Dear Bill Collectors
Dear Verizon, RCN, Student Loan People, Et al,
Today is the 15th which is Bill Day in my house. All of you should have received money from me, most of it you don’t deserve. We’ve been going through this for a while and I feel that I know you all well enough to speak candidly. Even if we aren’t that close, you have enough of my money that I feel comfortable, and entitled, to speak candidly.
Please stop bullshitting me with the “Go Paperless” thing. Every single one of you has something pop up online when I try to pay my bill saying that I can save the environment “and the hassle” by going paperless. Let’s get something straight. You don’t give two damns about the environment, nor do you give a fraction of a damn about the “hassle” I go through lifting that half an ounce envelope from the mailbox every month and using a team of oxen to carry it back to my apartment. You care about money.
You see, the only reason I’ve had money to give to you people the last few years is because I had a job. One of the perks of being a powerless mid-level manager in a thankless capacity is that I got to sit in on meetings where people who did have power complained about how much was being spent on administrative costs. Buying paper, printing a bill on it, stuffing it into an envelope and putting it in the mail falls under administrative costs. By signing up for paperless billing, I cut some of your costs. What do I get from this though? Not a damned thing. Until you start offering to reduce my bill by whatever miniscule amount I’m saving you, then you better cut down every tree, bush and shrub to send me a bill every month. I don’t care if I’m just saving a tenth of a cent. You better cut up a penny and mail me my part.
And while we’re having this heart to heart, please stop asking me about automatic bill pay. If I let you tell it, people “forget” that they have to pay bills each month. Trust me, no one in the working class forgets that they owe people money. Bills are why we get up each day and go to work. You think I woke up one morning as a child and said, “When I grow up I want to sit in a cubicle and listen to people complain all damned day.” That wasn’t a part of career day.
No, people don’t forget that they owe money. They just don’t pay you when you want them to pay you. I went to business school. I understand opportunity costs: Money today is worth more than money tomorrow. It works both ways. On an irresponsible person’s end, opportunity cost means that this might be the last time I get to buy that shiny thing over there or go see ____ in concert and that will make me really happy vs waiting down the road to do it, so screw (Insert company name), I’ll do a payment arrangement. That doesn’t work for you, so you want people to pay you as soon as the bill is due or as soon as they get paid. It’s a valid argument, but I fall into a different group.
I’m very responsible with money. Always have been. I’m fortunate and thank whatever deity guides my life for the fact that (so far) I have your money the day you send the bill. I’m still not paying you until the last minute though. Why? Because my group is called the “kiss my ass” group. You want your money when you want it. I want my cable to work every single day. I don’t get what I want, so neither do you. You want me to pay the first day. I want someone to answer my call in the first minute. Until you start doing what I want, I’m not doing what you want.
Finally, stop acting like you care about me. You don’t. You write these heartfelt letters to me like there’s some guy named Verizon T. Johnson sitting at a desk made out of telephone pole wood writing these heartfelt memos to me hoping that I enjoy the effort he’s put into personally connecting each one of my calls, but the truth is that you’re just a corporation whose goal is to make money. I know this, because I own some of your stock. Stop pandering to me. Just give me my service and I’ll send you your money.
We’re in bed together, but we’re not lovers. When it’s all over, the money’s on the nightstand. Please get up and leave. And don’t give me that “I care about you” crap, because you knew what this was when we started.