7. Payday, the Tables Turn

Friday is payday—my first. Checks are distributed at noon, just as we stream out of the building for lunch.

“There’s $5 for anybody who will drive me to the bank,” loud Gary broadcasts to the corners of the room. I take him, saying I am going anyway. Bobby gives us directions to the bank that handles our company’s payroll account, thinking our checks will be easier to cash there. On the way over, Gary tells me how he got canned from his last collecting job, even though his family had connections with the company. The problem was a “liquid lunch” he just couldn’t resist one Friday. “Seven martinis,” he says, chortling. “I came back to the office. They sent me right from there to rehab.”

A relative of his, a debt buyer ...

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