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  1. #1
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Question Need your quick advice

    I've got a disabled housemate. He's 62, is blind in one eye, has diabetes, gets dialysis 3x a week, and is schizophrenic (historically). He's a nice guy, but he asks for a lot of favor, specifically, he asks for me to drive him around. This is the 3rd or fourth time he's asked in 6 weeks, and it usually ends up being a 5-6 hour production. He's invited me places, but I think it was more for a ride to and fro than for my company (music rehearsal and play he wrote). Last week he asked me to take him to buy a new chair for his room. The place is about 40 minutes away, and in LA traffic, probably an hour or more. I blew it off a bit. Tonight he asked me to him to get a belt, to Target, about 20 minutes away. He then asked me to take him apartment hunting, because he's considering moving out soon.

    On the one hand, I want to be nice. I don't think he's TOTALLY using me, but I think he's partially using me, and partially just expecting this out of friendship. He might be the type of person to return favors like these; I'm not sure, since I don't ask for favors. If he's leaving, then theoretically, there won't be too many more impositions. Also, I don't really have that much to do, but I do enjoy my relaxation time, and I just broke up with my girl, so I have some things to think about. On the other hand, I'm getting annoyed and starting to feel like a chauffeur. What would you do? What's the ideal thing to do?

  2. #2
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Why is this man your housemate?

    How do you know him?
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

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  3. #3
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Why is this man your housemate?

    How do you know him?
    I moved into the Dharma Zen Center last month. It's like a co-op, but with a meditation requirement. He was living here when I got here. That being said, I want to do the correct thing.

  4. #4
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I moved into the Dharma Zen Center last month. It's like a co-op, but with a meditation requirement. He was living here when I got here. That being said, I want to do the correct thing.
    Hmm, that's makes things a bit interesting and unfortunately, I don't know much about Zen Buddhism...

    Do you have a mentor/master there to speak to for advice?
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  5. #5
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Hmm, that's makes things a bit interesting and unfortunately, I don't know much about Zen Buddhism...
    Doesn't really matter.

    Do you have a mentor/master there to speak to for advice?
    Sort of. I didn't consider calling him, but that's a pretty good idea. What would you do, assuming there was no one to talk to?

  6. #6
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Edahn, I know you have ADD, but went to all the trouble of typing this out to help you so read this, kthxbai:

    Okay that really contextualizes it.

    1) I would say tongue in cheek, WWJD? But in this case, what would Buddha advise you to ask yourself in order to find the correct answer?

    2) With the age difference, he's not so much a roommate as an elder. And elders kinda need help and it's kinda expected to help them out.

    3) Gas is expensive. You could at least ask him to chip in for that.

    4) Feeling like you are at someone beck and call and that it's automatically assumed you'll drop everything and do a favor does NOT for a good vibe make. It builds resentment, tension, and no a pretty dynamic.

    Since you're living in a Zen co-op, I'd really think hard about how that all plays out in your relationship with your roommate and any kind of pressure you're putting on yourself to 'be thoughtful/buddhist' etc. Don't feel like you have to say yes and drop everything or else you are somehow being 'bad' or insincere.

    Aside from that -- I'd say make some ground rules and set up realistic expectations -- like you can take him somewhere 1 day a week (every Tuesday from this time to that time). Or that if you go more than so many miles you'd like him to chip in for gas.

    Again, because he's older and this is in a co-op Buddist 'mindful living' context he may have very different expectations or come from different 'cultural' expectations.

    I had young able-bodied roommates ask me for rides 2x a week. They had the gall to WAKE ME UP in the morning to drive 1.5 hours round trip because they woke up late. Oh hell no.

    Your situation is different I think.

    *edit*
    PS What Captain said -- call the RA or an advisor.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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  7. #7
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Been there, done that, it was a thankless task and I was being used. I don't take kindly to guilt trips.

    Limit the amount/kind of things you do to help without being rude, he survived before you were there and I'm sure he can find another sucker to be his gopher.

    Helping him with apartment hunting could be in your best interests however.

  8. #8
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Doesn't really matter.
    Is that like, a Zen joke or something?

    Sort of. I didn't consider calling him, but that's a pretty good idea. What would you do, assuming there was no one to talk to?
    I dunno, I lived with my incontinent grandmother for three years until she passed away, my mother did most of the gnarly care taking stuff, but as a granddaughter and a human being, I did my part to help out, as annoying, painstaking, and yes, flat-out gross as it sometimes would be.

    A.) I believe that doing charitable, or kind things is entirely optional.

    B.) If this man *is* taking advantage of you, and using his elderly and handicapped status as an "I'm a helpless old man" excuse for you to be his lackey, that's not cool one bit.

    C.) CzeCze is pretty on the money with her advice.

    D.) What I would do in your situation: I would help him only when I felt up for it, i.e. when I had the energy and emotional willingness to do it.

    E.) You just got over a break-up, I did too a little while back, and I was damn near useless for a looooooooooooong ass time. Perhaps you need some time to heal yourself before you can be of any practical and beneficial use to anybody else.
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  9. #9
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    Helping him with apartment hunting could be in your best interests however.
    Gotta love the pragmatic advice of an INTJ.

    She most certainly has a point.
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  10. #10
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I've been in too many similar situations.

    I guess I'm a softy, I'd just take him. I'd request gas money and tell him he'd have to work around my schedule.

    Why would I do this? I haven't read any other responses so excuse me if I repeat.

    I don't think there's an ideal way to handle this. Given the price of gas I think you're well within your rights to refuse. He's old, schizophrenic, and on dialysis. I know some people use their ailments against other people to manipulate which sucks. I know that when you go to dialysis you're usually there for at least three hours which is a major time sink out of your day. Your life is somewhat built around the fact that you have to be in that center x times per week and it's a teether holding from going to far. I don't know the severity of his schizophrenia but he may feel safer being with someone who knows his history if any trouble develops. If he were to use public transportation that's more unreliable and given his mental and physical state that presents an added hardship. I'm also guessing that given his state he doesn't drive and if he had family or friends to ask he would've done so already? Also since he'll be moving out soon like you've already mentioned this won't be something that continues. What would you be doing otherwise?

    I guess I generally believe that although I know I'm being used I think what am I being used for and that's more or less the deciding factor of if I'll do it or not. I've had people invite me to clubs because I'm the only one with a car and they know they'll be drunk and don't want to catch cab. Wow, this is making me think!! This should be a thread "On Being Used." I think that I draw a hard line on being used when I begin to feel that I am unappreciated or my sole purpose in the person's life is to be a 7-11.

    And just to qualify the difference between being used by a person and doing a favor for a friend, I'd think the person doing the requesting is still in the acquaintance zone so the relationship is still fresh and wobbly. You're not quite sure where it's going yet. So if they start making too many requests like this without any reciprocation then yes, you're being used. I guess you'd have to take stock of what you're really losing and if it can be regained in the future.

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