I hate my new job. I’m like a lot of people. But I think I hate it worse.
I hate it because it is against everything I stand for and care about. The stories I hear every day break my heart. It is my job to break hearts even more while pretending to fix problems. I hope what I do helps because it does sometimes but most of the time I know it doesn’t. My job is to help people get into debt. I’m a loan representative.
I thought I would like this job. It looked ideal from the outside looking in but now that I’m doing it, I realize that we’re not really in the business of lending. We’re in the business of taking advantage of people who are either unfortunate or addicted to debt and incapable of facing their addiction. I don’t like taking advantage of either kind of person. I don’t just find it unethical. I find it abominable.
I hate summer. In summer I lose my ability to drive for Uber full time because the students leave. That’s why I had to take this new job. The job market in Tallahassee sucks. It’s either government work, and I haven’t found a match for me there, or it’s part time minimum wage work in the private sector. Employers know they don’t have to pay a fair wage in Tallahassee. They get students to work part time from TCC, FSU and the high schools. In the summer it’s like a ghost town. It took me four months just to find a part time minimum wage job in Tallahassee before Uber was here.
I picked up a few passengers from this lending company that takes advantage of such desperation. They seemed to really like it. They like it because they get paid more than minimum and they earn commission too. They believe they are helping people but now that I’m working there too I know they hurt more than they help. Please help me get out of this. I’d quit in a heartbeat if I could.
So that probably seems odd to hear from the first blog of a Presidential candidate. But it shouldn’t be odd at all.
We hear it said all the time that our politicians care about the people. Bernie had his picture taken not flying first class. Being with the people – that was a big deal. Let me ask a question: which of the two of us knows what it’s like to suffer from unemployment? Which of the two of us is talking to people who are struggling with debt all day long for a living? Which of the two of us has attempted to start a business and knows what it’s like to lack the cash to do it? Which of the two of us knows what it is like to fail? Which of the two of us knows what it is like to pick up the pieces from failure? Which of the two knows what it is like to take care of a wife whose had a stroke, whose son is autistic, whose worked for minimum wage?
If being a person of the people is a qualification for office, I’ll begin my story by describing how I’m a guy just like the average American. I’m not a career politician. I’m a person who cares. I’m a person who really knows what it’s like. But that’s not even why I’m beginning this story by telling you how much I hate this new job. I hate it because I’ve struggled with debt for twenty eight years now, ever since I started my first business venture. It was a music studio. I bought the equipment with my own credit. Financially speaking, it was a mistake I’ve paid for ever since. In terms of life’s lessons, not so much. We fail and we learn.
I hate debt. It’s not the job. Its the fact that the job looks at making debt possible as a good thing. And most of the time it’s not. Debt is my nemesis and I can’t let it win.
But no. It’s worse than that. The customer calls up looking for a loan. My first job is to sell them on a credit monitoring service they didn’t call up for. I get a mini-commission for each sale. I convince them they need all three credit scores. Sometimes that info helps. Usually it doesn’t matter. Their credit sucks. We already knew that before they called. We’re going to give them the same set of lenders almost every time. It’s pretty much just a big lie, though technically it may be true, but I have to follow the script.
The reason we get paid to sell them this service is so they can get their credit scores. We get paid a commission even though it is a free trial is they invariably forget to unsubscribe from the free trial until they see a $39 bill on their credit card statement – if they look. The very thing I have always hated as I’ve looked at my credit card bills and my wife has gotten suckered into something that was supposedly free – God how many times has that happened? – I am now earning a commission from selling. I’m being paid to be a slime ball.
The script has me telling these desperate people that I’m going to call back when they’ve got their credit scores. Really? Ten minutes before my shift ends with new callers constantly on the line? I do try to call back when I get notified they’ve got their scores but I only reach about 20% of them, at most. But that part isn’t in the script.
No, the script then has us giving them their lending options once they call back or if they already had their scores or just refused to be suckered by the first pitch and somehow I hadn’t lost them yet. That’s when we see what kind of predatory lenders are out there willing to charge ridiculously high rates of interest to a person with credit in the four and five hundreds or below. I have to tell them at that point that they should pay for a credit repair service for $99/month. That’s where the big commission is for me. I get almost $20 per sale. One an hour and I can meet my own family budget. I can’t ignore my family’s needs. I’m desperate just like they are, living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to get out of the debt trap.
The system is pretty slick. I don’t actually have to close the sale. All I have to do is transfer the sucker over to the credit repair company while pretending to have them on hold while I prepare their lending options. In reality, there are no lending options to prepare. That part is already determined before the transfer. It is a bold-faced lie. But it is in the script. Throughout the day, I receive messages from the floor managers encouraging me to do more calls and make more credit repair transfers. The repair company does the close. The more lies I tell the more I get paid.
I come home and I yell at my wife because she wants to go out for our anniversary and she knows we can’t afford it. She bought cereal last weak and I made her take it back to the store. She wanted to buy milk. My autistic son had drunk it all. Gotta have more milk. He’s obese. She bought some ice cream two days ago. He ate the whole tub in one night. Nobody else had any. Why was she surprised by that? How many times had we had this conversation? Does Bernie know anything about any of this? I don’t think so. I think he earns over $200,000 a year and doesn’t need more than one job to make ends meet.
Half the time the lenders don’t approve the client. The script says to tell them they can work the cost of the credit repair into the loan so not to worry about the cost. I see people losing homes. I see leaky roofs not getting fixed. I had two calls in one day where people had been involved in fatal accidents and been sued for all they had. One’s husband had cancer and was trying to pay for the treatments. Car repairs destroy lives and constitute a good chunk of the calls for emergency cash. Shitty things happen to good people. It’s my job to make their life shittier by selling them credit repair and monitoring they don’t need and can’t afford while they are in a crisis because my family has to make its budget.
Government is fucked up like that too. That’s why I’m qualified to be your President. They keep screwing us over and then we keep just coming back for more of the same old shit. We’ve got to get over our addiction to the red and blue pills. They are running us into the poor house. If I can beat this debt in my own family after all I’ve been through then I can fix this country too. Damn. I can do anything if I can get through this. I’m a living super hero. Is Bernie a living super hero? I don’t think so. I think he’s just another variety of blue pill lunacy.
As I see it, its my job to deliver this country from its addiction because its life has become unmanageable. First it needs to recognize it has a problem. And then it needs to move forward and take a fearless moral inventory of its self-destructive behavior. In steps five and six it will start taking necessary actions to overcome those behaviors. You know the drill. Yes, we’re that fucked up.
This is no laughing matter. I have no barriers I can put up against the damage it is causing short of digging a hole in the ground and storing up canned foods and ammo. I have been predicting an apocalypse as the nation fails to face its addiction to debt and I’ve stated the math shows we have no more than sixteen years remaining before all hell breaks loose financially. I have solutions both for my own family and for this nation for getting out of debt. But count how many blog subscribers I have and when you see the irony, that’s how fucked up we are. I’m considered the nutty one just for telling the truth.
Bernie has no plan to get us out of debt. He has plans to spend more money and he hopes to trim a few projects and bring in some revenues – all of it just enough to hypothetically pay for his new spending so we can all have free college and health and more. He has zero plan to eliminate the Twenty Trillion dollar national debt that is published and less of a plan to knock out any of the intragovernmental holdings that go unpublished, which some estimate are as high as $200 Trillion.
If we count the holdings, in another decade or two we may just reach the Quadrillion Dollar Debt Mark. When all this implodes, as always happens to every nation that gets itself into more debt than it can handle, the picture won’t look pretty. All government operations will completely shut down. What that looks like in terms of the word “apocalypse” may be absent a few monsters stinging us from the sky. I’m not entirely sure but there is most certainly one thing it will require if we are to survive – restoration. Because it will mean utter failure – a literal death of the country, not just of its government, but of its entire financial system. Anarchy will be the only rule of law. It will be the job of the Restoration Party to prepare for that time but creating a plan of recovery from that type of anarchy. This is what I call “Solution B.”
I really do look forward to publishing Solution B for you as I complete the #RestorationParty Manifesto but unfortunately, right now I have two jobs, one of which I hate with all my heart and the other of which is underpaying me because it is seasonal. In the meantime, I do have two great start up opportunities. I have the Cromagnon.Diet and I also have the CabbyCam. I believe it would be a very wise investment to please get me the hell out of this lending place by being a patron for me in either one or both of these business endeavors. I have linked to their respective pages and if you instant message me I will discuss what economic opportunity there may be in them with you at length.
In the meantime, I am going to continue working for this demon lending company and there is another side of all this I want you to see. Those people I picked up in my Uber who said they loved this job – they don’t see anything wrong with what they do. In fact, I doubt they’ve ever even questioned it. There are over a hundred people working there doing what I do and I doubt more than handful see anything wrong with it.
I wonder whether the best salesman isn’t a completely naive one. You’ve got to believe in your product. I know it’s not just me. I’ve lived these products. The damage is real. My wedding ring has been in pawn no less than five times thanks to the fun of living paycheck to paycheck since we moved here to Tallahassee. The rate of interest is over 300%. My first job was a savings counselor at a Savings and Loan. Remember those? 5% interest was a big deal. When rates shot up to 30% on T30 Certificates of Deposit in the 1980s we were on a high that our money could earn like that. Those were the days when my Dad was trying to keep his business afloat. He had 300 employees and two plants that he had to keep refinancing mortgages on to keep things going. Cash was king. If you had it, you made boatloads. If you needed it, you paid boatloads. That was 30%. A pawn is ten times that much. Pay Day Loans, those I’ve had a few of too. They’re even higher than pawn shops. We sell those.
Up until now the USA has had a great credit rating. When credit ratings fall, interest rates shoot higher and higher. Right now, we pay less than 1% on much of our debt. Much of this is in what is called a “balloon” state. It is an artificially low state held down until the balloon period ends. At that time, the rate is scheduled to increase. The way this is typically solved is through a loan buy out or refinance. At that time, the balloon period is extended and the fees for the loan go into the pockets of a banker. If they aren’t earning interest, they’re selling loans at discounts at a loss and then refinancing their debt into new balloons. This all eventually pops because the credit worthiness of the borrower, in this case the United States government, eventually gets reassessed, all while the actual debt amount increases dramatically. Now since only the actual interest paid is going into the budget figures that get published, the other forms of profit taking involved go unreported, while the real debt dramatically increased in the form of intragovernmental holdings. And that, my friends, is how our corrupt government is handling a looming problem. They’re partying while the getting is going good. For tomorrow we shall die.
But I don’t like living lies or selling them for a living. I will not tolerate this bullshit behavior and I don’t care if I’m the only one dismayed. I’m going to publish real solutions to real problems. I’ll probably die in this struggle as I continue to be ignored but my writings will remain. And that’s my goal. Still, even in that I’ve been frustrated, because hundred hour work weeks have slowed down my publication of the Restoration Party Manifesto. Now you may well not agree with the solution I provided in chapter two. I’ve heard the objections. And I acknowledge the validity of some of them, as the chapter itself states. It’s not like I’m proposing to produce Twenty Trillion dollars out of thin air. But maybe you do agree that an entrepreneur who wants to change the world for the better ought to at least have his say. Why not consider making a bad investment for me into the Cromagnon.Diet? Write it off as a loss if it doesn’t work. Or try the CabbyCam if you prefer it? And if neither of these suits you, and you can’t muster the will to contribute to my political campaign, just consider contributing to an I feel sorry for you fund. I’ll accept.