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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

On the scale of 1 to gullible I give myself a 3 or 4. I can usually sniff out bullshit pretty well and just ignore it. This is a story about almost being taken.

I had arrived at work just in time to be asked about a situation the day before involving a cross-eyed German guy and a t-shirt. After being told to never ask someone to explain a sensor laying in a fitting room again, I let my boss take a break and begin to start my day. The phone rings.

“Overpriced clothes for Douchebags, This is Matt”

“Yes Hi is this Matt Shanknasty?”

My back stiffened. You see I’m the only Matt working there. Well there’s another but he works less than Andy in the last two minutes. No reason to use last names. This can’t be good.

“Yes what can I do for you?” “Well my name is Christy and I’m calling from (some credit collection agency whose name I missed) in regards to your federal student loans”

Calling at work will get anybody’s attention. She continued.

“You’re aware you are in Federal default currently on the amount of ten thousand dollars?”

“Federal default? Is that like double secret probation?” “What?” “Nevermind, go ahead.”

Well she goes on to say that they don’t have up to date information for me and were only able to contact me ON A NUMBER THAT I’VE NEVER PUT ON ANY APPLICATION FOR A LOAN EVER. At this point I should have given my cell phone number and ended the conversation but it was just after 2pm on a tuesday at the mall. What else did I have to do?

She goes through the standard anal probe of my finances, starting with my monthly take home pay and subtracting out expenses to arrive at a residual income figure. Presumably to figure out how much she could take me for. But right around the time we’re starting to haggle on a monthly payment things started to take a turn for the bullshit.

“Now in order to get involved in the program, you have to put down a down payment and make the agreed upon payments for 9 months. After that we’ll stop compounding interest per day, which is about $1.30 per day, and refund collections costs, which are around $2,000.”

$3,650. That was the down payment she chucked out. So heavy I’m surprised it fit into the phone line. Who the hell would have that and not be able to make payments I wondered. (sidenote: $3,600 is a years worth of $300 payments, my guess is the extra $50 were for lapdances)

The conversation doesn’t get much farther after that and I make her assure me she will not contact me at work again. She asks me not to talk down to her. I hang up.

A few hours later I leave for my hour lunch and check my phone. Voicemail from Chrissy. She’s left a number to call and a “reference number” with a letter and numbers attached. This scam is involved.

I call the number, say that I received a call and give my reference number.

“Please verify your social security number” “I just gave you a reference number, verify that”

“Verify your date of birth then” I did it. I figure the worst they can do is send me a card.

I tell her I spoke with Chrissy and we were trying to figure out a payment plan to get my loans out of default.

“You mean you spoke with Christy, I’m Chrissy” “Sure if you say so.” “Ok sir well the total balance of this loan is due and the U.S. Department of Education would like to offer you terms to pay off this loan. This is only being done as a courtesy. If you decide to let these loans lapse further, you’re looking at a 15% wage garnishment and a deliquency mark on your credit report. Now I have some terms I’d like to discuss with you if you’d like” “Yeah sure go ahead” “Ok so with a down payment of $1,800 you’re looking at payments of $249 or with a zero down payment you’d have payments of $300.” “Ok so you’ve got me bent over with a gun to my head here” “Sir you agreed to take these loans out and you have a responsibility to pay them…” I cut her off. “Don’t lecture me on responsibility, I have parents for that. And those terms aren’t going to work for me. What else ya got?” “Hold on”

She puts me on hold and I put the phone to the side and start going through my accounts in my head. Then as I’m taking another bite my mind wanders. I look at the radio as I’m sitting in my car but realize its off. No way. There was a ton of static and the audio was really low quality but it seemed to fit the music being played…

I’m trying to place the song as she clicks back on. “I just spoke with my supervisor and our client will accept a down payment of $518 with a monthly payment of $109.” “Well now you’re in the ballpark. Is this the kind of offer that expires when I hang up the phone or can I think about it” “The end of this phone call without an agreement to pay constitutes non-compliance and all deals would be void” “So now I’m bent over, theres a gun to my head AND a ticking clock. I was worried this was going to be high pressure. Sure, what the hell. Let’s do it. Game on”

With that she puts me on hold again. No music this time and I’m disappointed. When the line comes alive again I’m told its Christy on the other end and she’s ready to fax me a contract, help find me a fax machine (“Staples, Kinkos many places have fax machines”) and take my bank account and routing number over the phone. “Well I don’t have that information on me right now.” “Well do you know your bank account number, I can look up the routing number for you” “No I don’t know it off the top of my head”

That’s what saved me. Having direct deposit prevents me from writing a deposit slip for my check every other Friday and so its not a number I have memorized.  She tells me that I have to call back with the info by 10am tomorrow or they’ll take my first born or something. I hang up, finish eating, and remember that the address they kept asking me to verify was my dads. I call and ask if there had been any mail sent there he had forgotten to give me. I explain why I’m asking. “Its a scam son, don’t call them again” I curse the fact that I almost fell for it and go back to work. I had to hand it to them though. Calling me at work, using an official tone and all, very professional. There was just one problem: No collections agency has “Houses of the Holy” as hold music.

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It has now been five years since Dave Chappelle left the entertainment world to go chill out on his Ohio farm.  At first, his absence from Comedy Central simply meant a lot of unsuccessful sketch shows in his former time slot.  Now, the lack of Chappelle in the social commentary is hurting out country.  No other black comedian since has had a similar television show, and those that do (Tyler Perry) aren’t funny and show white America the “Family Matters” side of black America.  Chappelle made us all laugh at the blatant racism and bigotry that still exists in our country despite all the talk of equality and a “post-racial” society.  Whether it be the Gay KKK, Friday Night Sissy Fights, Real Real World, The World is Not Meant for Us, or any other sketch, Chappelle was not only making us laugh but also making us think just a little bit.

Alright, I’m not going to go into some diatribe about the socio-economic importance of black comic commentary in America, although I could, but that wouldn’t be in line with the Ranty McRanterson policy on seriousness (none is allowed).  So, Mr. Chappelle, if you’re listening…PLEASE COME BACK.  Here is a list of possible sketches I thought of for you.  You don’t have to pay me for them, just come back.  If you don’t, the possibility exists that Demetri Martin or Carlos Mencia would get a show again.  Do you really want that on your conscience Dave?  Do you?

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We all love Chipotle.  The soft flour tortilla overflowing with fluffy rice, juicy pepper and onions, mushy beans, succulent tender meats, spicy salsa, gooey guacamole and semi-melted jack cheese.  My keyboard is covered in drool just thinking about it.  My friend, the Steak Burrito with red salsa (hot), pinto beans and cheese, is probably the stupidest thing to eat the night before a job interview.  The song “Tainted Love” springs into my head.

I arrived in College Park for a job interview in Arlington.  Meeting up with my bros we drank some Buds (heavy, not light), got hungry and went to that old standby:  the Greenbelt Chipotle.  A straight shot up MD-193 with the omnipresent danger of hitting a day laborer crossing Greenbelt Road makes the sizzling scent of Chipotle all the more enticing.  The fact that you may very well murder a Mexican en route to eat Mexican food somehow makes the burrito that much tastier.  But I digress…  We got our Chipotle, somehow managed not to eat it in the car and made our way back to 8802, a house so filled with empty beer bottles and cans that a homeless man buy his way off the street if he discovered that Shangri-la of recyclables.  I forgot, this post is about the dangers of Chipotle…I’ll stay on topic.  Chipotle finished, some more Bud time followed by bed time.  Up early for the long Metro (Green + Orange) to Arlington, VA.

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     As I mentioned in my Don’t Call it a Comeback post, I had previously written a guide for driving in the snow. It was a scathing masterpiece of epic proportions and I had everything that I wanted in it. I lost it, but here is my attempt to recreate the post. Keep in mind, this is occurring in March and we haven’t had decent snow since, well, I can’t remember the date but it was a long time ago. When I had previously written the post, I had just come back from a trip on the Eastern Shore in the snow and all this was fresh in my mind. I’m going to try to hit on all the topics that I had written in the original post, but I fear some of the topics and most of the fire will be lost. I hope this turns out okay.

     For some reason, although it gets hit with an average of two moderate snowstorms a year, no one in the DC area seems to be able to grasp the fact that when there is snow on the road it’s wise to change one’s driving habits. This is evidenced by the number of car accidents that inevitably accompany any amount of snow falling in or around the area. I thought it might be a wise idea to put out a comprehensive guide on what it takes to handle this wacky and unheard of thing they call snow.

#1. Do not properly clean the snow off your car. This one is almost a no brainer. In low visibility conditions like falling snow, you want to make your already hard to see vehicle is invisible to other cars. This will allow you to elude the other drivers. As an added bonus, huge chunks of snow flying off of your car can cause other people to crash, clearing more of the road for you.

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Little Annoyances

     If you haven’t been able to tell by other posts on this blog, I’m an irritable person. Small things various people do throughout the day make me angry, and by the time the day is over, I just want to sit back, and watch some television in peace and quiet. Sometimes I just want to be left alone. I don’t give a shit about what happened in your day, just like you really don’t give a shit what happened in mine. Shut up and let me watch my stories. Needless to say, this does not bode well for any future serious relationship I may (or may not) have. I’m trying to work on it. Venting the small stuff that pisses me off on the interwebs seems to be a safe alternative to a murderous rampage. I’m thinking of starting a feature titled something like “Things that shouldn’t really make anyone mad, but set me the hell off for some reason.” If I do decide to do that, this will be part one in a many part series. Chances are, though, I’ll get lazy and this will just be a stand alone.

     I came to a conclusion the other day. There are two types of people in this world. Normal people, and people who back their cars into parking spots. I have no idea why this makes me so angry, but it does. To be clear, I’m not talking about a parallel spot where backing in is the right and socially acceptable move. I’m talking about normal parking lots where the car is perpendicular to the driving lane. (On a side note; if you’re nosing into parallel parking spots, you have no earthly right to be driving.) At our rental house we have four cars. Three of us park like human beings, the other one throws caution to the wind and backs his car into our driveway. I don’t think he knows I have a blog and if he’s reading this he might not know I’m talking about him. If he is and does, sorry. I like my driveway to look a certain way, and your car facing the other direction than everyone else’s really screws up my qi.

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Upon a request from a co-worker at Pete’s law office to decorate, Pete took it upon himself to bring in a basket for lotion and hand sanitizer. He plans on getting some of that Easter grass to complete the look.

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me: but seriously what time is it
Coach: hahahhaah
i have no idea
me: im not sure my comp is keeping up
Coach: im going by my computer ritmem
2:309
Sent at 2:29 AM on Sunday
me: HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!! are you saying not only is it daylight savings but they put over three hundred minutes in an hour?????? NO KEYS, PUSH TO START!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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