When help isn't help
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27-03-2017, 07:11 PM (This post was last modified: 27-03-2017 07:47 PM by Dom.)
When help isn't help
I know many of us have looked at that "We'll pray for you" - the well meant bit of "help" that... well, doesn't. I tend to take it as intended, rather than argue. Yeah, it's mostly making someone else feel they're doing something, but... *shrug*

But I end up in a situation with my brother and sister in law's ... help. I end up not wanting to say anything because, well, they're trying to help, but they really don't.

Over the last year, I've been unemployed twice. Both came out of nowhere - one place started downsizing, and the few months dealing with that ate up what nest egg I had. Got into another job, had that drop me due to budget reasons (and don't get me into a rant there) the week before Christmas... (Which, yeah, means I'm in a bad way ATM trying to get things back up and running. If it's OK to drop a gofundme link,, otherwise I won't argue if it gets trimmed.)

Anyway. Brother and in-law ... helped. I mean, they did. Some groceries - another 25 lb bag of rice, among other things (which I *still* haven't finished) and a little gas money. And I love them for it and appreciate it. Until I start going through the things they bring.

Little side info here, due to insurance, jobs, money, etc. I've got a distinct need for dentures. Eventually, I'll get them. 'Til then, some things are... *difficult* at best to eat. They know this. And yet bring over... nuts (No molars.) Salad. (goes right through, again, can't chew.) Trail mix...

And canned food that's expired. OK, some is just a month or so. I can deal, that's a "best by" date, after all. But from (not kidding) 2012-2014, I get a bit wary. Especially, as I recall, when they're highly acidic... like tomatoes... At least half the food goes into those two categories. And no, I don't say anything.

Then, a month and change back, I got sick - JUST after getting a new job. Wiped me out for a week (and I had no voice for 2-3 weeks after. Did I mention I work mostly on the phone? Fortunately we had an email backlog...) Among the things received from that brother and sister in law... Theraflu. Again, expiration date in 2012.

Which means, when they help - and I know they are trying to - part of me just cringes. Which makes me feel solidly ungrateful and more than a bit guilty. And I generally try to avoid conflict...

But I really think I need to come up with a way to talk to them about this. Likely a more polite way than coming over with a bag of way-past-date theraflu and ancient cans...

Anyone ever had to talk to someone about things like that? Hopefully I won't *have* to get in that situation again, but still...

My little rambling blog. (More topical than this one, at least.)
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27-03-2017, 07:49 PM
RE: When help isn't help
(27-03-2017 07:11 PM)Ricochet180 Wrote:  I know many of us have looked at that "We'll pray for you" - the well meant bit of "help" that... well, doesn't. I tend to take it as intended, rather than argue. Yeah, it's mostly making someone else feel they're doing something, but... *shrug*

But I end up in a situation with my brother and sister in law's ... help. I end up not wanting to say anything because, well, they're trying to help, but they really don't.

Over the last year, I've been unemployed twice. Both came out of nowhere - one place started downsizing, and the few months dealing with that ate up what nest egg I had. Got into another job, had that drop me due to budget reasons (and don't get me into a rant there) the week before Christmas... (Which, yeah, means I'm in a bad way ATM trying to get things back up and running. If it's OK to drop a gofundme link,, otherwise I won't argue if it gets trimmed.)

Anyway. Brother and in-law ... helped. I mean, they did. Some groceries - another 25 lb bag of rice, among other things (which I *still* haven't finished) and a little gas money. And I love them for it and appreciate it. Until I start going through the things they bring.

Little side info here, due to insurance, jobs, money, etc. I've got a distinct need for dentures. Eventually, I'll get them. 'Til then, some things are... *difficult* at best to eat. They know this. And yet bring over... nuts (No molars.) Salad. (goes right through, again, can't chew.) Trail mix...

And canned food that's expired. OK, some is just a month or so. I can deal, that's a "best by" date, after all. But from (not kidding) 2012-2014, I get a bit wary. Especially, as I recall, when they're highly acidic... like tomatoes... At least half the food goes into those two categories. And no, I don't say anything.

Then, a month and change back, I got sick - JUST after getting a new job. Wiped me out for a week (and I had no voice for 2-3 weeks after. Did I mention I work mostly on the phone? Fortunately we had an email backlog...) Among the things received from that brother and sister in law... Theraflu. Again, expiration date in 2012.

Which means, when they help - and I know they are trying to - part of me just cringes. Which makes me feel solidly ungrateful and more than a bit guilty. And I generally try to avoid conflict...

But I really think I need to come up with a way to talk to them about this. Likely a more polite way than coming over with a bag of way-past-date theraflu and ancient cans...

Anyone ever had to talk to someone about things like that? Hopefully I won't *have* to get in that situation again, but still...

I did trim the link. You need to ask permission before posting these.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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27-03-2017, 09:33 PM
RE: When help isn't help
Is there not some sort of relief society, a food bank, or something near you that you can avail yourself of fresh food from? I've been there in the past, and it stinks having to ask, as you well know. Sorry to see that you are going through this.
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28-03-2017, 06:22 AM
RE: When help isn't help
This is not "help". It is thoughtless at best and passive-aggressive at worst. Really caring, loving help looks like this: they bring over the best they can provide, not the worst. I mean, it'd require real effort to find stuff that outdated. It had to have been deliberately selected.

My son fell on hard times here and there and what we did was have him over for home-cooked meals which my wife would purposely over-prepare for and send him home with 2 or three grocery bags of FRESH food. It was the only reliable way to put a smile on his face anyway. It was worth it. Say what you want about my son, he loved good food. Other examples: I sent him to my personal dentist for extensive work he needed and paid for it. We bought him NEW clothing so we were sure he was warm enough in winter. I would drive downtown on particularly cold days (-20 wind chill) and insist on driving him to work, then (because he got off at 1 am) gave him $20 to call a cab to take him home.

THAT'S what people who actually give a flying fuck do for people they actually care about. That is NOT what's happening here.

Personally I'd say "fuck you very much for your thoughtlessness" and go to the food bank. But that's just me.
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29-03-2017, 02:48 AM
RE: When help isn't help
It does say something negative about them that they give you stuff most people wouldn't give their pets. And stuff they know you can't eat. It's not real help, it's condescending and only to make them feel better themselves.
I'd be way too unconfrontational myself to dare take it up with them if I was in that situation though. If I did, I'd say "thank you for the help and thought, but some of these things I really can't use". But they do deserve a "screw you, you unthoughtful, self-serving idiots". I'm just not sure I'd risk it if they really do provide some help of value too. I don't have the ovaries for it (no balls either).

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
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29-03-2017, 04:07 PM
RE: When help isn't help
As others have said, fiinding food this horrible takes talent. Either they are imbeciles who shop at the pyramids of Giza or this is deliberately malicious.

You can bring thiis to their attention without being confrontational by expressing your concern that they might have eaten some of this biohazardous waste themselves. Expired tomatoes are very bad news, though beans are worse. Both have a high risk of growing botulism, which can be quite fatal. Some of the less lethal microbes will simply make you wish you had died.

That doesn't help with the trail mix but you can likely take that to the foodbank. Some explanation will be needed but they'll get it and somebody who likes nuts will appreciate your brother's idiocy.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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31-03-2017, 11:06 PM
When help isn't help
When people give you their scraps, that's not very loving. I would give my good stuff away and eat the scraps myself.

One of my kids didn't have any food in her house so we went to the grocery store and bought a ton of things. We brought it over and helped put it all up.

I hope your situation improves.
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01-04-2017, 12:26 AM
RE: When help isn't help
I'm pretty sure most people "help" to make themselves feel better, which is why they rarely offer anything that would actually be helpful to someone in need.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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01-04-2017, 12:31 AM
RE: When help isn't help
(27-03-2017 07:11 PM)Ricochet180 Wrote:  I know many of us have looked at that "We'll pray for you" - the well meant bit of "help" that... well, doesn't. I tend to take it as intended, rather than argue. Yeah, it's mostly making someone else feel they're doing something, but... *shrug*

But I end up in a situation with my brother and sister in law's ... help. I end up not wanting to say anything because, well, they're trying to help, but they really don't.

Over the last year, I've been unemployed twice. Both came out of nowhere - one place started downsizing, and the few months dealing with that ate up what nest egg I had. Got into another job, had that drop me due to budget reasons (and don't get me into a rant there) the week before Christmas... (Which, yeah, means I'm in a bad way ATM trying to get things back up and running. If it's OK to drop a gofundme link,, otherwise I won't argue if it gets trimmed.)

Anyway. Brother and in-law ... helped. I mean, they did. Some groceries - another 25 lb bag of rice, among other things (which I *still* haven't finished) and a little gas money. And I love them for it and appreciate it. Until I start going through the things they bring.

Little side info here, due to insurance, jobs, money, etc. I've got a distinct need for dentures. Eventually, I'll get them. 'Til then, some things are... *difficult* at best to eat. They know this. And yet bring over... nuts (No molars.) Salad. (goes right through, again, can't chew.) Trail mix...

And canned food that's expired. OK, some is just a month or so. I can deal, that's a "best by" date, after all. But from (not kidding) 2012-2014, I get a bit wary. Especially, as I recall, when they're highly acidic... like tomatoes... At least half the food goes into those two categories. And no, I don't say anything.

Then, a month and change back, I got sick - JUST after getting a new job. Wiped me out for a week (and I had no voice for 2-3 weeks after. Did I mention I work mostly on the phone? Fortunately we had an email backlog...) Among the things received from that brother and sister in law... Theraflu. Again, expiration date in 2012.

Which means, when they help - and I know they are trying to - part of me just cringes. Which makes me feel solidly ungrateful and more than a bit guilty. And I generally try to avoid conflict...

But I really think I need to come up with a way to talk to them about this. Likely a more polite way than coming over with a bag of way-past-date theraflu and ancient cans...

Anyone ever had to talk to someone about things like that? Hopefully I won't *have* to get in that situation again, but still...

Wait.... you worked in a call center?

So did I! My last 2 jobs were Tier 3 tech support, one for an ISP, the other for a tax software company. Those kinda hell holes would make anyone sick.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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01-04-2017, 04:12 AM
RE: When help isn't help
(01-04-2017 12:26 AM)JesseB Wrote:  I'm pretty sure most people "help" to make themselves feel better, which is why they rarely offer anything that would actually be helpful to someone in need.

I dunno man. My experience is definitely different. There's no point to "help" if the help offered is useless. Even if I was doing it to make myself feel better, not doing something of actual benefit would mean I couldn't feel better anyway.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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