Posts Tagged ‘Credit’

Chief is NOT good with money.

At All.

When he decided to open the shop, I told him that I didn’t want any responsibility with regard to managing the money, paying the bills, doing the taxes.

I was still working at the time and even though I knew how bad he is with money, I just didn’t want that responsibility. Mostly because I didn’t have any idea how to run a business and even though he paid as many vendors as he could in cash.. sometimes he had to use the business account’s debit card. We would check the balance on the phone before we used it and almost EVERY single time, we got hit with a bounce fee. A $35 bounce fee.

The cartoonist forgot to add the loaded gun to your back

This may get confusing :: although I think that’s the bank’s intent :: but I’m going to try and simplify it for you.

We get electronic deposits from the credit / debit / food stamp cards we take.

When the processing company deposits the amount, our bank would put a 24 hour hold on it. So there was always a difference between what was AVAILABLE and what their phone system said was our ACTUAL balance.

The online information would differ from the phone information and both would differ from the ATM information.

He were losing between 300.00 and 400.00 a month in bounce fees so I had no choice but to jump on it.

I reverted back to the old paper and pencil ledger method. Dilligentlyrecording any deposits or withdrawals within minutes of them happening. I only went by MY balance because.. that’s the actual one, right?

Who cares that Wachovia / Wells Fargo has three different computer systems that didn’t interact with each other and were on all different processing times. I had my ledger.. I recorded everything the moment it happened.. what could be more accurate, right?


We were still bouncing things and every time it would happen, Chief would want to hang himself. He would call the customer service number.. stormed the bank managers office at the local branch DEMANDING to know HOW COULD THEY CHARGE FOR BOUNCE FEES BEFORE ANYTHING BOUNCED??

Or my favorite…

Having enough money in the account but getting hit with a bounce fee that resulted IN SOMETHING BOUNCING?

Or another of my favorites…

Having between a 9 and 15 dollar monthly service charge fee that just jumped to 57.00 causing MORE bounce fees..

It was completely ridiculous until it all became clear:


… and that’s just in California alone. Now include the OTHER 49 states…

What these slick bastards were doing was processing charges or deposits based on the AMOUNT (highest to lowest) .. not chronologically.

To simplify:

Say I have 200.00 in my account on Monday.

I deposit 100.00 in my account on Tuesday morning and spend 275.00 of it Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, I should have a 25.00 balance.

Because Wachovia / Wells Fargo was processing based on highest to lowest money amount instead of the time the transaction occurred, they would process the 275.00 purchase first, leaving the balance at -75.00 THEN hit me with a bounce fee of 35.00 so now my balance is -110.00 THEN they would process the 100.00 deposit leaving me with a -10.00 balance.

That’s the SIMPLE example.

But when you have the kind of business we have where most of our income is based on electronic deposits with a processing company that takes their fee off the top, we’re talking hundreds of dollars bounced.

On there is a form to fill out to be added to another class action suit and I’m going to encourage Chief to fill it out.

If you’re a Wells Fargo or Wachovia customer and had issues with bounce charges, I’d do the same thing.

I’m not going to lie.. this is going to be a long post so you might want to make a pot of coffee or make a donut run or something before you settle in a read this.

And yes, before we go any further, I do know that any type of physical violence is wrong… so yknow.. save the fucking sermon.


So yknow how I went on a rant last week some time about credit and how some of my customers were completely taking my kindness for my weakness and how that’s a really, really bad thing to do??

If not.. you can read THAT long ass post HERE.  I’ve had the DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT ASKING FOR CREDIT signs up since then and a few people made comments about it and each time, I went into the political correct speech explaining why and whatever and basically, the word’s been spreading.

So this afternoon, this customer comes in who’s this .. omg.. I think he’d be a pedophile if he was smart enough. Just one of those weirdo World of Warcraft playing.. Dungeon and Dragon lovin’.. Would-Be Roxxxy Doll owner if he would just crawl out of his attic type guys with a girlfriend that looks like PAT from Saturday Night Live.

Y'all Remember PAT, right??

No lie.

She looks exactly like Pat except her hair is even shorter :: if that’s even possible :: and her frames aren’t as thick.

But believe me.. she’s just as fucked up. Within 5 minutes of meeting her for the first time last year, she told me all about how she was sexually harassed at work and how she was molested as a kid by her hermaphrodite brother/sister.

I wish I could make this shit up.

Anyway.. so they come in and at first I thought she had a surgical mask on because she is a germ-a-phobe but then realized that it was a crumpled up tissue that was just stuck up one nostril.

Like I said.. I wish I could make this shit up.

Chief was in the back plowing through making 50 hoagies.. baked ziti.. 100 meatballs.. potato salad and ceasar salad for this catering job we had. When he gets in his zone.. you don’t bother him. So when Dude asks to talk to him, I’m like.. not possible. He’s really busy.

So he starts stuttering and was like, “.. well, I was going to ask him if I could get some stuff on credit. Not too much.”

And before he even finishes the sentence I was like, No.

He starts to like say, “.. well, that’s why I wanted to talk to him” and I was like, it doesn’t matter. I don’t do credit anymore.

AND THEN he says, “.. I only want to get a gallon of milk and a few boxes of Little Debbie’s.”

Did I mention that while we were having this conversation, the girlfriend is honking away like a rabid duck?

I was like, Dude.. what aren’t you understanding? I’m not doing credit anymore.Do you not see the signs there.. and there.. and THERE.. and OVER THERE? I don’t care how little it is.

He goes on to tell me that he’s a good customer that’s been coming here since we openned and yknow.. I’m not going to say that he ISN’T but he’s not as good as HE thinks he is and besides the point, that’s all mute. I said no.. and it was no.. and I was really getting pissed off the he kept pushing it.

I’ll go verbatim here because really, it’s priceless and I’ll probably look back on this in a few years and really laugh. That’s not true.. I’m actually laughing about it now!

DUDE: I’m a good customer. I’ve been coming in here since you opened.
ME: And? Dude.. there are a lot of worse off people that come in here and if I have to do it for one then I have to do it for all so I’m not doing IT for ANYBODY.. been there.. done it.. it’s over
PAT“: Is this how you treat all your good customers?

People.. THIS is where I started to lose it.

ME: Good customer? You think I didn’t forget about the time you owed me 80.00  because you asked us to pick you up a case of Monster and after THREE weeks of not paying me your simple ass comes in here and tells me that you just spent 300.00 on a PS3 from CRAIGSLIST?????? What about all the times I drove you home because you bought a 1/4 lb of swiss cheese but were carrying boxes of groceries from the market up the street? What about all the newspapers I gave you when you bought the guinea pigs off of Craigslist when you STILL OWED A TAB? You really want to talk GOOD here???

He sooo knows where I’m going with this so he had the good sense to tell her to shut up.

He goes over and gets two boxes of Little Debbie Chocolate Cakes off the dollar shelf and tells me that he also wants two soft pretzels.

And I’m like Dude.. you’re spending 3 bucks. You can get a half gallon of milk and a Little Debbie’s and it’ll cost you 3.25. It’s 25 cent more then what your going to spend right now.

And he’s like, “.. no, I can wait on the milk”

And then .. AND THEN.. SHE SAYS:


People.. when I tell you that my head exploded like one of those mannequins in Austin Powers you need to believe me. Seriously. I think there’s still brain matter splattered on deli case.

I was like, “.. wait. WAIT!! You’re giving ME a HARD TIME about NOT giving YOU credit for MILK that YOU DON’T EVEN NEED?”

Dude was like, “.. I drink a lot of milk”

I was like, “.. drink less.”

Am I being unreasonable here? Do you NOT see my point? How the FUCK are you going to come into MY store and bitch about NOT getting something THAT you don’t even NEED?

There must have been some “ballsy” germs lingering in the air that girlfriend breathed in through the nostril that didn’t have a crumpled tissue jammed in it because she starts yelling.. I mean YELLING.. at me that I had no right.. NO RIGHT.. to tell her man how much milk to drink.

Me.. Halo not included!

Let me stop here.

Before we go any further, you need to know a few things about me other then the fact that I don’t look 45!

I grew up in the city and even though my neighborhood wasn’t a ghetto by any means, it was still a tough one and I was a tough kid who grew up into a tough teenager and then a tough twenty-something. I don’t like to fight.. physically or verbally.. but I sure as hell ain’t going to let someone get in my face.. customer or no customer.

And especially some Pat Look-A-Like with a crumpled up tissue up her nose.

So girlfriend is getting all red in the face and shaking and sweating and yelling at me about not having a right to tell her boyfriend how much milk to drink and I’m looking at her with the “.. bitch, PLEASE!” face and tell her that she needs to switch personalities REAL quick and then told the Dude that he better keep a handle on his woman.

ME: Actually, I’m more of a cunt but whatever

The more she was going off.. the calmer I was which made her crazier. Her boyfriend was yelling at her to shut up and then Chief came out of the back kitchen.

He asks what the hell is going on and I start telling him how this fool is going off on ME because I wouldn’t give him credit for milk he doesn’t even NEED and Chief started getting on his soap box about credit and the whole thing started over again and so finally I told them both to just get the fuck out and not come back. She was like, “.. you can’t throw us out” and I was like, “.. the hell I can’t” and she was like “.. this is a public place” and I was like, “.. the hell it is. It’s a private establishment now get the fuck out.”

I guess her being kicked out reverted her already warped mind back to high school or grade school and latent feelings of rejection. I don’t fucking know.. all I know for sure is that if you’re gonna say something under your breath loud enough for me to hear you, I’m going to hear you and not let you get away with it.

As she’s walking out she says, “.. you better watch your back because I know people.”

My size 16 ass was up over that counter and out the door faster then Chief could block me. Sorry.. I know she’s obviously mentally unstable but considering everything that had transpired up until that point there was no way in HELL I was going to let her get away with saying that.

So I run out of the store and get in front of her and was like, “.,. you know people, bitch? I’m right HERE, bitch! What are you gonna do, bitch” with the elbow all up and the finger all pointing.. Chief comes up behind me and grabs my arm and I swear I almost socked him a good one.

So I’m all up in her grill and Chief is trying to get himself between me and her while telling her boyfriend to get the hag away from me. I’m doing my best to get around Chief but that motherfucker is strong and agile and I even considered just kicking the back of his knees so I can get around him but Dude finally came back to reality and started yelling and tugging at her to leave..

It’s kind of hard to explain where every body was during this whole thing but as Dude was pulling her away, she turned around and tried to spit on me. The germophobic roaming troll tried  to spit on me. I still don’t know how I did it.. I think Chief was shocked and let his guard down a little.. but I got around him and before I even knew what I was doing, I cocked my arm back and landed on square under the eye.. she stumbled backward and fell on her ass..

Chief grabbed me around the waist and literally dragged me kicking and screaming and threw me in the store.

I don’t know who called the cops.. Not sure if they just happen to be driving down the boulevard or if someone driving called.. not sure.. but all four borough police cars showed up and she was just.. OMG!!.. she was just like a lunatic out there.. so much so that that’s probably the reason.. seriously.. that I didn’t get arrested.

That and the big gooey puddle of spit on the pavement.

The people that live about the store and next store to the store were all out and there were people at the trolley stop that saw what happened so it’s not like I was worried or anything but I had to give a statement and she’ll probably sue me and if so, then it’s my fault because I shouldn’t have hit her. I lost my cool but so be it.

I’m just glad to know I still got it if I need it!! LOL!!

… and “MAD” in every damn sense of the word!!

You know.. when you have something that other people want :: in this case cheese, pepper ham or a pickle :: you inevitably wind up in that little town called CREDIT that’s tucked nicely between ROCK and HARD PLACE.

So.. here’s what I believe :: you might want to take notes because this is going to become important later on in the post :: .. I sincerely believe that we :: talking about me and Chief here specifically :: have a moral obligation to help those in need. It’s part of my faith. Everybody runs into hard times at some point in their lives and I wouldn’t be able to call my self a follower of Christ is I turned my back on those in need. Especially if they have kids.. because as we all know.. kids shouldn’t be made to suffer because their parents can’t do what they’re suppose to do.

But yknow.. all that is nice and stuff but don’t ever take my kindness for my weakness because then it isn’t pretty.

So when we opened the store, the first thing we said was that we weren’t going to get into the whole credit thing but that got hard once we got to know the people in our neighborhood and their situations. Half the time I think we should put one of those cups on the counter collecting a nickel for every problem we hear.. Like Lucy in the Charlie Brown comics.

And so it started with one person and snow balled from there. Not a big snow ball, though. The thing about is is that when these people would pay their tab, they would do it with food stamps.

NOTE: In case you didn’t know, it takes 10 business days for us to get the food stamp money from the state.

So now it’s bad enough that I’m waiting for the tab to be paid, but now I have to wait even more to get the actual money? The money that has to replace my stock?

And so in order to circumvent that, we told people getting credit that they would have to pay their tab in cash. Most of them understood when explained it to them..

But then a funny thing happened.

The people who had credit with us, started to work that credit into their budget and you know once you get into a hole it’s hard to get out of it… so I had a few people that I could count on to come in every week or so, get stuff, pay it back in another week or so and then the whole thing would start over again.

Ok. Well.. I may have been able to live with that except for a few things that happened. I’m going to explain it to you here and you tell me if I’m wrong or not:

Person 1: She comes in on a Wednesday to pay her 23.00 tab. She hands me 40.00 but my register is low on cash and I can’t make the change. I ask her if she has anything smaller and she goes into her pocket and pulls out a wad of cash and winds up giving me exact change. The next day, Thursday, she comes in asking for credit again.

I don’t know what that wad of cash was for.. but don’t you think she should have gotten what she needed on Wednesday when she paid her tab? I do.

Person 2: She isn’t on welfare.. doesn’t get food stamps.. has one pre-teen daughter and a husband that works. She isn’t able to work for whatever reason and so they would come in and get stuff and when her husband got paid, would take care of their tab. The time between making the bill and paying the bill was getting longer but the thing that really pissed me off was that she was having an in-home demonstration and needed stuff for her guests.. so she came into the store and got all this stuff and didn’t tell me it was going to go on a tab until after everything was cut. Do you see something wrong with that? I sure as hell do.

Person 3: She has four kids and two of her sons come in all the time. Her, not so much. But one day she came into the store, asked to see Chief outside and with tears in her eyes tells him that she isn’t one to ask for help but she has to put her pride aside because she had no food for her kids. She offered Chief her driver’s license and food stamp card to hold hostage until she came in four days later and paid him. His heart went out to her and he told her to get what she needed.. not just lunch meat.. but eggs, milk, cereal,etc. She racked up a 40.00 bill.. was thanking us through her tears and blessing us all over the place. She did come in first thing the morning she said she was and paid her tab. Fine, right? Okay. So a week later, she sends her boys with a note listing all the things she wants to get on credit ( including a pack of gum ) and writes at the bottom of the note that she will be in on Friday to pay for it. It’s been five weeks. Haven’t seen her or her kids since. Ya’think I have a right to be pissed????? I do.

Let me explain this to you..

Most of my customers are on welfare.. meaning something like 85% of my sales are food stamps. Of the remaining 15%, I’d say about 10% uses their debit cards and the remaining 5% pay cash.

I already told you it takes 10 business days to get reimbursed for the food stamps.. it takes four days to get reimbursed for the credit / debt cards.

So when I have to replace everything.. and I have to pay my vendors in cash.. it’s a huge juggling act. I can’t wait to restock my deli case because what’s the sense of having a store if there’s nothing to sell?

Do you see my point?

And so when we had something like 300.00 in tabs.. no cash to restock.. and checks bouncing left and right because there was some kind of bullshit delay with getting our deposits.. we decided to either hang ourselves or stop taking credit. Hanging ourselves wasn’t an option because frankly, I can’t count on the kids to feed the dogs or the fish :: the cats can eat the mice! :: so we started telling people that were weren’t able to extend credit anymore.

Person 1 understood but then came back the following week and tugged on Chief’s heart strings. I tugged on is balls when I found out.

Person 2 understood and when she would come in and get her dollars worth of cheese and whine about how poor she is.. I’d tell her just how poor I was

Person 3 well. we haven’t seen her in five weeks so she doesn’t even KNOW yet.

And then there was Person 4.

Person 4 and her husband started coming to our deli from another town because we have the best products for the most reasonable prices. He wasn’t working and she was getting food stamps and they would used to.. USED to be very selective of what they bought. And then one day, she asked for credit. She wasn’t quick to pay.. it took her maybe three weeks because he had gotten a job and his employer was holding a week so that was understandable. But then it kept happening and finally, last week, I told her that we couldn’t do credit anymore. I explained to her that it was nothing personal. That I had to worry about putting food on my table before I could put food on somebody else’s and our finances and the deli’s finances had gotten to a point where we couldn’t do it anymore.

She understood.. understood.. understood..

Until today.

And today I saw how evil people can really be and how manipulative they are and how they just don’t care about anybody but themselves. And let me tell you.. and I think you’ll agree after you read this.. that as poor as I am.. as hard as it is now to make ends me and as close as we are to losing the store.. I can still put my head down at night knowing that I didn’t do anything wrong.

Person 2 and Person 4 come in at the same time. Person 2 is pregnant so she sits down on the chair I usually use to read in. No problem.. it was a freakin’ hot… sticky.. humid day. Person 4 comes in and starts chit chatting with me while I ring out a customer. When I’m finished I ask her what she needs. She tells me that she can wait and that  I can take care of Person 2. Person 2 declines and says that Person 4 can go ahead. She’s just soaking up the air condition.

And I know what’s about to happen. BOTH of them are going to ask for credit and neither of them wants to do it with the other one in the store.

So I tell Person 4 to give me her order and she does. A pound each of Roast Beef, Imported Ham, Gourmet Turkey, American Cheese and a half pound each of Swiss and Provolone. She gets cole slaw, a loaf of bread, and something like 5 bags of chips totaling 32 dollars and change.

While I’m cutting her order, her husband walks in followed by another customer’s son who’s mentally challenged. For real. This customer called her order in and usually she sends him to the store with either his brother or his sister. This time he came alone and while Person 2 and her husband were parked in the front of the store and Person 4 and her husband were in the middle of the store, the kid is going back and forth putting different stuff on the counter. Chief came in from the back and started helping me so I jumped on register to ring the kid out. Only one problem. He lost the money his mother gave him.

Not his kid has a bad habit of laying his money down on the ice cream freezer or pickle barrel and Chief said he saw him come in with the money in his hand.

All six adults in the store tore it apart and couldn’t come up with this money. While everybody else was looking for the money, I’m ringing out Person 4 and when I gave her the total, she asks me if she can come in Friday :: as in SEVEN days from now :: and pay me.

I was like, you have to be kidding right? You walk in here.. knowing what I told you the last time.. KNOWING that I you don’t have any money so you make me cut everything AND THEN ask me for credit? Do you even KNOW the size of your balls because let me tell you, as big as yours are.. mine are bigger.

And I told her that.

Flat out.

She looked at me like I was crazy and so being that she thought I was.. I decided to really go for it.

I told her, yknow, when SHE needed help I was there to help her. Now that I need to NOT give out credit because it’s going to help me she doesn’t give a shit. I told her that it’s not my fault that she doesn’t know how to manage her money .. I’m not going to leave my table empty to full hers. AND it wouldn’t even be so bad if she was even A LITTLE bit humble about it. Get half a pound a cheese and ham and call it a day.. but now, she was like a fucking goat in a meadow.. and just who the fuck did she think she is? Go to the supermarket and see if you can do that.. go to the convenience store and see if you can do that.. would YOU work for nothing? What if your husband’s boss said he’s going to wait to pay YOU.. would you stand for it.

That’s basically what I told her but I can tell you know that the whole string of words were peppered with words that would make my mother cringe.

Chief couldn’t believe that I would talk that way to a customer because I’m always calling check on him when he says things that are in the grey area between humor and sarcasm but I was pissed and you weren’t going to stop me.

And then I took everything off the counter and told Chief that it looks like WE were having roast beef sandwiches for dinner.

He husband had the balls to say how he thought I was a nice person.. I countered saying that I thought THEY were decent. There was some other word exchanges and then I remembered the mental kid and knew that I had to do something about him because his mother would be worried that he wasn’t home by then.

So I got his bags and I pushed my way threw Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb and told him I was going to walk him home.

And I did.. and I explained to his mother what happened and that we thought he came in with the cash but haven’t found it in the store yet. She asked how much the bill was and I told her and she was like, well, I only gave him 20 so I owe you another 5? And I was like, are you fucking kidding me? I said, “.. um.. noooooo… if I can’t find what he lost then you owe me 25” and she started going off on me about how it wasn’t her fault and I at that point, I knew that if I punched her she was going to do that whole Weeble thing and bounce back up and body slam me so I took a deep breath and stuck a smile on my face and said, “… you do. not. want. to. fuck. with. me. right. now”

She looked at me like I was out of my freakin’ mind and maybe I was but she just turned around and went into the house.

When I got back to the store, Chief was like, “.. I can’t believe you said that to them.” and I told him that I was sick of it. What were we really losing if they never came back? NOT having to lose stock and wait for cash? He was like, “No.. I’m glad you did”.

Figures he’d be all proud and stuff over me going ape shit.

Person 2 and her husband were still there and they did get stuff on credit but it was only a loaf a bread and a half a pound of cheese. I can deal with 4.50. They may have wanted more but after my little performance they may have thought twice.

But here’s the kicker..

When everybody was finally gone, Chief tells me that even though he hates to accuse or judge, he thinks that Person 4’s husband took the kids money. He said it all fits. The other two were in the front of the store and the TweedleDumb’s were in the area where the kid was.. in the spot where the kid always leaves the money.

As angry as I was at them, I told Chief that I really couldn’t believe that they would take the money knowing that the kid wasn’t right in the head and was upset about losing the cash. He said that’s because I don’t steal or take things that don’t belong to me so I don’t think the way those who do that kind of stuff think.

And I said to him, “.. yknow, if you can steal from a retarded kid that you got a lot more problems then I have”

And it’s true.