update: a client sent me a thank-you check as a way to avoid paying my boss

It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager, where all month I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter-writer whose client sent her a thank-you check as a way to avoid paying her boss (first update here, second update here, and third here)? Here’s the final one to wrap up the saga.

First – Gilbert and his wife. I have had 4 months of complete peace when it comes to them. The remaining warranty they had with us ran out in early February and it only took one call after that for them to realize they had completely destroyed that bridge and we would not be doing anything for them EVER again. I still pass by the last project we did for them and chuckle because the fence that was being painted still isn’t complete. The Subcontractor Rumor Mill (SRM from here on) has been telling nothing but various stories of their companies never working with them again. They had decided to add an elevator chute to their home and it never got done because the wife was consistently attacking the guys on site. A real eyesore, one they deserve. So yeah, they aren’t learning that lesson anytime soon.

The Painter – He has returned to work and I see him frequently. He and his wife are doing really well and I’m happy to say his experience didn’t change his kind heart. I know that Gilbert and his wife settled their lawsuit with him, but he signed an NDA as part of that so none of us know what he got or how badly he stuck it to them, although I am dying to know. The (usually accurate) SRM said it was a high 6 figure payout. He also has a really nice new truck. It’s way too big for him…but it’s so cute/funny watching him climb in and out of it. lol He looks really, really, happy now and at the risk of sounding cheesy, it makes my heart sing.

Kim and Cam – I am happy to report that they have remained as wonderful as they were when I last wrote to you. Our relationship blossomed and really grew at the beginning of the new year. The wigs they bought my mom were gorgeous and they remained committed to helping in any way they could throughout her treatments. They did not provide financial assistance when it came to any of the medical expenses, but that is because my dad’s health insurance is amazing and they genuinely didn’t need it (unionize, people!). They helped in other ways though, there was more than one occasion where my mom couldn’t find a safe ride to chemo (my dad was still working full time and I live an hour away – close to Kim and Cam) and they either drove there to take her themselves or arranged for their driver to be Covid tested to pick her up and assist her. And to really drive home how great they are, they paid the driver double what his normal rate was on the days he helped my mom to make up for the inconvenience, without being asked. (I know that is bare minimum but my confidence in the uber wealthy has been shot over the last 6 years.) At one point, Cam was in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks with COVID. It wasn’t looking good at one point but thankfully he recovered. He is still struggling with some mental health problems that stem from that, a side effect of Covid that I didn’t even consider and completely broke my heart to witness, but overall he’s back at about 90% and doing really well. Their help, guidance, support, etc. made my mom’s cancer that much more bearable, which leads me to the final piece of my update…

My mom – She didn’t just beat cancer, she beat cancer’s ass! Her scans stopped showing any signs of cancer before her chemo treatments had even finished and her pathology reports came back clean so no further treatments were necessary. While she has the wigs, she barely used them. She kept most of her hair and with Covid she never really left the house. We just celebrated this past weekend and everything feels great and whole again. Thanks to Kim and Cam’s support, my mom’s cancer actually brought my family closer together and allowed us to forget about some things and focus on us. I hate to say it but their support fixed my family in a way I could’ve never imagined, but that’s another story altogether, just know i am blessed.

Reading my last update again I see how much I emphasized that everything worked out the way it was supposed to and how I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be and I still feel that way. I genuinely believe that dealing with Gilbert led me back to Kim and Cam, mere months before I was going to need a lot of support in order to best help my mom and dad, and that support helped evolve my family. I can’t be more grateful for the way everything turned out. I actually just breathed a sigh of relief, I think writing this all out to you and your readers made me realize that I really am at peace, for now ;).

Thank you again to you and your readers for consistent support and advice!