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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Therapeutic Blogging 

I have found in the past that blogging about something that's bothering me is actually quite therapeutic.

I'm hoping this is the case, because I've been unnerved all day...

This morning, my gardener of more than 7 years called me, yelled at me, and insulted me.
I haven't been able to get it out of my mind, and that really bothers me.

Here's what happened: (I'm copy & pasting parts of my IM conversation that I just had with Reeves)

I've had this gardener for over 7 years. My HOA hired him when I first moved into my condo, and we also hired him to redo the entire landscaping at Dick's old house. I thought we had a nice, friendly relationship. In early April, I had had asked that his crew not come after our fence was built because we didn't know our plans for the backyard. Since then, some weeds had grown, and I thought we should have them cleared before we have people over for our little BBQ on July 4th. So we arranged for them to come yesterday morning at 8:30 before I had to leave for Oakland. I went over with him (he who we will now call the "mean gardener") that we just wanted the weeds pulled, the bushes in the front trimmed low, and the opening in the hedge to be widened. He said no problem, and put his team of 3 to it, and told me he wouldn't' be here later on when they finished (he's never actually here while they work). So I come home at 4:00, and the bushes in the front isn't trimmed, the hedge opening still needs to be widened, and they crew is STILL here at 4:00. ..and I'm wondering, "Does it really take a team of 3 people 8 hours to weed?" I go to the backyard, and find that they had REMOVED my favorite calla lily plant. It's gone. I'm not happy about that, and I try to ask about it, but no one speaks English. So I call the gardener, hoping he could translate for me, and telling him that the things we discussed hadn't been done yet. Quite frankly, I was surprised that it was taking 8 hours to weed. But I was nice to the gardeners. never raised my voice, and tried to explain that the opening in the hedge needed to be widened (it was getting hard to walk through) and the bushes in the front needed to be cut down more... I left another message for the gardener on his work phone (had called his cell phone earlier) but never heard back.

Until this morning...

This morning, he leaves a message at 8:00am stating "If you ever did this kind of work yourself, you'd know that these things take a long time"

Um, okay.
condescending, much?

I call back, leaving him a message to call me back. When he does, he begins to yell at me telling me how insulted he was that I would question him or his team. He said he got my messages yesterday, but decided not to call me back because I was just being stupid, and I've always been so "nit-picky".


I tried to explain to him I was just frustrated that I couldn't communicate my questions to his team. (like you know, "why did you take away my Calla Lily?")

And he tells "then I guess it's time you find a new gardener"

He says he's tired of hearing me always complain (which I honestly don't remember doing, and believe me, I've wracked my brain today trying to think of any times that I may have "complained" or "Been nit-picky" or insulted him or his team.)

In my defense, I pointed out that the only time I've ever complained was when his team came last month. I caught them before they started working, and tried to explain that I had asked Ben not to come for the time being. They understood, but explained that they had to return our ladder (which apparently, they borrowed, used, and took without us knowing) and continued to ask if they could store their lawnmower in our backyard. I said "No" because our neighbor had asked that they not use our side gate (which goes through her front yard). The whole thing was kind of shady.

He did acknowledged that that was a legit complaint, but said, "But let's not get off topic"

"You always complain"

and I said, "Ben, when have I ever complained to you in the last 7 years?" (because I truthfully wanted to know what the heck he was talking about)

get this...

(this is the topper, and I'm not exaggerating)

His response to that is: "Oh right Trina. You're perfect. You're just always so perfect..."

what are we- back in grade school?

that's when I hung up on him.

I'm pretty sure I didn't deserve that.

I totally acknowledge that I have pretty thin skin when it comes to confrontation, or people yelling at me. I mean, I'm a pretty nice person, and I try to treat all people with respect. So for this guy to totally go off on me, was completely unnerving, and I haven't been able to shake it all day.

Dick and Christopher heard my end of the conversation, were both pretty shocked, but tried to tell me that I just needed to blow it off, and not let it bother me. "let it go."

I talked with my Mom and Dad tonight about it, and that helped - because my Dad has a hard time letting go of a grudge, too. (Yet another Chow family trait!) He made me feel justified.

So I figured I should blog about it, and "get it out". There's nothing like writing a blog to the world to feel like you've "gotten it out of your system".

Now, if I were a not-so-nice person, or someone who really carried a grudge, I'd probably state the name of the gardener and his company here. I might even post the link to their company's web site. But that's not the kind of person that I am ;)

Everyone's reaction to this story has been "Fire him".

The problem is, I think he beat me to the punch by firing me!
So I don't even really have the satisfaction of feeling like I'm in control at all.


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