Friday, February 27, 2009
Today's people of the day are collection agency representatives. You'd be hard pressed to find someone that likes bill collectors, but that's just because people don't understand the important role that these people play in the economy. If you've ever ran up a couple thousand dollars on a credit card and then failed to pay your bill promptly, you've likely been called several times by a debt collector. Typically if a customer is just a little late on a payment, they will receive an automated call informing them to pay their bill. If a few weeks go by, a representative from the credit card company will get in touch with them. If months go by and the customer is still not making any payments, usually the bad account will get sold to a collections agency. These companies specialize in doing whatever they can to get that money back. They buy the customer's bad account at discount price, hoping that if the full amount is paid off, they will make a nice profit.
Ok, most of you reading this have probably gotten these annoying phone calls and probably thought debt collectors were the biggest scum on the earth. But guess what? If it weren't for a means to get the money back that you borrowed, they wouldn't have lent it to you in the first place. If nobody ever paid back their debt, nobody would be able to borrow money and very few people would be able to buy a home. How many people do you know that have $300,000 in cash just sitting around?
Think for a moment how annoying it is to get phone calls every hour of the day from bill collectors. Now try to see it from their perspective. They're having conversations all day long with pissed off people who want to strangle them. They also probably have a manager that screams at them all day long to "GET THOSE DEADBEATS TO PAY". Could you imagine getting up every morning to go get screamed at for 8-10 hours?
You want to know why we like collections agency representatives? Because they're people. And we like all people. They're just doing their jobs just like everyone else in the world is, trying to put food on their table for their families. They can be a nuisance at times but their role is very important. If you lent someone thousands of dollars and you never saw it back, what would you do?
If you're having a hard time wrapping your head around the idea that bill collectors are good decent people, try having a conversation with one of them. They are very colorful and are always good for sharing stories with. When I owed Discover Card $10,000, I often got calls from a representative named Betty. At first I would always try to get off the phone when she called, but when I found out she made a mean rhubarb pie, I actually found myself calling her more than she called me. It's all about your attitude and approach.