Yesterday was a busy day for me as I spent most of it putting out the fires a thief started while cleaning up the mess this asshole has now created. Most of y’all have heard me mention before that I do not possess any credit cards with the exception of a gas card which I use once to twice a month just to keep it active. Otherwise, as a household we operate and function with either cash or either one if our debit cards. Yesterday morning I was looking at my bank account on-line and noticed three odd charges. After speaking with my wife, who was at work, it was determined that these transactions were not made by either one of us. However, they listed my card as the card used. So I call the 1-800 number for the bank we use and since my cell phone is linked with my account I was automatically switched to the fraud prevention dept as soon as I entered my account information. An automated message comes on with instructions on how to use the following information. It begins to list what turns out to be twelve transactions which nine of them were questionable and immediately declined. After the automated version I was able to speak with a fraud prevention banking agent.
She began with my spending habits and how I use my card each month to pay the same things for basically the same amount of funds and then I have PayPal payments which are also explainable. Then she listed the nine which were declined which equaled just shy of $3,000.00 and the nature of the attempted purchases. Here is the shocker, they all happened in a small 25 mile radius in a city she could not release in fucking Canada. Want stranger? The three “pending” charges equalling less than $10.00 were also in the same city in Canada. The end result is that all the charges have now been declined, my card has been killed, and my wife’s card and my daughter’s card have both been put on fraud watch for suspicious activity. Problems solved, right? I suppose only time will tell. She explained that this is being investigated and I will be informed if the person(s) is caught because I will be able to press charges based on the international agreements and both countries fraud laws. But still, how does this help me sleep at night.
My wife and I spent the better part of yesterday evening going over the possibilities of where my card specifically was targeted and then compromised. We came up with nothing, as we both pointed out, we did just spend 12 days in South Dakota where my card was used predominantly for 95% of the purchases we made. But there is still no actual answer. It was interesting to me to look at the list of places this asshole was declined. I remind you, all attempts were made in person, meaning the asshole had to swipe a card in a credit card reading machine if some sorts. The best one was that the asshole attempted to pay his/her wireless bill in the store. Why is this good news? To begin with the fraud department now has an account number, a cell phone number, and the name and address on the account. Great, right? Probably not because it is most likely all fake or stolen. For now this is resolved and the wannabe thief has been stopped. Well, my card is no good to the asshole, but who knows how many more stolen cards/numbers he/she possesses or how they are obtained. Now I don’t know if this asshole is Canadian, nor do I know if this asshole lives in Canada, but I would have to suspect the answers to be yes since the asshole was attempting to pay personal bills which are Canadian.
Before we start jumping in my ass for something I have said I will remind everyone I am not calling all Canadians assholes, just the asshole(s) fucking with my money. Everything having to do with Canada is purely circumstantial based on the information provided to me. So I don’t need no angry yankees busting my ass and filling up my comments or email with bullshit. Agreed? Still friends? Also, in a way this post should serve as a PSA for everyone. Keep an active eye on your money and your accounts. No, I did not mention which bank I use and no I will not divulge that information. Wasn’t it a rapper, many moon ago, who had a line that went something like “keep your money on your mind and your mind on your money” or something like that? His name eludes me at this time. I think it was Snoop Dogg or what ever he calls himself. Yes, I am very out of touch, I know. I really don’t know what to say, none of us are safe because none of us really live off the grid of society. Shit happens and now we live to fight another day a little wiser. Again, Canadians, I wasn’t trying to anger y’all. Unless you are the slimey asshole thief, then yes, by all means, be very offended.
My 17 y/o daughter and I had an interesting conversation over the holiday break which sparked my daughter’s interest into looking at what other teens make per hour at their part-time jobs. I tried to explain to her that she was very lucky making $10 per hour as well as only having to work 20 hours a week. She is actually pretty damn lucky because her part-time job is working at the church daycare as a teacher’s aide. She has had this job for a little over a year and half. She has never had to work at a fast food place or a place of retail so she knows nothing about how it actually is in a real marketplace for employment. She is lucky in other ways as well, like every bit of the money she earns is only earmarked for things she wishes to spend it on. She has no bills with the exception of putting fuel in her truck. In my opinion, knowing how I grew up, she is extremely lucky she can spend her paychecks as she pleases. She is smart with her money to a degree, she always puts some away in her saving account. She has a hard time comprehending that “most” teens her age with a part-time job are only making $7.25 per hour and work in less than ideal conditions sometimes.
She says I was lucky as I explained to her what I did for money when I was a teen. I made what I thought was decent money at the time back in 1983 because that is when I really started getting paid. I worked with my dad who was a concrete contractor for many years before for basically spending money but never anything to save. I learned many skills working with him that I still value to this day. I was never afraid to bust my ass working in the Houston heat & humidity and not see a dime for my efforts. When I needed money all I had to do is ask, well, most of the time. As the summer between 8th and 9th grade approached I had already obtained my driver’s license, I already had a truck (rebuilt from parts from the junkyard where I found it), I was dating, and all I needed was a part-time job to pay for all the things I wanted to do. Back in 1983 the state minimum wage was $3.35 or something like that per hour. Where I lived teens had a limited choice to part-time employment like working at a fast food place, the theatre (an old singleplex), the car wash, a grocery store, or out on the farms and ranches. My dad offered up $700.00 per month cash (over the summer) to keep working with him and when school started back up it was going to be $350.00 a month cash. Doesn’t seem like much by todays prices, but back then the money would last me a long time. So, no, I never had to go get a minimum wage job while in high school.
The conversation evolved back to today and the struggles over the minimum wages at fast food places. This is where I was told my asshole side came out to play. My daughter wanted to agree with the fight, the fight to change paying employees at least $15.00 to flip burgers, get my order wrong, and waste my damn time. Oh, wait, the money paid isn’t supposed to reflect the quality of service you receive now is it. More money does not mean the skill level and caring just went up. I think it’s a joke. And, no, I don’t know the struggles of the people working in that industry or any other for that matter. Plus, I’m not a fast food eater, mostly because I hate paying for shitty service, shitty attitude, and shitty food. No, you may not argue that everything would be better if these poor mistreated people made more money. You’ll never be able to convince me that paying $15.00 per hour will make the fast food experience better for the customer, and if you believe that bullshit it might be time to re-evaluate your past dining experiences. People, in general, want everything handed to them while they provide little or no effort. Why no, right? Society has been moving in this direction for many years, right? We are victims of our own bullshit, right? Wrong! Get a job, work your ass off, work your way up, try harder than the next person, and stamp out your place in this fucking society as a person that has something to offer back besides an open hand waiting for something to dropped into it. What ever happened to “earning a living” or “working hard” or “getting a job”? They don’t exist, people just sit on the couch and wait for the government check.
I sound a little bitter don’t I? Or do I? Don’t mistake my honesty about all of this for being bitter, just consider that I’m real tired of all the people who complain but are not willing to get a damn job and when they get a job for unskilled labor they complain that they are not paid enough. I can speak for where I live locally and the teens don’t want to work. The ones that do are not doing it for weekend cash they are doing it to help support their household. Those who aren’t teens, what should they be paid? Good question since working at a fast food place is still considered being unskilled labor. I don’t know anymore, it seems, at least on the surface, that the debate will continue about minimum wage, especially in the fast food industry. I guess people are no longer happy with the opportunity to merely have a job and unfortunately in our society there is an actual need for an unskilled labor force. If people want better for themselves then they need to better prepare themselves to be in a different job market that earns more money, not ask it to be handed to them like it is today in the here and now.
So, what should be the wages, the limitations, and the requirements? Hell, I’m in my mid-40s and had to have a second full-time job to make ends meet, and that is with a wife who is employed full-time. I didn’t know all I needed to do was whine a little and it would all be handed to me with no effort on my part. This is the world we live in, everything isn’t equal and nor should it be equal because we all don’t offer equal qualifications and/or work ethics. Be assured that the government will be forced to increase the minimum wage because of all the political pressure that is currently being applied. And, sadly, when the enablers get their way, we as a society, will once again take a few steps backwards. Where does the extra money come from? The consumer will be having the wage increase passed on to him/her through everything they purchase which is soon going to mean that what I make an hour won’t be enough, according to the same standards. Yea, I know, I can speak until I’m blue in the face and still get told I have absolutely no argument. Well, this has been my opinion and I think it will be a giant mistake and the people being served at the local fast food restaurant and at other places which use unskilled labor will soon be seeing a cost increase because the labor still has to be paid for by employers.
Where do we go from here? In my personal opinion, I think that this will just be another nail in the coffin for any business, large or small, here in the United States. Many places already operate on a shoestring budget just to keep the doors open and make some profit after paying the bills. Your right, fuck ’em. Why should I care what people are getting paid. Part of me thinks about the amount of blood, sweat, and tears it took me to get where I am at today. Part of me dislikes it when anything is just handed over to those who are not willing to earn it. I was raised different from that, I was raised in a manner that made me realize I needed to be able to provide something in exchange for compensation. I raise my own children the same way and not look for the free ride. Hopefully I’m alone in the way I raise my kids because if so then this next generation of people entering the workforce are truly fucked. I wonder what would be dropped in my open hand being a white male, 45, skilled, educated, and currently employed. Anything extra for me? I didn’t think so. But I already knew this fact. Anyway, as a society in the United States, we keep throwing money into the burning caldron, before long the people like myself that actually have to earn a living will be out of money and there will be no help, there will be only dust in the bankrupt coffers. Too melodramatic?
I never wanted to be a millionaire, I still don’t want to be a millionaire, and I doubt I will ever want to be a millionaire. Why? I like my life and the people in it. We work hard for what we earn and live a lifestyle which has been great for all of us, all too much money will do is corrupt what we consider to be perfect. Y’all may think one’s life revolves around money, I used to think the same way, but when you have nothing it always brings a smile to your face when you can put a little aside for a rainy day. I’m not saying the minimum wage is accurate, but I’m not the judge of that either, and it is called “minimum” for a reason. The only place people can go when they are on the bottom is up, many people acknowledge that the journey will be long and hard, others prefer to demand something without offering anything more in return. As much as we would all like to think we are worth our weight in gold, the reality is that if we were then we would no longer have value. I’ll leave it up to y’all because y’all should make your own decisions based on your individual opinions. The minimum wage is out of the hands of the “people” and will always be decided by politicians who take only their status into consideration. Fuck it, roll the dice. I hope everyone gets what they are expecting.