Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dial P for Panic!

Well, folks...Help has been coming in drips and drabs. One person sent me $25, another sent $50, and there's $40 in the mail as I type. (Interesting note about the $50. I thought I transferred it to my bank account, waited, and eventually wondered why it wasn't showing up. Silly me...I didn't confirm the transfer, and so it's been sitting in PayPal all this time. I'm a genius!)

In total, $115 has been given to my cause since the theft of my clothes. People have been wonderful, and that includes the couple that shipped a box of additional clothing, officially giving me a week's supply instead of a mere few days worth of clothes.

Alas, this leaves me in the normal position of my mid-month groveling for aid.

Y'know, I used to have some pride. When I worked, even though I was walking around with undiagnosed severe depression, I was awesome. During my brief stay in Las Vegas, I won myself a 27" screen television (while collecting college loans) for taking a check over the phone for $5,000! My commission checks when I worked for Dillard's varied between $300 and $900. I was a debt collecting god!

Then there was my brief stint working for Chase as a fraud analyst. Unfortunately, I only got two months in after training, and then I started suffering a problem that...well, I don't discuss it. (It's more personal than anything else, so it won't be mentioned here.) The thing is that the other analysts held a nice, steady 10% fraud rate. That meant that when they submitted a case for investigation, one out of ten proved to be actual fraud. Me? I was already becoming a legend that was being whispered about. My fraud rate was an astounding 50%! Half of the accounts I flagged for investigation proved to be actual fraud, and I was working the cases fast enough to see flashing lights often on my behalf. The unit that rushed to catch the bad guys was across the floor, and there would be a cheer from their end when they busted a criminal, along with a flashing red light that signaled the bad guys were caught in the act.

Long before that, when I worked for my father, there was a degree of pride in what I accomplished in an auto parts store. While the other employees grumbled over having to figure out how to cut certain rotors and drums, I would puzzle out how to get it done. Ever had the pleasure of cutting the drums off of a delivery truck? Probably not...but I did, and while another employee was saying we didn't have the equipment, I was there to say, "Yes we do. Come back in a half hour, and it'll be glassy smooth." And it was!

Or the month I spent on the second floor of our business, climbing storage shelves in the summer heat to clean up the disaster that had been created over decades of business. (It was during that time that I found the bookkeeping records for the year I was born, and was briefly impressed that the business had shut down for the day I was born...only to find out we weren't open on Sundays back then.) Dad was amazed at what I accomplished up there, and I was somewhat proud of the water running black when I got home to shower and washed away all of the dust.

Yeah...Once upon a time, I was a guy who did things for himself. I held on to the pride of accomplishment, which one might say I deserved. When I worked, there were visible results for my efforts.

Now? My pride has been beaten to the point where it may well be dead. All I can do is hold out my hands and pray someone will help. So...can anyone else help?

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