I know, I know. I am totally an asshole. However, this post isn’t about generalities. I’m writing about a specific situation that I encountered a few days ago, and I really want to know if people think I was being greedy, selfish, or lazy. First, let me explain what happened…..
First of all, Greg and I have some fruit trees on our property. We didn’t plant them. They were just here when we bought out house. In total, we now have three apple trees and one pear tree. We don’t get fruit every single year, but when we do, it can be pretty awesome. We’ve lived here for a total of five years and have only gotten pears one of those years. That was, of course, until this year. I hadn’t really noticed until a few days ago. Then, all of a sudden, I looked out my window and saw a tree full of beautiful, natural pears.
Since we’re on FALL FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN, I was totally into getting a bunch of pears and forcing my family to eat them. The only problem was that the location of the tree makes the pears hard to get to. Our ladder isn’t tall enough to get to most of them and we don’t own any fruit-picking equipment. And after dragging a ladder out there and giving it an effort, I found five delicious pears within my reach. The rest were way up high, too high for us to get with a regular ladder. So, I had a brilliant idea that I would put an ad on craigslist asking to use someone’s ladder and fruit-picking equipment in exchange for a bunch of free fruit. Here is my word for word post on craigslist (that’s since been taken down):
Free Pears and Apples- NEED TO BORROW LADDER AND FRUIT-PICKING EQUIPMENT
I have a pear tree that is full of almost-ripe delicious pears. Looking for someone with a tall ladder and fruit picking equipment! All I ask is half of the pears that we pick. The pears are organic and have never been sprayed with anything to my knowledge. Unfortunately, the tree is on a small hill which makes them hard to get to. But, with the right equipment, it can be done!
I also have a few apple trees (organic). The apples don’t look that great but taste fine. The apples are fairly low and many can be picked without a ladder. You can pick as many apples as you want (even if you don’t want any pears).
Within five minutes, I received this email response:
Wow some nerve split 50/50 while you sit on ur butt and do nothing! Its ur farm wtf ever quit being lazy and pick em your self. Free is free, NOT free only if I get half of what you picked while you risk your life .
Then, a few hours later I got a series of insulting text messages from a different person. There were A LOT of text messages from this person so I’ll try to summarize. Basically, complainer #2 thought that I shouldn’t make people pick things themselves and that FREE items shouldn’t require labor. They also said that I was lazy and that I shouldn’t grow fruit if I couldn’t be bothered to pick it. Then they suggested that I hire someone to pick them and pay a living wage. Oh, and they were “praying for me.”
At that point, I just took the craigslist ad down and asked my Facebook friends if anyone had a ladder I could borrow. Several people responded that I could borrow their ladder, and we ended up borrowing an extension ladder from my parents. We were able to get a lot of pears, but there are still hundreds on the tree.
In our case, it doesn’t make sense to buy our own fruit-picking equipment. We only get pears every few years and probably won’t be living here next time we get them. I could always rent fruit-picking equipment, I suppose, but I thought I would try craigslist first to see if I could work out an arrangement that benefited everyone. Apparently, that was a big mistake because it really ticked a few people off. So. Weird.
So, readers….what do you think? Am I an asshole? Do you think I’m lazy for not picking all of the fruit before giving it away? Or, do you think my offer was reasonable? Please share in the comments below…..