I love my 1997 Ford Taurus GL and like most cars, they have trouble from time to time. The first estimate I got for the "minor repair" was $2700.00! Yeah, right. So I decided to go to the manager of my complex Tony, to see if he had anyone he could recommend. "Ed" would be coming to my home to fix what ever was wrong because, " he fixes my cars." The manager said. Then he added, "look, Ed is sixty-two years old and he lives in his van. He parks in a vacant lot over in M'vill but he's nothing to worry about. He just needs a break." I thought if Tony knows him, he must be okay. Who cares if he is homeless and lives in a van? He's probably needing money around this time of year anyway sooo.
Ed drives up in his van, complete with dog and pulled out a series of tools to rival NASCAR. The deal was I buy the parts and I pay a set fee of $100.00 for time and trouble. No problem. Unfortunately, the more work he did, the more another problem began to surface.
Little by little, Ed began making rather inappropriate comments. "G*damn, you're a good-looking lady.""Anybody ever tell you, you got a great ass?" I ignored all his comments. Then he started bringing beer to the house. I don't mind beer, I just didn't want to think this man would drink, get drunk and then leave my house and have an accident. So I asked him not to bring it anymore. "No prob." he said. "You some sort of 'Christian?"
"You know, when I get this car fixed, you won't want to see me anymore." he said.
"But you're here because Tony recommended you and I'm paying you."
"Now you sound like you want to get rid of me."
"I just want my car fixed."
There were three consecutive days he came over, didn't even look at the car but brought in his guitar to show off his musical abilities. Now the man can play! No question about that but I wasn't paying to be sung to when my car needed to be completely fixed. "Maybe you'll let me take you to Gatlinburg sometime?" he asked.
"No thanks." I said. On those three days, he said he couldn't look at the car because "the time has changed, dark comes faster and my van don't have headlights". I was beginning to get nervous.
Then I really stepped in it. He was working on the car, came in to wash his hands and he smelled so badly that it took my breath away. I didn't want to embarrass him so I said, "I'm going to be doing some wash soon, let me have that coat and I'll wash it for you." So I did. The next day when my son had come by to visit, Ed asked if he could take a shower. So I let him. I thought I was being nice and helpful because the smell wasn't just the man's coat...it was him. My son left after Ed did so, no big deal.
It got so bad that when the transmission leak was fixed, other things like unexplained flat tires and "extra examinations" of completed work had to be done by Ed. I told Tony who just told me to call the law but I didn't. I finished paying the guy and sent him on his way. But then he started calling and calling to the point where I stopped answering my phone. The he sent a text that read, "So much for you being a Christian lady. After everything I've done you just don't have anything else to say? I don't know what I did but you got some nerve being a backstabber, thief and a liar. Be sure to go to church on Wed and Sunday so you can keep on fooling those people." He wrote worse things but I never respond.
As usual, the police are no help at all and when I explained that I am all alone in my home and am still receiving breast cancer treatment their reply was, "And you thought this was important enough to notify us?"
Once again, I suffered from car trouble but THIS time it was the MECHANIC.
It hurts me to say this but I am beginning to understand some of the reluctance people have in hiring homeless men...especially when you can't trust a "trusted friend" to send you a good mechanic who maybe down on their luck.
I've told everyone I'm 'supposed' to tell when alone and some crazy man bothers you but looks like as usual it's fallen on deaf ears. BUT AT LEAST YOU ALL KNOW. Thanks for reading!
Happy Thanksgiving and May God Bless Us All