Posts Tagged ‘Behaviors’

... because it NEVER is, huh Spaz?

.. so Spaz’s behavior problems have been VERY well documented on this blog but let’s see if I can keep it on the short side:

  • Constant habitual lying
  • Tantrums
  • Being disrespectful and rude
  • Sassy mouth
  • Bad attitude
  • Abandonment Issues
  • Low self esteem

I think that about covers it. His baggage is so heavy that he’s on a behavioral IEP (Independent Education Program) at school meaning that he’s in a “special” class and receives both individual and group counseling three or four times a week.

He’s been in this type of class since before I came into their lives.

He also has issues with authority .. being told what to do .. taking responsibility for his actions .. coping.. filtering what comes out of his mouth and knowing his place as a 12 year old.

A whole witch’s cauldron of things that brewed from the adult equivalent of a Perfect Storm.

So right on the heels of the whole weight issue and good eating habits issue and trying to find pants that fit him issue, I get a phone call from his counselor. While I’m trying to walk into the house carrying about 10 bags of groceries on my arm.

I like both his counselor and his teacher. They both sincerely have his best interests at heart.. try to work with him and his behavior.. and appreciate the fact that we are active parents who want to work WITH them instead of making him their problem. Believe me, I know of other kids where their parents could care less and sorry.. but I just don’t understand that.

So anyway, she calls. And when she calls I know that Spaz has gone above and beyond his own level of what I call a “brat” .. believe me, I could call him worse but I usually reserve those words for people over the age of consent.

I can tell from her voice that she’s upset. Not angry.. not pissed.. but hurt. Her voice was actually quivering and I was like O! M! G! what did this kid do now?

She tells me that for the week prior to break and since classes restarted, he’s been so over the top with his antics. Rude.. disrespectful.. disruptive.. inappropriate.. ornery.. were some of the words she used. She said he’s been telling his teacher that he hated her often.. that he refuses to do the work assigned.. that he’s being disruptive to the point where other students aren’t capable of focusing on their work.. that he said he doesn’t care about doing the work assigned.. ripping up work sheets.. throwing stuff on impulse.. refusing to participate in group counseling.

She also said that today in individual counseling he told her that he wasn’t going to talk to her.. he didn’t care what she had to say and then he walked out. She had to call security because she couldn’t see where he had went and didn’t know whether he had left the building or not.

He also said something to her that was so over the bar, it prompted the phone call. She said she didn’t want to repeat what he had said.. the words themselves didn’t matter to her (I can ONLY imagine) but that it seems as though he was progressing backwards instead of forwards.

I asked her why she hadn’t called sooner and she explained that the week before school let out for the holiday, all the kids get antsy and crazed so she chalked it up to that and let it slide. She hadn’t called Monday or Tuesday because her and his teacher wanted the chance to work through Spaz’s issues with him instead of immediately calling home.

I explained to her what was going on here.. that all this probably is centered around the move. He says he wants to go.. but is he saying that because it’s what we want to hear? Is he saying it because that’s what he really feels? Does he want to move but when he thinks about it, doesn’t want to? Does he feel guilty for leaving the Crack Whore? Is the Crack Whore MAKING him feel guilt for wanting to move?

The thing is, I don’t know what the Crack Whore says to him but I know that she says things she shouldn’t. I know that her child mind cannot discuss things with the adults in the kids lives.. and she says the most to Spaz because both Bubba and Weed are of an age where they can see through her bull. Well, most of the time for Bubba anyway. I also know that she uses Spaz’s craving for her affection to her advantage and his expense. I also told the counselor about her saying that Spaz is not Chief’s biological son to Bubba but didn’t know whether that had crossed Spaz’s ears.

The only one who could answer those questions was Spaz and even though we understand his issues, he doesn’t get a reprieve from his bad behavior. I told her we would address it and she would be receiving a note of apology from him.

So I explain all this to Chief and he’s just as pissed as I was. I asked him what his punishment was going to be and he said that he was not allowed on the computer or the laptop for a week. Not to play games or watch movies or listen to music. Fair enough, I guess. This is the third time that something like this has happened and honestly, I would have stuck him in his room for a week.

Anyway.. I was in the shower when Chief went to pick him up. He has after school tutoring until 5:30 and it’s too dark to let him walk home alone. When they returned, I was in the bedroom getting dressed and didn’t actually see Spaz until Chief came in and asked me to finish dinner because he wasn’t feeling good and felt like he had to lay down.

When I went out to the kitchen, Spaz comes in making small talk and I forget exactly what he said that opened the window to what happened in school but it did and I jumped through it. I figured that Chief had already laid in to him so I was going to take a different approach.

I asked him what he was thinking.. what was going through is head when all this happened. He said that he already talked to his father about it. I said, “.. well, now your going to talk to me because I’m trying to understand.”.

I really think there is a time and a place to raise your voice and this wasn’t either.

I won’t go into the whole conversation verbatim but basically I explained to him that when hurting someone’s feeling because your upset about something is not good. And when he said that his teacher said it doesn’t bother her, I explained that she is a person. And no one like to hear those things said to them.. like he doesn’t like when Bubba says to Spaz that nobody loves him.

It bothered me when he said, “.. she’s JUST a teacher.” so I told him that teachers are the second most important people in his life because he spends more time with them then he does with his parents and regardless, he is NOT to say ANYTHING disrespectful to ANY ADULT. Let alone those who have to put up with his stuff.

I remained calm.. I tried to use examples instead of reasons.. tried to put him in their shoes at his level, so to speak..

Everything was cool until I told him that he had to write her an apology. He said he wasn’t going to do it. I said he was. He said he wasn’t sorry. I said I didn’t care.. writing her the note would make her feel better and it didn’t matter to me if he was sorry or not. But deep down, I believe he was he just didn’t want to admit it.

He asked how long the note had to be.. I told him the longer he asked, the longer the note. He stopped asking.

After dinner, while Weed and Bubba did something on the computer, I grabbed a tablet and a pen and put it in front of him. He resisted but in a way that told me he just wanted the attention. He did write it.

With that done, he didn’t know what to do with himself. He said he wished I didn’t get rid of the On Demand feature on cable (which I didn’t so I don’t understand why the living room tv doesn’t get it) because he had nothing to watch. I called him a little prince and told him his crown was crooked.

Then he started whining that he was bored. There was nothing to do. I told him he was on punishment.. him not being entertained isn’t my issue and maybe he’ll think about being bored the next time he wanted to act out.

He was getting on the verge of being flippy with me so I told him that he better get on his knees and thank God that his father was the one who issued the punishment because if it was me it would have been a lot worse.

He asked me his punishment would have been and I told him. One week bedroom arrest, no parole. He did NOT like that at all and called me mean. Well, I am mean Spaz because that’s my job. He said I used to be friendly and I told him I’m friendly when he does what he’s suppose to do.. and when he doesn’t, I can’t excuse it.. that’s just the way it is.

Not having anywhere to go with it after that, he watched tv and went to bed early.

So we’ll see what happens tomorrow and if Chief get’s the whole creme puff guilty trippy thing and let’s him off the hook.

… and “MAD” in every damn sense of the word!!

You know.. when you have something that other people want :: in this case cheese, pepper ham or a pickle :: you inevitably wind up in that little town called CREDIT that’s tucked nicely between ROCK and HARD PLACE.

So.. here’s what I believe :: you might want to take notes because this is going to become important later on in the post :: .. I sincerely believe that we :: talking about me and Chief here specifically :: have a moral obligation to help those in need. It’s part of my faith. Everybody runs into hard times at some point in their lives and I wouldn’t be able to call my self a follower of Christ is I turned my back on those in need. Especially if they have kids.. because as we all know.. kids shouldn’t be made to suffer because their parents can’t do what they’re suppose to do.

But yknow.. all that is nice and stuff but don’t ever take my kindness for my weakness because then it isn’t pretty.

So when we opened the store, the first thing we said was that we weren’t going to get into the whole credit thing but that got hard once we got to know the people in our neighborhood and their situations. Half the time I think we should put one of those cups on the counter collecting a nickel for every problem we hear.. Like Lucy in the Charlie Brown comics.

And so it started with one person and snow balled from there. Not a big snow ball, though. The thing about is is that when these people would pay their tab, they would do it with food stamps.

NOTE: In case you didn’t know, it takes 10 business days for us to get the food stamp money from the state.

So now it’s bad enough that I’m waiting for the tab to be paid, but now I have to wait even more to get the actual money? The money that has to replace my stock?

And so in order to circumvent that, we told people getting credit that they would have to pay their tab in cash. Most of them understood when explained it to them..

But then a funny thing happened.

The people who had credit with us, started to work that credit into their budget and you know once you get into a hole it’s hard to get out of it… so I had a few people that I could count on to come in every week or so, get stuff, pay it back in another week or so and then the whole thing would start over again.

Ok. Well.. I may have been able to live with that except for a few things that happened. I’m going to explain it to you here and you tell me if I’m wrong or not:

Person 1: She comes in on a Wednesday to pay her 23.00 tab. She hands me 40.00 but my register is low on cash and I can’t make the change. I ask her if she has anything smaller and she goes into her pocket and pulls out a wad of cash and winds up giving me exact change. The next day, Thursday, she comes in asking for credit again.

I don’t know what that wad of cash was for.. but don’t you think she should have gotten what she needed on Wednesday when she paid her tab? I do.

Person 2: She isn’t on welfare.. doesn’t get food stamps.. has one pre-teen daughter and a husband that works. She isn’t able to work for whatever reason and so they would come in and get stuff and when her husband got paid, would take care of their tab. The time between making the bill and paying the bill was getting longer but the thing that really pissed me off was that she was having an in-home demonstration and needed stuff for her guests.. so she came into the store and got all this stuff and didn’t tell me it was going to go on a tab until after everything was cut. Do you see something wrong with that? I sure as hell do.

Person 3: She has four kids and two of her sons come in all the time. Her, not so much. But one day she came into the store, asked to see Chief outside and with tears in her eyes tells him that she isn’t one to ask for help but she has to put her pride aside because she had no food for her kids. She offered Chief her driver’s license and food stamp card to hold hostage until she came in four days later and paid him. His heart went out to her and he told her to get what she needed.. not just lunch meat.. but eggs, milk, cereal,etc. She racked up a 40.00 bill.. was thanking us through her tears and blessing us all over the place. She did come in first thing the morning she said she was and paid her tab. Fine, right? Okay. So a week later, she sends her boys with a note listing all the things she wants to get on credit ( including a pack of gum ) and writes at the bottom of the note that she will be in on Friday to pay for it. It’s been five weeks. Haven’t seen her or her kids since. Ya’think I have a right to be pissed????? I do.

Let me explain this to you..

Most of my customers are on welfare.. meaning something like 85% of my sales are food stamps. Of the remaining 15%, I’d say about 10% uses their debit cards and the remaining 5% pay cash.

I already told you it takes 10 business days to get reimbursed for the food stamps.. it takes four days to get reimbursed for the credit / debt cards.

So when I have to replace everything.. and I have to pay my vendors in cash.. it’s a huge juggling act. I can’t wait to restock my deli case because what’s the sense of having a store if there’s nothing to sell?

Do you see my point?

And so when we had something like 300.00 in tabs.. no cash to restock.. and checks bouncing left and right because there was some kind of bullshit delay with getting our deposits.. we decided to either hang ourselves or stop taking credit. Hanging ourselves wasn’t an option because frankly, I can’t count on the kids to feed the dogs or the fish :: the cats can eat the mice! :: so we started telling people that were weren’t able to extend credit anymore.

Person 1 understood but then came back the following week and tugged on Chief’s heart strings. I tugged on is balls when I found out.

Person 2 understood and when she would come in and get her dollars worth of cheese and whine about how poor she is.. I’d tell her just how poor I was

Person 3 well. we haven’t seen her in five weeks so she doesn’t even KNOW yet.

And then there was Person 4.

Person 4 and her husband started coming to our deli from another town because we have the best products for the most reasonable prices. He wasn’t working and she was getting food stamps and they would used to.. USED to be very selective of what they bought. And then one day, she asked for credit. She wasn’t quick to pay.. it took her maybe three weeks because he had gotten a job and his employer was holding a week so that was understandable. But then it kept happening and finally, last week, I told her that we couldn’t do credit anymore. I explained to her that it was nothing personal. That I had to worry about putting food on my table before I could put food on somebody else’s and our finances and the deli’s finances had gotten to a point where we couldn’t do it anymore.

She understood.. understood.. understood..

Until today.

And today I saw how evil people can really be and how manipulative they are and how they just don’t care about anybody but themselves. And let me tell you.. and I think you’ll agree after you read this.. that as poor as I am.. as hard as it is now to make ends me and as close as we are to losing the store.. I can still put my head down at night knowing that I didn’t do anything wrong.

Person 2 and Person 4 come in at the same time. Person 2 is pregnant so she sits down on the chair I usually use to read in. No problem.. it was a freakin’ hot… sticky.. humid day. Person 4 comes in and starts chit chatting with me while I ring out a customer. When I’m finished I ask her what she needs. She tells me that she can wait and that  I can take care of Person 2. Person 2 declines and says that Person 4 can go ahead. She’s just soaking up the air condition.

And I know what’s about to happen. BOTH of them are going to ask for credit and neither of them wants to do it with the other one in the store.

So I tell Person 4 to give me her order and she does. A pound each of Roast Beef, Imported Ham, Gourmet Turkey, American Cheese and a half pound each of Swiss and Provolone. She gets cole slaw, a loaf of bread, and something like 5 bags of chips totaling 32 dollars and change.

While I’m cutting her order, her husband walks in followed by another customer’s son who’s mentally challenged. For real. This customer called her order in and usually she sends him to the store with either his brother or his sister. This time he came alone and while Person 2 and her husband were parked in the front of the store and Person 4 and her husband were in the middle of the store, the kid is going back and forth putting different stuff on the counter. Chief came in from the back and started helping me so I jumped on register to ring the kid out. Only one problem. He lost the money his mother gave him.

Not his kid has a bad habit of laying his money down on the ice cream freezer or pickle barrel and Chief said he saw him come in with the money in his hand.

All six adults in the store tore it apart and couldn’t come up with this money. While everybody else was looking for the money, I’m ringing out Person 4 and when I gave her the total, she asks me if she can come in Friday :: as in SEVEN days from now :: and pay me.

I was like, you have to be kidding right? You walk in here.. knowing what I told you the last time.. KNOWING that I you don’t have any money so you make me cut everything AND THEN ask me for credit? Do you even KNOW the size of your balls because let me tell you, as big as yours are.. mine are bigger.

And I told her that.

Flat out.

She looked at me like I was crazy and so being that she thought I was.. I decided to really go for it.

I told her, yknow, when SHE needed help I was there to help her. Now that I need to NOT give out credit because it’s going to help me she doesn’t give a shit. I told her that it’s not my fault that she doesn’t know how to manage her money .. I’m not going to leave my table empty to full hers. AND it wouldn’t even be so bad if she was even A LITTLE bit humble about it. Get half a pound a cheese and ham and call it a day.. but now, she was like a fucking goat in a meadow.. and just who the fuck did she think she is? Go to the supermarket and see if you can do that.. go to the convenience store and see if you can do that.. would YOU work for nothing? What if your husband’s boss said he’s going to wait to pay YOU.. would you stand for it.

That’s basically what I told her but I can tell you know that the whole string of words were peppered with words that would make my mother cringe.

Chief couldn’t believe that I would talk that way to a customer because I’m always calling check on him when he says things that are in the grey area between humor and sarcasm but I was pissed and you weren’t going to stop me.

And then I took everything off the counter and told Chief that it looks like WE were having roast beef sandwiches for dinner.

He husband had the balls to say how he thought I was a nice person.. I countered saying that I thought THEY were decent. There was some other word exchanges and then I remembered the mental kid and knew that I had to do something about him because his mother would be worried that he wasn’t home by then.

So I got his bags and I pushed my way threw Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb and told him I was going to walk him home.

And I did.. and I explained to his mother what happened and that we thought he came in with the cash but haven’t found it in the store yet. She asked how much the bill was and I told her and she was like, well, I only gave him 20 so I owe you another 5? And I was like, are you fucking kidding me? I said, “.. um.. noooooo… if I can’t find what he lost then you owe me 25” and she started going off on me about how it wasn’t her fault and I at that point, I knew that if I punched her she was going to do that whole Weeble thing and bounce back up and body slam me so I took a deep breath and stuck a smile on my face and said, “… you do. not. want. to. fuck. with. me. right. now”

She looked at me like I was out of my freakin’ mind and maybe I was but she just turned around and went into the house.

When I got back to the store, Chief was like, “.. I can’t believe you said that to them.” and I told him that I was sick of it. What were we really losing if they never came back? NOT having to lose stock and wait for cash? He was like, “No.. I’m glad you did”.

Figures he’d be all proud and stuff over me going ape shit.

Person 2 and her husband were still there and they did get stuff on credit but it was only a loaf a bread and a half a pound of cheese. I can deal with 4.50. They may have wanted more but after my little performance they may have thought twice.

But here’s the kicker..

When everybody was finally gone, Chief tells me that even though he hates to accuse or judge, he thinks that Person 4’s husband took the kids money. He said it all fits. The other two were in the front of the store and the TweedleDumb’s were in the area where the kid was.. in the spot where the kid always leaves the money.

As angry as I was at them, I told Chief that I really couldn’t believe that they would take the money knowing that the kid wasn’t right in the head and was upset about losing the cash. He said that’s because I don’t steal or take things that don’t belong to me so I don’t think the way those who do that kind of stuff think.

And I said to him, “.. yknow, if you can steal from a retarded kid that you got a lot more problems then I have”

And it’s true.