Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Several years ago I got an offer from Capital One, and for the first time I had a credit card that did not charge me to use their service. You know that monthly fee. I was on top of the world, I admit it, I had made it to the big time in credit cards. Given previous entries here, you might understand that without good credit, doors are barred, locked, and have a bank safe pushed against them if you don't have any.
Then my job went bye bye, extinct like the dodo bird, dinosaurs, Tasmanian tigers, and well so many other things. Anyway, I was already barely holding on, and while I attempted to make the best of a situation, when my payments were late, I would get the normal calls. So, as I could I would make the payments, you know, as someone who did not get unemployment, I would do what I could do to get them paid. All legally of course. Needless to say, I did without many of the things I needed, a new laptop for college, put off classes when I could not afford to make payments on my debt and buy books, put gas in my truck so I could find work. Worked off rent, so I would have the money to pay them.
But, a strange thing started to happen as I did a slow motion cannon ball off the fiscal cliff. I started getting more calls, and most of them started coming from unknown and blocked callers. Sorry, if I don't know the number, I don't answer. If you know me, or want a response from me, leave a message. Otherwise, I just hit mute, and carry on. Sure it is the wrong response to give, but when you are getting 10+ calls like that in a day, you tend to become numb to it. Hell, after dealing with 2 or 3 crappy reps on the phone, you tend to transform into a really nasty person, very quickly.
At one point I was channeling the devil himself when dealing with these people. Like introduction posts, you can only say, "Hi my name is John Doe, and I am an addict... I mean I am an unemployed college student, and I am trying to get a job, or find a way to pay you without robbing a bank or selling drugs.... I mean doing everything within my power legally to pay you, even bumming money off my parents." You can only come up with so many ways of telling the truth and being belittled and run down that you stop caring.
For me, it was easier to avoid the confrontation. So, when I did come into a small windfall, I contacted everyone I thought I owed money too and said how much do I owe you again? They gave a number I paid it, did not even bother to ask how it got so bad, I already knew. That is the funny thing, when you are in debt, when you are trying to be a responsible person, you tend to know these things.
Anyway, so Capital One sent out a strangely worded contract update. I say strangely worded because they talk about showing up to your place of employment, your home as repo agents. Well, its not that strange considering that they lend on more than a plastic card. Depending on where you live, you can barrow from them to buy a car, signature loans, and I think they even play with mortgages, but I would have to check. I can actually understand that.
What drives me crazy is when they start calling you 3-5 times a day, from a blocked phone number, and when you answer they treat you like the biggest piece of shit deadbeat that God himself every shat out onto a planet full of shit that would kill you rather than look at you.
You know what sucks worse than working a minimum wage paying job, while going into debt to do it? Being forced into slave labor by greedy employers, while slowly placing leeches on yourself, just to keep the prestige of working as a slave. Sure I will probably contact everyone and get my credit cards back, I think I can manage the three I had, given 2 have no monthly fees, and the last only carries a six dollar a month fee. Its not too hard to come up with six dollars. Worst comes to worst I can hock something for 30, deposit a money order pay them, wait till the middle of the month, get my dad to pick it up.
But it is a bad state of affairs just the same. You need good credit to get a job, almost any job, even that crappy minimum wage paying job. In order to get credit you have to go into debt, which is a very fine line. When you go over that zero tolerance line, things get ugly quick. It like a movie where 30 seconds in, you already have a body count of 200. Its not right, its not fair, and even by life's standards, its overkill. Sure, life is not fair, it rarely is. If it was fair, I would be sitting on several thousand dollars, in a nice home, on a good plot of land, with cows in the back yard, debt free, doing what I love to do, with animals I love to be around. But life isn't fair when you are grasping at straws, sometimes you are the car, most times you are the road kill. Speaking of which, you are statistically more likely to die collecting the winnings for a lotto ticket than you are to win. That is pretty screwed up.