Posted by: thescoundrel | May 2, 2008

My – Some Power Tools Can Bite You – Rant

Tools are an important part in the growth of civilization. But history has shown us not all people mix and match well with certain tools. Take me for instance. I have loved to play with wood working tools since shop class in high school. However I can guarantee you that if anyone that knows me is around when I pick up a power tool they grab the first tool they can find to shelter myself and the world from the consequences. Other than the occasional drill I have spent a lifetime with people intervening between me and power tools. When I manage to use one it usually has to be a situation where I have managed to secure complete isolation from the rest of the World, like home-alone in my basement. theScoundrel and power tools are often not a safe marriage. Think “Tim the Toolman Taylor”! If not for friendly intervention, theScoundrel would probably have a “preferred customer” hospital portfolio to match the mythical Toolmans! Which brings me to today’s rant.

Power tools are not the only important tools that spur civilizations growth. The Federal Reserve is currently looking at another important power tool of growth – the credit card – and the industry’s practices that surround its use. It is probably one of the most modern day tools helping civilization grow. Now I am not an individual who is likely to give the Credit Card Industry a slap on the back. I am like many others there was a time I carried a wallet full of credit cards. Those days have long passed and I now only carry a debit card that also works as a credit card. It is purely personal opinion but I think the industry could use a good scrubbing down with a coarse brush by the Feds. So considering my personal bias I will limit my negative critiques of the industry to that. Instead my rant is that where actual credit cards are concerned, many of us are like power tools and theScoundrel, a very bad marriage often headed for divorce court.

As I said before I used to have a wallet full of credit cards. Though it wasn’t long after our engagement before I realized Credit Card Companies and myself lived in different worlds. I, like most others, receive tons of mail everyday, much of it junk from credit card companies looking for me to marry myself to their product. My habits are I simply do not read my mail on a regular basis. In my world reading mail is a tedious exercise that I do when I have noting better to do or the stacks on my dresser has reached the teetering point. This angers companies credit card companies. Their anger in turn made me angry because I was always way ahead on “their payment plans”. When I pay a bill I generally pay it in a lump or several lump sums. I do not do anything monthly. In fact I tend to go out of my way to not trap myself into reoccurring habits. I go crazy when I fall into doing the same exact thing over and over again. So when I was credit carding instead of sending the monthly scheduled payment of $ 10 or $20, whatever it was, I would send them generally 1/3 to 1/2 of the sum owed and go about my business ignoring mail. Credit Card companies on the other hand prefer to get their payments on a monthly basis they do not care if it is a minimum payment or ½ the total they expect another payment the next month. Sorry but I do not read my mail that often. So we fought! Sometimes I would have not have even looked at how much I owed and simply sent them a couple of hundred dollars unaware I had left some insignificant amount on the total bill. Then when I did not send them the few rest of the dollars the next month they would send me one of their infamous late charges we argues about all the time. Sometimes the total was less than five bucks and they would send me a late charge for more than I owed. Hell sometimes I would overpay. They seemed to really hate that. I realized it was as much my fault as it was their fault because we had both entered into an arrangement that neither of were ever going to be happy with. I was just too angry with them to care. It got to the point I actually started enjoying the arguments. It went on like that until one day I finally decided to cut up all my cards because I wasn’t going to change for them and they were not designed for change. I have lived happier ever after ever since! There are many reasons that people and certain power tools make for bad marriages. And my rant is there is usually fault to be found in both sides of the relationship. Credit Card Companies are no more the bad guy than we are. We have as much responsibility in learning the manual’s suggested operation of the tool as the responsibility they have to play by the Federal Banking rules when they sell you the product. Some of us are just bad fits for the power tool in question.


  1. An thinking along the lines of Tim The Tool Man and power tools gone bad —> some types of power tools I have become extra-extra-extra cautious around!

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