Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Razor’s Edge


Got two co-workers over at the fedguv ranch where I draw my paycheck. Both of them have good hearts and I do like them well enough, but both of them are as ditsy as the day is long. Let us call them Scylla and Charybdis. We will leave Scylla for another date. We will be applying societal stereotypes and descriptions that may offend some. I do not think that these stereotypes detract at all from the truth of the following statements.

Charybdis is a long-term government employee. She started twenty-two years ago as a GS-4 and has now advanced to the exalted rank of GS-5. She has no easily discernible skills other than a dogged determination to show up daily and perform the least amount of work possible.

She is married to a man she met in a bar several years ago. He is a welder in a small shop in town that makes the canvas awning-type covers for RV’s and such. It would appear that the courtship was a whirlwind of pleasure where money was spent freely and she was quite swept off her feet. They purchased a house together four or five years ago and were quite pleased with their new found prosperity. Their home equity line of credit allowed them to have a Martha Stewartesque lifestyle that was the envy of the other folk at Wal-Mart.

But bad things started happening about the time I started to work at the fedguv ranch. For some odd reason, they could not get another advance on their home equity loan. Ooops! Without the added "income" of the HELOC, their credit cards were put off and used to further fund the lifestyle that was so obviously a God-given right.

But recently, a great injustice has occurred. Apparently, and beyond any conceivable prior understanding, the people to whom they owe money have actually begun to request rather forcefully that they be repaid. And with interest and penalties to boot!!

Needless to say, this completely distasteful requirement that the money owed be repaid is not going over well. A great deal of the workday is now spent on the phone with rather insistent creditors. Add to this ignominy the fact that, oddly enough, the landed gentry have not been purchasing canvas awning-type covers for RV’s and such. A truncated workweek for the hubby is now the norm, and it looks as though he will be going to a three-day, 24 hour workweek. Needless to say, his salary is not going to stay the same.

So Charybdis is desperately trying to make ends meet. But the truth of the matter is that she is well and truly screwed. Her inability and lack of desire to work has made the possibility of getting a pay increase very problematic. She also is afraid that her credit rating will suffer, so she can’t tell the credit card companies to take a hike. She is afraid to lose “her” house, even though she is seriously underwater. She will not ask for help from family because that would paint her as a failure. In a word, her life is shit.

She is now going to food banks to make ends meet. It would be a secret, but the small office we work in tends to preclude secrets when she is doing all this on the phone. What astounds me the most is that she is constantly whining about having to cook and how she can no longer shop.

I have a real feeling that her story is not that uncommon. As a matter of fact, I would posit that this story is being replayed far too often in the USA currently.

The point of this story is just this. Is this truly the stuff of revolutionaries?


Anonymous said...

No but its the stuff of looters and thieves..

MeadowLark said...

That does, indeed, worry me. As long as the sheeple have their "bread and circuses" they'll never revolt.

Why do you think the gubmint is working so hard at making sure everybody has tv? A numbed populace is easier to control.

Mockum said...

It is the stuff of revolutionaries' children who were born with silver spoons and don't know any better.

shiloh1862 said...

I agree with Chris. Or if we are lucky they go to the camps.

Anonymous said...

Ya´ll have to excuse an ignorant european here, but aren´t food banks for poor people? And, Chris has a point but I would rather put it: "it´s the stuff of (soon-to-be) starving people".

Anonymous said...

Överlevare, yes they are for poor people but there is no one at the door going over your tax documents to verify you are.

Very few if any are turned away.

Staying Alive said...

They are what is wrong with this country. Let them reap the whirlwind.