Farmsitter betrayal?

I am writing this at 3 a.m. on the Thursday night (wee hours of Friday morning) after the Tuesday night where we learned about our farmsitters were bailing on us completely out of the blue.

Mr. C5 & I could never have imagined or anticipated this situation in a million years.

I mean we liked them. I thought they liked me, got a good feeling about the arrangement.

Mr.C5 thought they like him after he and them overlapped for a few days in order to give the tour of our place. They had had an evening of drinking, chatting, watching Jericho, listening to music sharing an affinity for Nine Inch Nails and similar industrial bands.

Well talk about a whirlwind of not even a week, an unanticipated emotional roller coaster ride, a sucker punch. A complete betrayal is probably the most apt description in a nutshell.

Just one week in – fucking unbelievable.

Utter shock, stunned, dumbfounded, disbelief, flabbergasted… you get the picture.

Immediate ramifications of their action:

Mad scramble to find replacement farmsitters which normally would take months, with a lengthy communication period, vetting candidates, responding to many inquiries

Lack of sleep, awakening after short bursts of sleep, which takes it toll not just physically but psychically and emotionally

Emotional trauma with the shedding of tears

Some anger but less so. I am so thankful that with all the downtime I recently had due to an extended alone time and thus quiet time around the holidays, I was able to recuperate from the emotional trauma of our previous farmsitter and the shit show (literally and figuratively) we came home to that was our house. I do believe things happen when you are able to face them at least usually, the universe knows you have the strength to cope, to survive.

Needing to rework, negotiate new/different terms with my volunteer gig, having to spend hours trying to figure out how to make it work for Ross, for me, for WUSC, for the partner group, make it look like I was the good problem solver, remaining positive despite the shit storm we were in.

Them perhaps losing an opportunity to become part of an amazing part of Nova Scotia, a region of the North Shore where goods things are happening despite the impoverished economics of the area. I would recommend they never come around our area of the province, word spreads, you are not be trusted

I am of course so ever grateful for the tremendous support of friends and community, from complete strangers

And thanks f b – you came through, a positive side to this social media but I still won’t trust you, too many negatives to you in the end

A huge thank you to all you f b peeps THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Lack of honesty is really my biggest issue here besides all the logistical/practical issues. I am a super organizer and an excellent brainstormer, thinking outside and inside the box.

Heck this whole blog post is me being honest. Speaking truth to power.

I had to get this out of my head as it continued swirling non-stop, you know the tape recorder that you can’t turn off.

Only explanation “some personal issues we have to deal with…” – that was it.

I sent an email in the middle of that night asking for further explanation, elaboration. No response, nothing, nada, radio silence as they say.

I expected common decency, common courtesy, respect. Is that really too much to ask?

Perhaps not surprisingly no apology whatsover.

Their email message began with saying all was fine after I had been trying to connect with them to find out how they, the critters and our home had survived the super winter storm.  The ‘all is fine’ gave me a flashback to what our previous farmsitter would say “all is fine, it is as you would want it to be” – NOT.  But then I thought I must be projecting on them, not fair.  I was glad to hear all was well, but it was not so.

I would think mature people would have at least tried to have a conversation about this, maybe not with the intention of changing their minds but out of respect for the position they put us in. I mean they said we could trust them – really?

They offered to pay for the change in flight – how about the whole flight?

They offered to try to find replacements – would I trust their judgement in that? Didn’t they know how long the process can take, what is involved in finding someone, the cost of this emotional energy, financial, time.

What reality are/were they living in? Only their own?

Weren’t they interested in community building – how can you manage that when you can’t even talk about a problem with the situation.

My brain was of course in overdrive trying to fathom what had caused the sudden change. Ideas that came to mind:

Lack of maturity – they are millenials, just thinking of themselves, I know not all millenials are a royal pain in the ass, but the ones that are engaged and active in trying to make this place a better world are in the minority, all such people are in the minority and thus we are doomed, our planet is doomed.

They said they were used to roughen it – really? Perhaps only when it is sunny and warm as it would be in California or the Okanagan where one had been. I perhaps missed some warning signs – her employment record was never anything long term, only short term gigs and in various locales.

A tiff between life long childhood friends and once lovers but then why didn’t one still stay.

A death in the family.

A recurrence of a mental health issue.

A better opportunity arose.

An allergy to something in the house.

Something Mr.C5 or I said or did or didn’t say or do.

One of the animals driving them crazy, our old dog has taken to lots of whining in his old age.

They just couldn’t hack the cold, frozen pipes for days on end. We didn’t plan the bomb cyclone, could never have anticipated this. Bad timing. How are they to survive what is coming down the pipe if they can’t hack this.

But in the end it just wasn’t worth the emotional effort and energy to figure out the why, just had to let that go, they didn’t deserve it.

I come to my interaction with others from the premise of trust and not that trust needs to be earned. Perhaps naive. My optimistic side, my hope in humanity side still lingers despite what humans are doing to the planet.

All trust is gone. I distrust them completely. I never want to have anything to do with them ever again.

We are survivors first and foremost, both of us, no matter what. We are resilient.

We are still wanting to find more or less permanent farm tenants but they we wouldn’t need them for long term farmsitting, more like a few days, few weeks maybe even a month or so here and there while we go do some traveling or just an overnight to Hfx or Moncton – our fav place for thrift stores. Rather it would be a tiny source of income for us as we age and are not able to find any permanent decent paying employment, instead only contract work in the world of precarious employment.

What lessons to be learned? Not sure on that one.

What was the universe trying to tell me – well I could hypothesize on that – I am once again changing career direction and thus was dabbling in international development. This is most likely coming to an end, more on that in another post, but a hint is that I may finally work on my dream of having some sort of small animal sanctuary, most likely cats. Working on seeing how I can make this a reality now, instead of ignoring my deepest passion for the animal world.

Well I guess I can thank them for having the material for this blog post.

Yeah right. I didn’t need this one.

Thanks. And f___ you E&M. Please excuse my rudeness – I hope you can appreciate this sentiment from the above. It does sometimes feels good and appropriate to say the f word. Of course there is more than one side to every situation but I cannot speak to this. I wish them good luck on their life’s journey. If they read this maybe they will consider the ramifications of their actions next time, or at least perhaps find another way to convey the situation they feel they are in, so a dialogue can be had out of respect to all parties.

Okay I’m done.

Well almost.

There is now the saga about my work here in Barbados. Who knew that the ramifications of our farmsitter’s decision were that I will be losing 4 months of “income” amounting to $4000 CDN, let alone a career/professional set back. I write income in quotes as in this type of volunteering which uses professionals, our basic expenses are covered, so an amount to cover the rent is provided as well as what they call a monthly living allowance to cover your food, toiletries, clothing, incidentals, utilities if such is not covered in the rental agreement. My landlady, a wonderful Bajan woman, will also be losing 4 months of guaranteed rent. I found her on a i r b n b. I would highly recommend her, Jude’s hideaway. An affordable place to stay, an ideal location, in this expensive island nation.

The story of my work saga changes is the story for another blog entry. Still trying to sort that one out. Another very challenging experience alas after a meeting to revise my original proposed work plan, a very unpleasant meeting indeed, which is why I only got a few hours sleep this past night and saw me write this blog post.

It is amazing the clarity that can be had during the hours after waking from the 4-5 hour sleep, one type of the early morning insomnia which I suffer from when I am stressed.

For your reading pleasure here’s the email that started it all:

Hi Wilma,

Everything is fine here. Survived the storm. All animals are doing well. Big walks for Shogun. I will call Seaside when I’m in an area with some service. Internet is back, pipes were frozen until today.

However we have some personal issues we need to deal with… As such, we have no intention of completing the terms of our agreement. Consider this notice that we intend to end our services as caretakers and leave the property no later than 5pm on the date of February 1st. We feel we are behaving responsibly by communicating our intentions and by giving you adequate notice. For the safety and care of your home and animals, please let us know the date you, or a person designated by you will be onsite to relieve us of our responsibilities. Perhaps mitigating is for future discussion – we would be willing to pay for one person’s change of flight, or being flexible with our date of departure for the new caretaker, or if you’d like us to find new ones.

E and M”

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5 Responses to Farmsitter betrayal?

  1. Tyler says:

    Sorry about your angst. Your idea of a cat sanctuary brought forth a memory I had of my folks cat who grew too old and difficult for my aging parents to care for. There is a place here in Alberta that is a Sanctuary for cats, some are permanent tenants. I recommend you contact the owners of:
    to learn from their mistakes and successes. Here’s some ideas on winter cat habitats that might interest you:

  2. Lucrezia Borgia says:

    There are lots of possible reasons for them leaving (although it’s hard to think of one that would justify quitting a week in) but it doesn’t matter, because there’s NO excuse for the manner in which they’re doing it. “We feel we are behaving responsibly…” Really? REALLY? Damn, I’d hate to see their idea of behaving irresponsibly.

  3. Linda says:

    Speechless. Gobsmacked. Horrified. What on earth are people thinking?

    So sorry such bad luck…yeah the universe is sending a message. Decode and then onward and Upward!! See you in a few months.


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