Friday, May 24, 2024

Microstory 2155: Tiny Home Community

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You’ll recall that I was planning to put off my community service hours until I was finished with my jail time. This was the best decision at the time, because it meant that I wasn’t trying to pile everything on all at once. If I had tried to rush through it, I would have gotten burnt out, and probably had a nervous breakdown. Other than that, though, there’s no other reason that I can’t start working through my hours earlier if I want. Before I get into it, I have one last update about that business deal that I’ve been working on. They pulled out of it. Completely. They made it quite clear that there was no legal issue, and that the whole reason they’ve changed their minds is because of my post last night. They asked me to eat steak with them, because that’s traditionally what they do after a handshake. I felt pressured to go along with it, even though I’m vegetarian, but they don’t see it that way. I’m an adult, and I made a decision, and I could have declined. Except I did try to decline, and they kept pushing and pushing. Still, they don’t want to work with me anymore, because I made them look bad. I pointed out that I never mentioned them by name, but they volleyed that I eventually would have, when I started to promote them, and that’s a good point. I must say, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it’s probably for the best that we don’t associate with each other, whoever they were—I’ll never tell. On the other hand, I ate meat for no reason now, destroying my five year streak, and making me feel even worse about myself. If I could go back in time, I would have politely rejected their initial proposal, and then just moved on with my life. I’m gaining not only new readers, but also new subscribers. I have a good job in addition to this side hustle. I really don’t think anything else on top of that.

I still feel pretty crappy about the situation, so I decided I needed to do something about it. A long, long time ago, in a universe far, far away, I used to volunteer all the time. It came so naturally to me that I barely thought about it. That was one good thing about the scouts, because if not for them, or for church, I might not have done any, because, well...I wasn’t thinking about it. I didn’t have to go to the opportunities. They always came to me. Despite the fact that I’m now required by law to participate in community service, it’s not that easy. The court isn’t going to send me a list of places where I can volunteer, and they’re certainly not going to coordinate it for me. I have to reach out to the organizations myself, and have them approved by my parole officer, Leonard. That’s mostly a formality, because the only reason he would reject a particular proposal is if I’m being asked to do dumb, pointless, or unhelpful work. Good, non-scammy organizations who legitimately need help should be fair game. I forgot to say anything to Leonard beforehand, because I wasn’t initially planning on starting my service so soon, but I called him after, and the eight hours I earned will still count just fine. Homes for Humankind is presently building a tiny home community not too far from me on the Missouri side. It’s for people of low or no income, who need a place to live, but don’t need their homes to be lavish and expensive. I spent a half day cutting wood, and drilling screws. Most of the other dozen or so volunteers were highly experienced with this standardized model, so they went fast, and had a shorthand with each other. They were wary of me, but I have my own experience with this sort of thing, so I kept up. We still got the whole unfurnished product done in a day. I’ll help build another next week.

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