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the occupation of Ashley and Levon

People with any kind of license always have to give disclaimers when they talk to people.  I used to give investment and insurance advice which eventually brings up a tax consequence conversation.  To this I was supposed to say, “I don’t give tax advice and you should consult a tax professional.”   (You’re sorry you’re reading today, aren’t you?)

My first job out of school was at one of those trashy “Loan and Tax” places, and when I wasn’t screwing people on their loans I was chasing screwed people around the countryside to get some money.  When I wasn’t doing all of this I was going through tax preparation courses so that I could screw people from their one cash windfall per year.  They were going to make me a “tax professional.”  I sat in the back of the office a couple of times a week to prepare taxes for imaginary people with complicated paperwork.  Working mom with five kids, two that earned income, plus alimony and child support, plus she worked two jobs and had drawn unemployment at some point. 

I`would wrap up with this nice refund for my imaginary, trusting client and then say I could write her a check for 70% of the amount today, but I’d have to keep the rest.  “After all, 4-6 weeks is a long time to wait when there are things you need to do now, right?”  Of course I never completed the training because I got a`shotgun pulled on me one day while repossessing a pickup truck and I quit.  

Every week I would visit the same people, many of them mentally disabled and unable to write their names, in order to collect a late payment or to try and talk them into coming in to refinance the same loan.  They might have borrowed $400 and would refinance the same $79 monthly payment for years.  They would say, “Mr. Walker, yer a nice fella.  I bet you could make my $79 a million in the stock market, couldn’t cha? ”  Usually I was innefective in asking for the money so I would put  my boss on the cellphone and hand it to the person.  Their face would grow tight and they would fearfully make promises before handing the phone back to me with an embarrassed smile.  A lot of times I would cover for them and try to lecture them to leave companies and people like me alone.  

 A newly wed, and it being my first job on the resume, I was afraid to quit so I kept this crap job for six months.  The shotgun incident made me more afraid to stay.  Now I leave it off of my resume anyway and consider it more of a life lesson.  The fact that I even worked here shows the level of naivety I had five years ago.  I thought a finance company was like a local bank or something.  I was still overcoming the shock of no one offering me a  luxurious job when I graduated college and I had gotten desperate.  The finance company said because I was a college man they would start me out at the top of the pay scale at $10.00, plus bonuses for my “delinquency control.”  When I told Ashley they started me as an Assistant Manager she was so proud.  Three months later she married me, and in those three months I had aged about 25 years.

 

I helped a friend of mine do his taxes last night which is why I got on this subject.  I never told him that when I was a legitimate banker I wasn’t allowed to give tax advice.  No, my tax knowledge comes from way back.  Way back when I tried to get mean and when I told myself that life in the real world was going to be a big disappointment if everything tasted like this.

Repo Man

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