Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I got swindled!

One of the workers on my house remodel (my friend) came by Saturday to pick up a cement mixer. He had his uncle with him. His uncle saw my dying Mountain Laurel and offered to dig it up and replace it for $350. I thought that was a good price, so I said to give me 2 weeks. He said $300. I said “OK!” and we shook on it.

Then the next day the uncle called to get the directions to my house, and by lunch, they had the tree out and was working on an old trunk/roots that were in the hole next to the tree they took out. I went to the bank and gave them $200. Then he called saying he had a sick daughter (starting to feel suspicious) and he’d plant the tree the next day. I put $100 under the rug like I promised. Well, when I got home, the $100 was gone, and I had no tree.

He called the next day to say the tree would be in the next day. Then he promised because I was a nice lady, he’d have the tree in by Friday morning. Well, needless to say, there was (and still is) no tree. By Saturday night, I’d stewed about it enough, and I was hopping mad. So I called my  friend and asked him why he didn’t tell me I couldn’t trust his uncle. He said I should know better than pay up front for work to be done. Then he started yelling at his uncle. They were all drunk. His drunk uncle got on the phone and told me he’d bring the tree right over. I told him he was drunk and I didn’t want to talk to him and hung up. I was afraid I'd hear on the news that someone was shot because of a tree that didn't get planted!!!

My friend called back and got after me for paying up front. I realized then that my friend’s uncle was a con, and I’d been swindled.

Well, Monday morning, my friend stopped by my office, and we talked about it. I told him that “Birds of a feather flock together.” Because I trusted him, and his uncle was with him, I felt I could trust his uncle. Then I told him that because his uncle was a con, I was wondering if I could trust him any more because he hangs out with a con.
It turns out that the uncle found out Mountain Laurels are expensive and the one he was looking at was $250, so he just blew me off. My friend and I talked quite a while, and he promised he’d pay me back. I don’t want him to pay me back.  I just want a tree.  He feels so bad about the situation that he found a place where he could dig up a Mountain Laurel and transplant it in my yard for lots less. I told him I'd split the cost.
I learned a $150 lesson. It was worth $150 to have the tree removed. That’s not cheap. If only I hadn’t put the final $100 under the rug. Oh well, we live and learn, right?

Then, Sunday, I gave Communion to a friend in the hospital. What a contrast of emotions! I told her I was on a mission from God. It was my first time doing something like this, and I was glad it was her. She was thrilled that it was me because we've been friends for about 7 years.
You never know what life will bring. You just have to have your seat belt buckled and be ready for the ride!

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