December 11, 2011

My submission to

I have well over $22,000 dollars in student debt.

I have to pay $200 dollars a month just to keep it from going up any higher.

I am currently unemployed in a market with almost no employment opportunity. I am self-employed as a musician, which is sort of the same thing as being unemployed.

I've completely given up on life, or the idea that I'm going to have any sort of normal life worth living.

I've tried working full time to pay back my student loans, but the wages are just too low, the cost of living is too high, and I can't keep up with payments, and my debt just keeps ballooning thanks to compounding interest.

In fact, I just received a letter from my last employer, LL Bean, telling me about the great program they have connecting their employees with welfare services. That's right. They brag in this letter about connecting over 9,000 full time employees with welfare services. They know full well that they do not pay wages that are high enough for people to live on, such that over 9,000 of their full time employees are on WELFARE.

You know things are fucked up in this country when employers take putting their employees on state assistance for granted.

I just can't see how there is any way to escape, aside from just not paying my loans, and living a slightly less shitty life.

I would actually gladly default on my loan, because I have no money, no income, and cannot get loans as it is. Really how much worse could it be?

I have also considered committing suicide in the offices of those who hold my student debt as protest.

But there's problems with both of these:

The first problem is that I owe money to three separate institutions, and can only kill myself once.

The second problem is that my parents are cosigners on most of my loans, and even if I'm dead, they still will continue to owe a mountain of debt that I cannot pay.

I can't even escape my student debt through death.

How fucked up is that?


  1. Couple questions here:

    What degree did you find worth it to go into 22,000 dollars of debt?

    How many years did it take you to get your degree?

    Unless this is all hyperbole, which I hope it is. Otherwise you have bigger problems than worrying about your debt.
    I also hope that you got fired or laid off from you last job. There is no way one would be stupid enough to quit a job when they have financial obligations.

  2. After getting jobs in the field of two different degrees that I thought would be fulfilling, I became disillusioned with the soul crushing evil that I was required to perform.

    After 6 years of being a music minor, pursuing two different degrees that ended up being not what I wanted to do, I decided that I just wanted to get a degree in SOMETHING and get the fuck out of there. I like music. I pursued a degree in music. I am still not done with that degree. I took a year off to work on a presidential campaign, and coming back, I discovered that since I was "no longer making progress towards my degree" during that year, I no longer qualified for financial aid. So I have to pay out of pocket now. Which meant I had to work full time while attending classes.

    After 10 years, I am currently one class shy of getting a degree, a class which I cannot afford to pay for out of pocket.

    None of the above is hyperbole.

    I quit my job because, if you read my blog entry above, I was unable to make ends meet even while working full time. I quit my job to work on a documentary film about the Occupy movement.

    I don't think this was irresponsible, because it doesn't fucking MATTER if I work full time or not, I still cannot afford to live, or to pay my loans.

    Why bother working at a soul crushing job you hate when for all that effort, you still can't afford to live?

  3. L.L. Bean doesn't even have 9,000 full time employees. I worked in the OFC, which is their largest building, where there aren't even 1,000 full time employees. I'd be careful of spreading lies about one of the largest and most respected employers in Maine. I work a second job there every "Peak" and I've always felt respected and well compensated for the type of work I do there. I'm calling bullshit on this supposed letter.

  4. You're right. Despite WORKING a full time schedule MOST employees at LL Bean are SEASONAL PART TIME, and get NO BENEFITS, despite WORKING FULL TIME.

    Pardon my confusing the terms.

  5. I don't own a scanner, so I've put up a picture taken with my crappy cell phone.

  6. I take issue with the idea that "we all want something for nothing."

    That's simply not the case. I would like to earn enough at my place of employment that I don't HAVE to get on welfare. While I was working full time at LL Bean, I qualified for welfare. So did most of us Part Time Seasonals.

    LL Bean is a shitty company that abuses part time worker status, pays sub-living wages, and despite their patting themselves on the back for making things in the USA, less than 3% of their catalogue is actually made in the USA. Even LL Bean brand items.

    Most LL Bean brand items are made in China, El Salvador, Mexico, and Vietnam.

    I will admit, there is the "Employee Store" where you can get trash that nobody else wants, such as the shirts that D2B botches the logos on, and then cuts giant gaping holes in to remove the logos.

    Or there's the customer returns, where customers return items because they are broken, items that are then resold to employees at a low price.

    Wowee, $7 for a pair of boots! (That has a hole worn in the bottom and smell like cow shit, and are missing laces?) Most of the items in the employee store should be thrown away, not resold. it's no wonder none of them come with any warrantee or service guarantee.

  7. You simply aren't telling the truth about L.L. Bean and to spread these lies makes you no better than all the institutions you rail about. People in America do not want to pay the type of prices it costs for goods that are manufactured in the US of A which is why Walmart is always busy. Adding $10-$15 worth of labor to products that take an hour to make adds cost to the product. Surely even you understand that. I went to the employee's store once a week while I worked there during peak last year and found great deals on cool stuff. None of which had holes in it or smelled like cow shit. Yes, they're used items, but don't exaggerate so egregiously when trying to make your point. I wish I was there this season, but unfortunately my travels have landed me elsewhere. I can assure you, if I am lucky enough to end up in Maine again, I'll certainly apply to go back to Bean. Sounds like you had a shitty experience there and that's too bad. Clearly it's not for everyone. But you sound like the type of person who is looking for the negative in every experience just so you can bitch about it. By the way, your picture shows that you got some kind of letter, but the context isn't there, so I'm still calling bullshit that L.L. Bean brags about putting employees on welfare, but I do appreciate that you took the time to try and prove me wrong. Maybe you'll get enough donations...errr buy that scanner yet!

  8. I am indeed telling the truth about LL Bean.

    The employee store does sell useless trash to employees. They do sell shirts with holdes that have been cut in them by D2B.

    I was proud to work at LL Bean when I first started, because I belevied the bullshit image that they've crafted for themselves over the years. After working there for a year, I was quickly disillusioned.

    If you're going to accuse me of lying, be specific. I don't think you can be, because you know too well that I'm telling the truth.

    The part I attempted to photograph with my cellphone says, "During the 2010 plan year the LL Bean, Inc Employee Assistance Program provided coverage for 9,140 employees."

    Which proves you don't know what you're talking about, since you claim that LL Bean doesn't have more than 1,000 employees.

    While I worked there, I qualified for welfare, despite working mandatory overtime. I worked 40+ hours a week for over a year, and received no benefits. What I got instead were trinkets of appreciation, like tiny LL bean boots on a keychain, or a small ornamental pillow stuffed with cedar. What I'd rather have gotten, was to be compensated justly for my labor.

    My coworkers who were actual full time employees, and who qualified for benefits could not afford to pay their insurance premiums, and so elected to go without health insurance so that they could afford other things like food, rent, mortgage payments, school loans, etc.

    The Maximum I could have made in a year was $16,000. That's poverty level. LL Beans pays their employees poverty level wages. That is not okay. Meanwhile, the management, upset by talk of unionizing, would hold special meetings to try to convince us that we had it great-- especially while they were cutting benefits. What was management's solution to upset workers? To pay us a fair wage? No. They held special meetings in which they looked very upset and demanded we should brag to our friends about how great it was to work at LL Bean, and rather than think so much about wages, think about the value of a hard days work.

    One manager actually used the analogy of how good he feels after doing work on his 70 acre horse ranch.

    Most people who work there live in trailers with less than a half acre of property. That he actually used this analogy was HILARIOUS, and those of us on the line joked about what an asshole he was for months afterwards.

    Your attempt to categorize me as a beggar are typical of those who cannot argue based on facts: Attack the person, not the facts.

    I offer a service here FOR FREE. If people value this service, they can choose to support it. It's a more honest business model than the LL Bean Employee Store which has a strict "buyer beware" policy.

    Buyer Beware, this tent most likely doesn't have poles, or a tarp. But it's still $100.

    Buyer Beware, these shirts have holes cut in the chest, but we're still going to sell them for $6 a piece.

    And yes, if you'd like to donate money for me to buy a scanner, you can see the whole letter.