Don't even start. I'm very aware that this is completely useless and semi-naieve post. But it is screaming inside me to be said; so goddamn it I'm going to say it.
I mean, look...on the front of the DU site, is a post that reads: "Prolonged Aid to Unemployed Is Running Out"..It says that " as many as 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits, ending what for some has been a last bulwark against foreclosures and destitution."
So it's obvious that there are going to be close to millions of people who won't be able to pay their bills. Their basic bills, you know...like electric, and water, and mortgage, and ...oh yes...phone bills.
I would think this kind of news would be a tad bit alarming to companies that provide these services. Of course most of them have a wide base, and are not going to go under just yet, but what if you aren't a monopoly provider like the electric or gas? What if you have,oh, say, at least 4-5 other competing companies that offer about the same service you do? Wouldn't that increase your concern a little? Or am I just not following a logical train of thought here?
So, knowing these facts; let's say you are one of these companies; contacted by a person who has been paying their bills to you(sure, they've been late; but they've always paid). A person who just upgraded their service package with you (sure,it's a cheaper package,but they got a phone that's eligible for a really expensive data plan - one you know they will eventually purchase because it's inevitable; addictive; AND they've already asked about it once - AND you know all this information because it's recorded on the person's account).
Said person has also put up with really bad reception/service, such as the fact that sitting in bed, if the person switches the phone from the right ear to the left, she loses the call EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. even though her house is actually on TOP of a hill - oh,not to mention that this NEVER happened with the carrier she was with when you bought them out (did some telephone towers magically disappear?). She would say with impunity that 9 out of 10 calls are dropped, all the time; every time. Yet, she has (foolishly) stayed with your service, hoping for some improvement and just getting along because, well, she's not really the kind to get horribly upset about that. There are bigger fish to fry; more important things to spend time on.
Let's say this person has a spouse that has been out of work for around 11 months.I'm sure you've been hearing a lot of stories like that. No? Well, I certainly have. Must be the area I live in...
ANYway; he's picked up the odd job here and there, but nothing substantial. So like many people in this situation, they let their home phone service lapse and decided to use their cellular service providers for awhile,you know ...just until they got back on their feet. I mean, you are offering these really competitive price packages; and usually a free or very cheap phone to initially sign up - why not? It seemed this couple was saving around $70-$100/month by dropping the home phone and just using their cell phones. And since they have a child, they felt it behooved them to have some form of communication available to each of them. I dunno, maybe that was just too much to ask? Maybe they felt 'entitled' to something they clearly did not need or deserve? As I said before, I can be a bit dense and naieve; so please do correct my bent of mind here.
Lest you believe you are dealing with some really irresponsible; 'welfare queen' type of people; let me inform you that said couple has
1)No house payment
2)No credit cards
3)No car payments
Her last clothing purchases were at the local Goodwill - she was quite thrilled with all that she got for $22.45! He has holes in the bottom of his work shoes that he covers with gel insoles.
No, neither one has a drug habit. I know it crossed your mind; I have no problem addressing it.
Sure, they like a bottle of wine one or two nights a week. Do you really begrudge them that little bit of happiness?
With all this information,as well as already being armed with the bank account numbers; when you process a payment that this person (the lady of the couple) made and it bounces, do you send her a text (as you did the day before saying that a payment was going to be due this coming Monday?) Do you inform her in that lovely digital voice of yours when she calls YESTERDAY (when you obviously had to actually attempt to process the payment) to find out how much she owes, knowing that the money is tight and that she needs the info so she can get to the bank before it closes?
NO, you do not.
You wait until TODAY - you know, a SATURDAY - at 4PM; to completely and totally cut her phone off. Now, I mention totally because your particular company has been known to have a 'staggered' rate of shut-off: in other words, first you limit the ability to text; then you limit the ability to receive calls; then as a last resort you limit the ability to make calls. This is usually carried out over about a week's time. Of course, the lady in question understands that her payment bounced. She understands that she needs to make the payment. She, with her ADD-addled brain, is compulsive about making lists - and your payment TOPS the list of Bills We Have To Catch Up On; posted prominently on her refrigerator.
See, at 3:30 PM EST, her loving husband set off to his NEWLY-ACQUIRED job. The one he started last Thursday; the one he interviewed for in January. Notice that I said JOB. You know, one of those things that, it seems, some million or so people right here in the US of A DO. NOT. HAVE. And, according to the information that I pointed out at the beginning of this treatise, are not likely to have anytime soon.
This would imply that the couple in question would have the ability to actually pay the bill that they owe, and fairly soon, yes? Or again, am I being thicker than a whale omelette?
Of course, since you rescinded service at exactly 4PM this afternoon, the lady had no way to remedy the situation. She called your lovely customer service and explained, as politely as was possible considering the fact that she is a bit stressed, that she had
2)A young child in the house
3)No other form of verbal communication
4)No friends within walking distance (really)
5)No living relatives within 3 hours' drive (if she actually had a car)
and that she was literally 'begging for your mercy'. Surely, you could allow her phone calls out of her phone (remember the 'staggered' shut-off?) for just a mere few 12 hours until her husband arrived home from his FOURTEEN HOUR SHIFT?
She admits, it amazes and yes, upsets her that you would find this to be such a huge, insurmountable, absolutely horrible imposition. I mean, you are such a small company that even a few precious extra hours of time must cost you , oh, thousands of dollars. Tell me, how is it, then, that you can hire Michael Douglas's wife to do a couple of tv ads for you? I must be missing something - remember, I'm a bit naieve and dim. Oh, I did forget to mention that she was prepared to pay the full amount when YOUR COMPUTER SAID IT WAS DUE - ON MONDAY.
After all this, plainly speaking: We are in a different kind of time, you idiotic corporate fucks. People ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO PAY THEIR BILLS ON TIME. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. When they actually bother to call you and work something out, and to tell you what is going on in their lives, MAYBE IT'S TIME TO START BELIEVING IN THEM. EXAMPLE: my POWER COMPANY gave me an extra day, ON TOP OF MY PAYMENT AGREEMENT; to pay them. That was all I needed.
How..HUMAN of them. Hey, guess what?? THEY GOT THEIR MONEY.
Tell me, what do you have to lose by being a little more understanding, a little more trusting; a little human?
And if you still don't get it, I refer you, once again to the unemployment benefit statistics. And that's if you've just been living in a cave for the past 14 months.
Well, you just lost one more customer than you would have, originally. I rummaged around in this slow brain of mine and figured out a way to make calls on your phone anyway; at least for awhile..and no, I don't feel one bit ashamed about it. And I have several unused cellular phones in this house. Heck, this really nice one that I upgraded to (for $25, in case anyone wants to call me out on that as well)can be 'flashed' to a different carrier! Who knew?
The difference between being human and following business as usual just cost you money, and it will continue to.
Sorry guys. Had to get it off my chest.
(general rant not aimed at anyone in particular here; meant to be informative)
A table dance is a dance I do at the table with the customer in a chair of some sort. I may lean in close; I may put one foot up on the chair side or on the customer's knee; I may literally bend over backwards so that the top of my back touches the chest area of the customer. However, I will in NO WAY touch the actual lap area. Therefore, whenever I give my basic dance in the common area of a club, I am giving a table dance - a dance at the table, as the name implies.
A lap dance is a dance an entertainer will give that, obviously, includes contact with the customer's lap; whether that be in the common area of the club or in a more private setting. This is the kind of dance that usually includes what we call 'grinding'; and in my opinion can lead to what we in the biz also call 'extras'. Unfortunately,it seems over the last 6-8 years, this is the kind of dance that is commonly practiced, accepted, and expected at most gentleman's clubs in the US. It is also what is on the forefront of the decline of the business, which I hate.
If anyone is to ever encounter me in my work setting, you will NOT be getting a "lap" dance. You will be getting a table dance. As my sig line says, I want to be an entertainer; not a prostitute. There are plenty of ladies of the night available for that kind of service; don't come to my club and expect it from me. (Can you tell I'm getting old and bitchy yet?LOL)
Of course, my attitude on this is primarily shaped from the fact that I was trained in what is known as "Dollhouse style" dancing..we were first and foremost supposed to comport ourselves as ladies who just happened to get naked, not as wanton crotch-grinding-and-grabbing girls. Hell, in my idea,if I have to make as much physical contact as a "lap" dance requires, then I've lost control of the situation/transaction/whatever. It's true the biggest sex organ is the brain, we just have an interesting way as dancers of getting to it - LOL. It also comes from the fact that when I was training and learning, we were made to follow the letter of the law in my city exactly - our private parts had to stay 12 inches away from the customer at all times.
It just bugs me when people generally refer to all dances as "lap" dances - this automatically brings to mind a mental image of an almost completely sexual event that really isn't the case;at least in my experience since 1994. To me there is a HUGE difference and one not to be taken lightly.
ANyway,enough.I'm sure this is just BS semantics to a lot of people; but it is important to me. And the little things are what is going to make the difference in this industry surviving or failing in the next five to ten years. I have a whole theory about it, someday I may post.
I am sorry that was your exposure and reaction to "The Secret". Mine has been quite different.
I first came upon the movie for free online. I now have it in my possession, not ever having paid one cent for it.
It came to me and my family at a time when we were barely making it...food on the table was hard; arguing and begging for utilities to give up "one more week" or maybe a couple of days? My husband, bless his heart, had wrecked our only family car, and was in court (attorneys + everything else for fees) and facing mandatory 30 days incarcerated. I did not work at the time.
It was..not the worst,I am sure, but not very bright times, indeed.
The movie helped me to see things from a different perspective; to realize that *I* was more in control of myself than I was giving myself credit for; that I could *choose* how to react and how to feel about a situation.
Today, we are well on our way to being secure. We got another car last year that lasted exactly as long as it needed too. THEN, we qualified for a car with a loan, something neither of us thought we could *ever* do!! (we do not have debt, no CCs, etc....but no credit either!). The payment are right where we can afford. The insurance, too..suprising after the wreck and court stuff he had.
My husband has served his time; one day a week for almost eight months instead of the dreaded 30 days straight...allowing him to get a WONDERFUL job (that did not mind his jail time!! REALLY!!). This job, within the year, moved him up to an even better position, and we got the hint today that he may be headed for an even BETTER position within the next year or two!!
Last weekend he made...well, enough to cover our bills for a month and a half (we still do live fairly simply, however).
I tell you all this not to say that "The Secret" either completely is responsible for our better fortunes, or failed in that we did not visualize even better for ourselves, but to say that it profoundly made an impact on how we perceived the world and in turn, ourselves. We both modified our actions to exude the most positive attitudes that we were able. Perfection in this is not strived for, just to do the best you can. Thinking "positive" was,if not (provably) necessarily a help, certainly a better feeling way of dealing with our situations that being upset and stressed and worried..and focused on the problems we faced, instead of the joys in life.
The key to the "Secret" is to just, as in many things, take from it what rings true to you, and leave what does not. The push towards materialism in the movie turned many off, and I understand that. I believe it was made that way to reach the widest audience possible, to strike a common chord in the collective consciousness that is the consumerism-obsessed society in which we live. I believe the authors/producers wanted to get the message out that underlies the 'prosperity' overlay..that true prosperity is a wealth of self-confidence, and love for yourself and others around you. I truly believe that one cannot fully love another without loving one's self - and this is just another path to learning to honor and love the source/divine/amazing natural creation that is you.
When Oprah had her two shows about this, I did watch, and some very enlightening and interesting discussion happened. At one point, she says in reference to a point about "The Secret" ..."How can I serve?"
How can I serve? is an integral part of using "The Secret" in my life, and, I hope, is becoming so in many others. As I see for myself how changing my attitude is helping me to become not only more materially secure, but more secure in my relationships with my husband and my son; my friends and my extended family; with the concept of the world and the collective conciousness (my fellow human beings); I become even more motivated to serve, to help, to try to do what I can. I want to set a good example for my son.
It is a shame that these people at the house party were using the movie only as a selling motivator, and, it seems, to insiduously move attendees to invest in their little enterprise. But that is not really "The Secret"'s fault. Again, we are being challenged, one by one, to think and evaluate everything for OURSELVES. Blindly following a 'religion'' 'belief system'; or 'cult' of ANY kind is something we all need to put behind us, for the good of the country and probably the world.
The Secret is not supposed to be a belief system or a religion; just a different way of looking at life and yourself. The point is to CHOOSE, and make an autonomous choice, and if it does not seem to feel right to you, that's ok too. I do believe that part was lost in translation, or maybe it was assumed that everyone already knew that...I dunno.
ANYway, I've soapboxed enough for you to deal with, I am sure. I hope that I've been clear. I also do want to state that I don't totally agree with the way the movie comes across.."If you don't get that NEW CAR you've been visualizing, you only have yourself to blame!" is a bit much to swallow. I admit it is possible that if I had tried harder, I'd be driving an 08 now, instead of an 03, but my brain just did not accept that as a realistic possibility. I don't really know if that kind of visualization can work. I can say, however, that our general, overall goals are being reached; and an overall positive trend has ensued. Whether that is due solely to hard work or partially to "The Secret"; is not provable in any scientific way. But it sure did change my (and husband's)attitude - and I do think that made a difference.
Moderation in everything has always worked for me - bottom line. Even in beliefs and practices. I don't fully condemn something like this, but I don't fully believe it is the be-all end-all either. And I can definitely get on board with the idea that like attracts like. It's never done me a bit of good to be negative all the time. It's not fun, either!
It has made my journey to this point, happier. I think that is enough to make it worthwhile, for me.
I EDIT TO ADD: As I perused DU, this jumped out at me in relation:
"What kind of Church teaches despair and anger? One designed to keep the working class divided against itself, so that it will not unite to challenge the ruling class."
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