What do I do with Leo?

@jillhill (37383)
United States
July 23, 2010 3:47pm CST
Leo is a young man....19 to be exact! He lives in a garage that he rents from some people who more or less took him in. Leo has been working for me for the past two days. He is polite..has a good work ethic...is smart...hardest worker you could find. Besides working for me he also has two part time jobs. So why am I asking about what to do with Leo? Well.....Leo is struggling to better himself. I want to help. But whenever I offer him anything...like I offered him a sleeping bag as all he has is a blanket..he said no. He didn't need it! Fast forward to this winter..sleeping in a garage...he might need it? He won't take anything that he hasn't worked for! When he is done with the job I am having him do I would like to give him something extra. What would you try to give him. I thought about a Walmart gift card to either buy groceries or clothes...anyone got any ideas beside that I am open to listening to them!
3 people like this
16 responses
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
24 Jul 10
Hi jillhill! You are such a thoughtful and a caring person. We have an equivalent of a Walmart gift card here which on many occasions like birthdays, first-born, I've bought for friends besides the little souvenirs and cards. I think that's a wonderful gift for Leo to get his own needs. I hope he loves it.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
I hope it is a a good gift. Now I have to remind him that it's for him and not the people he rents from!
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
26 Jul 10
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
23 Jul 10
Seems as if leo has a great deal of pride & that's a good thing but it can be overdone. I gift card would be nice from wal-mart or maybe a good fast food restaurant. I guess u could give him a bonus when he is through & explain to him that u appreciate the good work he has done . SURELY he wouldn't refuse that. U are kind & sweet to try 7 help him. Happy weekend to u.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
ONe of the problems is.....whenever I pay him the money goes to someone else....he worked all day on Thursday..then a bunch of the people he rents from went out for supper and he ended up paying......I think they are taking a bit of advantage of him....and I can't imagine what the garage looks like....I took him home the first day he worked here....the house is falling down....don't know what the garage is like but he calls it home so I have to respect that!
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
26 Jul 10
It does sound like they are taking advantage of him. I hate to see people do that. Maybe u can come up w/something for him. I hope so.
@moog27 (60)
23 Jul 10
Cant you ask him to do an extra task or job for you - nothing to extreme, just something simple, that way he will feel that he has earned whatever extras you would like to give him. I like the groceries giftcard idea, I think that is a good one. You just need to make sure that he feels that he has earnt it as he may be a bit insulted if he feels you are pushing it on him.
• Philippines
24 Jul 10
I think he is proud, but not too much in a negative way. I think he values his integrity like we all do that he won't take anything unless he has worked for it. Maybe he thinks that you pity him and he doesn't want that. Maybe you can try telling him that it's not pity when you give him something, but rather an appreciation of him being a good worker or something. Maybe, that way he will accept the card without him fussing to work for it.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Both good responses!
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
25 Jul 10
A gift card would be a good idea or he might just prefer extra cash when the job is complete. Either would be a good idea. I have to admire a young man who is trying so hard to better himself without being lazy and taking handouts. Who is willing to work and earn all he can. Bless him. Although I am not fond of space heaters it might be something to consider for this winter if his living situation in the garage is permanent.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
I would give him cash but I think the people he is renting from kinda take advantage. He worked all day on Thursday for someone else....then seems they all went out for supper and he ended up buying for all of them....so he came to the door for gas money for the guy who gave him a ride...space heater is a great idea!
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
24 Jul 10
It is admirable that this young man appears to be a sincere and dedicated hard worker. The operant word is "sincere". If that is the case, so be it. Offer him a job of longer duration than 2 days. As time goes by, you can make a more accurate assessment of both his character and his need; then maybe your clever and generous gift card idea would be appropriate and appreciated.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Thanks!
@kaka10 (180)
• South Africa
24 Jul 10
This will take alot of creativity fro your side, I would say give him the walmart gift card and tell him that it is an employee bonus and give him the impression that he has earned it, that could possibly be the best as it would not make him fel like a charity case.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
VEry smart!
• United States
24 Jul 10
Some people, like Leo, find it difficult to take the help they are offered from others because they believe that it is offered out of sympathy. If he is working as hard as you describe, the last thing he wants is to feel like he can't provide for his own needs. In addition to these only human feelings, he is a man which makes it harder to admit that he needs help. He is young and may even be making his choices based on things that he has been told growing up. The best thing you can do for him is accept and support the fact that he wants to earn everything he has. A great solution to your problem, however, would be to come up with additional odd jobs for him to do. Make them things that won't be too difficult, then tell him that because of the economy and your own financial situation, you can't pay him for everything in cash, but you can pay him in goods. Then, simply pay him for the large jobs in cash and for the smaller jobs in goods that cost more than what the work was really worth. Be careful when you do this, though because he is probably intelligent enough to realize what's happening if you let too big of a gap in the price difference. Another option that you may have, and I don't know your living situation, but you could offer him a room this winter in your home if he does work for you. This work could be done ahead over the summer months for winter, or they could be done throughout the winter (like shoveling snow) in order to pay for his room and board, which of course would come with hot meals. I hope this helped you out :)
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Many very good ideas!
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
24 Jul 10
Wow jill, that's a tough one. It is really nice of you to want to help this young man, but being he is stubborn and proud whatever you try to give him he may keep refusing! A gift card is a great idea, he might have a problem refusing that. Maybe if you have more little jobs for him as it gets colder out you could convince him to take the sleeping bag. That is really sad to know that such a 19 year old is sleeping in a garage, but it could be worse, he could be on the street.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
That's for sure!
@jugsjugs (13045)
24 Jul 10
What about getting him todo a few extra jobs so that he feels that he can except the money as he has worked for it.Maybe say that you have cooked too much food would he like some aswell.You could make out as if you are trying to clear space and say that you have found a few things do he know antone that would like them.Drop some money near where he is standing in the hope that he will find it,other than that i do not know.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Thanks for the ideas!
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
23 Jul 10
A gift card is an excellent idea, that way he can buy what he knows he needs.. He also could have a problem though, taking things and feeling like he is taking charity. If you want to offer him something like a sleeping bag, set it out and offer it, tell him you don't want it anymore and you need to get rid of it..Make it more of a bother to you that you would have to get rid of it rather if he would take it for you.. I hope that made sense..
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Yes! It makes sense! Thanks!
1 person likes this
@PDBME2 (1023)
• United States
23 Jul 10
Maybe you can tell him the extra things are bonuses for all the good work he has done. Better yet tell him you are giving him a raise for his hard work.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Good idea!
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
23 Jul 10
Since he refuses to accept hand outs.. why don't you just offer him another job? Have him continue to work for you until he's on his feet. I guess that would be best for him. Good luck and keep us posted.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
If I had more for him to do that would be nice! But at this point the work is almost done!
@eileenleyva (10981)
• Philippines
23 Jul 10
Leo sounds like a good, young man who knows what he likes to live his life. Perhaps at this point in his life, all he needs is conversations. Try knowing his aspirations. From his answers, you can gauge what he truly would want to accept.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
I think you understand....he spends alot of time talking...I think he is a bit lonely! But man what a good worker....I'll give him a wonderful reference anytime!
@maximax8 (28559)
• United Kingdom
23 Jul 10
It is sad that Leo lives in a garage. He sounds very poor indeed so it is lovely you have given him some money for work that he has done for you. I believe that you should get him to do a few more jobs for him. You could give him a voucher for a clothes shop so he could buy some warm clothes. Also you could give him a voucher for a supermarket each time he gets pay from you. Maybe you could pay for him to go to an educational evening class. Then he might be able to get a better job like a full time position that pays well. I think a sleeping bag was a lovely idea but maybe a duvet plus pillow might be tempting. Good luck with getting Leo to take a gift that is meant to help him in life.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Thanks!
• Pamplona, Spain
27 Jul 10
Hiya jill, Leo that´s a nice name I like that one. He sounds proud yes self sufficient in the sense he believes in himself. Of course I am only supposing I don´t know him. I would take him as he comes. Try and offer him what you can when you can if you make any cakes or biscuits or meals offer him to try say you have just made it and before you freeze the meal or whatever see if he wants to taste it see what he thinks. I would have to know him really to give a personal opinion so I feel I am talking out the top of my Hat here. Really this is what I would do if I knew him but then everyone is so different. I´m not that brilliant at writing down what I feel. Say if I was in the Kitchen and he had just come in from the cold and I was making something I would just say here try this very casual I would try to offer him things casually yes that´s what I am trying to say. As for clothes and things like that more difficult if you have´nt got any Sons of his age. Show him things at Walmart if he goes shopping with you and ask him do you like that if you look at things like clothing or electrical gadgets like say cd player or cds something like that I don´t know this is what I would do. Walmart sounds like a very big place so there must be something in there that takes his fancy. Good luck Jill.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
25 Jul 10
The wal-mart gift card sounds like a good idea. Of course you'd have to make him do extra work so as to make him deserve the gift. If your description is true, I'm sure he'll not just accept the gift card for nothing. His attitude is very commendable. I suggest you don't worry too much about him. I'm sure that when people realize his attitude there'll be no shortage of people who would want to help him.