December 27, 2011

"If I didn’t leave right then, I would have likely smashed my head repeatedly against the nearest wall in an expression of cosmic frustration."

A great true story. Go read it. (Via Metafilter.)

22 comments:

bagoh20 said...

I was expecting the winner to give him half or something. That would be "holy fuckballs!"

So his disappointment with not winning $50K evaporates as soon as he knows nobody did. I understand the natural response, but if you think about it, he still didn't win it, but it's OK if nobody does.

Nothing changes except that someone else did not win it either, and that makes us feel better.

Well just remember that someone somewhere did make $50K today for doing nothing. So we all should be be pissed off daily.

KLDAVIS said...

Your tax dollars at work, keeping unemployed 46 year old Park Slopers current on movies and comic books for 2 f'in years. People really don't know what it's like to go without anymore...bring back shame.

Freeman Hunt said...

Am I the only person who read that and didn't believe for a second that the $50,000 was real? That's the stuff of stories, not real stores.

Freeman Hunt said...

Your tax dollars at work, keeping unemployed 46 year old Park Slopers current on movies and comic books for 2 f'in years.

I must say, I spent most of my reading ticked off that this able-bodied guy had been collecting unemployment for two years. That's ridiculous.

bagoh20 said...

In reality, it's just a slacker whines and then meets TV show then gets $300. Tomorrow the whining continues. All the "incredible" part was fiction scripted by the show, and is not incredible after all.

bagoh20 said...

In a way, it's really a meta-true story or something.

I don't actually know what "meta" means, but this might be my only chance to use it with a possibility of being correct.

Mary Beth said...

So his disappointment with not winning $50K evaporates as soon as he knows nobody did. I understand the natural response, but if you think about it, he still didn't win it, but it's OK if nobody does.

It's not just that someone else didn't win, it's not feeling as though he was cheated out of winning because he was polite and let the other man go ahead of him. Virtue may be its own reward but that's cold comfort compared to $50k.

pm317 said...

I thought his writing read like a Guy de Maupassant apart from his own personal circumstances, whiny or real or whatever.

Petunia said...

If he's been unemployed for two years, why is he still paying rent anywhere in the five boroughs? Not an appropriate use of taxpayers' $$$, son.

edutcher said...

The thing to remember is that, aside from the fact that many families using unemployment are scraping to put groceries on the table and keep a roof over their heads rather than get the latest comic books, once this guy goes off unemployment, he will join the ranks of the non-persons who enable Barry Obama to say the U3 is 8.6% instead of 11% because they are no longer considered part of the work force.

bagoh20 said...

There is no way I would ever be unemployed for two years unless I wanted to be. I think that goes for most people, including this guy. It's a choice. Minimum wage makes it harder for all wage groups, but if you want to work, you can find it. There are thousands of people finding jobs everyday with no education, no skills, no experience.

The last time I was unemployed, I offered to work 12-16 hours for 8 hours pay doing hard manual labor. The employer (illegally) took me up on it. I own the company now. Working at anything always ends up better than not working. Don't fall in that trap.

Simon Kenton said...

Ms Hunt:

"Am I the only person who read that and didn't believe for a second that the $50,000 was real? "

bagoh20:

"Well just remember that someone somewhere did make $50K today for doing nothing."

Took a look at my bank statement one afternoon about 25 years ago. There was exactly $50,000.00 more in there than I thought there should be. I thought for a sleazy moment about keeping it but it wasn't mine. So I wrote them a letter asking them to check their accounting, as there appeared to be way too much money in account number XXX-XXXX.

I got back a very stiff snotgram stating that there was nothing whatever wrong with their accounting, and my balance was correct, and how did I dare question them? So, again, I thought, even with their imprimatur on this, it's still not mine. I'll let it season for a while. Even leave it in the same account and not move it to a CD or money market elsewhere. But - confession - a little, Inner Lawyer voice said, if you bring it up to them in writing and are assured in writing that their accounting is correct and the balance is correct, it IS yours. Can you not rely on them, or if not, who can you rely on? (Myself, was the unfortunate answer.)

At the very end of the year as they were closing out their books, they sent me another letter stating, almost in so many words, we've taken back the money. You could never have hoped to get away with it. Very insulting. Childishly, I had thought something more along the lines of, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Here is a gift certificate for 1/10 of 1% of the money; go wild with a happy meal at McDonalds, Mr. Kenton. That was what I thought would have been appropriate.

We are taught not to, but stubbornly do, expect earthly justice. After his insulting letters, I wanted to see the president of the bank in the stocks, where I could pelt him with rotted vegetables. All I got - it was not unsatisfying, but I'd rather have had the vegetables - was the bank examiners seizing the place a year or two later, and the president going off to jail. It felt good to go in and close my account and say, you deserved it, but of course the teller I said it to didn't deserve it except perhaps at the very end of a very stretched moral sorties, and I didn't say it very convincingly. And saying it to a relative innocent wasn't as gratifying as the throwing of, say, a head of lettuce that had devolved into that black-green slime they get, smack in the face of that supercilious ingrate the present and soon-to-be former bank president. That would have been gratifying. Much better than a the schadenfreude R us reaction that was all I got to have.

So, someone did make $50K for nothing, and for more than a second, like 5 months or so, it was real and I could say, I WAS someone.

Canuck said...

Thought this prank was pretty cruel to do in the current US economy. At least he got free groceries and 300$ out of it.

In any case, he's an entertaining writer.

And the irony gets better. From the link at metafilter...


"From hades' link, it was a commercial for Ally Bank. The premise of the ad is that they are a corporation that cares about providing their customers with a positive experience.

Naturally, they care so fucking much about being good to people that they are going to extreme lengths to provide people with a remarkably negative customer experience, just as a jumping-off point for their conversation about how much they love providing good customer service. When your boyfriend says he loves you, and then he hits you, I don't think you should listen to his words.

Ally Financial was formerly known as GMAC Financial, and received 16 billion dollars in government bailout money. The US Treasury is their largest shareholder, owning a whopping 73.8% of the company. In other words, this is literally your tax dollars at work.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:58 PM on December 27 [6 favorites]"

bagoh20 said...

About 12 years ago I did make over $50K in a few hours one day in the stock market. I eventually made a lot more, but that was back during the crazy days, and eventually it all disappeared via the same mechanism. I spent about a decade in the stock market - a decade that turned out to be the worst in stock history. I consider myself very lucky to have essentially broken even, but I wish I never played. Too much time wasted on nothing.

jamboree said...

From wiki on a Candid Camera:

In a suit against Peter Funt, Pax and the Mohave County Airport Authority, Philip Zelnick, 35, claimed he was injured June 15, 2001 during one of the show's pranks. Funt, posing as a security guard, instructed passengers to go through a fake X-ray machine, and Zelnick received a bruise to his thigh while getting off the conveyor belt. The jury awarded Zelnick a total of $300,000 in punitive damages with Peter Funt and the show ordered to pay $150,000 each. An out of court settlement was also reached with the Mohave County Airport Authority: Mr. Zelnick accepted an amount of $95,000 from the airport. PAX TV also awarded Mr. Zelnick $7,500 out of court.[6][7]



I'm just saying - this guy should have gotten WAY more money and not signed a damn thing.

rcommal said...

So there I was, stuck with a choice of two lines, neither of which was making any kind of progress.

Get this notion, and you'll likely get that both lines are mostly about flotsam and jetsam and that, therefore, it's best to focus elsewhere.

EDH said...

Clearly, the "social experiment" or TV "show" would have been more interesting if the guy cutting in line had conspicuously paid with an EBT card.

Even if they had set it up that way, would you expect our unemployed essayist to afterward want to recount his reaction, either way?

Come again, what were the true circumstances? "Social experiment" or "show" paying a "professional actor's rate"?

She let that thought hang for a moment and then stated that I’d just been part of a taped “social experiment” and that her crew would pay for my groceries and hand me three-hundred dollars cash up front, so would I please step over here to sign some release forms?

...She also made it clear that they needed all of my contact info in case they decided to use my footage for their show, in which case I will be paid at a professional actor’s rate.

rhhardin said...

Too prolix.

-Peder said...

It looks like the author works in the comic book industry so keeping up on comic books is a legitimate part of trying to get a new job. As far as the calls for him to move out of NY goes, I understand the intent but pulling up stakes and moving somewhere else are huge steps. He may need to do so but I wouldn't call him an idiot for resisting this change.

EMD said...

It looks like the author works in the comic book industry so keeping up on comic books is a legitimate part of trying to get a new job. As far as the calls for him to move out of NY goes, I understand the intent but pulling up stakes and moving somewhere else are huge steps. He may need to do so but I wouldn't call him an idiot for resisting this change.

Sounds like he's also freelancing, which may be cause enough to stay in a place like NYC.

But 2 years of unemployment to me would be 2 years too long.

Jose_K said...

read like a Guy de Maupassant .. like The Necklace

PatCA said...

This story is like the Muslim comedian story: The intelligentsia are always looking to expose the rank cruelty and selfishness of their fellow citizens (whom they despise) and they don't find it.

Best of luck, unemployed guy. Things will get better!