Monday, May 4, 2009

Thinking about the old grind.

Every so often someone asks me if I'm still doing the collector gig. I say no, followed with a hopefully never again! BUT, the information I culled from the job will remain forever valuable. Knowing not just how to, but when to negotiate is a rockin' good thing! Debtors for the most part are not good negotiators. And maybe that's one of the reasons they are in a financial bind. ??? Something else I got from the job was that no matter how repetitious, tedious, menial a job might be, distill something new from each eight hour block that you traded for your paycheck. Because those eight hours... you're never gonna get em' back.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The grueling repetition of the forty hour grind beats you down. Change that - it beat me down. I'm able to do the routine for a while... eventually I take hours to get my ass out of bed and my mind in a proper frame. There are days when my attitude stays sour until well after lunch. Some days it stays bad.

When I was a wilderness instructor for troubled teens I could always fall back on the satisfaction of knowing that "natural consequences" would prevail and instill in the student a desire to comply. If you don't set up a proper shelter you'll get wet when it rains. If you don't tie your bedroll properly it will unroll and then you will be mad. At yourself. I didn't have the luxury of "natural consequences" at the collection job. The law states that you can't threaten to do something that is not possible.... I can't tell someone I'm going to have them thrown in jail for not paying their bill because I don't have that sort of clout. But if my company owns the debt, and has every intention of following through with legal action I can state the facts - which more often than not is called a threat. Okay then. I rarely found out if legal action was being persued against someone. For me, there was no closure, I was left hanging.

Remembering the special times sitting in my beige cube. A sigh of relief. I am glad that I am a debt collector no more. Especially in this economy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So Over It

Done. Amazing how habits set in and we don't notice. Get up, go to work. Repeat. Sometimes it's best to just say no and get off the hamster wheel. I transferred to the "arbitration department" hoping for variety and a little compliance from the "clients". Alas it was not to be. There are a lot of... lets be kind here... stubborn people out there that won't fulfill their obligations voluntarily. Some need calls and letters... some need a bigger nudge.... like a summons to appear in court. These same folks think they don't have to show up? I don't have the patience or motivation to be a successful debt collector. Money is not enough of a motivator for me to sit on my ever-enlarging ass in a beige office and be verbally abused by stupid people.

A couple years ago I ran the last ten miles of a marathon next to a woman that used to work as a drug dependency counselor. Asked her why she stopped doing it... her first reason was she got married to a patent attorney and didn't need to work anymore. Second reason ---- the job became BORING! After doing it for a few years she got bored with listening to the same excuses all the time. Same with collections.... it took a while, but it got BORING. I'm sick, my parents are sick, my kids are sick. Got fired, got laid off, plant closed. Husband/girlfriend/sister/parent stole my identity and ran up this bill. Getting divorced, husband died. Katrina. House burned down. Whatever. The last event shared with me was the woman in the wheelchair that couldn't work.... so why are you in a wheelchair? She was driving and dropped her cell phone and ran into a tree.

The tiny tidbits served up over the phone just whet the appetite. The google machine is the msg sprinkled on top making things more savory. And lastly is your imagination to fill in any blanks.

You can't predict the future.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Long Dry Spell

Tedium has set in... dial the phone. leave a message. repeat. wait for my phone not to ring.

But had a small bit of entertainment the other morning.... I call one of my numbers and some guy answers the phone - sounds like he woke up, rolled over and picked up the receiver. Ask him if he's the guy I'm looking for and he says yes. Being from the midwest the next thing you have to ask is how someone's doing.. apparently this guy is doing just fine... he informs me he could bust up cinderblocks with his hard-on.

Awesome. I was not quite left speechless.