Jump to content

The Foolish Friend (now what to do with old tools?)


fm2176

Recommended Posts

Okay, I need to vent somewhere, so here goes...

 

A lifelong friend of mine has put himself away yet again.  Like me, he enjoys his alcohol.  Unlike me, he's had a habit of getting behind the wheel and getting arrested for DUI.  He's never hurt anyone else, despite coming close to killing himself in a wreck ten years ago (broken femur, fractured hip, and a bunch of other injuries requiring months of healing and therapy), but that's does not mitigate the seriousness of his actions.  He had a few DUI charges up until 2009 or so, but he managed to get off on a few based on refusals to take a breathalyzer and technicalities.  Eight years ago was when things became truly serious, though, in terms of jail time.  He was arrested for a 3rd offense (technically, I think he'd been convicted a few times already, but 2 or 3 were 1st offense charges) DUI in 2009 and sentenced to 5 years, only having to serve a quarter of that time.  After getting released, he came to visit me a few states away despite being on probation, and as he is wont to do he angered his girlfriend who reported her car stolen, leading to him being arrested in another state on the way home and serving a year on unrelated charges.  A few months after getting released and getting back home, the original jurisdiction found out about the probation violation and he was sentenced to serve out his remaining sentence--almost four years in state prisons. 

 

Now he'd been out for almost one-and-a-half years when his wife informed me a couple of days ago that he'd been arrested yet again.  He was free of all probation, had gotten a pretty good job, and was making steady child support payments, but he was still driving to and from work on a revoked license.  Conversations we'd recently had and a visit I paid two weeks ago had me thinking that he truly was reforming his bad habit of driving drunk.  We had plans to start building furniture when I move back near the area next year, to give us both something to do besides drinking our boredom away, as well as discussing various projects for his house and my few houses.  While he was incarcerated before, I'd stocked up on tools to give him so that he'd have something to come home to.  Historically, he'd lose almost everything when he went to jail for a few months or a year.

 

Venting over.  My friend has almost definitely lost his job now, and his case was continued yesterday while he remains in custody.  Sadly, I know that some other people here probably have similar friends or acquaintances, but we cannot control the actions of others.  Now, on to the question.

 

I have some virtually worthless (in terms of resale value) Porter Cable 12v Max and 18v tools that I was going to give my friend next month.  I'm holding on to them until I find out his fate, but if he gets another years-long sentence, I plan to give them to someone else.  It's nothing fancy: circular/reciprocating saws, drill, impact driver, OMT, five 1.3Ah batteries, two chargers, and the 12v Max impact/drill set.  All of the batteries are still good, but all are between five and eight years old.  Sadly, I've used this stuff much more than the vastly more expensive acquisitions of the past two years, and these tools are great, if dated and unpopular with some long-time cordless users.

 

I was thinking last night about what I should do with them.  I want to give them to a family member or a friend who is local to me, but have considered donating them to Habitat for Humanity.  As I stated earlier, it is not a forgone conclusion that they won't go to my friend; I suppose there is a small chance that a judge will be lenient, but I have no desire to let them sit until the batteries die and kill whatever usefulness they still have.

 

Do I donate them, give them away, keep them as loaner tools (another option), or offer them to a young apprentice or new tradesman who just needs something basic that they can upgrade from later?

 

As for drinking and driving, don't do it!  Though my friend and I live states apart and have little direct bearing on each others' life, spending one's adult life in and out of prison is not the way to go.  This is just the latest start of what has been a constant cycle over the past eight years.  He gets locked up, after his location stabilizes, we write a few letters, I put money on his phone account via J-Pay and occasionally give him a little for the canteen or to write digital letters, we discuss future plans and I try my best to keep him optimistic and forward-looking.  He gets released, starts mending his relationships with his children and wife, gets a job and cleans up, we hang out a couple of times, and then he gets arrested again, starting the cycle anew.  It sucks knowing that he may not be released this time until after I retire from the Army and start my next career.  All things considered, though, we reap what we sow.  Think twice before doing something stupid!

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a relative who used to work for a state agency. While he was working there, he picked up some items that were designated to be scrapped, and took them home and started using them, as he thought it was a complete waste to throw something in good condition away. A co-worker saw the items in use at his home during a party he was hosting, and turned him in for misappropriation of govt. property. 15k in costs and a felony plea agreement later, he is no longer able to secure a job in his chosen field.

 

You have to wonder at both his reasons for picking the items up, and also why the state decided that appropriating items designated as scrap or trash were deserving of such a hard treatment, but in the end, it was his mistake, and the price is being paid.

 

I have been passing some of my old tools along to him, and I can only hope that he will pass them along as well when he decides they are no longer useful as well. I wish him the best, but you reap as you sow. Yes, think twice...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having served in the Army for 16 years, I've seen more than my share of what most non-government employees would call waste.  As Drill Sergeants, my coworkers and I aren't afforded any official break periods, to include lunch.  The chow halls throw out a bunch of food after each meal, but if we want to eat we have to pay for food that most of us wouldn't eat if we had a choice.  Similarly, remaining field chow is tossed out, but we are not permitted to eat it unless we pay.  Anything perishable goes into the compactor when chow is returned, usually including an entire pallet of bread and a bunch of cereal and other items.

 

I've been a Soldier long enough to know the reasoning behind throwing away perfectly good food (and equipment or materials, but that's another matter); taxpayers paid for it and the government budgeted for it and acquired it for a particular purpose.  Once it has been prepared (the food) or has met its intended purpose, it must be gotten rid of as it cannot go back into the supply system (though all accountable property must be turned in).  In the Army you'll usually see non-accountable property that was bought with unit funds "go away".  I've heard of items as big as riding lawn mowers going home with officers, but it's never been worth my career to take anything home.  My monthly pay pales compared to a Captain's, but I still make enough to buy 2 or 3 riding mowers a month if I really need one.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, JMG said:

I have a relative who used to work for a state agency. While he was working there, he picked up some items that were designated to be scrapped, and took them home and started using them, as he thought it was a complete waste to throw something in good condition away. A co-worker saw the items in use at his home during a party he was hosting, and turned him in for misappropriation of govt. property. 15k in costs and a felony plea agreement later, he is no longer able to secure a job in his chosen field.

 

You have to wonder at both his reasons for picking the items up, and also why the state decided that appropriating items designated as scrap or trash were deserving of such a hard treatment, but in the end, it was his mistake, and the price is being paid.

 

I have been passing some of my old tools along to him, and I can only hope that he will pass them along as well when he decides they are no longer useful as well. I wish him the best, but you reap as you sow. Yes, think twice...

Yep it sucks but it happens all the time you can get in trouble for taking things that are considered waste. Only do it if you have written permission. A guy was fired giving away day old bread that was going to be tossed. Also employee's have been fired for eating something before paying for it. Its a crazy savage dog eat dog world.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, fm2176 said:

Having served in the Army for 16 years, I've seen more than my share of what most non-government employees would call waste.  As Drill Sergeants, my coworkers and I aren't afforded any official break periods, to include lunch.  The chow halls throw out a bunch of food after each meal, but if we want to eat we have to pay for food that most of us wouldn't eat if we had a choice.  Similarly, remaining field chow is tossed out, but we are not permitted to eat it unless we pay.  Anything perishable goes into the compactor when chow is returned, usually including an entire pallet of bread and a bunch of cereal and other items.

 

I've been a Soldier long enough to know the reasoning behind throwing away perfectly good food (and equipment or materials, but that's another matter); taxpayers paid for it and the government budgeted for it and acquired it for a particular purpose.  Once it has been prepared (the food) or has met its intended purpose, it must be gotten rid of as it cannot go back into the supply system (though all accountable property must be turned in).  In the Army you'll usually see non-accountable property that was bought with unit funds "go away".  I've heard of items as big as riding lawn mowers going home with officers, but it's never been worth my career to take anything home.  My monthly pay pales compared to a Captain's, but I still make enough to buy 2 or 3 riding mowers a month if I really need one.

Yea there was a big deal a few years ago with items going missing a small military base going missing. Eventually someone higher up notices things.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a (very) younger brother that's chosen to get his act together but can't get a job at all, when I can, I have him help on some of my side projects and occasionally as needed with my company.  Kid works his ass off for me,  and when I can I pass my unneeded tools to him.  I'd suggest if you get rid of your tools give them to someone who needs them and will use them to put food on the table, while habitat is a worthy cause, I'd rather help someone I know.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Member Statistics

    17,416
    Total Members
    6,555
    Most Online
    JoeF
    Newest Member
    JoeF
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...