Author Topic: Am I being a rotter?  (Read 859 times)

Dave

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Am I being a rotter?
« on: July 06, 2016, 08:16:52 AM »
20 odd years ago the husbsnd of a family I know did a runner. The ex-wife and I became close friends, but just friends. That lady and I came to a sufficiently strong difference of opinion, about a month ago,  that the friendship ended. I was told to "go away", in a certain manner, if I "did not like it". I doubt that I will ever "like" that particular "it".

She had a son, Giles, 9 years old when his dad went off, now pushing 32.  I gave Giles his first PC, my old one when .i upgraded (his dad was a technophobe), and kept that pattern up until he started work. But still passed on my cast off tech (not always out of date) after that.

Giles is a nice bloke, normally good mannered. When he got married I gave them £1000 and loaned them another £3000 towards a decent car. But gave them £500 0ff the debt last Christmas. Expecting he would stand by his mother I wiped the rest of the debt. I don't need the money and know that it will go towards their house buying fund. But he offered to remain friends.

I have a load of middling range Nikon photographic stuff that, with my mobility probs, has gathered dust for over a year. I offered to swap this with Giles' Nikon and lenses, then I was going to offer the stuff to the arts dept of the local state school (I have already donated stuff to them). I have no kids and helping Giles and the kids st the school strokes the would-be father in me. Not entirely altruistic!

Only problem is Giles has this one big flaw, unreliability and a lack of thought for those close to him - like not phoning and giving no reason for being over an hour late picking up his mother to take her to their flat for a birthday lunch. He  missed, though with good reason, two "dates" to do the camera swap. But he did not tell me one time and told me the day before on the second. So I left a message, Monday of last week, to call me last Monday to let me know when he had enough time to be sure of getting here, some day.

No call, no text, no email.

I am not angry, just a bit sad and very fed-up. Have now decided Gioes can find his own way without my help, live his life how he needs to. Going to donate all the photographic kit the school, if it helps one kid achieve something it has doneca better job than gathering dust. Or its now smallish 2nd hand value gathering minute interest I will probably never spend.

Have also decided, since I am a frequent user, that the local hospital will be my major beneficiary (but with stipulations.) Giles will now get the same 2% as his cousins and couple of friends.

Am I being too hard? I owe him nothing really and feel that I have been generous towards him for a non-parent. It was good to have even a very small part to play in his development but he is his own man now. I had advised him a few times that not contacting people when circumstances change, and affect them, might lose him friends or opportunities. There is nothing "malicious" about his behaviour, he gets too involved with the happenings of today and tomorrow and forgets next week. He will have to learn, if he is capable.

Later: just remembered my little lectures on "thinking ahead" years ago - should not have biased it so much towards design and engineering (Giles is a model railway geek), should have drawn parallels with life!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 08:28:19 AM by Gloucester »
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Tank

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 08:29:06 AM »
Do you feel you're being too hard? What you wrote gives me the impression that you've had a 'last straw' moment. One can cut 'friends' a lot of slack but sometimes one has to call it a day. Have you ever let your frustration fall over into righteous anger at his behaviour? If not he may never realise the annoyance he has caused you.
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OldGit

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 09:25:19 AM »
You have been extremely generous over many years.  Now you have reacted perfectly reasonably; you have no cause to blame yourself.  Cheer up!

Dave

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 09:26:03 AM »
Do you feel you're being too hard? What you wrote gives me the impression that you've had a 'last straw' moment. One can cut 'friends' a lot of slack but sometimes one has to call it a day. Have you ever let your frustration fall over into righteous anger at his behaviour? If not he may never realise the annoyance he has caused you.
Oh, yes, on the matter of the hour-late-and-no-warning pick-up he got a good, considered, earful. I was also invited. His mother was torn between anger and worry and said nothing (unusually for her). Guesing the relief that he was not dead in a crash wiped out the adrenaline and the anger.
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Dave

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 09:34:12 AM »
You have been extremely generous over many years.  Now you have reacted perfectly reasonably; you have no cause to blame yourself.  Cheer up!
Not feeling that sort of sad OG!  Just seeking other opinions. Currently arranging a meeting with someone at the hospital to talk about my ideas.

Despite the dollops of shit life has thrown at me I remain opptimistic - just my sense of humour often suggests otherwise.  :)

What use is life without reflection (so long as that is used to build on!)

OT: just noticed that I have "Received Bacon". Thanks guys, but will have to preserve and frame that, bacon is on the banned list in the anti-gout diet! Boo, hoo!
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Davin

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 05:18:49 PM »
I think the problem with these kinds of stories, is that we are only getting your side, no matter how impartial you try to be. As far as what you've provided, I don't think that what you've done is all that bad. Looks like you might be being too rigid for my preferences. I like to leave things more open, things that have often been seen as ultimatums, but I see them more on the line of clearly expressing the rules of engagement. For instance on the camera stuff, instead of just donating the items, I would express that if he wants the items, then contact you before a certain date (maybe two weeks from now), and set up a time to make the trade, otherwise the camera kit will be donated.


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Dave

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 05:38:58 PM »
I think the problem with these kinds of stories, is that we are only getting your side, no matter how impartial you try to be. As far as what you've provided, I don't think that what you've done is all that bad. Looks like you might be being too rigid for my preferences. I like to leave things more open, things that have often been seen as ultimatums, but I see them more on the line of clearly expressing the rules of engagement. For instance on the camera stuff, instead of just donating the items, I would express that if he wants the items, then contact you before a certain date (maybe two weeks from now), and set up a time to make the trade, otherwise the camera kit will be donated.

I see your point, Davin, you only have my side, but I assure you Giles has had, and missed through his own inaction, other "passings-on", the last was a tablet, "Let me know when you want to pick it up." No contact at all for three weeks, I did sell that, and told him so when I saw him a few weeks later - he had "forgotten." I doubt that he forgets his trips out with his mates, his skittle matches, the model railway exhibitions . . .

I am not looking for justification here. Perhaps old age and discomfort are brining out the grump in me, normally I have buckets of patience (need it as a computer tutor for aging starters!) No, this smacks of the two things that get right up my nose; bad manners and lack of condideration for others (especially if they are doing you favours.)

He has had at least three "advisories" in the past year from me alone. No more, I do not have parental love to ease things.

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Davin

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 07:42:11 PM »
As assuring as you can be, it is not enough. Not that it's terribly important. I still get the impression of bad communication from your side, if it were me, I'd ask for the missing bits of information that you seem to think is implied, but I am not him. The missing bits in your first communications are the deadline and the result of the inaction. The guy is a full grown adult, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't missed out on some behavioral development. I know I have, I can't possibly work on everything at once, I have to decide what is more important to work on. I think that is the same for everyone, but some people seem to think that everyone should have the same set of life skills that they have, which I find to be irrational.

It sounds like bad manners to just say, "Let me know when you want to pick it up." with your assumed meaning that you intend him to pick it up soon or you will sell it. Then after a few weeks you sell it then say, "hey, you remember that thing I offered you? Well, I sold it." Instead of that, you could say, "I have a tablet for you if you want it, but if you don't pick it up in three weeks, then I'm going to sell it." That is much better manners to actually communicate your intentions and give him a time frame. Maybe he intends to respond but finds things with time constraints to be of a higher priority in his life, or maybe he just thought that he might pop over when he visited his mum next. Without you telling him that there is a deadline to your generosity, how is he to know?

Also, I don't see why that would be upsetting if he doesn't pick it up. I give some of my stuff to other people (though if there is a time frame, I let them know of it), and if they don't contact me about it, I just assume that they didn't want it or at least they find other things more important. Not upsetting to me at all, nor do I see it as bad manners.

When dealing with helping someone change their behavior, just advising them occasionally is not very effective. Can you think back to any great changes in your own behavior that just happened because someone talked to you about it? If so, I would find you to be a very rare bird. Humans either need to turn quickly to avoid something big (though they usually go right back after disaster), or more effectively, they need to make small course corrections to have any lasting effect. So I understand if you're unwilling to put in the effort to help the man, but I don't think that you have put in very good attempts at such. At least that's the idea I get from the information that you are providing.

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Dave

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 09:00:50 PM »
All valid stuff, Davin, but you are not here.

Giles got a bit of a wigging for being late and nit communicating. He fully agreed he deserved the telling off.

I instigate the large majority of our conversations. The only time he has contacted me first this year is when his uncle-in-law died.

Time before that was the invite to lunch last Christmas. Can't remember before that.

I gave him leeway on the tablet and told him why he missed it. I effectively said that him not contacting me encouraged me to think he did not want it. So he knows sloppiness has penalties.

I gave him a week to work out his schedule and asked him to contact me when he knew he could make it- he hasn't. He slso knows that Thursdays before 5pm is about the only dodgy time for me. The rest of the week, between 10am and 9pm are available. Barring sudden appointments etc.

I do not expect others to match my values 100% but think I have been pretty flexible. Giles has known me well for 20 years and I have mostly been time flexible all that time. Hmm, I usually only fix times when another needs it.


Anyway, no more justifications, I am comfortable that I have given him a reasonable chance and he has blown it. I know that the school will will appreciatecand make good use of the kit, their teacher is well motivated.

Thanks for the comments folks.




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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 03:22:28 PM »
Have also decided, since I am a frequent user, that the local hospital will be my major beneficiary (but with stipulations.) Giles will now get the same 2% as his cousins and couple of friends.

I'm not meaning to insult you directly Gloucester, I'm sure you're beyond reproach.
Declaimer made I find the switching of favour game the elderly play childish.
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Dave

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Re: Am I being a rotter?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 04:29:38 PM »
Have also decided, since I am a frequent user, that the local hospital will be my major beneficiary (but with stipulations.) Giles will now get the same 2% as his cousins and couple of friends.

I'm not meaning to insult you directly Gloucester, I'm sure you're beyond reproach.
Declaimer made I find the switching of favour game the elderly play childish.
I was always going to leave something for the hospital, it just be upped a bit. The main stipulation will be, if possible, emotional support for carriac sufferers, especially tbose who have received shocks from their implanted defibrillators. I have had seven shocks so far, last four within 24 hours, and suffered reactive anxiety which I had to find a fix for myself (and did without external help). Seems there are those who go into long term depression after one shock - and CBT is not available in this trust for such purposes.

There are support systems for cancer sufferers

I would also like to do something for kids facing long term therapy, if possible. Discussion will be needed.

May seem childish but it is not, it is a considered decision after talking to a close female friend and comments here. I am just fed up with Giles' attitude - there is, as I implied, history of this and strong hints have not worked. He does not know of my plans so is not having something expected removed.

Enough.
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