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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:31 PM
Original message
What about Bob?
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 12:47 PM by kgfnally
I'm starting a new thread on this because the other has become much too long. The original thread is here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Mods, please lock the other.

First, I'd like to thank all of you who have weighed in on this. The advice from both camps is invaluable, and you all can trust I'll be reading and rereading each and every post.

I mean what I say when I say "both camps". I'm seeing two schools of thought:

1. I'm being used because I'm only making his life easier. I guess you could say that, but only if you accept that there's something that he can do for himself. No, he's not four years old, but there are several legal considerations that I don't think some of you fully understand.

If I were to dump him out on his ear, not only would he have no place to stay, but if he did go to a shelter and he's still there when he goes to register, he goes to prison for committing a felony, simply because he doesn't have a home. See, even though he's not on probation, he is, and it's called the sex offender's registry. He must have a permenant residence for the next 25 years, or he goes to prison.

I, too, was once dumped out on my ear with nothing, by my own mom, after she found out I was gay. I made a personal vow to myself then and there that I would never, ever do that to another human being, simply because I know precisely what it's like to be betrayed by the only person in your life that provides any kind of support- emotional, financial, whatever. That kind of betrayal would leave me a much changed person, and I can't see those changes being for the better.

2. The other school of thought here is saying that while I'm doing the right thing, he needs to do for himself some as well. While I couldn't agree more, one thing that needs to be clearly understood is that there are no jobs available here for anyone, much less someone with a 'record' like his.

For example, a Kohl's opened up here recently. They had 45-50 job openings total, and for weeks, they were getting 150-200 application a day. The same was true for the new Target distribution center near us, only on a much larger scale. So any job that needs an application is completely out of the question. He just can't compete. Furthermore, the only things he really knows- armed security and truck driving- are jobs he's no longer eligible for, due to his conviction.

Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and finding yourself legally barred from every job you're trained to do. That's his situation. Yes, he *could* go to job training classes.... if they weren't all full.

As I see it, his only option is to either wait for his disability payments to kick in (and yes, he's diagnosed with a slew of mental problems), do non-application style jobs, or both. And I will do my best to push in that direction.

Maybe I should hope for a hard winter so he can shovel snow for half the year. The leaves haven't started falling yet and I suppose he could rake his way to employment. The problem is, you can only rake so many yards and shovel so many walks before some self-righteous asshole decides to check and see if he has a permit to do business- and yes, in this town, you do need such to even shovel snow.

Please, people, continue the advice. We need all the help we can get.

Thanks.
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Move together somewhere
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 12:41 PM by DemEx_pat
where Bob can have a fresh start.....

Just do it.....

:hi:

DemEx
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That may be
the very best thing we could do.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. If the Same Old Thing Isn't Working
it may be time for a big change. There are places and situations where it's easier to hide your past and in which you can find a job in your own field. Or, if your employer is big enough, you might be able to look for a transfer to another city.

Another angle for Bob to pursue might be how to present yourself in looking for a job. Not knowing him, I can't say, but it's worth your examining together. Just filling out an application usually doesn't do it in a bad job market. It's finding the right person, saying the right things about yourself (eg, "I can help the company in the following ways..."). Part of it's defining yourself ("I have the following abilites and qualities which make me valuable"). Even what to wear and how to look (suit and short haircut are not necessary, but appearance matters).

Or maybe both are necessary. Glad you're finding the conversation useful.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. all i can really say is...
...dumping someone out on their ear is not necessarily betrayal. It can be the best thing, the most liberating thing, you ever did for them. It puts them in a place where they have to figure things out for themselves. I've been out on my ear with nothing, and it was not one of the worst experiences of my life or one of the best experiences -- it was just another experience.

As for your personal vow, I have learned to "never say never." The minute you put yourself in a situation where you have a personal line that you vow you will never cross...life will test you on this. It is almost like some sort of witchcraft against yourself to take such a vow.

When I was in my mid-20s I was not able to get any job because I was being stalked. (At that time, stalking was perfectly legal, and beating women might as well have been legal, as the cops refused to do anything about it) It was the end of my career. I do not have to imagine anything. I know what it is like to face obstacles. My obstacle was that I couldn't go to work at a j-o-b that had a fixed location and an office and what have you because the psycho would find me. Yet I was able to step up and find free-lance work through the mail in another field, and I was always self-supporting. I don't know what your friend's answer will be to his challenges. I only know that he won't find the answer as long as he is being "kept."

Like you, because of my harsh experiences, I wanted to save someone else. But all I accomplished was to hold back my friend's progress. I have another friend who is going through this right now. For years, his family saved his brother, at the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, until the police came to arrest him for child porn and he had to flee the city. And you know what? He did not starve, he did not die. He actually found that he could travel about digging graves (or so he said) as he drifted about the south. He learned that he could actually do work and make money and be a man. It is just a shame that he had to wait to be 40 to learn that he was a man...his family's "help" prevented him from seeing himself as an adult and being involved with adult partners and having any kind of job until it was almost too late.

I could say more but I am already saying too much.

I wish you the best...but "Bob" needs to stand on his own, as a man. Even if the first step must be prison. Just my humble opinion.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Are you aware
of the survival rate for convicted sex offender in prison? It's measured in weeks.

I've advised him just this morning to go to our local community college and get information about classes. Given that he has NO income, well, I can see him getting some kind of grant or other, or at least having all of it paid via financial aid. OOPS- he already has an old aid bill that he hasn't been able to pay because of what his ex-wife did. She did almost the exact same thing to her previous husband as well. The woman is what I call a 'marriage predator'- she uses the fact that she's female against every man that marries her. She's waltzed off with the life posessions of at least two people who have married her, destroying both their lives in the process.

Having a lawyer for a daddy enables her to prey on men using the legal system as her platform. And yes, it's incredibly easy- at least in MI- for a woman to do this to her husband, especially if there are kids involved. In MI, the man has virtually no rights, and the woman can railroad him to her heart's content. She actually brags to her friends about how she set him up. It's sick.

Getting back to the point- he isn't eligible for financial aid because he has a previous aid bill that remains unpaid, because he's been unable to find a job. The moment he does get a job, she'll go after half the income; she did it to her other ex as well.

She's a money-grubbing bitch that uses the legal system as a sword against anyone that "pisses her off". She can do this because she has a lawyer daddy, so she never, ever pays any legal fees of any kind.

Truth is, his ex-wife is the root cause of the entire situation. If you like, I can scan and mail the page of the deposition the "victim" gave on the stand, where he says Bob was asleep when it happened. Had I been the judge, I would have dismissed the case right then and there, but his lawyer pressured him into taking a guilty plea so he could get
She knew exactly what she was doing, and how to do it. She made sure- again, with her daddy's help- that he was sitting in jail on the sex offense charge when the divorce hearing came about, so the divorce judge ordered that "each spouse shall keep the materials currently in their posession." For her, that meant everything, and for him, nothing but what he had in the jail locker.

She got the added bonus of knowing that the nature of his crime would prevent him from getting a job in his or any other line of work. She knew that was going to happen as well.

Yes, Virginia, there are people like this out there. Bob was unfortunate enough to be victimized by one.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. OMG, This is Michigan?
An ex-girlfriend had a long-time office romance with someone who was railroaded into sex crime charges by his ex-wife in MI. He was in better shape than "Bob", and was able to work for a large computer company.

But outside of employment, it wrecked his life in many different ways.

I can corroborate the unfairness of the laws. There is no presumption of innocence in cases like this. Just like the day care workers who were convicted of massive numers of molestation charges on the flimsiest and most contradictory of evidence. Thankfully that trend seems to have passed, but it's hard to defend against an ex-wife with no scruples and a lawyer for a father.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. this would not be the case for him, think about this...
Keep in mind that a great many men in prison have been convicted for "sex offenses," such as statutory rape -- having sex with a teen-ager. Hell, many are there for extremely trivial "sex offenses." A man in my town went to prison for touching a 15 year old on the butt through her clothes. The prisoners know that a lot of these sex offenses are, let's face it, B.S. So...They are not all knifing and killing and raping each other, even in the worse prisons. This is an exaggeration created by the media and the gov't to keep people in line. Since anyone can be accused of fondling someone else without proof, presumably anyone could be jailed and killed blah blah blah...except that prisoners aren't really just falling into line and killing off everyone who touches somebody right and left. If they did, the prisons would soon be depopulated!

If you do not know other men convicted of these crimes, just think of the news media for victims of the McMartin and similar hysterias -- people convicted of terrible, multiple crimes against small pre-school children. You did notice that these people, far from being killed within weeks, lived many years -- long enough to see themselves cleared. Clearly, the life expectancy of the so-called sex offender is a bit longer than we have been told.

Now, if you had said that Bob was convicted of multiple assaults on small children, yes, he would need to be worried. But it sounds like from what Bob is telling you that he was convicted of the kind of screwing around that huge numbers of prisoners have themselves participated in. And, in fact, if Bob is sent to prison at this time, it would not be for a sex offense, but for a technical violation. I think perhaps he is playing on hysteria. Now I don't think prison is a fun place. And I have known people to go to prison unjustly; sadly, it seems to happen quite often. But it can be a negative experience or it can be a learning experience. As I said in the other thread, one of my friends went to Angola, which is supposed to one of the most violent prisons in the country, and he found it a very valuable experience. He did not want to leave when initially paroled because he felt he was getting more support while in the prison. He used to tell the joke on himself that they finally told him, "This isn't a hotel," and put him on the bus out.

I'm not saying Bob should seek out prison but I think he is letting fear get the better of him and keep him in a box.

Just my humble opinion.

I don't doubt that there are such women as you describe. I know such a woman. But what is done is done. Until and unless Bob can get his crime expunged, he has to play the hand he is dealt.
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Bob49006 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. JACKSON PRISON
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 09:51 PM by Bob49006
The information regarding offenders getting killed was given to us by a friend of ours who is a correction guard at jackson prison thank you =)
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. There's a problem
here, or rather, something I think you might have overlooked:

" just think of the news media for victims of the McMartin and similar hysterias "

Yes. Think of it: here we have a very high-profile case being 'tried' in the media. Now, do you really think that the average Joe Six Pack that gets convicted of one CSC count would get that attention?

No?

Then ask yourself.... did the guards make certain that nothing happened to the people involved in that high-profile case? Or were they treated like the average Joe Six Pack that was only convicted of a single count?

Like it or not, prison guards are very well aware of the high-profile cases their charges represent. My guess is that the people you cited above were given 'special' treatment by the guards, just to make sure nothing happened to them while in prison, precisely because it was a high-profile case.

That's all speculation, but I'm thinking the case you cited is in the distinct minority. Our prison guard friend's statements do bear out that assertion as well. I'm not saying you're definitely wrong, but... I think there may well be a difference.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. i'm thinking the guards and other prisoners would not even know
As far as they would be concerned, he would be in prison for a technical violation. Be that as it may, I am encouraged by Bob coming forward to participate here and by his thoughts that he may be eligible for expungement.

I have posted more in my response to his note, offering suggestions for how he might be able to start earning money.

Keep in mind, when we offer advice, we start where we are standing and give our thoughts based on what we have seen others and ourselves do in the past. Being a small-time "sex offender" is just not necessarily that big of a deal in the south, where I live. When it comes down to brass tacks, most people and most prisoners know that there are all sorts of accusations thrown around and that many guilty people walk and many not-so-guilty get tossed in jail, and it all has to be taken with a grain of salt. Especially in a custody case. But clearly if your area is in the grip of a full-blown hysteria, then you must be much more cautious.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Ok,
but the problem is... Bob can't 'drift'. It's a crime if he does... because he's on the sex offender registry. If you examine the various state laws re sex offender registries, it's a felony for someone on them to not have a home. Homeless shelters don't count.

It's sick and wrong, I know. If I turn him out, he'll have to flee or go to prison. And that's just how the law is written. Sex crimes being the fad they are, it won't ever get changed. Sympathy for sex offenders, rightly or wrongly convicted, just doesn't wash with anyone.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. don't think of it as drifting, think of it as a cooling off period
LEOs have better things to do than hunt down someone for changing address. Yeah, technically, it's a crime. Realistically, are they going to seek him out? Ha. Filming child porn is a crime too but after about a year of drifting the man I discussed earlier was able to slip back into the city unnoticed, and the cops haven't shown up at the door yet. Perhaps they will one day, but more likely they have today's work to do today, and tomorrow's work to do tomorrow, and the cold cases will just have to take care of themselves. I am sensing a lot of fear here but if he is really fearful of the police, I would advise him to give up driving. You can get away with murder -- at least around here -- as long as you are never pulled over for a traffic stop because otherwise the cops don't know your name or have an excuse to pull up your record to search for outstanding warrants. People do it all the time. My thought is: If someone else can do it, why can't I? Am I less resourceful than all of these other thousands upon thousands of people who commit crimes and just walk away? I am not saying he should take up bank robbery but when a Guatemalan who barely speaks Spanish much less English can come here and find an under-the-table, all-cash job, why can't Bob?

Do you know other people convicted of crimes? What are they doing now? I don't mean the ones selling drugs. The ones who are taking back their lives and putting food on the table. They are the ones to observe for inspiration.

I have to say that a lot of my more questionable friends are flea market dealers or other self-employeds. Buy and sell is always an option, and it is easy to sell nationwide now without a store through eBay. You don't need money to get started; you need a route of neighborhoods, dumpsters, etc. where the "good stuff" gets discarded. Even just checking the day after a neighbor's garage sale to pick up the salable stuff they throw out...it pays better than picking up damn cans and bottles, by a long shot. I have done this myself although I've stopped checking a "route" because I have too much stuff I need to write up and sell -- you'd be amazed at how quickly you can accumulate "goodies." Also, another thing I have done, I find old furniture and take it and fix it up. Our newspaper allows us to have a free ad every week for an item selling for $100 or less. So then I sell the item through the classifieds. It is not a lot of money but it doesn't involve asking anyone's permission or a background check. And if he turns out to have a talent for this, he could end up with a buy and sell store, or a gallery, or who knows.

These ideas might not be quite right for Bob but I hope they at least serve as proof that he can do something -- he is not helpless.
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Bob49006 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Yeah
Thank you for telling me to go and commit a felony I appreciate it =)
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. I leave for work soon.
I'll be reading this thread tonight when I get home. I very sincerely appreciate every last post.

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2bfree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
7. My best advise........
There are jobs out there that don't check your history. My husband has a landscaping company and workers are hard to come by. He has employed many ex-cons, including one that was a convicted child offender. He goes out of his way to try and help people who are down on their luck like your SO. Roofers also come to mind. Your SO should keep looking and try to do something like Ebay or handyman jobs till he finds something. Even temp work. He needs to do anything at all just to keep busy. Good luck for both you and him.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The concept people were having
a hard time wrapping their heads around on the other thread I posted is that, being a hig-risk felon, well, not even fast food will willingly take him. I think his only option might be under-the-table stuff.

Factory work is totally out of the question, as ALL factories in our area hire via temp agencies, and they've stopped taking people with even misdemeanors (yes, I checked that out.... they really do that here). He's been told, point blank, that he could apply at Agency X, but there is NO chance he'll be considered for a position because of his record.

Like I said in the other thread, he's going up for an expungement hearing next year. There's a very good law office here in town that has told him it's a slam dunk once the time limit has passed, I think that's three or five years after the date of his conviction. They told him he had the lightest probation terms they had ever seen for a sex offender in over a decade of practice. His chances of that happening are extremely good, if we can just survive for that long.

So, yes, there is hope that this will all one day be behind us. It will only take time, but DAMN.... waiting is awful, awful hard.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
9. And now,
:kick: so people can see this and weigh in.

HAte to kick my own thread, but this is important to me.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. I wish I had known..
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 01:41 PM by grasswire
...early on that you are a gay man, K. I could have gotten a bit more sleep last night, instead of staying up here worrying about what might be a 98-pound girl in this situation.

It seems that some sort of informal self-employment is the key. Whether it's something Bob makes to sell, or something he buys wholesale to sell, or some service he provides such as the yard work or repair work. Maybe he could go to the local community college and learn something vocational? (Okay, I just read that you had considered that and he has a defaulted student loan. But a course at a community college isn't very expensive, especially in terms of the return on the investment. A few hundred dollars in training might earn confidence AND some marketable skill.

On what basis is he seeking disability?

Is he afraid to go out of the house?
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Mental instabilities.
Our therapist fully supports him in that, and is trying to get Bob on some mood stabilizers as well.

He's flat-out afraid to be around kids at ALL. He won't even go out to the pool in our apartment complex because there are often kids there. Can't say I blame him for that, though.

Sorry for the confusion re my gender :) I should have come out with that info inthe first place.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. it can take years
If you are talking about SSI, I can only speak about the experiences of friends in the deep South, but it takes years down here to start receiving your SSI checks even for the most advanced cases of paranoid schizophrenia. So you do have to be patient. And you need an attorney who specializes in this, because screwing around with the attorneys who are not experienced at handling such cases doesn't ever seem to lead anywhere, although everyone seems to try it at first, because the specialists do seem expensive.

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'm off to work.
I'll read and post on this tonight when I get home.

Thanks again, everyone. You've all given us both a lot to think on.
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Japhy_Ryder Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
14. Perspective
In reading these threads, it seems like many people have been very quick to jump on kgfnally and call him a fool for sticking with bob. If we take kgfnally at his word, and bob really has been railroaded on all this, imagine how that must make you feel. To be accused of a horrible crime for which you are innocent. To have a lawyer too lazy to fight for you. To find out that the American way of second chances in life is complete bullshit. If all of this is what really has happened, kgfnally, then I hope that bob realizes how exceptionally lucky he is to have you in his life.

It sounds like bob has been given a raw deal. And as he spirals into deeper depression about the previous wrongs done to him, he gets not even so much as the potential of someone giving him a second chance. kgfnally is trying to give bob the second chance, but he needs some help. Unfortunatley, I don't think he's going to get it. Employers do background checks these days. They know they can. And as soon as they see this on his record, regardless of the job, they aren't going to call him. And it sounds like bob doesn't have much training anyway. So he's got no experience, which probably gets his application thrown away, then even if he does get past round one, they see his record in round two, and he's got no chance.

If you are going to keep bob as part of your life kgfnally, then you have to go away. You have to move somewhere else and get bob a fresh start somewhere. Find a talent bob has, and get him studying everything he can about it online. Help him get excited about a career, and he'll go for it as hard as he can. Have him write a book about his expierence. Once he's feeling confident again, he'll get a job. It doesn't sound like he'll be able to get one where you are now, but maybe in another state, he will. You need to decide kgfnally if you are living your life, or he and you are living your lives together, and go from there.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. he may not be able to go away
...at least not legally. Not unless they are both willing to go underground. Because as soon as Bob disappears from the system and authorities know that K is gone also, they will start looking for K too.

Yes, it is possible to live below the radar. But that means, probably, that K gives up what appears to be well-paid work, and opts out of the banking-credit system as well.

It also means no more driving for either one. As noted above, a routine traffic stop is always just around the corner.

It also would mean little likelihood of getting that conviction expunged!

That goal itself is something to work toward. And the best card to play there is some progress toward productivity. School and some kind of work would be a HUGE plus. If the conviction were expunged, life might seem a little better in a big hurry.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. just a thought....
...I wonder if those organizations formed by deadbeat dad groups might have some advice for those fighting this kind of injustice. There might be support groups!
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Bob49006 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. THANK YOU
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 05:10 PM by Bob49006
No I will not break the law even to hide from the registry to get my life back my expungement is soon and my Lawyers say I stand a great chance. So I will not break the law at this time or anyother time and why do Americans tell me to break the law I wonder hmmmmm =) Most are telling me to run from the system here not! I would have to run forever and never get expundged not worth it.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. welcome to DU, Bob!
I hope you don't take offense at anything anyone said here. Most people were just worried about K and couldn't know if you were a threat or not.

I, for one, said some things that look awfully silly now that I know K is a man and not a little young vulnerable woman.

I sincerely wish you well and hope things improve in all areas of your lives. I have a little experience in prison issues, having been involved in reform organizations and reading 12,000 letters from prisoners. It's great that you have been able to stay out of that system with its hell-holes.

Keep us posted! Great news about the appointment at the college.

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Bob49006 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Thanks
Edited on Tue Sep-23-03 12:51 AM by Bob49006
it's nice to know there are some who want to help and not criticize =)
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. people just want to offer multiple options -- how about this?
Edited on Tue Sep-23-03 11:30 AM by amazona
If you have a great chance at expungement, by all means, go for it. You must realize that people offer advice based on their own experiences. I don't know you so I can only offer several suggestions that I have seen work for others. Most of the others I have direct knowledge of were actually guilty of a crime, and expungement was not a realistic concept. Therefore, they could not put their lives on hold. They had to get on with things and make a choice either to return to a life of crime, violence, and misery, or to make a change to find legal ways to earn money. Like it or not, in this society, we are not allowed to survive without those little pieces of green paper.

My thought for you, since you do have a chance to clear your record, is that for the time being you should look at ways to earn money that don't involve waiting for someone to give you a j-o-b. You may think my ideas on how to buy and sell, through the classifieds or on eBay, are silly, but they are quite effective for me and many others. Also, when you get enough merch, you can set up in flea markets or shows. You can even have "garage sales" with items you collect. You won't get rich doing this, but if you could pick up $100 or $200 every week under the radar, it would help you provide for yourself and contribute financially to the household without interfering with your ability to collect SSI. Lots of people are doing this, seniors, artists, students, all sorts of different people who can't find jobs but who need to pick up some cash. I truly urge you to give it a try. There is a book, unfortunately written by a wingnut libertarian, called "The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving" which gives excellent advice on how to get good stuff for free. I have done this myself. It works. See if your public library will get it for you. Just ignore the writer's negative attitudes and look at the practical advice about how to legally collect good stuff that is being thrown out. Once you have a good route, the problem won't be getting stuff -- you'll have more stuff than you can easily store and deal with unless you hustle. Give it a try.

Well, that is just one idea, but it comes to mind because it is something you can do...without asking anyone's permission...that would allow you to start picking up some legal money next week.

DOn't forget to see if your local newspaper has free classified ads online. Mine does, and I just sold an item for $100 this week. Every week we are allowed a free ad! Maybe you have this same opportunity. Check and around to see...anything you can earn for free leaves you more room to be able to pay for listings on eBay or for ads for more expensive items.

Don't let our crusty attitudes get you down. You can come back from this. It's bad, it's real bad, but other people survive this ****, you can too.

On Edit: Another way to get items to sell is what a friend of mine did: She offered to clean out people's attics, especially older people's attics, for free. Now some people say you should never clean for free. You should always charge something for hauling. So there are two sides to this option. She was older and NOT a very big person and didn't have a very big truck but since she wasn't getting paid, people couldn't gripe too much if she worked a bit slowly. I'm a bit lazy so I wait until people drag their crap and put it on the front lawn for the garbage truck before I take the pick of goodies, such as furniture, that I want to repair and either use or re-sell. But it's worth a thought.

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. harbinger!
"Yes, it is possible to live below the radar. But that means, probably, that K gives up what appears to be well-paid work, and opts out of the banking-credit system as well."

Exactly what I intend to do once my CC is paid off. I'll never get another one of those, and going "off the grid" is one reason. This would only happen after the expungement, by teh way. Once we're both in the clear, as it were, I'm thinking we're going to disappear for a while.

We have a joint appointment Wednesday at a community college just down the road from us. Credits are more than a little expensive there, but we can check out a couple others as well.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. once he's expunged, you need not go "underground"
I don't see giving up the credit system. It is too useful. People can re-locate and change their names without completely giving up who they are. Perhaps men do not realize how easy it is to change their name, but if you stop and think about it, the majority of women change their names at least once in their lifetimes. And men can do it too.

Or how about this? You keep your original name on your credit records and at your job, which allows you to perhaps have your company transfer you to the new place or at least give you a good recommendation. So you keep your job history. Yet, in your social life, you do not wish people to know your original name. So you just give them a different name. Ask your credit card company to send you a second card in your friend's name. They don't care if the friend is really you, by a different name, as long as you continue to pay your bills on time. Now this is not a technique for hiding from the police. It is perfectly legal. All it is does is protect you from casual snoops. But it works fine for that purpose. I used to have several credit cards in several names, and it did just fine. Actually, one of my old names just received a new credit card yesterday, but as I'm not concealing my identity now, I'll likely return it.

Now Bob may want to consider going through all the steps for a legal change of name once his expungement comes through -- or he may not. It sort of depends on how determined the ex may be to hunt him down and make trouble for him. A lot of times, these type of people are easily distracted. Out of sight, out of mind. If he just quietly and legally leaves town, she will get busy destroying someone else's life. So in that case a complete name change and disappearance into the underground economy would be overkill. It sounds like you have time to consider all the angles.

I hesitate to recommend a rightwing libertarian press, but I really know no better than Loompanics.com for a complete discussion of some of these issues. It is too large a topic for a discussion forum although I will be happy to continue to discuss. Between being stalked and being a former blackjack player, I've had many names. But I haven't gone super-underground or anything. For most purposes, you would be amazed at how easy it can be to get people to accept you under the name of your choice.
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