I woke up this morning, turned on the light. Lay comfortably remembering my dreams - sometimes they help me to get an idea of what is going on in my life. I got up and took a drink of pop from the bottle in the `fridge when the phone rang. It was my friend telling me that the stock market had taken a nose-dive and to turn on the TV. News anchor told that the stock market was wild and that they had to suspend trading for an hour as a cooling off period. Seems that the market took a major hit due to internet stock manipulation and the Dow had plunged thousands of points in just a few minutes. I went to work as usual but feeling a bit apprehensive about this. As the day went on other concerns grabbed my attention and I forgot all about it.
Woke this morning and turned on the boob tube. The stock market was making a comeback. Following the newscast on this, there was a segment about people buying large amounts of gold and jewellery, for some reason this bothered me.
I work in an auto parts store and today I had a number of people buying tires, starters and alternators ... anything of value ... in bulk. Wow, we were stunned at the strangeness of people out there.
Overslept this morning, mad dash to get to work. When I got there two police cars were in the parking lot. I went in and was informed that martial law had been declared due to hoarding and the police were visiting businesses to try to keep it at a minimum for the time being. Our manager was told to post a sign on the door that read:
"By Order of the Sheriff's Department, Until Further Notice, Persons Purchasing High Value Parts Must Present a Title to their Vehicle.
Dealers and Resellers Must present a valid Commercial Reseller/Tax Number"
Our customers were NOT happy! The Deputy they kindly left here with us helped quite a bit to keep trouble to a minimum, but it was still loud at times.
News again this morning, an obviously stunned News lady told that the stock market had taken another huge dive and that trading on the New York Stock Exchange had been again suspended, this time for the day.
Friday and that means PAYDAY!
Stock market opened, took another dive, and was closed for the weekend as a cooling off period. I worked my shift again today with the watchful eye of Deputy Dudley Doright keeping everyone honest. At the end of the day, I got a shock. I had always preferred cash (banks and me do NOT get along) and my pay check envelope contained a letter and a form to be filled out. Seems that the company had decided (due to problems cashing pay checks they say) that all employees would now have direct deposit and no longer get a check. I wasn't happy but filled it out. After giving it to the manager I asked what happened to people that decided to not fill it out ... He said, "Last Pay check" and shrugged.
I stood outside for a few moments lighting a smoke and watched the ladies across the street selling their charms (and about anything else) and then left to call the bank. I was told that I needed to come into their office and fill out some paperwork, but that I needed to hurry as they closed at 6:00 today. I got there and forms, notes, fingerprints and credit check later I got my ATM card ... I was out by 5:50.
Off, Saturday, Fishing! While at the pier I got into a conversation with a man that had a lot of money in the stock market. He said that he doesn't worry, things always even back out and that he had hedged his bets by buying gold ... just in case.
Interesting day at work today. Across the street from the parts store is an adult bookstore and bar. On the other corner is a topless bar (they call the store I work at the "boodie store" because of the scenery. Well, the bar ran out of beer was also robbed. The police were everywhere over there! The bar finally closed up for the day and the circus ended. The topless place was almost empty itself as well.
Boy, what a day! I laid a customer's ATM card on the demagnetiser that we use to nullify security tags, and erased the man's card. Was HE angry! Deputy Dudley had to get involved over it! A customer came in and told me that the stock market was worse today ... "looks like the end" he said.
Woke to the sound of the Emergency Broadcast System telling me to tune to Channel 3.
Things have gotten bad, trading on the stock market had to be suspended again but in Russia there was wide spread famine and some skirmishes. Japan and China were in turmoil with their dollar value falling though the floor.
The announcer said that some of the chain stores that operated on the stock market would be closed today and that there was no reason to panic. The announcer said that some grocery chains and retail outlets would be closed until further notice and that there may soon be a gas shortage so fill up your car. There was an announcement that people needing medicines where the pharmacies were closed should go to a local hospital emergency room, but ONLY if the need was life threatening.
Our store was open, and Deputy Dudley was on guard as always (not a bad fellow when you get to know him a bit), and we had quite a few refused credit cards. All in all it wasn't a bad day, boring though.
Got my ATM card today, the bank was open when I got there and they activated it for me. They sat me down at a computer terminal and it asked me quite a few questions like hometown info and high school. I filled it all out and then they took my ATM card, and asked for my driver's license. They scanned both of them and then told me that adding my banking info to my Drivers license was the newest thing. She explained that if I lose my ATM card, I could simply take cash or pay for my purchase using the license and that using it would cancel my ATM card, but that I could only use it once. She explained that if I found my ATM gone, lost or stolen, to immediately take a few dollars from an ATM machine or buy something and it would protect me from being robbed.
Today was WILD at work, caught 4 stolen credit cards! Seem that people were "just borrowing it", laughing.
Pay day again! They had a new card reader on the desk in the office and I asked the manager what it was ... He said to give him my ATM. I did, he swiped it and said, "there... You just got your pay check".
Went to pay my rent and the landlord asked me for my ATM card. I said "Money not good `nuf for ya' anymore"? He said that with all the robberies he isn't taking cash unless it is a last resort, and then he is going to the bank to minimize the time he has it on him. He was really worried about this.
ATM, ATM, what would I do without my ATM.
10 stolen cards today at work. Almost no cash sales and we were asked to keep a minimum of cash in our registers.
Stock market took another dive today. Not much news about jumpers in the news though, guess it isn't as bad as the 40's. Russia, China and Japan are making comebacks now. Problem is that they are itching for a fight. 28 Stolen credit cards today! To buy auto parts! Sheesh, police were here all day long.
Went to fish but the pier had been robbed and was closed. I checked to see if anyone was hurt, no, then went home disgusted.
Off again today, grocery store was open again so I went to get some things. I was chatting with the checker and she said that they are going to go ATM only very soon, too much danger...they had been robbed twice already. I was thinking how much I hate doing dishes when a fellow nearly ran me over trying to get into the store.
Today is Payday again! Swipe Card, swipe.... Oh no, my card was gone!
Swiped my Drivers license to buy a pop, then went to the grocery store to see if anyone had turned it in ... nope. Made plans to go to the bank the next morning to get a new card. I remembered that someone had run into me the day before when I was in the grocery store. On my way to the bank I stopped to get some gas. I pumped it and then went inside to pay, but the girl at the counter told me that she doesn't take cash anymore. I stood there wondering how I am going to pay for my gas if she doesn't take cash anymore... Thank our Lord, someone saw my problem and took the cash paying for my gas with his card. I was extremely embarrassed! I went on to the bank, showed them the new mandatory three forms of ID, and was issued a new card. I asked about my balance and the teller told me it was 1.72 cents! "I just got paid 400.00!" I said. She said that whoever took the card had used it and taken my money. She said that I cold file a report about it, turn it over to the police, but there was a very good chance that I would never get my money back.
After a rather heated discussion about my ATM card on the phone today, the bank manager agreed to give me 200.00 of my money back.
Today a man came into the store, picked out a water pump, showed me his registration and then tried to pay for the pump with a stolen credit card ... MY stolen credit card!
Now I wasn't nice at all about this, I started yelling for Officer Dudley Do-right and he came, questioned the man who told him that he had found the card on the sidewalk. He was arrested but not for theft but for attempted theft by deception. I later heard that he was released in about 15 minutes, paid his bail by ATM card.
The manager called me into his office and I got a bit loud about this, but he came down on ME! Said that I should have just swiped the card, that now if the man was found not guilty he could sue the store! I was really angry so, well, I quit. As usual, if I am fired or quit a job I go out to eat and celebrate. Take a day or so to get my suit clean and then print out resumés. I had just eaten and it wasn't too late in the day so I stopped at a competitors auto parts place and applied for a job. The cashier pointed me to the manager's office. I found the manager, talked with him briefly and he asked me about what kind of work I did. I explained it to him and then he asked for my ATM card so that he could check something. I shrugged and said OK, curious, and he scanned it, looked at his screen, and then told me that he wasn't interested in hiring me. I said why not? He said that my ATM showed that I had been fired for endangering the store! THIS MORNING! I asked how he got that much info and he said that the banks carry it on their computers now and that he can access it with the right passwords. I went back to the bank, I wanted to know why they had files on my work records.
The bank officer showed me to a nice office and asked me to sit down. I waited for a while and a nice looking lady came in and asked me what the problem was. I explained that I was upset that a parts place manager could access things like my work history from the card I had gotten. She said that this information isn't coded onto the card but available as footnotes on the banks computers. They said that they had been authorized by the government to keep records like that to help identify fraudulent cardholders. She said that it is much easier to verify a card if the name and age and picture of the cardholder was presented on a screen when the clerk of whatever store swiped the card, no way to forge it. Well, she further explained that it was done this way to reduce paperwork and to guarantee my safety.
The parts place called and asked me to come back to work. I said OK but I started an account with a new bank so that I would have a backup in case my card was stolen again, the gas station incident really unnerved me.
The prostitutes are not out today, unusual. The bar is closed as well and only a few cars in the topless place. Work was normal, erase cards, "Would you like a bag for that Sir?"
Not an unusual day today, but I was thinking that I should really hedge my bets here soon, too dangerous and too easy to get robbed.
I had the same man that stole my card come in today, I refused to sell him anything. I was fired.
The government made an announcement that food was now rationed to prevent hoarding were another stock market crash to happen, they assured us it was temporary, but the amount of food was limited to the number of people in the family, ATM cards would be programmed to sell a certain amount each week.
First created on 18 May 2002
Updated on 21 June 2016
Copyright ©2000 Andy Nonymousman
Reproduced by permission and with thanks by HEM, 2001
Endorsement of this book by HEM does not necesserily mean
endorsement of the author's other publications or views.