December 26th, 2012

Really?

People of Low or No Morals: Stealing Christmas Presents Edition

On Christmas, I got an fb message from K. saying their mail had been stolen and a gift certificate I'd sent for her daughter was among the casualties. delia's, sensibly, had closed their customer service call center for Xmas, so I sent them email; I haven't heard back yet.

It wasn't an isolated event, either. Whoever did this went through the neighborhood and stole and opened packages and letters and left trash all over the neighborhood, prompting me, in my busybody way, to halfheartedly suggest turning it over to the cops on the off chance they can use it to prosecute someone. Then I got to thinking. Is this a Thing?

It is a Thing. And the perpetrators are not bright.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57560533-504083/ups-driver-caught-on-video-stealing-christmas-gift-in-texas/

Really? Losing a UPS job over an iPad mini (never mind the social humiliation, fine and possible jail time)? Mind you, kind of clever to make it look like FedEx screwed up, because in the universe of plausible stories, a FedEx driver fucking up (stealing, losing, lying about a delivery, misdelivering a package) is _far_ more plausible than a later-in-the-day UPS driver stealing the package which is sitting there. Alas, security camera. Wow.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-12-01/news/chi-offduty-cop-nabs-man-stealing-christmas-mail-20121201_1_mail-truck-police-officer-police-radio

A couple of guys with a black SUV toss some concrete through the window of a postal van to steal its contents. Off duty cop watches them, then calls in a description. Radio waves are faster than speeding vehicles -- but foot chases suck so one got away. For a while, anyway.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2252683/WATCH-Video-catches-thieves-stealing-Christmas-gifts-door-home-security-expert.html

UK coverage of a Puyallup theft -- of a personalized Seahawks jersey, size 4X. But it was part of a pattern, so I'm sure they got other more worthwhile things. Will the "fell off the back of the truck" story in the future reflect people driving around in SUVs robbing front doors? That Amazon Locker feature is looking smarter by the day.

http://www.fox4now.com/news/local/184509481.html

Summary of some of the above and not particularly helpful advice about how to deal with the problem.

http://www.wfmz.com/news/Man-accused-of-stealing-Christmas-gifts-from-youth-group/-/121458/17870784/-/c6iwbuz/-/index.html

Really, I do not know what to think of people who steal _Bibles_ from a Christmas tree pile for a youth group at a church.

http://www.king5.com/news/crime/Christmas-mail-money-stolen-182852651.html

Elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, some juvenile delinquents (literally!) doing exactly what happened to my friends.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/watercooler/thieves-caught-on-camera-stealing-christmas-presents

Not mail -- this was a house break-in to steal presents.

I suppose this is all less heartbreaking than, say, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Match_Girl. But still. Depressing.
Really?

Kids These Days: Credit Scores and Dating edition

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/business/even-cupid-wants-to-know-your-credit-score.html?_r=0

Haul out your internal Judgy McJudgerson, because this article and its comments thread has GOLD in it for judging purposes.

On the one hand, this smells like a lot of things about "kids these days". They seem very grown up, compared to my increasingly senile recollections of my youth (I'm three years on the wrong side of their under 40 group, so you should be detecting some attempted humor here). On the other hand, I remain the only person of my (limited) acquaintance to have considered the PSAT, and more importantly NMSQT test to be the one to expend effort on, vs. the SAT -- the PSAT/NMSQT, after all, being the one where you can actually get money (Do I know the odds are slim? Yes, I do. That's why I put effort into it. Effort which paid off). There are some other indications that I might have been financial responsible even as a young'un, despite my spendthrift ways as a parent.

I will say this. The longer you wait to deliver the bad news in a dating relationship, the harder it is to deliver and the harder it is for the recipient to take the action they _want_ to take based on that bad news, thus setting everyone up for lying, dishonesty, discoveries of things you meant to mention but never did (how did I get name-STD-here, why didn't you mention name-kinky-practice-here was central to your sex life, type of thing).

Given that "dating" (as opposed to "hooking up", or whatever it is currently called) is the sort of thing people only seem to do these days if they are (a) some years older than me and/or (b) actually planning on marriage and/or shared financial/legal commitments, it makes no sense to me to wait very far along in this process to bring up things like, oh, btw, I'm x-positive, unable to procreate in the way people might expect for someone of my apparent gender and age, decades older than I present myself, in hock up to my eyeballs, wanted for three felonies, etc. Honestly, this kind of crap should probably be handled by the matchmaker (friends, agency, website) and/or in the communication (text, email, fb messages, phone, blah, blah, bleeping, blah) before the First Date.

But I tend to jump the gun.

A lot.

I did not know R.'s credit score prior to marrying him, however, I knew a huge amount about his finances (home ownership situation, credit card usage, financial planning and investment approach, etc.) from our long-term friendship. My first marriage was to someone who was genuinely spendthrift, and lied about his spending, as well. I assumed that was due to his/our youth (even tho I wasn't that way), but in the course of doing some genealogical research and trying to find divorce decrees for relatives, I discovered how searchable the king county court system was and learned that his foolish ways did not end with our marriage, but led to his wages being garnished over what appears to have been credit card debt several years after we split. Given the debt went to zero as part of the divorce, that's kind of impressive -- and a sign that these things persist as part of a person's makeup and approach to life.

I think a lot of the people who are shocked at this kind of conversation have no mortal clue how financially irresponsible a good chunk of the population is -- or how miserable they would be married to one of them. Sorting this out prior to developing an attachment is Sensible.

Go, kiddies.