Posted on January 7, 2018
I can’t say I’m a big fan of people. I reckon, at this point, I’m at a 1-5 Like-Dislike Ratio – give or take a few, depending on where I’m meeting these people, of course. Say I’m walking on a market and three people offer me free samples of nice food, and a fourth offers me a cup of soy milk and a lecture on how the dairy industry is ruining the planet, that ratio would be 3-1. I’m just saying, it all depends on the situation. Generally speaking, though, I would say it’s about one nice person out of five. I hate having to make fake friends, or play nice with people I can’t stand, and will generally avoid doing so. I will always be polite and helpful to the necessary extent, but I have no interest in sharing my life or thoughts when I don’t want to. We are not friends because we speak the same language in a foreign country, we are not friends because we are the only people of the same age in a group, and we are definitely not friends just because we happen to be in the same work situation. We will be friends because we vibe, because we like each other, no more, no less.
Still at the farm – a mere three weeks to go, fyi – I haven’t been meeting many new people lately. I must admit, however, that I don’t really mind. The holiday weeks have been very agreeable, and the family and I have settled into a nice work-life balance. Of course I can’t wait to go back to the city, but – knock on wood – things could be way worse. Unfortunately, as is always the case, after having found my place here as a plus 1 to the family – being the only employee and shit, a new bloke showed up. Great, you’d say! Fun! Company! New people! Yeah, nah. Enter a new chaotic force that could ruin this carefully constructed peace: a 14-year-old boy – I wish I was joking, really.
The first five minutes I spent with old mate, I heard him make a sarcastic comment to one of the girls that – granted, for the second time already – said she was a great driver. This kid, literally going on and on about all the vehicles he can operate, is giving the boss’ daughter shit because she matched his bragging, not even. He sits there, talking like a big man, telling me and the boss’ mother – this lovely 70+ woman – about how he told his former employer to shove his job up his ass. In this part of the country you can’t even swear in the presence of a woman, so I’m pretty sure you can’t say shit like shove it up your ass. You can’t undo a first impression, mate, never forget. He doesn’t have a phone, or a laptop, so every free moment he has, he hangs around the kitchen, trying to find people to listen to his shit talking. It literally goes so far that for one whole hour, he watched me clean the porch while occasionally trying to engage in conversation. Every time I suggested he go and do some work – it was his first fucking day, for crying out loud – he said he’d rather wait for instructions from the boss – who of course later on told me to give the boy a job to do when he’s just hanging around. You want to make yourself look bad, mate, that’s all good, but you leave me out of it.
Next minute, the kid is back, asking me if I’ve ever dated an Australian guy – not that the answer mattered to him, he is just one of those people that asks a question so he can talk about himself. He dated a Belgium girl before, he said – dated her, but doesn’t even know what the proper adjective is. He also dated an Australian girl, an Afghan girl, “jack of all trades, my dad would say”, he said. I gave him a little smile, trying not to throw up in my mouth. Are we keeping in mind he’s fourteen, yeah? He then proceeds to tell me how he managed to get his Belgium babe: “‘roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, but not as sweet as you’, I said, and she blushed, and that was it.” Me, definitely throwing up in my mouth at this point, couldn’t help but ask how he’d managed to get so many girls, being only fourteen and all. Turns out his longest relationship lasted two days, the shortest lasted one hour before she cheated on him. Here we are, this fucked up millennial generation, going from situationship to situationship, never actually reaching that relationship stage, and this kid is calling basically just talking to a girl a relationship – which is btw all he wants right now. I just can’t even.
Yesterday, day two for him, he decided around 11 o’clock that he wasn’t feeling very well, and needed a rest. He left for his bed, leaving his unfinished job for me to clean up. Didn’t ask me anything, didn’t thank me, and there I was, picking up shit after a fourteen-year-old. When I then told him that things don’t work like that around here, he gave me the biggest attitude ever, talking how he might just quit. Cue biggest eye-roll of my life. I literally can’t even, part two.
Last night then, we had dinner by ourselves, because the family was otherwise occupied. I must say I was pleasantly surprised he had gotten over himself, and he even apologised for his behaviour. If only he would apologise and not talk for five minutes, I would be so happy. The kid then starts another monologue (of course) about how he doesn’t want to be in school anymore, because he always gets expelled for fighting or being rude to the teachers. I don’t know why he thinks this will be easier, because this is real life, hey. When the big boys show up, he’s going to have to do what he’s told, not have an attitude, and work for fourteen hours a day. I literally can’t deal with people like that; you want to talk like a big man, you have to work like a big man, you have to take criticism like a big man. Having him help me wash up after dinner is literal agony, as he rather leans on the bench than dry up. He watches me clean the whole kitchen, and then thinks it’s a compliment to tell me I would be great at working in a truck stop. Just give me a second, I need to go wipe my ass with my degree.
Boss man says we need to keep in mind he’s just a kid, but I can’t. Call me rude, or insensitive, but I can’t. Kids don’t talk shit like that. Kids don’t go around using racist words, or proposing we should just shoot every bird that chirps too loudly because it annoys him. Kids don’t strangely hit on girls twice their age – I swear, the way he looks at me and tries to make eye contact with me, I’m losing my shit. Funny thing is, he actually thinks we get along really well. He says he’s hoping the next girl will be as fun as me, and someone he can crack a joke with like me, even though all I’ve ever said to him is to do his job, to be a bit faster, to not be an asshole – not literally, I’m not thàt rude. How he thinks we are friends, I have no idea, as I try to stay away from his as much as possible. Unfortunately, what I do know, is this: if the rain season kicks in, and the family decides to go on vacation after all, I’m going to be stuck with him here, alone, for seven to ten days. Keep me in your prayers, will you.