On The Issue of Trust

My father’s worker is probably running away with our car, and unlike Pero Pero, I REALLY don’t think he’s coming back.

Let me explain the story a bit:

My father wanted to begin fulfilling his post retirement dreams, so he made a plan to basically rebuild our front yard so that it looks nice and pretty. It’s a grand plan, to say the least: part of the yard is going to be converted to a fish pond; a river would run down from a rock on one side, through a bridge that goes between the path to our house, and into the fish pond. Next to the sidewalk of the street, we post fences and plant roses behind it; we’ll build a vine covered gate between the fences and sidewalk. I’ll steal my father’s concept artwork and scan it if I can find it later.

Of course, that’s a big load of work – and my father is reaching retirement age. Despite the fact that he can still beat me down with one fist (he can probably lift twice as much as I can), he didn’t want to do all the work alone (and no, he wanted to do it himself, so we didn’t hire contractors or anything. We can’t afford those people anyway), so he went for the next best solution: hiring freelance workers sitting outside of Home Depot. Most of them are probably Mexican and new immigrants.

So for the first few weeks of work, these people come and go – my father pick up a worker in the morning, he does a day of work, we pay him and send him back to Home Depot before dinner. But recently he found someone who can work daily for him, and let’s call that person… Tony. For the first few weeks or so he had been trustworthy, getting picked up on time and working till late hours. We invite him into the house to have dinners in occasion, and he comes off as being mild mannered and friendly for the most part. His English is more fluent than usual; he claims that he had been working in New York for a few years before coming here.

Anyhow, eventually my father decided that it’s too much trouble to pick him up everyday, and decided to let him drive our spare car, since it’s just sitting around anyway. And the trouble begins from there.

A few day after he starts driving our car, he got pulled over by a cop because his passenger (whoever he picked up) wasn’t wearing a seat belt. They also find out that Tony is not on the insured list on the car so naturally that means an extra ticket for not having proper insurance. We found out about this, and so my father wants to add his name to the insured list for the car, because, heaven forbit, if he wrecks the car we’ll be the ones paying for whatever he wreaks, without insurance. Not a good deal.

So we asked for a bunch of basic info and called our insurance agent. The first thing that she said: “You don’t even know this guy. How can you trust him to drive your car?”. We insisted on the issue and she reluctantly agreed to add the name, only to find out that he gave us a bogus driver licence number. Strike one.

We really didn’t think too much of it at first, and when my mom suggested that maybe something fishy is going on, my father gave her a lesson about trusting people – and so we shut up and stop talking about it. So we come up with another solution: instead of paying Tony daily, we’ll hold off enough salary and then just “give” him the car as wage, since he needs a car to go around anyway. We told Tony this and he agrees to it (notice that there’s several mistakes on our part for not pursuing on more information immediately).

So around last Tuesday, Tony dropped by (my father was not around) and told me that his friend got into a brawl and he will have to appear in court (also showing me a paper that says the bail is $20,000). He will need to use our car and drive him and his friends to the court, and wouldn’t be able to come to work. Fast forward to 4 days later, he never showed up after that little talk and all attempts to call his house ends in his voice mail. So now we’re probably going to go to (alledged location of) his apartment and take the car back home. That is, if we’re lucky enough to find it there.

So the moral of the story is this: I am a person who dislike distrusting people. Given the chance, I would want to put my trust in every stranger I meet, and I actually do pursue this to a degree. I never pass judgement on anyone I just met, my first assumption about a stranger is that he or she is a trustworthy person. It’s things like this, however, that makes me disgusted at people and all the things they do around proper moral and ethics for their own personal gain. My trust in someone goes away completely when he or she betrays me like this. There’s no three strike law and no second chance, I don’t believe in people changing for the better and so far I haven’t been wrong. This also leaves a bad taste in my mouth about Mexican immgrant workers; I know that one case hardly proves the whole, but so far they’ve only earned negative scores on our record.

Of course, all these might just be a misunderstanding, in which we’ll just take our car back until he can afford it, and let everything else go; otherwise, this will remain as a dark chapter in the diary of my life.

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