The patience of job

January 6, 2007

Odd jobs, good rates

PHILIP
“I see you’ve got a new sign. You’re offering to do odd jobs now. Why didn’t you have the same message on your old sign?

TONY
“You know how many jobs I’ve been stiffed on? I’ll do a job like raking leaves or cleaning up someone’s alleyway and he swears he’s paying minimum wage or something. Then afterwards, the guy says he doesn’t have the cash and writes me a cheque. I’ve seen some rubber cheques do their bouncing, believe me. What am I going to do, beat ’em up?

“Anyway, now I learned to get half my money up front. Well some folks don’t like me being uppity like that and they go look for someone else. Of course, then their job doesn’t get done right so now they’re asking me again, and no problem with cash upfront this time. Well, the way I see it, they had their chance and they didn’t want me then. So they can do their own job, as far as I’m concerned.”

PHILIP
“So why are you offering to do odd jobs again?”

TONY
“I’m just fed up the way things are so I figured I’d try again.”

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11 Responses to “The patience of job”

  1. Jim Says:

    Tony, there is nothing wrong with getting cash up front. I worked in the construction and farming biz for years and Know that the people who squawk the loudest are the ones who intend to stiff you.

    When I sold my farm equipment and my firewood I always advertised cash only and confiremed it by telephone prior to them coming to pick it up…I got lots of farmers squawking with goofy comments such as “my cheque is good as gold” …my standard reply…then your cash is like diamonds from heaven…did you bring it? If no cash…then no deal and I didn’t care if they drove 100 miles, they went home empty handed as I gave them the rules up front.

    I hope tons of people give you work as it makes breakfast taste all that much betterr.

  2. Andy Says:

    Tony, I’d just like to let you know that your words, along with Philips website, have really changed my view of life on the streets. Homeless people have the terrible reputation of being druggies and alcoholics but you’ve shown me that this isn’t always the case. Most people are just trying to get by like everybody else. So please, keep on speaking and touching the hearts of more people.. just like you’ve touched mine.

  3. John Dobbs Says:

    Thanks for this blog … it is needed. I also hope Tony gets all the work he wants.

  4. just me Says:

    Words say many things!
    But putting them into action is another thing.
    I have seen many people on drugs and people just dont see it in Tony Maybe.
    I notice that Tony has never been asked if he does drugs?
    I think there are many question that haven’t been asked.
    But I am glad to hear that Tony is willing to do some work
    and I hope he gets some.

  5. jayherron Says:

    I don’t know what it is like up there in Toronto but down her in the city near me it is incredible as to how certain lanes get clogged up with grocery carts that ‘stray’ away from the markets. Theres alway a few spots where they really collect-and it would seem that one could work out a deal with the grocery stores to locate and return them-say for a quarter a piece??
    and…yesterday I finished being a ‘test dummie’ ( not too hard for me-the dummie part…tests are rough though) at the medical clinic at the University-for four hours one day and four hours the next I did nothing but nap while they checked my blood pressure and heart rate….and I got 150bucks for that. I look around the hospital for these bulliton boards and find that easy money all the time. Of course-I live near the University of Florida so that does make a difference-but to me,finding an odd job is not that hard to do…done it a million times!
    Good luck Tony…cold days are ahead for us in Florida-so I know milk crate sitting must be rough these days!
    and…by the way! Whats wrong with people who think drugs or being a drunk makes one homeless?
    I have a friend who is really very well off-but he is the most filthiest people I’ve ever known and by 9 am in the morning he opens his first beer….he stinks,his language is rotten as well as his body odor. His cloths are rags-its embarressing-the state took his license away for too many DUI stops-he owns a home where he lives with another drunk-also right wealthy,but the look so ragged and smell like poop all the time because they fart mess’es in thier pants.
    These are rich guys who grew up with silver spoons in thier mouths-sincerely silver spoons,I’ve known these guys for many years.
    So-are all rich people filthy? and do all rich people reek of fart messes in thier jeans? and do all rich people talk with nasty language? or do all rich people dress in clothes so ragged you pity them? This is my experience with those who grew up in extreme wealth-makes me glad to be poor to be honest…I take care of myself and my things better,these guys are so rich they buy a skil-saw and use it once and it lays in the dirt for the rest of its days. Nah….homelessnes does not have anything to do with drugs or drinking-my gosh…go to West Palm Beach to one of the nicer clubs there where the BMW crowd parks….and watch the ‘toot’ flow up folks noses. They ain’t homeless-far from it! So….drugs and drinking cannot label a homeless person reason for being! Hey-our own US Senator Teddy Kennedy should be homeless then…he’s supposed to be a drunk!

  6. Haricot Says:

    Half down now and the half when the job is done. Sounds fair and sqaure to me.

  7. Cat Says:

    Tony and Philip,
    It’s true, you have to watch out for people not paying. Cab drivers on the night shift have to do the same thing, otherwise they lose their time driving stiffs around who never pay up.
    Thank you for sharing your stories on this website. I live in the neighbourhood and have often passed by Tony in front of Alternative Grounds. I passed by yesterday and saw his stuff there and saw the Globe and Mail article and found your website. I’m glad you’re doing this.
    Have you ever thought of advertising on the website? This could be a source of food/shelter money for Tony. Many blogs have “hand-picked” advertising, where they choose a company or product they stand behind and then design their own ad for that company/product which will be pleasing/entertaining to the blog’s audience. What do you think?

  8. Tony Says:

    Dear ‘just me’
    I did drugs at one time. Thanks for your message.
    Tony

  9. Tony Says:

    Dear John Dobbs,
    I hope so too. Thanks for your message.
    Tony

  10. Tony Says:

    Dear Andy,
    I haven’t had a real drink in 7 years. Never had more than 3 beers at once since then either. No wine, I get a hangover with it.

    Thanks for your message.

    Tony

  11. Tony Says:

    Dear Jim,
    Sometimes I think people make you think that they want to hire you but they’re just “playing with your head”. Once a guy asked me to do a job for fiver upfront, and I was asking for $20 for the upfront. Well, I said no to the $5 ’cause it wasn’t fair so then the guy finds someone else and gives him $20 right up front to do the exact same job.

    Thanks for your message.

    Tony


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