Letting a Camel Get a Nose Under the Tent

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Most of you who read here frequently know I’m a man who prefers insanity and what a lot of you might consider hardship to compromise of a lot of things you’d assign no value to.  The world I live in is a place with a rigid value structure teetering on the edge of an abyss I do my best to keep it from falling into.

Yesterday I was tending my own affairs when the newish neighbor up the hill drove down and offered me a Shiner Boch beer.  Which I considered a tasty gesture.  I bought a case of beer sometime last summer and was down to almost my last one in the fridge.  That Shiner pulled me a beer into the future.

A while back I’d offered, neighborly, if the neighbor ever needed anyone to lift the other end of something I’d be pleased to lift it.  I don’t mind being a help when someone needs something I can do.  Glad to do it, in fact.

So, as I sat there sipping that Shiner Boch he explained to me he’d fired a likely young man he had up there working for him.  Said he’d like me to come work up there helping him a while.  Offered me an hourly wage to do it.

Given my financial situation I was sorely tempted and tentatively accepted, fully aware of the dangers inherent in changing the nature of my relationship with a neighbor from helpful, casual acquaintance to one of employer/bought-and-paid-for-employee.  And asking myself how the hell I could charge a wage to do something I’d have done anyway for nothing if he’d asked.

You’ll probably consider it foolish, maybe melodramatic when I tell you the entire damned issue kept me awake a lot longer last night than it had any business doing.

The man has a lot of machinery up there, all of it different by one nuance or another, from anything I’ve operated before.  Never operated a track machine, which I’d like to learn to do.  Never operated any machine that wasn’t gasoline fueled.  So if I have an opportunity to learn I’d consider the learning a potential value to me sometime.

And the guy has a lot of experience as a mechanic, believes he might be able to get that old Ford F350 Gale gave me that’s still sitting up there quietly waiting, running.  [ Got me a new truck!, The New Truck ResurrectionAnother Bug on the Windshield of Life – The Tow Bar, Running the Obstacle Course – the F 350, Learning How to Not Be So Stupid].

If he managed doing it, there’d be a lot more value for me than any damned wage he’d be likely to pay.  If he tried, but didn’t succeed, no big deal.

It’s not a quid pro quo that way.  Just two folks, each one needing a helping hand, extending one each to the other.

No camels putting their noses under the tent.  Nobody bought and paid for.

As a person who’s seen and experienced the entire range of potentials for neighbors wanting to shoot or beat the bejesus out of one another, this seems to me a decent way of disarming it all.  If a person’s driving off a few miles to work for someone and everything begins as a clear exchange of dollar value for labor it’s safe.  Someone decides to lean harder than someone else is willing to be leaned on, they easily go their separate ways.  No harm done.

But two people essentially handcuffed to one another by proximity don’t need to be throwing that sort of temptations out to human frailties.

So, here in a little while I’m going to wander up there and see what he wants me to do in exchange for fixing that damned old Communist F350.

Old Jules

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9 responses to “Letting a Camel Get a Nose Under the Tent

  1. I think that’s a great idea. Most of us need to be reminded of the value of work and money has lost it’s meaning for most people. Folks respected one another more when they understood the labor involved in putting a meal on the table. For me, there’s entirely too much finger-pointing going on and not enough work getting done.

    • Hi Jane: Might be someday I’ll have something he’ll need or want. But my thought at the moment is that it wasn’t an idea with a future. Gracias, J

  2. Old Jules, I haven’t commented here in a while, but this sounds a lot like something my dad would say & so I had to tell you. He does small engine repair for his pocket money nowadays, sometimes he gets paid, sometimes he works on some worn out motor something-or-other for free just to help a neighbor. Your take on the simple things, well I just like it.

  3. One mans insanity is another mans normal. Good luck with the neighbor and the F 350 !

    China
    III

  4. Barter is better than wages.

  5. Sounds like a fair exchange to me, Old Jules.

  6. I like your style. As a farm girl, it is a system that makes sense to me. Probably a better exchange for both of you in the end than dollars would be.

    • Morning Mary: I spent several hours up there Saturday and Sunday. Mostly I came away figuring he didn’t have anything up there needing someone on the other end to lift. Gracias, J

  7. Money involved, greed sets in, enemies are made, somebody almost always gets hurt. Good luck on the fair exchange of services only…

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