by The Inmate
A number of months ago I noticed a big billboard advertisement in downtown San Diego where I make deliveries five days out of the week. At that time the ad had no picture accompanying it and simply stated: “Escape. Your Boss. Your Job. Your World.” I liked it. I wished I had thought of it for use with The Corporate Asylum. My ad could have read: “Escape. Your Boss. Your Job. Your World. Log on to The Corporate Asylum.” That would have brought hits in at enormous rates so that I could have been a rich man on Corporate Asylum stock even though the company itself had never turned a profit. Ain’t corporate life grand?
The ad did intrigue me. I liked the fact that they didn’t tell me what it was all about. It reminded me of the ad campaign for Warren Beatty’s movie Heaven Can Wait over twenty years ago which simply consisted of Beatty with angel wings. No text. I liked the movie so I figured I might like the product behind this ad. I waited. And waited. And waited. Then, finally, the yellow SUV appeared. I was a little disappointed, but after some reflection it occurred to me that I did need a new vehicle and since I liked this ad why not go buy an Escape? So, off to the Ford dealership I went.
I asked to see their lowest priced model. $18,390. That sounded fairly good to me, considering that on some SUV’s you can spend close to $40,000, twice what my grandmother’s house sold for in Wisconsin. I said I was interested. The salesman, a darn nice guy, asked if I was an active man. “Sure,” I said. “I’m active.” Who doesn’t want to be active, particularly if you’re a man and particularly if you’re talking to another man? “Well,” he said, “you might want the all season tires.” Who knows? I thought to myself, I might need them, it snowed here in San Diego back when I was in grammar school. The leather interior sounded good, too. So I added that on. Side step bars seemed necessary, considering that my wife is not very tall and my son is only three. Then I added a moonroof, privacy glass and trailer towing capability. I’m over forty now, I deserve some amenities.
Then the darn nice guy asked me if I had a family. Yes, I said. He asked to see pictures and I showed him some. He mentioned that safety is always a concern for someone with as nice a family as I had and if I wanted to be ready for any situation to keep my family as safe as possible, well, he said, “you might want to add four-wheel drive.” I’m extremely interested in my family’s safety so I did it. Total price: $25,980. California tax added another $2,013. Vehicle License Fee added another $520 for a grand total of $28,513. I had no money to put down so I financed the whole thing for five years at 7% for a monthly payment of $564.59. Gulp. I had kind of forgotten about insurance, but wouldn’t you know that darn nice guy had a policy ready for me? A year cost me roughly $1500 or another $125 a month making my total car bill $689.59 a month. My family’s safety is worth it.
I felt really good driving around in my new Escape, particularly when I drove by those billboards and saw all those other drivers lusting after the yellow vehicle that now owned me–errr–I mean that I now owned–err– am making payments on. After a few weeks it began to occur to me that my first payment was due. I was running a little short, so I worked some overtime and an extra Saturday. Well, it hardly seemed that a month had passed until my next payment was due. Had to borrow from my line-of-credit. So the third month I worked my butt off, as they say(whoever “they” are), and made my third payment. Learned my boss’s middle name that month. Fact is, I’ve learned a lot about my boss ever since I bought that damned Escape.
I started doing some figuring. How many hours do I have to work to make my car and insurance payments? Let’s pretend I make 20 dollars an hour. At that rate I have to work 34.5 hours a month to make that payment–well, that’s not exactly true, because when I work that long Uncle Sam takes a large chunk or my money. Let’s just say he takes 15% that means I effectively earn $17.00 per hour which means I really have to work 40.5 hours a week to make that payment or a full week out of the month.
All this information leads me to this question: How does the Escape help me escape my boss or my job? Maybe after working so much to supposedly escape my boss and my job I will really want to escape my world. I suppose I could use the Ford Escape for that, just so long as the garage door is shut tight and there is plenty of gas in the tank.