Chris McGinty – Enemy of Debt – Episode Nine

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim)

Welcome to Episode Nine of: Chris McGinty – Enemy of Debt

For an explanation of this feature, and disclaimers that talk about how I’m not a professional money anything, go to Episode One. If you are caught up to speed though, we’ll begin discussing my friend who called me in financial desperation on July 10, 2011. Out of some, perhaps slight respect for his privacy, I’m not using his real name. I am instead referring to him as Genghis Con-pletely Running Out of Funny Names.

I was already pretty annoyed with Genghis by the time I got to his apartment on Monday. His van broke down on his way to work the night before, and someone stopped to look at the van, and offered to give him a ride. Rather than asking if they could get him to his work place, he had them take him home, where he called in to work. He claims it’s because the person was going the direction of his apartment, but he still couldn’t afford to miss out on a night of work. He also can’t afford to get fired. He said they wouldn’t fire him over that, and that he would use a “paid time off” day.

Because of the amount of time we had between the time I woke on Monday and the time I had to be at work, I simply went and got my check, and cashed it. My check was enough to pay his rent, and the two payday loans.

I spoke to his wife, who at that point had only been back for a little over 24 hours, and he’d already asked her for money, and then started asking his kids to loan him money.

When he got in the truck, I told him that we would use my check to pay things. I also told him that we would get his check the next day, and that I needed it (since we were using mine for his bills) so that I could pay my dad back some money and have money to live on for two weeks. His response: “Oh great! That means we’re not going to buy cigarettes.”

I pretty much lost it on him. I started yelling. I told him to get the fuck out of my truck. That I was tired of his fucking addiction addled mind (though I wasn’t really speaking that eloquently). I told him he was a fuck up because he was asking his kids to pay for his fucking habit, and that I was honestly fucking tired of every financial decision he made centering around the purchase of cigarettes (and I was still not speaking that eloquently).

He must have realized that he had finally pushed me too far because he started backpedaling. After I yelled at him for another minute or so, and he either smartly or stupidly didn’t get out of the truck, I finally just put the truck in reverse and went to pay his bills.

After we had the money order for rent, I told him that he was supposed to have maintained his cigarettes for six days, and he did four. His choice was that he could either tough it out for two more days, or I’d buy him a cheap pack, and he could only smoke five a day for the next four days. He chose that. I tried to tell him that he should start smoking half a cigarette at a time, and funny enough, so did the woman at the check cashing place. Why did she know to say that? She asked why the long faces and I said, “Because my friend here is a fucking addict.” Genghis was quick to clarify that I meant cigarettes.

We paid that and the rent. I asked him if he was 100% sure about getting to work that night, because if he wasn’t 100%, I would drop him off before I went to work. Genghis, the guy who can’t seem to do the math when it come to his bills, very quickly realized that he would have to sit at his work for six hours before clocking in. I told him, yes, but you would at least be sure you would make it to work. An hour and a half before he was supposed to be at work I called him. I asked if he had a ride. He said he didn’t. I told him he should start walking so he would get there on time. He said he’d already called in, but that he would make sure he’d get there the next day. He then said, “You know, every time you’ve said something, you’ve been right. I just realized that tonight when I couldn’t get a ride.”

I haven’t been right every time, but you know what? I’ve been right enough to justify him listening to me.

The next day we went to pay the other payday loan and then to get his check, which he signed over to me. He did in fact have a ride to work that night, so I went to work. I had to pick him up from work the next morning though.

The only other problem at this point is that he’s not able to work the guard job now. I talked to my boss about the situation, and he tried to find Genghis a post where he didn’t need a vehicle, but at least as of this writing he hasn’t found one yet. My hope is that the brief amount of time he did work will be enough to get things steady, and that when and if they get the car from her mom that he can get some hours at the guard job to get the payday loans paid.

There is another week between now and his next paycheck. He currently owes me $305. His wife paid the electricity, but she is insisting that he pay her back so she can buy school supplies. So his next check from his full time job will pay me back and her back, and then the rest will be for payday loans. The guard check after that will be payday loans and save for September’s rent (yeah, I know that this won’t be posted until September). Then the check he gets from his main job at the end of August will round out the rent.

The upside of the van breaking is that we will not pay on the title loan anymore. I told him that he would lose something in all of this, and the van may have been the best thing out of it. I just wish the van had broken before we paid on it before. I might talk more about the van, and the car they might be given, next time, but for now I’m going to end this episode.

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