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Bad karma or just bad luck?

April 8, 2005

This week has been absolute hell. And to think that I had begun to beleive that things were looking up!! What the hell is wrong with people?? I am still in disbelief of what is happening to me. I just cannot believe that the world has gone so wrong that people are willing to take advantage of others like this.

Tuesday, I had spoken with James regarding the money that was stolen from me; I essentially fired him and demanded the money be returned immediately. He was pretty nonchalant about it and said that it would be done ASAP. I gave him 24 hours to do it and threatened further action if it had not been done. At that point, things were okay with me financially, so I trusted it would be done.

Wednesday morning, I checked the account, and still no deposit. Wednesday night, I checked again, and still nothing.

Thursday morning, I saw that three transactions had cleared and bounced. I contacted James to let him know of the situation. Again, he did not seem to care how much he’d fucked me over.

I then contacted the police. The dispatcher was in total disbelief that this had happened to me; she connected me with an officer to take my report. He called me back and took down the information, and told me that because James had communicated an intent to return the money, I could not file a report unless three weeks had passed. However, if he did not return the money at that time, he will have committed a class 3 felony. I really don’t get how that works, seeing as if I rob a bank, my ass is going to jail, even if I shout “I’ll bring this back next week!” over my shoulder. Intent has nothing to do with it.

He then contacted James, who was somehow shocked that I contacted the police. He asked why I thought he wouldn’t return the money. I said it wasn’t that I thought he wouldn’t return it, but that he apparently needed a little motivation. The officer gave him until next Friday, the 15th, to return it. Meanwhile, I am pretty much fucked until then. His reaction to my calling the police was, “after this is settled, we’re done.” I’m not sure why he thought that I would take offense to this, and responded, “as far as I’m concerned, we were done the moment you stole my money!” Later in the day, he made a comment to the effect of hoping that our friendship would be okay later down the road. Who the fuck is he kidding? I told him I wasn’t interested in that, but that I had hoped our business relationship would not be affected by it. He responded back that’s what he meant. Aye.

So I spent the entire day yesterday on the phone with the bank, police, and my angels (thank you!!), just trying to straighten things out on my end to lessen the damage. The stress in my back is beyond tolerable. If I had the money, I would go get a massage!! I was up till 1:30 this morning on the phone, filling everyone in, when the stress of my day caught up with me and literally put me to sleep.

This morning, I missed my quarterly review with my boss to take care of this mess. I went to the bank, and at this point, five transactions had cleared and bounced, running me to a grand total of $150 in the hole with bank fees alone. I appreciate that the bank has been paying the checks, since that keeps me from dealing with even less headache. The banker that helped me was absolutely amazing. He couldn’t believe that I was in the situation I was in, and he opened up a new account for me and put fraud alert on my old account. So I’m not totally screwed until payday, I have a little money, but I have to go to the bank to access it. On a side note, if anyone wants great service, US Bank was awesome in helping me to deal with this.

When I got back to the office, my boss asked me what was going on, and so I told him. See, in addition to James being a personal friend, he’s also a coworker at our Seattle branch. My boss was bothered and unnerved that I would have to go through this, and at the hand of the person that did it. He asked if it was okay that he brought this to the company’s attention. I hesitated at first, since this is a personal matter and I do not want to involve our employer in this situation. However, he told me that if this was a kind of person that would screw me like this, he didn’t want a person like that working for our company, and in charge of our inventory no less. I just asked him to make it clear that he approached me and not that I went to him asking for James to get in trouble at work because of a personal vendetta. He may end up losing his job because of all of this as well. The sick thing is that for a split moment, I felt bad for him. Whatever happens to James, I sure hope he thinks it was worth it when all is said and done.

In addition, my new property manager told me that when she picked up a copy of the lease, he had filled in his name as the landlord, not mine. I mentioned this to another person I told this story to (I’ve told it a million times now, it seems), who let me know that might be considered fraud, and that I can pursue legal action against him for it. I’m going to seriously look into that one.

So now I have had to change all of my accounts over that are tied to this old bank account, re-do my lease with my tenants, and pray that nothing else clears until he returns the money. This has been such a nightmare it’s not even funny.

So I had to ask myself what I have done to earn so much bad karma. Julia said that she’s not sure if it’s bad karma, just bad luck. And here I thought I had the luck of the Irish…

And then to the “reason” or lesson learned in all of this…those of you that know me know that I am way too trusting and a bit of a pushover. This incident has probably changed all of that.

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