“When It All Falls Down…”
So my girl decided to do one of the mystery shopper jobs. She received a money order for $500 and specific instructions. After she cashed the money order she was to spend “X” amount of money at Wal-Mart and rate the customer service. From the cleanliness of the store, customer assistance to cashiering. After that “X” amount of dollars were to be Western Union’ed to the company’s address and again rate the customer service. What was left was hers to keep, to cover time on the job and gas for traveling. She did the first gig, Western Union’ed the money, emailed the tracking number but not the customer service report. The manager called her the next morning and said that he received the tracking number but needed the customer service report. My girl and I figured if it was indeed a scam, the guy wouldn’t be too worried about a customer service report just about the money.
Meanwhile while this was going on, I was still working at Guitar Center and waiting on a call back from the Beverly Hills recording studio. I also had been doing sessions at the studio I was currently at and just waiting for something to come through. We had 2 weeks to figure out exactly what we were doing because we either had to sign this new $1600 lease or move.A little over a week had passed and my girl did several more mystery shopper gigs, how many I’m not quite sure of, but we know had enough money to resign the lease and to carry her portion of the bills for at least another month or two. Things were looking up, we thought.The manager from the mystery shopper company contacted my girl and said thanks for the money, he would be taking a vacation now. My girl was confused as to what he meant. She checked her bank account and he had cancelled the first money order he sent her. The bank tried to recoup the cancellation of the money order by with drawing the money from my girl’s account. The same bank account that had the rent and bill money in it. We rushed to the bank and by the time we got there the cancellations, multiple overdraft charges and penalties for the money order being cancelled and cashed and took all of our savings and sent the account into a negative $10,000+ status. We were devastated. Apparently the guy resided in the United Kingdom and was able to cash the Western Union check then cancel the money order, in turn basically doubling his money in the process.We talked to the bank manager and they could not help us. So we went to the Norwalk police department and filled a report. The Chief of Police had a sit down with us and said they could investigate it but theirs no telling how long it would take and even with that all they could do realistically was clear the bank account to a $0 balance, our money was lost.My heart dropped and for the first time in my life, I felt powerless. There was nothing I could do. I contacted my studio to see if there was any paid work at all lined up and they had nothing. I contacted the woman in Beverly Hills I had interviewed with and she was still in the process of going through the candidates. I had already contacted a couple of family members and one didn’t even return my call. I had $40 in my pockets and $2000 in bills due in 5 days. Never one to admit defeat, but this time it was over…Out of options all we could do is contact the apartment complex and explain how we had to move back to Arizona. I put my notices in at Guitar Center and the recording studio. Everybody felt bad seeing me leave, knowing how much this meant to me. I got my last check from Guitar Center, $350. Just enough to pay for the one way U-Haul trip back to Phoenix. The day of the move the recording studio in Beverly Hills called me back for a second interview.. If only I had a chance to stay one more month, who knows what would have, could have happened. But that’s life, you never know what tomorrow brings.As I sat in the U-Haul filled with all of my belongings, dragging my 99 Sentra behind me, dreams crushed, out of work and unemployed, all I could think was, “So what now?”