We’re able to go to the prison store every 2 weeks and tomorrow is our day to get store. Now, there are several different ways that store days are viewed, anticipated and even dreaded!

For the majority, by time they get to the end of that 2-week period… most are outta food and anxiously anticipating those store bags coming. It’s like a lil bit of Christmas, twice a month! Of course, all those positive feelings about this day are solely dependent on whether you got any money to utilize the store or not. That is, unless you got a hustle and then you might have, several different bags coming… via several different people.

This is how I come into my store days… anxious and happy it’s here… with a touch of dread and reluctance to have to deal with some of these people… while prepping myself for the onslaught of “stories”, as to why their store didn’t come. I swear, some of the tales these people come up with are so good, that you almost wanna give ’em a break…. except for the fact, that they clearly must think I’m the most stupid person on Earth to believe their ridiculously impossible excuses! That can get insulting and it’s like a slap in the face! Don’t get me wrong, not everyone in here is a piece of shit who runs up bills they can’t pay… I’m sure it’s very similar to the way they survived, in the streets. By living from check-to-check… except they would live beyond the only means of income they had. Thus, creating debt… giving excuses to creditors… ending up in the collection agency… thus destroying their future credit opportunities. This is exactly the same with the one small difference with how the “collection agency” process works. In here it can go several different ways… with several different outcomes. Hence, the reason for more extravagant and (attempts at) convincing reasons, for their shortfalls and just how they’re gonna make magic happen, to fix all wrongs.

I swear, it’s been over 25 years, that I’ve been dealing with people in here and one thing that has remained a constant… store(y) day is gonna always involve some b.s. and you’re likely to hear some spectacular stories. It’s still amazing at the creativity and lengths that some take to avoid the truth… spewing story after story after story! I mean, a lot get reworked and recycled over the years…. all believing that they came up with some brand new and clever shit!

I guess there really are different levels to the lies and the liars involved… I’ve heard anything from the fact that the Facility took out money they owed (they usually knew about, if this actually happened) or that the store shorted them (these you can usually verify, by looking at their store receipts). Then, they try and play it like their money got sent, but it didn’t show up, in time, for some unexplainable reason (again, these can be verified by checking their account info, on the store kiosk… see when, if at all their money showed up) all these are basic excuses, for the unpracticed/ novice delinquent debtor. This is ENTRY LEVEL status!

Then, you start getting into those guys, who usually run up some debts, with a couple different people… who then exceed the allowable $106 store limits. So, with the inability to pay all obligations right away… these people start to get into a more elaborate scheming-process. The “rob Peter, to pay Paul” scenario is one of those. Which begin with adding more debt, to old debt and just buying another 2 weeks to try and pray they can shake up a couple extra dollars, from somewhere?! Of course, there have been times where I’ve been Peter AND Paul… it’s just a bad practice. But, along with that comes the pitch of a dream you wanna believe, that’ll be used to try and convince you to let them buy some extra time. Of course, when the dream doesn’t seal the deal, then comes the ploy for your sympathy (if you’re able to feel it for these people?)… how tragedy has befallen him and his family. This can range from extra bills at home, to illnesses with loved ones… to the extremes of putting a death on someone. (that is generally some piece of shit, who is so selfish, that putting this in the air means nothing to them!!). This is more of a MID-LEVEL status!

Now, we get into the professional bullshitter and scumbag… this is an exclusive class of pieces of shit. These are generally, the habitual over-spenders and instant-gratification seekers… the basic philosophy here, is that they want something now and will worry how to pay for it, when that day comes! You tend to see a lot of those addicts and those with addict-like behaviors, in this category. Here a guy can run up debts with 5 or 6 (or more) different people, that well exceed the allowable spending limit. But, due to the fact that this particular person does usually end up paying his bills… these greedy leaches will just throw money at him and allow him to accumulate WAY MORE debt than is reasonable to pay. This leads into the person(s) who get to this level… so far out there, that there is no possible way for him to cover it. So, he begins to scramble around and formulate some of the most bizarre, ridiculous and elaborate stories you can imagine. Most of which you would think are made up, but I swear you can’t make this shit up. One actual story I got, that really stuck with me (even years later) was about this persons many excuses… blaming his ailing Mother and the fact, that her Social Security check was stolen out of her purse. (this had happened on more than one occasion) This was the base of the lie… from there it went on to a mash-up of tires being slashed, preventing any bank trips… then the money was given to the Mother, who couldn’t leave the house due to illness and the neighbor lady was gonna do it… who in turn stole THAT money now. This turned into a huge investigation by the police, that would probably take 2 weeks to figure out. (a convenient guess)

Then, his Mother got sick and was gonna be in the hospital for some undisclosed amount of time… making it impossible to know when he would be able to get his money straight again? Granted all these misfortunes sound horrific… and to challenge them or question them would make you the biggest ass and most insensitive person. (family is supposed to be off limits… even in here). So, do you just believe this and feel pity and give him a break? This is what they usually count on… in this case, there was only one real issue. This was the fact, that he had already told everyone his Mother died… months before… and went into a very well played-out depression, all with the intent to buy some time then! This is TOP-LEVEL status.

The only thing left are the guys who run up debt, have no way of paying it or just finally burnt their people out… after using them as their personal ATM’s. They just lock-up (leaving the yard and going to segregation), go to the hole and give up whichever unfortunate names they choose to the staff. Because the ONLY way that you can go this route is by telling on someone. These have become excessively more common, in the past decade or so… and this once disgraceful tactic is almost over-looked and tolerated after a guy comes out of seg. and back to that or another yard. To me this is the very BOTTOM LEVEL status!

Well, as these days come every other week, giving us 26 store days a year… I would almost count on some form of venting on this subject again…

Source of feature image: AZ Central

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