Dear Aunt B,
I am a homecare worker for a disabled man who uses a glass vase like apparatus to smoke marijuana every day (never while I am present). About two weeks ago, I brushed up against it and a little glass tube thingy fell out and shattered on the floor. I was very apologetic and offered to replace it. Since I have never bought drug paraphernalia before, my boss instructed me on where to go to get one in the area that I live. He also asked me to buy a second one for him, which I fully expected him to pay me for, since I believe that I was only obligated to purchase a replacement. Although it was highly embarrassing for me I made the purchase and I brought two to him the next day, and then the day after that, he emailed me that the bowl shaped ends of the tubes were too small, and he asked me to go to a different shop to purchase a larger ones. I emailed him back asking if I could pick up the first two and try to exchange them for larger ones at the first shop, since I had already spent $18 and I don’t really have a lot of extra money. He seemed annoyed at my request (obviously I was hampering his usage) but he agreed, although wrote that he had already used one of them. So the next day I was in (the following Tuesday) I took the unused one with me and tried to return it to the first shop. They refused to return or exchange it, something I figured might happen. My boss wrote to me that it was becoming a nuisance now, so I asked for the name of the second shop, and after work the next day I drove there, bought a larger one, and drove back to drop it off to my boss. On my way out the door he called out to me to purchase a second one again, but I thought, no way, if I buy two again and they’re again not the right size, then I could be stuck with the bill for those two as well. Since dropping off the second purchase, he has texted me to say that it is the correct size and thank you, but has not offered any extra reimbursement. I felt a little frustrated at this point and so admitted the whole thing to my husband, who said that if I had been stopped by the police I could have gotten in trouble for having drug paraphernalia in my possession (I had a piece of the original broken tube with residue in it for comparing size), and who agrees with me that I should only be responsible for paying for one replacement (at $9), and should request that my boss reimburse me $18 for the other two. Honestly, I know I won’t have the guts to ask my boss for this, and the wimpy side of me says that I created the error in the first place by being clumsy and breaking something, and therefore I am obligated to rectify the situation at my cost. However, there is another little demon sitting on my other shoulder saying, wait a sec, he asked for the second one and it’s not your fault that they weren’t the correct size and that the store refuses to return or exchange them. I have started looking for a new position and will most likely leave my job over this. It has created uncomfortable tension between me and my boss.
What do you think?
This is enough to piss off a Preacher, huh? I immediately want you to know, that I do, wholeheartedly, side with you on this.
For starters, I think taking responsibility for the accident was kind of you and probably the right thing to do. I feel that paying for one pipe, was fair and fitting. Beyond this, I think he's taking advantage of you and used the situation and your guilt associated with it, to his advantage. That alone, doesn't sit too well with me.
Now, I have an extensive drug past, notice the word "past," meaning, I've been out of the loop for some time now. I say this, to point out the fact that I'm no novice but even I would be quite uncomfortable, a bit iffy, buying a pipe/bong thingy. It's quite possible that your boss, seeing how he's in that loop, might not understand how you kind of went way out of your way for him or your trepidation, purchasing the pipes, over and over. But even setting that aspect aside, I do feel that it's not fair of him, to expect you to foot the bill for all his requests. Actually, I find it down right under handed and wrong. As I said before, I think he's clearly taken advantage of your good nature and kindness, not to mention your guilt for inconveniencing him. Poor baby, couldn't get his freak on, huh?
Looking at things from a medical stand point, there is validation concerning the pain properties, in the medicinal proclivity of smoking pot. HIV/AIDS patients report that it's a great help in their pain. As well, those experiencing side effects from Chemo, say they receive great benefit from this drug. They also take MARINOL® capsules, their primary ingredient is THC and it helps with pain and is an appetite enhancer. This may be a more conclusive answer, for your patient? He needs only to speak with his treating Physician, as this is a better choice, safer and more convenient.
I can see you've had enough and this was just the icing on the cake. I suggest that you write up a receipt for the additional pipes and sit it appropriately somewhere where he will see it. If at that point he doesn't get the picture, it's because he doesn't want to get the picture. I'd put the total there, with any receipts you might have and clearly add it up, so he gets the balance, minus the cost of the first pipe.
I hate to say it but you do have him at a clear disadvantage. If he does not have a medical prescription for smoking, he is doing it illegally. If the subject is broached, after you've given him the bill for the pipes, you need only to make him painfully aware, that you are concerned because this is illegal and you risked being arrested yourself, for trying to help him and being nice enough to replace a pipe you broke accidentally.
If he can't grasp the situation, after saying all that and presenting him with the bill, then is a clear case, proving, why maybe, the smoke has gone to his brain, damaging it permanently, (insert hysterical laugh here). Get out before it rubs off!
Total agreement with Babs.
I would like to ask, is this a legal use? Because, and i am just going by things up here, if it was for medical use they actually provide implements to smoke the MJ. Also, if it is leagal, and he did break a pipe, he can collect reimbursment through medical coverage for medical supplies.
So, the reason i am asking, is that if it was legal.. you are looking at a cost of nine bucks which is totally refundable. And it was not only unfair to ask you to go and get supplies like this, but illegal. your husband was right on that.
What SHOULD have happened in a legal sittuation, was that you pay him the nine bucks (which BTW is REALLY nice), he collect the merchandise and the reimbursment, and then he in turn PAY YOU BACK. that's how i see it. Yes you broke the thing, but it was an accedent, and it wasn't something that couldn't be replaced.
If it is illegal use, that letter might be a great idea, but i would photocopy the receipts. Nothing says 'not guilty' like lack of evidence. and if you are going to nail this guy for taking advantage of you (and that's what it is really about, not 27 dollars) then you need to excersize a bit of restraint.