My Neighbors Are Too Friendly. Help!
Photo by Jeff Fitlow
Dear Willie D:
I want to break my lease and move because my neighbors are always coming over and volunteering their services. I have three kids: two boys and one girl. Because I’m a working mom, I don’t have a lot of available time, so neighbors often volunteer to pick the kids up from school and drop them at practice.
My neighbors have kids my kids’ age, so it works out that they get to have a little fun with their peers instead of just being home all day alone. While I appreciate it, I don’t want my kids relying on them, and I don’t want people thinking I’m a bad mom because my kids are always with somebody else.
So, what do you think? Are my neighbors a liability, or am I being ungrateful?
You want to be there more for your kids, but between work and managing four lives (you and your three kids), that’s hard to do. Maybe it’s time to get a new job that allows you to be more flexible with your time.
I’ve seen people start home-based businesses and quit their old jobs once the business grew enough to replace their salary. Your neighbors appear to have good intentions, but I wouldn’t say that you’re ungrateful. Trying to be a good mother sounds more like it.
DOES LOYALTY HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE?
Dear Willie D:
I need to know how far loyalty should go. Take two people: One is willing to stick with a person no matter how bad he or she gets, and another person is not willing to stick with a person when he gets tired of the bad. Does one have loyalty and the other doesn't, or does loyalty have a limit or expiration date?
To answer your first question: Yes, one has loyalty, while the other doesn’t. Your second question is a bit tricky. Whether loyalty has an expiration date would depend on who you ask. There are people who remain loyal no matter how bad they are treated, and there are those who don’t have a loyal bone in their body. Their loyalty will always be limited to what you can do for them.
In my world loyalty doesn't mean forever. It is the product of trust. Once trust is broken the loyalty is lost. It doesn't mean I was never loyal prior to the trust being broken. It means I’m smart enough to peep game, and not allow anyone in my space who doesn’t deserve to be there.
I’M A PROBATION OFFICER, BUT I SMOKE WEED
Dear Willie D:
I live out in rural Texas, 36 miles from Austin. My dog has a fascination with venturing into my neighbor’s yard. The property line between our homes is divided by a picket fence. My dog gets over there by squeezing through a loose board.
One day I heard him barking, and went outside to check. I found him trapped inside the neighbor’s greenhouse. As soon as I walked in, I realized that I had stumbled upon a grow house; the familiar smell of fresh marijuana was unmistakable. Not that I have a problem with it. I’m a probation officer, but I smoke weed.
What I want to know is how do I get my neighbor to share his weed with me for free, without blowing my cover as a probation officer?
Tell him you saw some dudes trying to break into his house, and you scared them off. He will feel obligated to return the favor. From there you just build a rapport with him. Eventually the topic of weed will come up, as it always does with smokers, and he’ll probably spot you a pound or two.
That’s your intro to ask if he grows weed. But slow-roll him for information. You don’t want to spook him. To get that next pound, you’re going to have to watch his crop whenever he leaves home, or pick up some materials from the nursery. Before you know it, you’ll have your very own probation officer, because you’re going to mess around and get your ass locked up!
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE?
Dear Willie D:
I visited a swanky restaurant with my family to celebrate my grandma’s 80th birthday. We had a party of 24, so I wasn’t particularly upset about our food coming out 50 minutes after the last person ordered. The waitress was horrible!
Half the orders were wrong, and the other half were lukewarm or cold. Not wanting to spoil it for everybody, I bit my tongue and stepped away from the table to address the situation with the manager on duty, who looked to be no older than 19 years of age. But I’ll give him at least 21, because I can’t see anybody hiring a manager at an upscale restaurant that young.
He said he would comp us two desserts, which I thought was nice. But then he starts blaming us for the food being cold because we had a large group. I had never heard that one before. When I told him that corporate would hear from me, he dismissed my comments, saying corporate doesn’t run the stores, the managers do. What the hell ever happened to customer service?
Customer service went out of style with beepers, Reebok Pumps and self-respect.
Ask Willie D anything at willied.com/ask-willie-d, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.
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