This Creative Life

Welcome to the creative work of Alan White, head writer and producer of "FEEDBACK; A HERO'S CALLING," now at Broken Sea. The "Feedback" in question is Matthew Atherton, My Hero. He and other heroes of mine have links found down the left side of these pages. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Supplemental Confession

(It has a happy ending, I promise.)

Last weekend, while in the city, I lost my mind. It wan't like a monkey on a cupcake, it was like King Kong on the Empire State building.

I chewed through all my accounts and spent and spent and spent. I bought hobby books and Frappacinos and comicbooks and food, and then later in the week, bought new sneakers and the scale and lattes and more Frappacinos. These things I buy, the common man buys. But I am not the common man. I'm a poor man. I cannot be acting like the common man. But I did.

So last night, I was back on the phone again with my main bank, fighting over overdraft charges. You see, I have the rough estimate of what's in my account the last time I looked. Then as I shop, I make rough estimates on what's left. And then I go on to the next store. THAT'S WHERE IT ALL GOES WRONG. I am, and have been, unerringly incorrect with my estimates. Something says it costs $5.75, I think I only have to subtract $5.00, and never consider how close it is to $6. Something says it costs $13.89, I never think to subtract $15.00 from my running head-total, but I'll go ahead and minus $13.00. But WAIT! If I think I have $100.00 left in the account, and I DO minus 13.00, in my head, I now have about $90.00 left in the bank, when I SHOULD be seeing $87.00. And of course, thinking there's still 90.00 in the bank, the NEXT $13.87 I subtract becomes only $13.00 again, and $13.00 from $90.00 is only $80.00, so I'm safe, right? Then I go into blur mode and next thing I know, my account is -$0.59.

But last night, I discovered that if I transfer from my Savings to my Checking AFTER 8:00PM, IT DOESN'T GET CREDITED TO THE ACCOUNT FOR AN ENTIRE DAY. Thanks what I went to war over, last night. Because after I messed up and went into a negative, I transfered moeny to cover it, and the purchase I had made that day. (Whether my math was correct or not is another matter) But the amount I transfered would have covered the purchases IF THE ACCOUNT HAD ACCEPTED MY MONEY WHEN I TRANSFERRED IT. Oh I was as vicious as I have even been last night. I didn't even let them speak with their little excuses. NOWHERE on the Bank webpage did I see that there'd be a delay in transferring after 8PM. It BOGGLES the mind. What do THEY care what time I make the transfer?? IT'S A COMPUTER. Mind you, I didn't curse them at all. I said nothing insulting to them personally. But I let them know in no uncertain terms that I thought their system was geared to squeeze poor people out of the little bit of money they managed to scrape together, and it wasn't fair. Whether I suck at math or not, I did the best I knew how to cover my spending with money that WAS available, and this little technicality was going to cost me a good $132.00 in overdraft fees and that just was NOT acceptable.

Well, I'm happy to say that I won. The manager promised me that no matter what happened, all my spending from the debit card would not get charged a fee.

The fact that a check showed up this morning from DAYS before I went on my spending spree is another terminal problem I have, but I think I won the war. This last skirmish is not going to wreck me.

Now, why do I say I won the war?

Because as scheduled, tomorrow I am paying off my 2nd creditor. All those overdraft fees were going to make it impossible to do so. Now it'll still happen.

And just today, I spoke with another creditor and arranged for ANOTHER buy-out to occur for me on Dec. 22nd. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!!

And finally, my largest debt, where I have to pay at least $80.00 in INTEREST alone--the collection agency is dropping the account and it's returning to the original lender. Oddly enough, I'd spoken with the collector enough times that they confided in me the info--the original lender refuses to lower their interest rates on us, and so those of us in debt never get close to solving our debt, AND THE COLLECTION AGENCY WASN'T MAKING ANY MONEY OF OF US.


Mind you, I will still owe the original lender, and I have a telephone number to contact them and try to get a buyout, but when do you think I'll worry about that? Next payday? I'm not making another payment on that horsechoker until I'm good and ready. I've been carrying this debt around for years, and now I've just been told the collection agency who hounded me four months ago for the debt is getting out of the way.

Sayonara SUCKER!!!!!

I'll pay it when I'm




Meanwhile, two more debts squashed by Christmas. And when they are gone, I'll be able to re-attack this last one. Yup. When I'm ... (YOU say it now) ...





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