Author Topic: I will probably need to use this one soon  (Read 4633 times)

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Venus193

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I will probably need to use this one soon
« on: March 14, 2008, 11:35:08 AM »
Those of you who are familiar with the ongoing novela that is my friend Blanche know that she is hard up for money all the time.  This morning she called me to talk about her latest adventure with the phone company:  She apparently owes something like $300 over probably the past 5 or 6 months and they are threatening to shut off her service if she doesn't pay it in full.  The bill was dated the 7th, she received it yesterday (the 13th) and the amount doesn't match what she was told over the phone when she called.

"I was hoping you can help me."
"Did you ask to talk to a supervisor?"
"No."
"Call them back and request a supervisor.  If the bill doesn't add up you need to talk to someone who can fix it."
"OK."

She called me back a short while later and told me she reached someone who told her she needed to pay $X by tomorrow, $Y by early next week, and $Z by the 21st.  She doesn't know where the money is coming from because her current part-time job pays less than she would be collecting on unemployment (that's a whole rant on its own).

She seems to realize that asking me for money directly would be risky.  I think she's hoping I'll give her the money to pay her phone bill.  I may have way more money in the bank than she ever did, but I'm unemployed at the moment and facing COBRA payments of about $542 per month. 

That's the least of it, though.  The principle of the thing is that I would never get the money back.  Just before she moved to the butt end of nowhere she owed me about $50 for some Yves Rocher products and $25 for a rock music event ticket.  That was followed by about $120 in postage for the Dark Shadows VHS tapes.  I'll never see any of that money and I made the decision to write it off.

Then she started whining about how she may be totally out of the job market because of her credit rating.  She declared bankruptcy in 2004 and hasn't gotten any sales jobs despite her many years' experience in this area.

I brought up again the reality that she needs to relocate.  "But I don't even have money to move."

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

What would you guys do?

caranfin

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 11:41:36 AM »
What would I do? Express sympathy.

"Wow, that's too bad. What are you going to do about it?"

"You thought I could help? I'm sorry, but I don't think the phone company would let me make payment arrangements for you. You're just going to have to do it yourself."

"Yes, it is unfortunate that you can't get a job in sales. Maybe you need a career change."

Don't even acknowledge her hints. And if she has the guts to actually ask for money... "I won't do that. The last time I loaned you money/fronted an expense, you never paid me back. You do realize I'm unemployed, don't you?"
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nliedel

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 11:46:20 AM »
"I wish I could help. but I just can't."

No ambiguity, no issue at all. I know it will be hard, but she's gonna keep calling you if you don't. If she asks why, tell her you have to run.
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Minmom3

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2008, 11:35:16 PM »
Those of you who are familiar with the ongoing novela that is my friend Blanche know that she is hard up for money all the time.  This morning she called me to talk about her latest adventure with the phone company:  She apparently owes something like $300 over probably the past 5 or 6 months and they are threatening to shut off her service if she doesn't pay it in full.  The bill was dated the 7th, she received it yesterday (the 13th) and the amount doesn't match what she was told over the phone when she called.

"I was hoping you can help me."
"Did you ask to talk to a supervisor?"
"No."
"Call them back and request a supervisor.  If the bill doesn't add up you need to talk to someone who can fix it."
"OK."

She called me back a short while later and told me she reached someone who told her she needed to pay $X by tomorrow, $Y by early next week, and $Z by the 21st.  She doesn't know where the money is coming from because her current part-time job pays less than she would be collecting on unemployment (that's a whole rant on its own).

She seems to realize that asking me for money directly would be risky.  I think she's hoping I'll give her the money to pay her phone bill.  I may have way more money in the bank than she ever did, but I'm unemployed at the moment and facing COBRA payments of about $542 per month. 

That's the least of it, though.  The principle of the thing is that I would never get the money back.  Just before she moved to the butt end of nowhere she owed me about $50 for some Yves Rocher products and $25 for a rock music event ticket.  That was followed by about $120 in postage for the Dark Shadows VHS tapes.  I'll never see any of that money and I made the decision to write it off.

Then she started whining about how she may be totally out of the job market because of her credit rating.  She declared bankruptcy in 2004 and hasn't gotten any sales jobs despite her many years' experience in this area.

I brought up again the reality that she needs to relocate.  "But I don't even have money to move."

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

What would you guys do?

Be a sympathetic mirror with NO rescue offers!  "Wow, that's tough.  Dang, that sucks.  Yada Yada Yada..." 

The only people I rescue are my children, and even that is limited when it's their own damned fault.  One must be realistic when organizing one's life, after all.  Running up big juicy bills and ignoring them until it's do or die time isn't the way I run MY life, and I won't subsidize it in others.   ::)  I'm mean that way.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Scritzy

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2008, 12:31:03 AM »
I like what carafin said: "Wow, that's too bad. What are you going to do about it?"

Blanche needs so many kinds of therapy: therapy therapy, career counseling, debt management, more therapy therapy. She is pathetic, and I mean that in the sense that I do pity her, even if she did dig herself into this hole. (It's kind of the same pity I have for Jerkoid's soon-to-be-ex Squeeze. But that's another story.)

Unfortunately, I think she's going to have to smack rock bottom before she finally wakes up, and then it may be too late.

Stand your ground, Venus. And I hope you get a new position very soon. :)
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Venus193

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2008, 12:54:19 AM »
Thanks, Scritzy.  Thus far I haven't heard anything new about her phone bills.  She can still call me, so I guess her service didn't get cut off.

The most recent thing is a problem with the brakes on her car.  She got some $$ from her brothers, but said she had to take a lot of verbal abuse for it.  It's not a surprise; I've heard this one before.  Another person suggested that they are doing this as a way of working out their unresolved issues about their mother.

Which makes a lot of sense for reasons I'm too tired to go into right now.

She had better get her act together before I downgrade her to Aunt Pittypat.

Scritzy

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2008, 12:56:35 AM »
Or Mrs. Havisham.
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Venus193

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2008, 08:03:44 AM »
I could see that, too. 

To elaborate on yesterday's point, neither of her brothers ever were in therapy about their alcoholic mother.  When she died in 1983 the younger of the two brothers just decided that life would go on and that he was just fine.  He's a bit of a workaholic and used work to escape from his emotional demons, to the degree that when he would come home from a full day's work at the newspaper he would inhale his dinner and then repair to his study to write for the rest of the evening.  The other may have been similar; both have major issues with women because their mother was narcissistic, useless, and occasionally dangerous. 

Blanche stopped drinking completely in 1988, but has other addictive behaviors.  She seems to know that if she gets rid of one addictive behavior she replaces it with another.  She's so addicted to television that it prevents her from doing other things.  Oy vey.

Scritzy

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2008, 03:37:00 PM »
Blanche stopped drinking completely in 1988, but has other addictive behaviors.  She seems to know that if she gets rid of one addictive behavior she replaces it with another.  She's so addicted to television that it prevents her from doing other things.  Oy vey.

That's just sad.
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Venus193

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2008, 09:03:37 AM »
I am also somewhat addicted or my computer and TV would not be in the same room to enable me to do both at once.  However, I do have standards.  I don't start watching anything in the middle anymore than I would walk into a movie screening after it begins.  If something isn't good, I change the channel.

Having said that, it does bug me that I will occasionally be talking to her on the phone and she gets distracted by something on TV.  The next time that happens I will sign off.

FunkyMunky

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2008, 09:00:53 AM »
"You thought I could help? I'm sorry, but I don't think the phone company would let me make payment arrangements for you. You're just going to have to do it yourself."

I'd avoid this one.  Determined people would check if you CAN pay it.

Other people's poor financial management is not your responsibility, no matter how much sympathy you feel for them. In this woman's case, unless you win the lottery, let her deal with it.

Stormtreader

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2008, 07:07:45 AM »
"You thought I could help? I'm sorry, but I don't think the phone company would let me make payment arrangements for you. You're just going to have to do it yourself."

I'd avoid this one.  Determined people would check if you CAN pay it.

Other people's poor financial management is not your responsibility, no matter how much sympathy you feel for them. In this woman's case, unless you win the lottery, let her deal with it.

"Oh thats ok - just give me the money and ill pay it under my account."

Really dont give her even the sniff of a hint that you could be persuaded/guilted into paying.

caranfin

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Re: I will probably need to use this one soon
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2008, 02:24:37 PM »
"You thought I could help? I'm sorry, but I don't think the phone company would let me make payment arrangements for you. You're just going to have to do it yourself."

I'd avoid this one.  Determined people would check if you CAN pay it.


"Pay it? No, I never offered to pay your bills. I thought you needed someone to call the phone company and make arrangements for you to pay it off."
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