I’m fighting really hard not to let this current economic situation get me down.  As many of you have heard, we are being threatened with serious layoffs at the agency at which I work.  This really isn’t any fun and it’s mostly a boatload of stress.  Of course, the situation is compounded as I am a member of our seven-member Board of Directors that represents Wisconsin State agency attorneys.  So, I am fielding emails, phone calls and in-person visits trying to answer seemingly unanswerable questions.  It is also compounded by the fact that despite my four and a half year tenure at the DOJ, I am still relatively low on the totem poll, meaning I’m high on the chopping clock.  Anyway, I’m trying to let this stress go this weekend, but I can feel that it’s still weighing heavy on me.  I want to do my job and enjoy summer without wondering how long I’ll be able to pay my mortgage.  I know that I’m not alone in this, but that only makes it sadder.

In any event, I have a question.  In addition to being supremely annoying, I find the Free Credit Report Dot Com commercials totally perplexing.  I’ve been struggling about whether to address this on my blog for some time — mostly because I don’t want to write the words that form the acronym FCRDC because the irritating song immediately gets in my head when those words are referenced.  Anyway, I suppose now is the time to share my confusion.  As I remember things, the first ad on this subject with the rumored French-Canadian curly-haired fellow was the one in which he sung his damn song while his young wife walked around with a laundry basket.  He lamented their marriage because she had defaulted on a credit card, making it impossible for them to live anywhere but her parents’ basement.  He also basically indicated that if he had known her credit score, he would not have married her.  So, this ad is pretty offensive and unrealistic (they can’t find an apartment?), but at least it makes some sense: her credit score meant they couldn’t get their dream home.  Fine.  But then the next two that I remember leave me completely baffled.  The first is the one in which the guy is a host — with a guitar — at a pirate-themed restaurant.  I’m totally unclear on why not checking your credit report would make it so that you had to be a host at a theme restaurant.  I mean, did he lose his great job when his boss found out his credit score was whack?  Or did someone steal his identity and run up a bunch of debt and now he has to walk the plank?  I don’t get it.  The same goes for the next one, which is the infamous Renaissance Faire assault on the eyes and ears.  Not checking your credit report now means you have to play crappy music in tights at a Renaissance Faire at which goats are walking around.  What? 

Though I suppose the thought of that did scare me enough that I checked my credit report the other day.


22 Responses to “Uninspired”

  1. 1 Sara H June 8, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I hear you, Kate. While I am actually relatively senior in my office (I’ve only been here 3 years – we have lots of turnover), I still panic about layoffs – what if they don’t decide layoffs based on seniority of the whole office, but rather within a sub-class (in which case I am Chop-ee Numero Uno)? How will it all be decided? When will we know, for goodness sake? Ugh, I can’t imagine being on the board.

    I guess you have to go work at a pirate restaurant because you were lounging, buying drinks with credit cards and being a grad student for several years, but now realize you have to pay off some debt in order to get a store credit card at La-Z-Boy? And FCRDC totally helped you realize that. I must admit, those commercials entertain me, even without all that logic.

  2. 2 gracieandkate June 8, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Are you a represented employee? I’m guessing not. I don’t know how they do layoffs for non-represented employees, but for us, it’s right in our contract. It’s incredibly stupid, in my opinion, because you get credit for any time in state service. So, while I’ve worked here longer than tons and tons of people, this job is my only state service. So, people that came from other agencies or (for example) all the people that came from DAs offices (like certain actual DAs, including the one from the US Attorney’s office who just started today) bump me out. Even though the layoffs are by agency, seniority is not calculated that way. UGH.

    Ok, moving on…Has anyone seen that movie ‘Georgia Rule?’ It’s with Jane Fonda and Lindsay Lohan? Well, I have. We got super duper cable on Friday and I’ve barely been able to turn myself away. Last night I watched this little flick knowing that it was supposed to be bad, but thinking maybe it’d be some light-hearted silliness. Holy fuck was I wrong. Seriously, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so mislead by a trailer. I remember when the commercials for it came out. It looked like a dumb, cliched story about a “modern” granddaughter butting heads with her old-fashioned grandma. And set in small-town Georgia. Ok, no. First, it’s set in Mormon-laden Idaho and is about child molestation. Hello!?!? What?! Holy cow. I’m still reeling.

  3. 4 Sara H June 8, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Not represented… Hmmm, I wonder if my clerking at DOJ for 3 years during law school counts? That might make me less close to the chopping block.

    Haven’t seen that movie – LL is scary!

  4. 5 Sarayu June 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    The economic situation right now is entirely frightening. I try not to think about it too much either, since I’ve cornered myself into an impossible market, but it’s easy to freak out. I hate that you have to worry about it. It’s beyond insulting, considering how hard you’ve worked and how much you consistently undertake.

    As for “Georgia Rule,” I kinds of wanted to see it despite the bad trailers and scary LL, mostly because Jane Fonda seemed so kick ass in it. So, from your experience, although it was entirely not like the trailer, was it also good? I felt pretty mislead by the “Adventureland” trailers. Although I enjoyed the movie, it was not at all what I expected.

    Now, onto the bear- hysterical!

  5. 6 gracieandkate June 8, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    No, I’m sorry. It was TERRIBLE. I guess I thought saying that it was about child molestation made that point for me, but you’re right — I should have been more specific. It was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It went back and forth with LL saying that her stepdad, Cary Elwes, had started having sex with her when she was 12 or not. Yes he did, no he didn’t. Etc. Etc. It was GODAWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And I know you said that about Advetureland, too. I didn’t feel that way at all about Aland…Hmm. This was like, to me, a completely, completely different movie.

    And Sara, I don’t think you’re DOJ clerking time counts. At least it didn’t for me.

  6. 7 Kristin June 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Worse than Mrs. Winterbourne??

  7. 8 gracieandkate June 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Hmm. Excellent question. Worse in a very different way. But not worse in a, “I can’t believe this is someone’s favorite movie” way. Plus, Mrs. W will always have a special place in my heart, and I cannot say the same for GR.

  8. 9 Kristin June 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Phew. Hee. 🙂

    I will steer clear of this Georgia Rule. And I admit, I love the FCRDC commercials. You forgot about the one where he’s driving the shitty car because of his bad credit and not getting girls because of it. Ha.

  9. 10 gracieandkate June 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Yeah, I didn’t include that one because it makes sense, too. You don’t check your credit report, you won’t know what kinda car you’re eligible for. But if you don’t check your credit report, I don’t see how it impacts what job you get. I mean, Sara’s point is the only one that makes a lick of sense — but I don’t really see that checking your credit report makes you spend less money on frivolous things to avoid working as a pirate. But I see that I have failed to reach my audience on this issue. Point taken.

  10. 11 Sara H June 9, 2009 at 8:58 am

    No no, you did reach your audience – I had been blindly enjoying those commercials without really thinking about it (my favorite being the renaissance fair one, hahaha). But now that you say it, you’re right, they make no sense. I was blindly following the TV message!

  11. 12 Kristin June 9, 2009 at 9:10 am

    And they’re not really even free are they? I mean, they weren’t the last time I tried to get a “free” credit report. Maybe I went to the wrong site. Either way, you’re totally right. But I do thank them for entertaining me. F-R-E-E, that spells free, credit report dot com baby!

  12. 13 gracieandkate June 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I just came from the credit union where another one of the episodes I forgot was playing: the one at the swank party where he’s like a butler/caterer or something.

    It is so nice outside right now.

  13. 14 gracieandkate June 9, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Also, I think you can see your report for free once a year or something, but you still have to pay to find out your score.

  14. 15 Kristin June 9, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    That’s what it is. I wanted to see my score.

    It is not so nice here right now. Yuck. We had THE craziest storm last night. Just the sound of the rain woke me up, before the T&L even started. And then it lasted almost a full hour. Nuts.

    But hooray for nice days! Some day NY will have more than two of them in a row.

  15. 16 gracieandkate June 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Ooo! We had that storm on Sunday night. I should have warned you it was coming your way. I love summer storms even though they can be scary. What’s weird to me is how unphased Gracie always is. She never seems to notice. Casey used to shake like crazy.

  16. 17 gwendolyngarden June 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Holy cow, have I missed a lot!

    1) I’ve beat the budget horse to death and have nothing more to say besides “boo hiss.”
    2) “with the pirate hats on” song is now permanently in my head although completely agree that it is illogical.
    3) Credit Scores: why does it seem that my credit score is high but the “reasons for low score” section always has like 10 reasons why my credit score supposedly sucks?
    4) Child molestation? I thought something like crazy drinking teenager and her crazy grandmother. TG I didn’t Netflix it.
    5) What is the book club book? and when is book club? It’s not on my calendar for some reason.

  17. 18 gracieandkate June 9, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Book club is on Thursday and the book has the word ‘castle’ in it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go — Brewer game that day!

    The movie is totally about how LL says her stepdad assaulted her for years and then it goes back and forth over whether that’s true or not and whether Felicity Huffman should believe LL or her scummy husband. SO awful.

    And please tell someone to stop coming into my office every day and asking me for updates and giving me the same spiel every day about the budget. I’m SO sick of it.

  18. 19 Sara H June 11, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Kate! Was that the full DOJ cut that was restored last night? Must you no longer worry about layoffs? Or was it partial? I can’t tell.

  19. 20 kateandgracie June 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    It restored the money that we needed so we don’t have to face layoffs. Or at least that’s the hope. We’re still being cut, like everyone, but they think they can deal with that without having to layoff peeps. HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. 21 gretchen June 17, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Totally feel like a “voyeur” here since I haven’t been on for over a year and am not part of the crowd, but then saw that I was mentioned in May (thank you Dahlia!) so figured it was ok to weigh in!

    First, I feel for you in this economy. It just sucks and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to the stress, does there? We just survived a layoff threat ourselves (Randy, not me) as Dupont has gone through a couple of rounds of layoffs and they are considering another round in the fall. I think living in limbo is the hardest (which is exactly why you left Richmond, and Bev is still here — ugh! Remember you can always come back — I miss you and need normal co-workers!!).

    As for the commercials, I LOVE them, but now it’s almost 3 am and I can’t stop singing “I married my dream girl, I married my dream girl . . .” and picturing the guy playing drums in the bathroom. Which is odd, because I really don’t watch that much TV and I tend to FF over commericals!

    Miss ya — g

  21. 22 gracieandkate June 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Miss you too! And you are so not a voyeur. I love seeing your name and your comments. Glad Randy escaped the dreaded L, too! A coworker of mine’s husband is an engineer and he just hit the streets. It’s so scary.

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June 2009

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