Greed and the Financial State of Our Country
by Robin "Junior" Brown
It isn't enough to have a job and a place to live these days. Now you have to make six figures and live in a palace to even get girls to look at you twice. I know I'm nothing special to look at; I'm just that funny guy. I probably get the 'let's be friends' speech more than most, but if they gave me a second chance, they might be pleasantly surprised. I have a lot to offer a girl. I'm more than my dad's second-in-command at work. Although I may not even be that anymore. It's a long story. Do you have time to listen?
It all started in 2008 with that lousy financial crisis. I was working at my dad's insurance company so my job wasn't at risk when the economy belly-flopped, but I lost a ton of money on the stock market when the DOW cratered. I had borrowed a lot on margin to cover my lifestyle. After the crash, I had to take out a second mortgage on my condo and it was getting harder to make the payments. I started borrowing 'advances' from my pay cheques. I was paying the company back. At first. But the paltry amounts I was able to borrow weren't enough. My credit was maxed and I still had a pile of bills.
I found a company online who specialized in the kinds of cash-flow problems I was having. No questions asked. Sure, it seemed shady, but I couldn't let my dad find out about the 'borrowing'. And when Cynthia started working with us, I wasn't in charge of the accounts anymore. That cut further access to the money. I had to pay it all back before she was on to me.
I tried to be nice to her. I mean, she was sweet to look at, and it was fun to flirt with her. I thought she might be sympathetic toward me. Might throw me an extra bone, er client, if you know what I mean. But not Miss High and Mighty. She played things strictly by the book. I entered a made-up client on the books, borrowed the funds I needed to pay back the company from the online guys, and paid the company back. I'm good with computers; it was a cinch to fix things at work.
But I still had to pay back the online guys. There was no way I could manage to make the full payments. I floated along for the next couple of years, throwing them enough to keep them at bay. They held the title to my condo and were starting to pressure me to give them access to the company accounts.
I had no other choice. I took out another loan and went to the casino. I made good at the tables. I paid off all my creditors.
The feeling of winning was intoxicating. It made up for all the times I was overlooked by the ladies, my dad. I was someone when I was winning. The girls in their tight, sparkling dresses looked at me like I was hot when the chips were rolling my way. I liked it. I craved it. Instead of making a mortgage payment one month, I went back to the casino. Instead of winning, I lost. Big.
It was 2012 and I was sinking in debt again. I was in big with the online guys and I finally had to put something heavier on the line. I gave them access to the company's accounts. They started creating false claims and taking money from the coffers. I had to cover for them at work. I was good at it and no one was suspicious. But it made me feel sick inside to steal from my own dad, rob my future. I told them I wouldn't do it anymore. They gave me a beating. I told my dad I had the flu and stayed home all week until the swelling in my eye went down. And I shut my mouth.
Until now. I was sick of the situation I had landed myself in. I had the proof to put these guys away. Sure, I would be incriminating myself in the process. I dreaded the thought of seeing my dad's disappointment. But it had to be better than the sick feeling I had in the pit of my stomach. I had the proof and I should've gone straight to the police, but I didn't.
They held me hostage in my own place while they searched the office, both in the computer files and the hard copies, for my evidence. I thought I was a goner that they were actually going to kill me.
What did I do it all for? To keep up with the so-called Jones'? And it didn't even pay off. I'm stuck with community service and gambling counseling. I'll be lucky if my dad keeps me on and forget my condo. I'm renting a death-trap in Washington Park. It's over for me. How can I possibly recover from this?
We live our lives on credit, the whole damn economy is built on the 'buy today, pay tomorrow' philosophy. We never think about tomorrow, never think about payback time. Well, I'll tell you this, payback is a bitch.