For the most part I like to consider myself fairly understanding and very flexible when it comes to peoples needs. I've explained before in more than one post that I will basically do back flips and go out of my way to accommodate, and these are not just stories, this is how I lead my life. I think I usually have a "water off a ducks back" attitude and let lots of things slide past me that may not be too slippery elsewhere but on occasion my back gets saturated and I begin to feel the wetness.
Ever since I can remember, the words " I don't care what you did, as long as you tell me the truth" were constantly told to me. I guess I wasn't the model child. The good part about these words were that they were true. As long as I told the truth I would eventually be fine. I can't say I didn't lie but things seemed easier when I didn't. I have to imagine that the years of this philosophy paying off ingrained the same feeling within me as an adult and the one thing that I cannot tolerate is a lie. I can, or can at least attempt to understand just about anything as long as it's the truth.
About one year ago, I sat across from a man and woman making funeral arrangements for his father; her father-in-law. He had called me prior to coming in and advised me that he was at the nursing home where his father had died and no plans had been made other than "he wanted to be cremated". He and his father had been estranged for many years yet his father had him listed as an emergency contact and being his only child he felt an obligation to handle this; his father was to be cremated. Still on the phone he requested prices and after I supplied them he told me they were too high. I then tried to explain why the cost was what it was and after his repeating they were too high again I offered him the name and phone number of an organization that I knew of that would help him at a much reduced price. He took it, thanked me, and within the hour was back on our phone explaining that he wanted us to help him after all; this was the last he would ever do for his father and he didn't feel the other firm was right for him and he would be in to see me. At that point I made a decision that I was going to give him the services at cost but didn't tell him on the phone. This was a late Friday afternoon.
Back at the funeral home. After I had gathered all of the necessary information I explained my intention to him and he seemed extremely grateful to the point of where he wanted to hug me. He went on to tell me that he was a realtor and the money wasn't really a problem for him but after all, they had been estranged. I didn't renege on the discount I offered and tried to understand where he was coming from. Not a problem. He explained that he was at home when he had gotten the call from the nursing home telling him that his father had died and he and his wife jumped in the car to get there as fast as they could; his wallet was at home along with her purse and he asked if he could come back tomorrow with the money. I told him not to worry, when his father was ready he could bring it with him when he came to get him.
To this day, we are storing his fathers cremated remains at a cemetery and despite the numerous phone calls and certified letters which he has signed for I have not seen him nor a penny...in nearly a year. In all honesty, it's not the money; it's not going to break us. It's the bald face lieing that I cant accept. Tell me you have absolutely nothing, tell me you can only afford five bucks a month, tell me you want me to flush the ashes down the bowl, tell me you think I'm a thief, tell me you hate my friggin' guts but dammit! don't lie to me! I'm no ogre to be afraid of, I've told you I'm a simple guy and I've given away almost more than I care to remember over the years so money should never be an issue and usually isn't, I see to that. In the grand scope of things I guess this happening on occasion is a livable scenario but it sure is frustrating; sometimes I wonder if the word SAP is visible on my forehead to everyone but me. OK, now I can put away the file I came across today and maybe once this year ends I can send it to the warehouse and completely forget about it.