Prison Pete

Monday, March 08, 2010
  Adoptive Son.
As I think I have mentioned to you, Ray has sort of become an adoptive son to me. Heck my oldest son is older than he is. Anyhow, for the last couple of months, we have prepared and eaten at least one meal a day together.

Ray is extremely conflicted about receiving financial support from his family, but they are certainly able to provide it. I need to tell you some of the stories Ray has told me, to let you get a clearer picture of his life.

One recent night, he sought me out to talk after getting an emotionally conflicted call from his adoptive mom. His Bio mom is apparently a real jerk. One note is of course I have no outside collaboration which adds a layer of mystery to this whole thing. So Ray tells me it is not fair, I have it all together as to how to handle life, and his life is in total chaos.

Ray's payroll from the mess hall has varied from $14 to $28 every two weeks, so once we decide on the meals for the next two weeks, he would spend most of his money, and I would pick up the rest. In addition I would still get my three boxes of oatmeal, ten packets in each. I use two at a time, and two jars of peanut butter plus two loaves of wheat bread for my lunch. The meals would be pasta or bean dishes.

The point is that now with my funds all but gone, he still has not gotten around to getting in any funds, and while there are a few specific amounts he owes me, it was always assumed that at some point in the near future, he would become the larger contributor. Or not. That is what I deal with: is he for real in seeking out my wisdom and support, or is he a fine tuned con man who has managed to eat well for the last few months at my expanse? It is hard to tell.

Yes, I could choose to not share my resources with others, but that is not who I am. I laugh when I tell others that did not realize when I moved into my cube that it was also the condiment bar for the dorm. One inmate for instance, who is leaving in six weeks, gets monthly packages from home, full $55 buys from commissary, yet he ask me for ketchup to dress up his food bowl. Another inmate that works in the kitchen and has access to all sorts of condiments also asks me for ketchup etc. to dress up the burgers and things he takes back from the mess hall.

Another inmate just tonight said he needs my help. he apparently did something dumb at work in the mess hall and ended up getting a ticket.
It looks like you have to make a decision between what is being friendly with resources against someone who is abusing this friendly approach. Or you may decide to make no decision and just carry on. Who knows?

In psychology they talk about a psychological contract. It's a code of behaviour, of expectations which is not written down. If someone breaks this code it can lead to serious repercussions. To bring this contract to light would mean, explicitly stating these are your expectations and to understand what the expectations of others are, in this way you can both honour the contract.

OK the thing with kids is they don't understand the way of formalities. They just get along and don't bother about procedures, until they are hit hard in the butt and then back up their ideas. In part it's lazyness. Sometimes it is willful, to say they are ignorant and will carry on until otherwise is said or done.

Then there is the old adage "exchange is no robbery" or something of that nature. A barter system. Where u give a service to someone and they in turn do something for u.

Any help?
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