For literally about 30 years, I've been interested in economic and financial issues. Even in elementary schools, I was checking out books on money, personal finance and economics.
In 1980, while following the economy closely in the Wall Street Journal, I told my neighbor that the prime rate would go to 20% before it went back down. Which it did.
So, after a detour in college studying Government, I went to graduate school and studied Economics. Among other things, I became very interested in consumer credit (in fact, later on, I would become a debt collector). Meanwhile, I put myself through part of graduate school by working in a bookstore.
One fine day in the bookstore:
Male customer at register, paying with credit card from First Penury Bank (not its real name).
Yours truly (not exactly sotto voce): Wow, I recognize that card. First Penury pioneered the concept of security deposits for credit cards. That makes it possible for people with bad credit to get credit cards. I'm glad you got that opportunity.
Customer: Uh yeah, right.
Because of course, the very fact that I'm especially interested in consumer credit and particularly in developments like secured credit cards means that everyone else is willing to discuss it too. Including their own bad credit which forced them to get a card like that. And in public.
I cringe when thinking about it to this day. If I were the store manager and I heard someone saying that, at a very minimum I would send him/her home for the day - after a good tongue-lashing.
Customer, wherever you might happen to be, if you're somehow reading this: I'm very sorry. I had no intention of hurting your feelings - I just wasn't thinking. I would never even consider saying something like that again.
Hour 4: What do you want? Look at your goals.
8 years ago