Sunday, March 6, 2011

Internet Connection and Being Taken

The order for changing the cable connection to include high-speed internet connection at my parents' was entered Friday. I also included their telephone service in there. It's supposed to take 7-10 business days to process. Hopefully the parents will never realize their telephone service is being changed; even though the total is less expensive this way and long distance calling is free, any change in their lives is immediately repulsed.

Hopefully I can explain away the need for the cable person to be there to install the modem. The last time I tried to connect them to the internet, about 15 or so years ago, before they were totally incompetent (or so I thought) ended up being one of the nastier episodes of our lives. I was going to pay for it, but Joe couldn't understand or wouldn't accept that. He went absolutely ape shit and said horrid, horrible things. If he does that again, I have no clue whatsoever how to control exasperation.

Speaking of exasperation, on Wednesday a supposed local, M.P., stopped at the house. I was in the kitchen and heard the truck start up.  Earlier that day Uncle had put the truck on a battery charger. This is the truck that the sitter pulled the coil on. When I got outside a man was standing beside the truck that Dad was starting up. This was a strange man.

I went up to him and introduced myself to him, saying my whole name. He replied with his first. I asked his last name. WHAT is it with people that have no clue how to introduce themselves? WHAT makes them think that only a first name is a perfectly okay response?  Inside I'm thinking, yes, you're one of a million Joe's or Billy's or whatever - but, aside from manners, you're in my life now, and I want to know who the hell you are.

Because I knew Dad couldn't hear, I asked MP if he had replaced a loose wire. Why, yes, he had.  I told him there was a reason that wire was loose, and it was called dementia. Very politely, I felt, I told him that the coil wire had been pulled for a reason, and that although I appreciated his thoughtfulness, he needed to come talk to someone else in the house before he again offered to help. I told him there was always either me or a sitter with my parents.

It seems MP wanted to buy Dad's old truck. I told him I had Power of Attorney and ALL decisions on property were made by me now. I also told him that another person had first dibs on the truck if it was sold. I tried to find out exactly who he was, whether he was a local, all that kind of stuff. MP immediately started to ramble. His responses led no where coherent. He started in on the who I'm related to and ex's and sons and never included where he lived but just someone that had lived down the street - it's a highway, it goes both ways - which way is down? He started in on the "I almost lost my son cause of this accident," and I almost lost someone else cause of this other thing.

While I was trying to puzzle through his responses, his cell phone rang, and without an "excuse me" or just not answering the damn phone, he interrupted his conversation with me, turned his back, reached into his truck and answered his cell phone. He ignored us, had a conversation, and then said he had to go. BIG CLUE HERE:  the real live person you're talking to is more important than the person calling on a cell phone. You can ALWAYS return a missed call. You can't uninterrupt a conversation with a real person.

Regardless, MP seemed to not be able to wait to get outta my presence. It was a clipped goodbye, a scramble into his truck and a quick exit from the driveway.

Lest you think I'm over reacting, let me say that four times before my parents have been taken or had attempts made on them to be taken. I'm beginning to recognize druggies on the move and freeloaders.

The first was next-door neighbors who "borrowed" $500 dollars from my Dad. Of course they were going to pay it back; of course there has never been $1.00 offered as payback. Yet I wasn't there, and can't call foul or demand repayment because I simply don't know the conversation or agreement.

The second was people who offered to fix the roof. They poured a 5-gallon container of tar on the roof and charged Dad $1600.  That was when I finally got called and realized how bad things were. It was too late to put a stop on the check. The roofers, of course, were transient and have disappeared into the ether.

The third was a caregiver that had been given permission to help with getting rid of some things. These were things like clothing from my mother's sister who had recently died and that my mother was incapable of letting go and other things depression kids or dementia-impaired elderly can't let go of. Advantage was taken.

The fourth was another "neighbor" from down the street, who was stopped from taking things from my Dad's workshop by the absolutely wonderful sitter that we now have. This neighbor was loading a trailer with things from my Dad's workshop. The sitter went out and said, "Whoa, what's going on here?" Neighbor said Dad said he could have said things. The sitter and I had previously discussed that Dad was becoming prone to giving things away and that couldn't happen.  When told that nothing was to be removed from the property without the daughter's permission, neighbor complied without police intervention.

Said neighbor was told daughter's schedule of being at parents' house and told to come back then and verify gifts.  Said neighbor has never shown his face at our house again. The nice thing about small towns is access to information if wanted (not so much if you don't want everyone knowing your business) and said neighbor is reputed to be a peeping tom, and local shopkeepers have been warned by relatives of said neighbor to watch when said neighbor is on premises.

So anyway, I'm tired of this aspect of caring for my parents.  In this very small community of 379, according to the 2010 Rand McNally Atlas, I wish I didn't have to watch like a hawk to keep someone from trying to take advantage of my parents.

To throw fat into the fire, of the now five attempts, three were from people who'd claim slander if you said they were druggies, one from itinerants, and one from people I class as freeloaders. Oxycodone and meth are trashing previous healthy communities. I have no solutions, but I can lament.

On the It's-the Little-Things Front, the truck was parked in back yard and still resides there as far as I know. I'll find out what's up with that when I return on Monday. The golf cart is still in limbo land.


Debbi said...

Did you get the guy's license plate number? It may be worth mentioning to the local officers. Just in case. It is not being paranoid. (wry grin)

Jola Gayle said...

No, since I had a name, didn't think of that. Have asked the sitters to check their local resources, some of which are officers. Since I didn't grow up there, their resources are better than mine. We'll see.