Friday, February 7, 2014

I Fired Jesus.




I fired Jesus, but I really miss the way he arranged my patio chairs.

One duty that fell to me when my husband left was to find a gardener.  Here in Southern California, nearly everyone has someone who comes by on a weekly basis and does the yard work.  My ex-husband had done our yard work because he enjoyed aspects of it, but with him gone, my yard was growing out of control.  I was in no condition to shop for landscapers and so when my friend’s gardener offered to send his friend over, I gratefully accepted. 

I liked Jesus right away.  He was a gentle, sweet man and I was so thankful to have a gardener that I didn’t say anything when he didn’t show up for weeks at a time.  After awhile. I started to notice he shared a few attributes with the more well-known Jesus.  You never knew when he was going to show up, but when he did, it was marvelous.

I watched as each week my neighbors’ gardeners came on the same day, at the same time, week after week.  I decided I would talk to Jesus and asked him if he could come more often.  

Now, I am not very good at being the heavy.  Despite my blog name and what a few misguided souls think, I really am not very bossy.  (I’m NOT!)  I tried to put it as nicely as I could, asking him if he could come more often.  He had limited English skills, so I gestured wildly and tried to say what I meant in a variety of ways.  

He seemed to understand when I said that maybe he could make length of time between his visits shorter.  Ah!  He got it! 

Well, no, he didn’t.  Instead he just cut the grass very, very short.

I began to suspect that maybe he wasn’t a real gardener and that’s why he couldn’t keep a regular schedule.  In any event, I was in agony when I thought about firing him.  Who fires Jesus?  Part of it was my soft heart and part of it was that, well, I just hadn’t done this stuff ever before in my life.  It was something my husband would have handled.  I certainly did not like this part of single life.

In December, I decided I would do it.  By this time Jesus had been my gardener for about two and a half years.  In Betty fashion, I wrote a letter, thanking him for all his hard work and explaining that I was going to get someone else.  I included a nice fat bonus check too.  Since I never knew when he was going to show up, I just had to wait and hope I was home when he did.  

Finally, the day came.  Evan was home for college and his bedroom window had a good view of the street.  I was devastated when I saw that Jesus has brought along his teenage son to help him.  The son worked slowly in the front yard, his ear buds firmly in his ears the whole time.  I was sick to my stomach as I thought about what I was about to do.  I paced around in Evan’s room with him looking on, telling Evan how nervous I was and how bad I felt.

Finally, I got on my big girl pants and went out.  I told Jesus the news and gave him the envelope with the letter and check.  He shook my hand and said, “You are a very nice lady.”  As I turned around I thought maybe he hadn’t really gotten the news right.  

I went back inside and watched from the window as both Jesus and his son got in the truck.  Jesus handed his son the letter and I watched as his son read it to him.  Then I saw his son put the letter down and make wiping gestures near his eyes.  “Oh no!” I said, starting to tear up. “I made his son cry.  Oh no!”  Evan  said, “Calm down, Mom.  He’s just putting his ear buds back in.”

Soon after, I talked to my neighbor and hired the guy she uses.  It’s great having someone come once a week, but I do miss the personal touch Jesus put into his work.  He always made sure my patio chairs were placed nicely around the table.

Firing Jesus was tough, but I learned I could do this kind of stuff if I needed to.  

I hope he found another yard to work in because when that man did show up, he really could work miracles.

22 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not many people can say they fired Jesus and lived to tell the tale.
Shame he couldn't keep a schedule. Maybe some day he'll figure it out.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Sorry your gardener wasn't up to scratch!

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Cranberry Morning said...

Well, he obviously wasn't the real Jesus. Next time someone with that name shows up, check his credentials against the New Testament. You might have been saved some grief. And btw, the real Jesus doesn't need earbuds.

Ami said...

Why didn't you write Jesus a letter that asked him to show up on a schedule? I mean, if he understood that one... 'cause if he was doing a great job and all, it never hurts to have Jesus on your side...

My hubby is the production supervisor for a landscape company. They have Jesus, Mary AND Joseph working there.

Daisy said...

That must have been hard to do. I would have struggled with it too. Glad you were able to get through it successfully. :)

Have a good weekend!

Baby Sister said...

It's sad that someone so awesome just couldn't figure it out. Hopefully your new gardener will have some magical touches that he'll show soon. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Firing Jesus takes guts. Go you!

Tabor said...

It is hard to be rich enough to be responsible for part of someone's livelihood. When I told my sister that I was thinking of hiring a housekeeper, she warned me to go through a company, because I would find it hard to fire someone who depended on me for their food!!

Madi and Mom said...

Bossy Bette First thing mom thought when she read your title was boy Bossy Betty is now Gutsy Betty.
Great post and we got a cackle out of it. Bet Gardner Jesus won't be a slacker anymore cause Bossy Betty fired him.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Shelly said...

That opening line is an attention grabber! Glad, though, that you were able yo do it in s uch a nice way.

Shelly said...

That opening line is an attention grabber! Glad, though, that you were able yo do it in s uch a nice way.

Shelly said...

That opening line is an attention grabber! Glad, though, that you were able yo do it in s uch a nice way.

Alison said...

You're NOT? Can we have Evan's input on this, please? I have my doubts.

Adios, Jesus, y buena suerte.

Vodka Logic said...

I'm wondering if it is all a metaphor? Either way, sounds like a lesson was learned.. <3

Chicken said...

Something tells me Jesus will be fine and so will you. Next time around (not that there will be one!) I recommend mowing your yard Sunday afternoons and doing it so ineptly that one of your neighbors chooses to do it for you. Not that I was purposely being inept. It just comes to one. Some.

Ann said...

Around here I wouldn't be able to hire a Jesus let alone fire one. Even if I could find one he would most likely be on welfare and wouldn't want the work :)

BECKY said...

Oh Betty! You had me at "I fired Jesus." Who can possibly ignore a title like that?! I'm glad you were able to go through with it. I would've had a very hard time firing him, too. I laughed at Chicken's comment above: "..doing it so ineptly that one of your neighbors chooses to do it for you." LOL. Have a wonderful weekend. P.S. The thought of green grass needing to be mowed is just a far away dream around here...*sigh*

Lin said...

Yeah, but he's gotta SHOW UP.

I work in HR...you did the right thing--hard as that was. He's gotta learn, right?

Or not.

I don't think people like this get it...ever. Or care.

Anne Gallagher said...

I cannot tell you hard I laughed when I read the title of this post.
I'm sorry Jesus wasn't all that. It's hard to find someone who works miracles in the garden.

Hilary said...

Best post title ever! And the content was great, also.

Magic Ear Kids said...

I'm quite frustrated by trying to hire people to do work around our house. It seems like you're fighting them to give them money to do something. I once heard a contractor refer to his kind, himself included, as bottom-feeding low lifes.

Great that there was someone to read him the letter. That could have gotten awkward, he might have thought it was a recommendation letter!

Retired English Teacher said...

I think Jesus has forgiven you.