Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ranty McRanterson

First order of business:
4000 pageviews!
On to the blog...

This may come as news to some of you, 
but my family likes to rant. 
So here goes:

I've learned a lot about bankruptcy in the past 3 months. 
More than I could've ever imagined. 
More than I could ever want to know.
In my first couple of weeks at this law firm, 
I was seriously concerned about my lack of empathy. 
Not one bit of me felt at all sorry for the bankrupt folk coming into the office.
The paralegals & attorneys spoke at great lengths 
about helping these people who, 
through bad luck and unfortunate circumstances, 
found themselves in such destitution. 
And I felt genuinely awful that I didn't feel awful. 

But then I started paying attention. 

Sure, my co-workers spoke big game about their bleeding hearts, 
but that's all they do. 
I overhear many conversations in which the attorneys
discuss exactly how much in attorney's fees they can squeeze out of these people.
Upon realizing that I might be doing the Devil's work, 
I went through a brief period of sympathy-like feelings
towards the debtors. 
This lasted maybe 3 days
because the veil was lifted and my eyes were wide open.
People come into the office on iPhones.
(I didn't get an iPhone until last year when I was absolutely certain 
that I could afford it, and even then
it was a refurbished, older model.)

Going through client documents, 
I see people buying cars they have no business driving, 
and houses they don't need. 
We have clients who open multiple businesses--
in place of illegal relatives--
only to have each one go under.
I get clients who declare bankruptcy every few months just to stop a foreclosure, 
and, once they know they're safe in the house, 
they stop making their bankruptcy payments. 

I don't know if I've mentioned this, 
but I have several clients who haven't filed taxes in recent years.
When I asked the reason, they said that their money was going
to be taken away (there's a word for that...taxes), 
and they didn't want to do it. So they didn't. 
These people know how to game the system, 
but the system makes it so damn easy. 
Bankruptcy was intended to be a final, slightly shameful measure 
in alleviating debt, only taken when something tragic occurred-- 
losing the house in a fire, or a manual laborer's loss of a limb (& thereby, loss of livelihood). 
Not so, now. 

Whatever happened to debtor's prison? 
Now, more than ever, should people be jailed for their financial stupidity.
It is totally possible to lead a pretty decent life on little money, 
but these people "need" their Jordans and Cadillacs and fake nails. 
And they want all of those things without ever holding down a job.
(I would say that about 90% of our clientele have food stamps or unemployment.)

There was a recent episode of Parks & Rec 
in which the hoity-toity neighboring town of Eagleton is in financial crisis, 
but can't fathom giving up the bottled water in public pools and HBO for all. 
Art imitating life, y'all. 

At what point do we declare all of these morons insane
and lock them away, where they can do society & their pocketbooks no more harm?

Sorry if you have no interest in this, whatsoever. 
I don't really care. 
It's my blog. 

But to keep you coming back, 
here's something I found:
Note: Dallas is mentioned.

On the subject of finances & jobs or whatever, 
I have news:
I now work two jobs. 
Anthropologie employee discount, bitchezzzzzz.

(God help me if the law firm ever finds my blog.)

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