Hopita (hopita) wrote,

The scams of my youth

Anyone who's done any work in retail knows that one giant pain in the ass is when the store is closing in five minutes and someone shows up at your register with a huge freakin' amount of stuff. Ten minutes before nine and this guy shows up in my line with his shopping cart absolutely loaded, but OK, no biggie, and I start ringing and bagging and just generally doing what needs to be done so I can cash out and go home. It's a $500 order, and at about ten past nine I'm done ringing and we're ready to go. He goes to write a check and -- you guessed it -- he's on our list of people who've bounced checks. Then it's the hassle of first trying to get the manager's attention, and second, dealing with the inevitable fallout. Just what you'd expect: he begs, pleads, cajoles, and I do what you'd expect: play the "I'm just a lowly cashier" card and defer to the manager who politely says he's really sorry, but no. The guy says he'll come back first thing in the morning with a debit card (and he didn't bring this with him why? Oh yes, because he was planning on scamming us out of $500 worth of groceries), and Joe and Jonah end up wheeling two shopping carts worth of crap into the cooler.

This put a bad taste in my mouth for two reasons. First, because it was a giant pain in the ass (and especially at the end of the night), and second, because it reminded me of my scamming days back during the junkie years.

Now, most of y'all know that I'm still close to $40,000 in debt. The first $30,000 was credit card debt -- basically, I cash advanced my credit cards to their limits and used the money to buy smack. The last $10,000 was check fraud. The scam was simple: buy cartons of Newports and Kools with bad checks, then take them to that little convenience store in Homewood that would pay $10 for each carton. The trick was to hit all of the stores in one chain in a matter of days -- go to every Rite Aid in the city, for example -- because after two or three days the checks come back as bad and you get your name on their list.

Ugh. These are not my proudest moments.

This was all in 1995 and 1996, and is screamingly clear evidence of how desperate drugs can make a girl.

On Friday night, unixd0rk and I went to Unblurred, we spent a bunch of time at AFRICArdo's bookstore. While we were there, Maria did henna tattoos on our hands. She asked about the scars on my hand and I replied "I used to be a junkie." She asked if it hurt to do that to myself. I said that yes, sometimes it did.
Tags: crime, dates, drugs, eefc, henna, heroin, joey coconuts, maria, ricardo, scars, unblurred, unixd0rk
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