“Everyone needs to take a deep breath, calm down, and start preparing their bodies for the Thunderdome, because that is the new law.” –Tracy Morgan on the TV show 30 Rock.
30 Rock is one of my favorite shows. I watch it because it’s funny, because Tina Fey is my dream woman and the writing is terrific. But even though it’s a wacky comedy, I’m a little troubled that lately it’s getting downright prophetic.
Bailouts, layoffs, bankruptcies and foreclosures are in the news everyday. Businesses are going under because people have no more money to spend. People have no more money because they’re losing their jobs. When they lose their jobs many of them also lose their homes. And some people are losing their homes because they were suckered into exotic mortgages by people who knew they couldn’t really afford the home in the first place. Marriages are ending, it’s yet to be seen if the “stimulus package” will really live up to its name and the “hope” and “change” we all felt two months ago is dimming with each AIG executive collecting a six figure bonus for putting us in this mess in the first place.
And unless you’re set for life, no one is really immune.
We’re currently dealing with our own problems at the Daddy Files household as MJ wages war with the unemployment people. They sent her out a notice setting her rate of unemployment about a month ago, but that was all we received. But so far, no payments. So she checked on it and guess what? They said they sent us a notice that MJ had to talk to an unemployment rep before anything could be processed. Had we known, we would’ve done that immediately. But after a 30 minute wait on the phone, the ever helpful unemployment people told us IF she’s eligible we’ll still have to wait 4 to 8 weeks until we get payments.
That’s 4-8 more weeks on my salary, and that ain’t happening! Because although journalists should be among the richest people on Earth (I’m admittedly biased), we are not. At all. So then we have to dip into the 401k and pay penalties, while simultaneously depleting all of MJ’s investments made during her BoA tenure.
And it’s not just schmucks like us who are panicking. Oh no. It’s everyone. Come to find out, without any notice at all, my credit card limits have been slashed by thousands of dollars right down to whatever balance I’m currently at. Not that we’ve used credit cards at all in the past year, but they’re supposed to be for emergencies. Like now. But the credit card companies are in full panic mode too so they’re trying to minimize all possible losses, which entails hurting people like me who are NEVER late on payments and who have a sky high credit score.
And when we called some of our creditors to try and work out extensions, we were treated like filthy beggars. And that confuses the hell out of me because instead of trying to work with us to defer a few payments but eventually get paid in full, they’d rather wait until we have to go bankrupt and not pay them a single cent. Makes perfect sense huh?
Personally, I think a third option is on the way. You can either pay, declare bankruptcy OR be able to fight one of the creditors in the Thunderdome. If you win, you’re debt free. If you lose…well, you’d be dead. I know it’s high stakes but I’m starting to consider it. Cape Cod Gal would have to put me on a serious physical fitness regimen to get me into battle shape, but the thought of hand-to-hand mortal combat against some corporate underwriter is starting to sound more and more plausible. And appealing.
To the Thunderdome!