Monday, February 23, 2009

Predatory Lending Hits Home

Here are a few words I never imagined stringing together: MY FIVE YEAR OLD NEEDS A BAILOUT.

We get a "final notice" from the school breakfast/lunch program today. Funny, I don't remember seeing a first notice. Seems the Cracker, who, by the way, has breakfast at home every day and takes a sack lunch every day has ***unpaid*** breakfast bills.

It's gotta be a mistake. Right?

"Have you been having a second breakfast at school?"
"Nothing." Looks at his feet.

Let me try this again.

Excitedly, "So whadya have?"
"Oh! It's great! They always have toast, and time we even had pancakes!"
"How did you pay for it?"
"Well, I didn't have any money soooooo Gaige taught me how to charge it."

Excuse for a moment while I choke.
Charge? It?

Face drops, guilt-ridden. "But they don't let me anymore, because I didn't pay my bill."


Some details:

He knows now that it was wrong, and he feels bad.

From what I know, it isn't the school directly, but a private contractor that runs the meal programs.

But then again, we've never used these programs before, so what the fuck do I know.

It's definitely breakfast, not lunch. He's not pitching his lunch and playing if you don't give me school lunch I won't eat today.

What if he had food allergies? Like eggs or something? Dairy? Gluten? Wheat?

When this is happening is a mystery to us. He gets on the bus at 8:41. The bus arrives at 8:50. Kindergartners are escorted off by their teachers, who then take them to line up and enter the school no later than 8:55. School officially begins at 9. So...? We'd always assume the breakfast program took place during before care hours, you know, the before school child care program for kids whose parents work. I don't work. But again, what the fuck do I know? Apparently, not a whole lot.

Yes, I am PMSing right now. Thanks for noticing. I am so friggin bloated.

The bottom line: We, his parents, did not authorize it.

I should add right here that we live a cash only lifestyle and have since 2003. We do not charge anything, not for the miles, not for the rewards, not for the cash back. Nothing. Airplane tickets and other higher priced items go on our debit cards. We have extra cash in our easy to get to savings for emergencies. We do not even have charge cards in our names, initially because once paid off we didn't want to be tempted, but now because we haven't found a reason for needing them.

The grand damage is a whopping $3.15, 3 meals at $1.05 a piece. But never before has there been so much principle involved! Principle people!

You can bet your sweet ass I'm going to the school about this. Assuming it is an independent contractor and not his school that would take a loss, the Cracker can fork over $3.15 in previously owned Matchbox cars. You go around allowing kindergartners to open a new charge account without their parent's permission and I think you deserve to be burned.



Trish said...

Hahaha.. You poor thing. Make sure he does given up the matchbox cars. No gov't bailouts for the cracker!

Niffer said...

That's great. Annoying, I'm sure, but funny from where I'm standing. =)

Niffer said...

I have always thought it was interesting that you guys don't have credit cards. Don't get me wrong, I can understand your arguments, but very few people are able to do what you guys do. We have credit cards, but we always pay them off every month. We're those people who try to get "cash back" to help with Christmas time. We each have two cards - one for family related bills and one for our personal spending.

But like I said, I'm impressed with your system. =)

Heidi said...

We made A LOT of financial mistakes when we were younger, including credit cards and spending money we didn't have or need to spend. We were just starting post college life when 9/11 happened, immediately threatening J's first real job, and my chances of finding the type of work I was looking for. I had spent the first few months getting over a m/c and settling into Arizona life, starting my job search 9/1/01. My first interview was late afternoon 9/11. They called and told me they had received notice of a hiring freeze effective immediately, interview canceled. All my other interviews with other companies later the week and the next were canceled too. So I aimed lower, started working, and then pregnant. All those things combined made us realize that we needed to grow the f up financially. We went cold turkey with the credit cards and adopted a new lifestyle w/o them. Then we never came to a point where we needed them back. We don't travel the way you guys did (pre-kids LOL) and our most exciting purchase has been along the lines of appliances whoo hoo! I know we could trust ourselves now, but I think we'd spend more than we do. We did have to take a loan for J's car when the Snaab was unexpectedly totaled...grrr...but yippie for 0% no points. We think you guys are cool because you are one of the few people we know that say they don't carry a balance AND REALLY MEAN IT. It's funny how our definition doesn't seem to match the standard.

Katelyn said...

Hehe, interesting post. We don't have any credit cards either. I've never actually had one, ever.