Friday, August 20, 2010

What To Do With The Manure 2

The gentleman who came by to pick up my manure said he'd be back in a couple of days for the rest of it, but I didn't hear from him again. I figured he realized it was too much work. So, after a few weeks I posted another ad for free horse manure. This time I got two bites. One man wasn't willing to communicate via email and insisted that I call him.

Ummmm, no. I am in phone conferences all day with my job, so I can't pick up another phone while I'm in a meeting to make personal phone calls. And if he doesn't answer, then I have to leave a message and next thing I know I'm stuck in a game of telephone tag. I don't appreciate getting called in from the barn to answer the house phone while I'm in the middle of chores and losing my daylight fast. I blew him off.

Email is so much easier for me, because I can type out a response to an email while participating in a meeting over the phone. The other man was fine communicating through email, so I told him the entire pile is his if he wants it. I forewarned him that no one here could help him shovel, and it's really hard work, so he might want to bring some helpers. He said it shouldn't be a problem for him. When he showed up I understood why. He was a body builder.

He's a really friendly guy, but he keeps coming to our door and ringing our doorbell to tell us when he arrives and when he leaves, which gets our dog into barking fits. He's very appreciative for someone who is doing an awful lot of work to obtain a huge pile of cr*p. He's been by twice, has had to reschedule once, and is planning to come back four more times. I'm going to have to explain to him that I work out of my home and I'd rather that he just help himself to the manure quietly. If I see his truck on my property, I know who he is and why he's there. We don't need to have an hour-long conversation every time he stops by. He stops by after work and is in the mood to socialize, but both my husband and I are starting work on our second jobs right then. We need to be at our desks.

In the meantime, the first man who picked up my manure contacted me again and said he wanted more. I told him I had given up on him since he said he'd be back in a couple of days and several weeks passed. My manure was piling up faster than he was picking it up, so I had to take out another ad. He seemed annoyed and said that he needed to set a time to come by ASAP because he was planning a vacation and wanted to get this project done before leaving. Hey, I wasn't the one who waited several weeks to pick up more manure. Previously I had told him I'm always home and to pick a day and time that is convenient for him, but I meant on a weekday. This time he chose 7:00 AM on a Saturday.

Ummmmmmm. No. He's retired. I work all week. If I can sleep in on the weekends, I do. He had sent the email around 9:00 PM on Friday night telling me he was coming at 7:00 AM the next day, and I didn't see it because I was already in bed. Fortunately, by the time I saw his email, he had already sent out another saying he couldn't make it. Then he rescheduled for Sunday, my trail riding day. I told him he would have to come in the afternoon or evening and I didn't get a response.

I cut my trail ride short to get home by afternoon to let him in through the gate, and when I got home I found another cancellation from him. Sigh. This guy was turning out to be a real pain in the butt. All I wanted was for one person to come by and haul my manure away, but I ended up juggling my schedule repeatedly on a daily basis because of people who kept changing their minds. Now the second guy is on vacation and the first guy is threatening to go on vacation. All I know is that I'm not willing to let either of them come by and suck up all my time once I'm on my staycation. That's my alone time. I bought myself a week to clear my head, and I can't do it if I've got people stopping by my house every evening to chat.

I don't know what it is about me, but people who meet me for the first time often spill their guts and tell me their life story. I had that happen to me again this weekend when I did the marketing. The checker asked how I was doing and I said something to the effect of being fine, but wishing I had a three-day weekend so I could get more done. Normally, I would ask how the other person is doing in return, but I was so tired and unaware that my immune system was busy fighting off a virus. I just wanted to get the groceries home and go to bed.

However, the checker started telling me the story of her life, which was terribly sad. I actually got all teary-eyed listening to her troubles. It was obvious that she needed to get some stuff off her chest, because she kept asking other customers waiting in line to go to another checkout stand. She wanted to finish her conversation with me. It felt more like we were having a therapy session than purchasing groceries in the market.

I've always thought that working 8 to 10 hours a day standing at a checkout station scanning groceries would be a hard life. I see a lot of checkers wearing wrist guards and back braces. I can totally understand how a checker would want to have a meaningful conversation with a customer every once in a while. I gave her my sympathies without judgment. I'm a bit of an enigma, because even though I can be really harsh when talking about my nosy neighbors or people who have offended me, I am really good about not judging people who get trapped into undesirable situations. It happens to the best of us.

When I was younger and less jaded, I had way more patience with people, even the mindless ones who screw up their own lives and expect someone else to fix it. I was really good at helping people release grief and in diffusing their anger and guilt. I think I got burnt out soaking up all those negative emotions, so now I pretty much avoid people when I can. Having strangers come over to pick up my manure probably wasn't a good idea in the first place, because even though it saved me the time and physical labor of having to spread it myself, I ultimately lost more time dealing with the people who came (and didn't come) to pick it up.

Mr. Flaky, who previously insisted that he was in a rush to get more manure, ended up canceling for most of this week due to it being too hot. I suspected he was planning another 7:00 AM on Saturday run and I knew I had to put a stop to that. You see, I suspect he comes by mainly just to talk. Both Mr. Talky and Mr. Flaky are big talkers and time consumers. I told him I'm in phone conferences all week and to not knock on the door, but just let me know what time he's coming by in advance and I'll keep the gate open for him. So, I suspect he wants to come by on the weekend, so he can tell me his life story.

I sent him an email letting him know that I won't be available from Saturday for the next week, so if he's in a rush he should stop by Thursday or Friday -- otherwise wait until September. Of course, I will be around for the next week, but this is the last of my vacation days for the year and I have to use them wisely by knocking as much off my To Do List as possible, and I can't be doing that if this guy holds me captive with his conversation. Mr. Flaky did respond with, "I'll try to come by some time in the morning."

I'm leaving the gate open, but not holding my breath.

So, heed my warning: If you don't have a lot of spare time, don't advertise your manure for free.


Mikey said...

You'd never think getting rid of poop would be such a hassle. I totally see why you avoid people. I do the same thing. Happy to say hi, howdy, how ya doing, but I'm always moving at mach 15, and I find that if I tap my fingernails or my foot, people get the message :)
Good luck with the poopage. I wondered what you did with it :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm kind of an anti-social person, too. I treasure my alone time. Probably comes from being raised an as only-child.
But when I meet someone that I seem to feel comfortable with and find it easy to talk to, I am known to talk a while. Most of the time people like to talk to me, though.
Have you tried looking at your watch, very obviously, over and over when someone is taking up your time?

Maybe you should consider going into therapy, instead of photography since people seem to like spilling their beans with you, and you are so patient and so empathetic? All you'd have to say to them every so often is, "So, how did that make you feel?" "Ahhh, I understand", "Tell me how it all started"

And then just slip an Ipod bud in your ear and zone out. lol!
Just kidding, of course.

I hope I didn't talk your ear off and annoy you when I was there visiting you, though.

Sorry about the poop hassle. When I had Bella and Etta Bay here I was shocked at the amount of poo that was produced. With Apache here only, though, the poop dries and spreads out and is gone in less than a week. I rarely ever have to scoop it up out of the pasture and paddocks.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - Of course you didn't talk my ear off and annoy me. There's a huge difference between me having a friend over for the purpose of socializing and me asking someone to drop off some hay or pick up some manure and having them take up an hour of my time while I'm supposed to be at work.

Ha ha. It's kind of funny, because if I need to just go outside really quick while I'm working to move the sprinkler or feed the horses, and I see a talkative neighbor driving up the street, I'll turn around and go back inside the house until they are gone. I'm so bad.

Everyone - Trust me, things like tapping my foot or looking at my watch have no affect on some of the talkers around here. I could tell you stories that would amaze you. I've even walked away from talkers while saying I've got to get back to work, and they follow me while talking. Then there's the people who say goodbye, shake my hand, and then come up with one more afterthought that lasts a good 15 minutes or so. I can escort people to the door, but they won't go out until they're ready. I need a big stage hook to grab them by the waist and pull them away from me so I can make a run for it. Hee hee.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Whew! Well that's a relief.
I had a great time visiting with you. Just wish we lived closer. Oooh! The trouble we could get into. hehe!