about such an opportunity existing, especially if you love donuts like me, let me tell you it was a very short employment at unsaid donut shop, and Bashful, is no longer employed there.

Bashful has been unemployed since May, however he talks and spends as if he has funds. (He makes $20 a week mowing our lawn.) His untethered reality is that money really grows on trees, and while he thinks we are poor slobs, he is never at a loss for how to spend our money. 

Since he has gotten his permit, it is pressing on him ( a wee bit) that he needs a job, to pay for insurance, so that he can practice driving in one of our vehicles.  So the local donut shop was hiring, and he applied for the position.  He was hired.  When I asked what the position was, he told me customer service and register.

Oh goodness. No way!, I think.  The dwarf can not make change.  He is a 17 year old that can't count money.  No drama from this mamma, he really can NOT do either of these things.

When he comes out of the interview he says that he starts at 4:45 am on Saturday and works all day until 1 PM.  He can eat all the free donuts he wants, but has to pay full price for drinks.  Sounds like a sweet gig!

I question him about how his interview went.  I asked if he was upfront with the woman that was interviewing him about his own fears of making change and taking money.  He claims he was, and that she indicated it would all work out as most people use credit cards anyhow.

I spend a significant amount of time with him that evening trying to re-teach, what in my personal opinion should be taught in the schools,  until the kids master it, the art of making change and counting money.

Bashful is guessing through the entire process - 4 quarters equals $.55.  A dime is worth  $.05 because it is smaller than the nickel.  The nickel is worth $.10 because it is bigger .  He has the pennies - 1 cent and 100 make a dollar, but do not for the love of God ask him to count or make change.  It is a crap shoot, in which all he did was guess.  Did I say he did not understand a bit of what I was trying to teach him.

At one point in the process I am mad.  Not at him, but at a system that fails this kid and others like him that are in the fringe.   How is it that my 17 year old can't do a simple, yet necessary function in life?  Is it assumed he will just use a credit or debit card all his life and never need the skills of counting money to pay for something that he is purchasing.  FORGET all the jobs that he can not do because he can NOT master this technique.

Day one seems to go off without a hitch.  The dwarf indicated that he called the manager to assist him several times with cash transaction, but she never came to help him, indicating that it would be okay in the end.   Saturday his drawer was off $45 but no one seemed pressed.  As a matter of fact Bashful said he did so well, that the next day would be his last day of training and then he would be on his own.

Sunday dawns bright and early, but Bashful is up well before dawn.  "Time to make the donuts!"  The Prince drops him off for day 2 at 4:45 am! 

About 20 minutes before it is time to pick Bashful up I get a call from the manager at unnamed donut shop and she is mad!!!  One of Bashful's adults needs to come down and pick him up immediately and come in to the store.  I ask what it is in reference to, and she said she is so mad she needs to see one of us and will not discuss it over the phone. Maybe eating all the donuts you want for free was not really the deal? I of course choose the Prince for this honor.

It seems that while Bashful stuck to his guns, calling the manager to assist when he got confused and could not do the cash transactions, she for the most part blew him off with her customary saying, "it will work out in the end."  Guess what this is the end.  It did not work out.

The Prince arrives, and is told by the manager that she will be calling the police on Bashful for stealing, as his drawer is $290 off.   I believe (because I was not there) that it was all the Prince could do not to laugh in this woman's face.   At some point the Prince tells the manager , who is now painfully aware that this is not going to work out in the end, that he can guarantee that Bashful did not steal the cash, and that it is no where on him. 

The Prince frisks the boy, checking pockets, waistbands and socks and shoes.  He tells the manager that unless the dwarf has the money rolled in a prison purse and jammed up his bum, he is clean of the missing money.    She is baffled.  Rattled and unsure what to do.  Again, claiming that her boss is going to want the missing money and because of the amount she will need to bring in the authorities. 
Now I think the Prince is laughing.  He says that they are leaving.  He asks again if the dwarf asked for help.  Indeed he did, and she adds that a couple times the day before she over heard customers telling Bashful that they gave him back the same amount that they used to pay for their purchases.  But no red flags for that manager... 

The Prince lets her know that if she feels she needs to contact the authorities to do so, but they will not be arresting Bashful or her for incompetence.  This is on her.  He said he needed help repeatedly and she did not assist.

Lesson learned (hopefully by that manager) as we already knew going into this that it would not be a good fit for Bashful.  However when your dwarfs are special, and they do not think that they are, some of life's best lessons are learned first hand.  My guess is he will be going back to dish work if he is selected by another restaurant for employment.

Over $300 short for a two day shift.  This means he gave away an average of $18.75 an hour in incorrect change, in essence paying the customers that weekend to take the donuts out of that still to be unnamed donut shop!  Bet there were some regulars that were sad the following week to see the blonde boy with bad math skills was not behind the counter!

Nah, there is no way that you can make this stuff up!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

When you refuse to brush your teeth...

I have this dwarf, and he refuses to brush his teeth.  I can't recall exactly when it started, however he has had, for at least two years, shown increasing and advanced stages of gingivitis at the ripe old age of 17.

I have tried all the tactics I can think of to encourage him to brush, and not a thing works.  As a matter of fact, he will go to extremes to pretend to brush, all the while never doing more than putting a wet toothpaste covered brush in his mouth, spitting and rinsing.

At each dental appointment, things keep getting worse, yet even in that, he is still refusing to brush or to take the necessary steps to help combat his severe gingivitis and potential tooth decay.

Last month I took him for his dental check up.  I was told that because he was a minor that I had to stay at the office while he was in the chair. (I had hoped to run a few errands because I knew it would be a while.)

Since I was not able to leave, I situated myself in the lobby with my book and started my long wait.  Fifteen minutes into the wait, the hygienist comes out to me and says, " Mom, we have a problem."  I sort of roll my eyes in my head and think, "no kidding".

I ask her politely, what the problem is.  She indicates that said dwarf is refusing to open his mouth.  Shocked, (not really) I ask why.   She tells me that as she was water picking his mouth and counting his teeth, that his gums had started to bleed, and he is in pain and is refusing to open his mouth, so she would like my permission to give him some numbing pain relief.  Which of course is going to cost me X amount of dollars.

Now I roll my eyes for real, thinking she has to be kidding me.  But she is not.  I authorize the numbing agent, and as she is preparing to walk away, tell her that if needles are involved, she could do it twice, and I would happily pay for once on the top row of teeth and once on the bottom.  Sadly for me, it was just a numbing rub.

I settle back into my reading and am just getting to the good part, and she is back.  "Um, excuse me, mom... we have another problem."  Really?  I am almost 50 and I have never ever ever, had problems at my cleanings.

Oh, right.  I brush, regularly, and with enthusiasm, as this is my free gift to all I come in contact with each day!

Now she goes on to explain that they have to irrigate his mouth with antibiotics, as the bleeding is continuing and spreading harmful bacteria throughout his mouth. Geez, I think to myself.  All this because he refuses to brush his teeth....

Fine (and of course there is a fee for this as well) they irrigate his mouth.  An hour and a half later, the cleaning, numbing and irrigation, and I would venture to say  what he thinks has been torture, is over, and my purse is much lighter.  As we are leaving they admonish him to do a better job at his oral hygiene and that he needs to do a salt water rinse every day two - three times a day to help heal up his gums. 

As I am leaving the dentist office,  I turn and ask them, how much it would cost to have him come every month for a tooth cleaning.  " What ?" they ask.   A teeth cleaning.  If I bring the dwarf that refuses to brush his teeth (and knowing that, he will also NEVER rinse with salt water) every thirty days for a cleaning, what would the cost or the fee for that service be?

$50.  $50 is not too high of a price to assist in helping my dwarf, who will not help himself, try to keep and maintain his teeth until he at least reaches the age of 18.

So in another week we have a one month cleaning appointment.  Even though he has the knowledge of said appointment, he has not rinsed with the salt water unless I have made it, and by rinse I mean he takes a swing and spits. (no swishing, no gurgling, not getting throughout the entire mouth.) and his oral hygiene has gotten no better. 

Maybe the monthly torture sessions, I mean visits in the dentist chair, will eventually lead to the desired result, him owning his poor habits, changing them, and saving his teeth and gums... but then again, maybe not.

Know this, I will not be paying for numbing and irrigation for the "standard" monthly cleaning.  He has all the power and knowledge to fix this, or at least make it better, and his refusal to do the basics, means the same for myself.  I am committing to the basics, in the hope that he tires of his time in the chair, and the pain, and gets motivated himself to do what needs to be done!

PS- If there was a little bit of, peer pressure, aka kids making fun, like 35-40 years ago when I was in school,  I venture to say, (of course no one knows for sure), that none of this would be an issue for the dwarf.