Bloggers Note: This story talks about places in the Metro Detroit area. To best help the folks not familiar with the area, I provided maps. I hope I did a good job.
Yes, it doesn’t make a whole load of sense to start a finance article with a depressed guy photo. However, this story will show in colors that depressed guy. As of this time, I’m nearly finished with a two-week shutdown at my job and I’m returning to work on Monday (I kinda hope). I’m looking to stay motivated and work some twelve-hour days to catch up. I did spend the first week of my shutdown going to events and such. Take a look at my previous two articles if you like: Thumb Trip, Detroit City FC.
On the second week, I was trying to get some side work setup, but sadly that didn’t work out as much as I would’ve liked. I did talk to a construction company for a week labor job, but they needed me on a day where I was busy with personal issues. With that being said, I won’t be seeing a paycheck for the next two weeks. It’s a good thing I save money!
Was I always a saver? Not really! In the year 2007, I had saved $1000 but after that thousand, I didn’t save after that. This was during my times working on Mourning In Hochington. I was also living with family at that time and worked 40 hours a week at a factory. In the end, I was making about $300-350 a week. Plus, I was working at my Aunt’s restaurant part-time. Not enough to get my own place and I never really tried. Was a bit of a weak ass at that time.
June 2007 was perhaps one of my worst months of my life. Now keep in mind I have $1000 in the bank. During this time, I was driving a 1987 Ford Escort, a 20-year-old vehicle. In Feburary of that year, the Transmission was slipping. The tranny would roar until I got to the speed of 35 MPH. In May, I had bought a used transmission and the installation for a total of $600, plus the factory I was working at reduced my hours to 20-30. After this, I had about $400 left.
The used transmission sadly didn’t work for long and the same occurrence with it roaring until I got it to 35 popped-up again. On 1 June 2007, I was driving this 87 Ford Escort on I-696 and the God damn transmission died just before I got to the Gratiot Avenue overpass. I knew it died and moved it to the curb.
I walked off the freeway, called my mother and told her the great news. I went to one of the side roads near the freeway service drive and waited for her. When I arrived home, I sat on my chair for a good while with deep regret. It took me a good long time to fall asleep.
The next day, we went to a chear car shop on I-696 and Hoover Road. Bought a 1991 Ford Escort for $750. It was for $900 but me and my mom’s then boyfriend talked them down to making it $150 less (it was mainly him, I didn’t have a lot of confidence at the time, I was a sad shit). The gas tank needed to be filled and gas was quite costly in 2007.
The 1991 Ford Escort didn’t have transmission troubles but there were times where I had to restart the car at a fresh green light. On 7 June 2007, my supervisor at the factory told me I was on indefinite layoff. I had lost my then-primary job right there at 3:00pm. The next day on the 8th, I saw on TV Paris Hilton being arrested and taken to jail. I seriously hated Paris Hilton in 2007 and I was laughing pretty damn hard at her and the circus that followed the cop car around.
I then went to work at my Aunt’s restaurant laughing my ass off about it. Did my four hours and I drove off in that crappy 1991 Escort where it had to be restarted twice on my way home. Arrived to Utica and Metro Parkway at a red light with me in front of the slow lane. Once that light turned green, I stepped on the gas and the car shut off. I turned the ignition and got nothing. Turned it quite a few times… nothing. My next attempt was to put the car on idle and possibly move the car to the small office parking lot on my right. But with shit luck, the god damn shifter broke apart!
I turned the hazard lights on, and tried to get a hold of somebody for the my second round of bad luck. Somebody told me the Clinton Township police department non-emergency number and I tried to call it, nothing. Thankfully, two volunteer Fraser firefighters stopped the truck by me and asked of my predictiment. With a couple of fire hoses, we were able to drag the shitty Escort into the small parking lot. They and I also yelled at people who were honking at us. Once it was said and done, I thanked them highly for their help. One of them told me that next time, dial 911. If a disabled car is blocking high-speed traffic, that’s a hazard.
I grabbed my smokes and walked to the BP Gas Station on Moravian and Utica Road. Got a hold of my mom and she agreed to pick me up at that gas station. Went home and sat in my room filled with gloom and doom. No good running car, a part-time job that’s 16 hours a week, living with parents. PATHETIC! Got a call the next morning from a female Clinton Township police officer telling me the great news that my car was taken to a towing yard. I had to spend about $150 that I borrowed to get it back.
The place that sold me the car felt sorry for my problem and towed back to my house for free (that was nice). A cousin of mine, a former mechanic, took a look at my car and had fixed the problem for a small price of $100 or less (can’t remember). Same thing, I had to borrow money for that. Sadly, the transmission began to act up a few days after and eventually, the damn thing died after two weeks. Dying on 19 Mile and Mound Road. Motherfucker…
And from Mid-June 2007 – Mid-March 2008, I had to borrow my mom’s car to go to work at my Aunt’s restaurant to make $160/week with a $100 week rent. Jobs were very hard to come by due to the economy and also me not having a car. I also had to borrow my mom’s car to see Rush that summer at DTE and Genesis at the now defunct Palace Of Auburn Hills.
I did work a couple of days at a now defunct car wash in St. Clair Shores. I worked with a man who was a bit miserable (myself included at the time). We had a couple of miscommunications and he got angry at every one of them. On my second day, sick of this man’s shit, I responded to one of the man’s insults. He walked away and I had to do the job by myself for about five minutes. Later, one of the top female managers of the place arrives with the man and tells me to go, along with the paycheck to go with it.
The place closed in recent times, a Taco Bell is there now. Five years after me leaving that place, I went to the Tim Hortons next door. I saw out of one of these windows that same man. Doing his job and not looking happy.
Just shortly before my 26th birthday in March 2008, with $800 ($500 from me, $300 from a family member), I bought a 1992 Buick Skylark. I later got a job at a plastics factory in Shelby Township. The job was 18 miles away from my then home in St. Clair Shores. Although a blessing, the car was a curse. I would later call the Shitlark. Had to pay people back for the money I borrowed, so that was the first priority. I was glad to do so because I borrowed money from these folks in May and June of 2007 and it took me nearly a year to pay them back. I knew people weren’t so happy with that and I hated being a fucking burden.
The Shitlark’s fan that cools the engine had died about a month after I bought it, plus it had a coolant leak. If I were stuck in slow traffic, the motherfucker would overheat. And that happen often! I would travel on Hayes Road to Utica Road (passing by where the 1991 Ford Escort died), Utica into St. Clair Shores. And there were bad traffic jams. My fucking car would overheat and I had to park my car and wait an hour, watching the antifreeze rollout. Called a few places to attempt to get that fan fixed but the prices were too high. I had to save some money and get a few side jobs. Had to keep a jug of antifreeze with me at times. Not to mention the high gas prices at the time!
This was also during the time where I was finishing the second of my first two books Mourning In Hochington. So, if you like to read the rest of 2008 and how I was doing my best to keep things going. One thing I didn’t reveal was my suicide attempt in the 2 July 2008. I finally got the damn fan to work in mid-June but didn’t have enough money to fix the coolant leak. Had to save for that. Later, the back shocks were getting bad and I had a fucking mental breakdown when I arrived home.
My family that was living with me saw me get very upset. Later, I was all alone on the 2nd of July and I slit my wrists. Didn’t do it deep enough and later that day, I thought to myself just to solider on despite the car fucking up, along with my 18-mile commute for a shitty $8/hour job. There were layoffs with the job so I had to fetch shit through Craigslist. One job had me helping a lesbian couple (nothing wrong with that) moving from Ferndale to downtown Toronto. One of the woman’s step-father helped with the process. The two women took their car and I rode in the step-dad’s truck. But later, the step-father got lost in Toronto and could find the house.
After it was all said and done, we all got into his truck and travelled down Yonge Street. Later to be informed by a woman that the trailer’s door was open. Instead of pulling over to a large parking lot next to us, he and I tried to fix the door on a very busy Yonge Street. I kept urging him to move the car into the parking lot, he got pissed off. The two woman decided to walk to their new home, get their car and meet us there. It took us 20 minutes to fix the door and he says, “We’ll wait for them at that parking lot over there.”
I go to the parking lot and see this man go into his truck, start it up. But next, he leaves his truck, walks to the trailer to check on something. He heads back to his truck and the door is locked. He bangs his head on the driver side window. It took me 30 seconds to think of it, but I suggested that he should use the sliding windows in the back of his truck to get in, that worked. Then, the motherfucker finally gets onto this parking lot, where a minute later the two woman show up in their vehicle. I asked if I could ride with them in their car and not with that douche. They told me no. In the end, I got $200 for my troubles despite my asking for $250.
The Mourning In Hochington post tells about how I got shit-canned from the job in question after that second layoff and comeback. That comeback lasted for a few hours. I didn’t get my next job until shortly before Thanksgiving and I couldn’t get shit from Craigslist. The job in question was a pervious company I worked at in 2004-2006. I went nearly $1000 in debt. The overdrafts manager would calling me quite a lot with a pissy tone of voice.
I had a job in lawn maintenance from March – June 2009. There was a day where I knew it would rain in June so the previous day, I fetched a moving job on Craigslist. During a break on that job, I got a call from a temp agency about a 3rd shift job at the current place I’m now working at. I got the job, kept it and busted my ass to keep it. I started at $8.70 per hour, got to 9.70 per hour after three months and went to $11.25 when I got hired in January 2010. The hourly rate had increased over the years of course. One of the most important things in the world was to save my fucking money.
I’m not going to say exactly what I have in my bank account or my investment accounts. I can say now that I have over 1.5 years of expenses at this time. As of writing this blog post, I’m at the end of a two-week shutdown and I’m going back to work Monday. I couldn’t get Unemployment from my state and I had to take a side job or two to get some cash. I also sold one of my ETFs that I had been sitting on for a few years. The profit is about 1/3 of what I make per week, but it’s better than nothing. These two weeks are the reasons why I save. I don’t want to burden people by asking for money. I don’t want a repeat of 2007/08 ever again!!
Yes, anybody can do my current job, anybody can do Doordash/UberEats (not currently doing that). And since Covid-19 is passing us by, I really don’t care if I have a non-STEM job as a Assembly Line guy. I get overtime, I get paid good. Yes, if something better arrives, I’ll take it. But as of now, I’m keeping it well with saving and investing.