MoronicArts Classics: Karma comes back to bite.

“Where have you been?” Tara Bull barked at Linda Stay as she hovered over her desk.

“I had trouble driving in this weather and barely made it in. We got a foot of snow overnight and it took me over an hour to drive 25 miles,” Linda nervously explained as she set her purse and keys down on her cubicle desk.

“Well, I don’t have four-wheel drive and I made it just fine” Tara snipped as she berated the beleaguered Linda over her five minute tardiness. “I will mark this as a failure on your bi-weekly production report because attendance needs to be at 100%. You will not qualify for your hourly bonus this pay period. This is unacceptable.

Before Linda could react, Tara snapped “get on the phones!” and sat at her desk down to nom some breakfast burritos.

At 11:00, everyone could not wait to get off the phones. Yes, it was a dreaded production meeting which mandated the entire corporation’s presence, regardless of position, an award ceremony which invoked memories and emotions of high school assemblies. However, the collectors would do anything to get off the phones, even for an hour.

“I will get straight to the point. We need to increase production,” said Mr. Mack E. Avelli, Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Chief Executive Officer. The crowd erupted in laughter when Tara Bull ripped one and crapped her pants.

“Did I do that?” asked an embarrassed Ms. Bull.

“We need to get more bullish!” said Mikey as the crowd continued to giggle.

“Silence!” Mr. Avelli shouted and the room went dead, as if you could cut the tension with a knife.

“Since nobody made production, the employee of the month award is going to go to the person who ranked highest on the quality metric. Without further ado, I present this award to Mrs. Linda Stay.”

The crowd cheered and clapped, that is everyone except for Tara. She went back to the washroom and filled the toilet, clearing everyone from the stalls and all employees within a 25-foot radius. Don’t light a match!

CRASS Cubicle Contest

“You are number one!” Team Leader Sybil Kibble tells new part-time Collections Representative, Robbie Hurlbutt at Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS).

“I know,” Robbie smirks.

“I mean you made the top of our production metrics. Good job, keep doubling down on debtors and you will do just swell here at CRASS.”

Robbie flashes a thumbs-up to Sybil and dances back to his cubicle.

“Ding.” Everybody gets the same email.

From: “Mack. E. Avelli” [bigmack@crass-llc.con]
To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [all-crass-l@crass-llc.con]
Friday, October 25, 2022
Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest

We here at CRASS care about employee stress. Therefore I, as your polite and tenderhearted Chief Executive Officer, am extending an entire thirty minutes (:30) to participate in the company cubicle contest (CCC). Be creative in decorating your cubicles and have fun! You are not required to use your lunch for this event, but we encourage you because time is money and money is time!

The winner will be selected by our very own art director, the lovely and talented Dorian James on Halloween Day. The prize will be a trophy to display in your office. Think of all the fun things you can do with that!

Regards,

Mr. Mack E. Avelli
CRASS Chief Executive Officer

The collectors get to work making calls and decorating their cubicles. Robbie Hurlbutt, a local Elvis impersonator best known for an Internet meme featuring a scowling lady unhappy with his nursing home performance, covers his cube with Elvis record covers. Dale Davis covers his walls with ghouls and goblins. Sybil Kibble covers her supervisor cubicle with dog bones because she likes to eat them during her breaks.

It is a cold, windy Halloween day in Kankakee and it is starting to rain. “If you don’t like the weather here in the Midwest, wait five minutes,” Dale jokes in between calls, jogging in place, beeping his watch to check his heart rate.

“Eeep!” The email all CRASS employees have been awaiting for has arrived.

“Who changed our notification sound to a wild eep?” Robbie asks.

“That was probably Dorian,” Sybil sighs.

From: “Dorian James” [dorian@crass-llc.con]
To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [all-crass-l@crass-llc.con]
Thursday, October 31, 2022
Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest Winners and Losers

Sybil: Your design lacks thought and maturity. It is not what we are looking for.

Dale: There is no art development and it basically reads like a rather puerile joke.

Tara: You are obviously a 13 year old drama queen…Grow up little girl.

Mack: Several of us discussed your design and did not like it. Not everyone likes what I make. It is not personal.

Mike: You need to get used to the fact that not everyone is going to like your work and move on.

Robbie: That is the best design I have ever seen. That’s so deep. I love Elvis. You are a real winner!

R,

Dorian James
Art Director Extraordinaire
Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS)

The CRASS staff is upset…except for Robbie. He is smiling away, taking calls and collecting his Form 4s from all the bonuses he gets collecting on fake debt. Robbie is grinning ear to ear and cannot wait to rub his trophy in the faces of the collections team entire staff after he receives it.

Robbie continues to successfully make one call after another, when he gets a wide-eyed visitor.

“Hey there, fella!” an upright, confident Dorian James chants to Robbie as he is very happy to see him.

“Oh hey man! Thanks for picking me! Better than picking my nose ya know.”

Awkward silence ensues.

“That was a joke, ya know,” Robbie says nervously.

“Oh sweetheart, I am here to present you with your award.”

“Thanks, man!” Robbie says as he accepts his tiny, gold-tinted trophy.

“Oh, thank you honey. Not a problem at ALL! Hey Robbie, what ya doin’ after work? I think ya kinda cute and wanna take my number one man to dinner!”

“Wait, what?” a confused Robbie asks.

“Yeah cutie! I love your Elvis hair and your clothes! Let’s go out and do karaoke or something!”

“No way, man. You’re not my type. I quit!” An infuriated Robbie storms off the job and out the building.

Dorian feels crushed by the rejection.

“How does it feel to get rejected, huh? Yeah, ya little twerp! See what it’s like?” Sybil says to a beleaguered Dorian.

Happy Halloween!

Checkmate

“We Are CRASS” is the corporate slogan for Kankakee debt-collection firm Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS), LLC.

CRASS CEO Mack E. Avelli loves to find new ways to make money for the company. Because he is running out of fresh ideas, he decides to hold a meeting with the entire staff.

“Anything to get some time off the phones, eh?” Dale Davis giggles to Linda Stay, as they walk into the room. Sybil is seated in front with a cheesy grin on her face. Art Director and Sybil Kibble’s number-one crush Dorian James is slumped in the very back row, hand running through his wavy, auburn hair. Sybil stares at her crush, who has made it clear to her many times he is not interested, and prefers the company of men. Accounts Receivable Chief Tara Bull is seated upright and uptight near Lead Debt Collector Sybil Kibble. Mikey Philips works his way into the room, along with Konrad Teirant, who is tired from having to resolve a conflict last night at his megaplex.

Mr. Avelli makes his presence in the room and the chatter subsides, eyes on the CEO.

Mack E. Avelli

“Good morning. It is 11:00. We have an hour to come up with the best ways to maximize revenue for our facility. The most creative ideas will be chosen. Give me your best and brightest ways to bring more income to our company. Who will go first?”

Sybil’s arm darts up.

“Anyone?”

“I’ve got an idea,” Sybil exclaims.

“We can advertise,” Dale suggests.

“Not a bad idea. Advertising takes out of our bottom line and can take away from our profits if it does not provide a return on investment. Who else has an idea?”

“Oohh, oooh!” Sybil gasps as she gets more excited about her idea.

“We can go on the news and talk about our services. Some companies use a public relations firm to pitch advertising stories as news. It might be a lot cheaper than advertising.” Tara Bull mentions.

“That is considered yellow journalism and thus unethical…not a bad idea. I will consider it.”

“Pick me, pick me!”

“Yes, Sybil…” Mack sighs to Ms. Kibble.

“I have an idea that will certainly make us money! Since we are debt collectors and we mail people collections letters that people just throw out, why don’t we disguise the Dunning letters as checks and people will open them instead!”

“That’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that before?” Mack E. Avelli boasts as he thanks Sybil for her idea.

The letters, which were designed by the CRASS Art Department have been mailed out to the debtors.

Calls come in, but not the ones Sybil was expecting.

“Hi Sybil? Yes, I’d like to order a pizza.”

“Is this Credit Recovery? I heard you were offering me some money! I am sure broke and can use it!”

“I like blondes. Are you single?”

Unbeknownst to Sybil, her name and photo were used on the letters! Leave it to her rival and crush, Dorian James, to pull a fancy trick like that.

Maybe disguising collections letters as checks is not such a great idea, after all.

Sybil goes home and drowns her troubles in a big bowl of Alpo.

Sybil and the Lawnmower

While on her break from a particularly demanding — but successful — day at Kankakee craporation Credit Recovery Associates, LLC (CRASS), Lead Collections Representative Sybil Kibble takes a break from her usual dog food lunch to check out the online news.

Sybil logs off the autodialer, sets down her headset, and logs into the daily Kankakee newspaper’s web site. A yellow article, thinly disguised as news, catches Sybil’s eye immediately:

“Step up your lawn mowing game with a new, AutonaMower by SteppinUp Technologies! Make your neighbors jealous by being the first person on the block to own the new AutonaMower! Feel the power of its remote control technology while you set it to mow your lawn, walk away, and forget it! Never has been mowing your lawn been so easy! Now, the Joneses can keep up with you!”

Sybil was hooked.

“Break time is over. Get back to work!” Tara Bull growled. I should not have to babysit you.

Sybil slid back into her seat and logged into the autodialer.

As soon as Sybil makes her last collection that day – making certain to double down on that fake debt – Sybil slams down the headset and peels out the CRASS parking lot driving her Chrysler LeBaron. Off to the Buckethead’s Hardware in Bradley she went!

Sybil walks into Buckethead’s and looks around. “Welcome to Buckethead’s, where we save you money!” said Samantha, a bright eyed, bushy blonde wearing a green shirt.

“I like the sound of that!” squeals Sybil as they skip back to the lawn and garden department.

“Tony will be able to assist you” Samantha says and walks away.

“Hey Tony, I need a lawnmower that mows the lawn for you.”

“Ha, well we just got those in. They are pretty cool. We have this one operated by remote control. It hooks into your smartphone and even tells time. And then, for just 40.00 more, we have the deluxe model that has a built in radio! It even has a cupholder!”

“Hey Tony, they’re great.” Tony rolls his eyes slightly.

“However, I am not looking to spend a lot. Just gimme the cheapest model.”

“Oh-kay. We have in our economy section the AutonaMower. It mows the lawn for you. It’s our only gas model on the floor and it is on sale. $299.99”

“I’ll take it.” Sybil can barely contain her excitement. She checks out and heads home to Kankakee.

Sybil finishes up her bowl of dog food for dinner and cannot wait to unbox her new toy. She is so excited, she skips her dog bone dessert.

Out to her oh-so-slightly overgrown, manicured lawn she heads. Sybil opens the box. “Instructions? Who needs these?” Sybil chucks the manual in the trash.

Now, how do I turn this thing on? Sybil starts pressing buttons. “Crap.”

“Hey Tony?” Sybil says on her cell phone, on speaker so all the neighbours can hear.

“My lawnmower is not working.”

“Did you try putting batteries in the remote?” Tony asks.

“Oh. Nevermind.” Sybil presses the end key on her phone.

Sybil puts the included two AA batteries into the remote and presses the start key. The remote is programmed and ready to go. However the lawnmower does not even turn on.

Sybil screams a string of expletives.

Clouds roll in. As people say in the Midwest, if you do not like the weather, wait five minutes.

It begins to pour. Sybil gets so infurated that she packs up the AutonaMower, grabs the instruction manual out of the garbage, stuffs it in the box and heads back to Bucketheads in Bradley.

Sybil struts in and straight to Lawn ‘N Garden. “Tony, you sold me a broken model. This thing is crap, your store is crap.” She slams it on the floor.

“Did you put gas in it?” Tony asks.

“Ohhhh, grrrrreat.” Sybil says.

Tony laughs and rolls his eyes. It is all he can do after a long day working retail, having put up with customers like Sybil.

Do It Yourself Mike

CRASS Employee of the Year, Mike Philips

The CRASS Maintenance Chief and Building Manager Mikey Philips is a real do-it-yourselfer. In charge of security, maintenance, and all building operations at the Kankakee bill collection factory, Mike wears many hats (just not fedoras). However, Mike has no problem ordering other people to do his work and often does the bare minimum to satisfy his job description, or less.

“Knock-knock. Hi Mike. It’s Clio from HR.”

“Come.”

“The ladies’ room garbage has been overflowing all day. This is an ongoing, systematic problem. Can you please look into it?”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Clio.

“You are in charge of building operations. Can you please look into it?”

“I am busy, do it yourself.”

Clio walks away and Mike picks up a newspaper.

A loud pound is heard on Mike’s door. Mike grumbles and crumples his paper.

“Who goes there?”

“Tara Bull from Accounts Receivable. I need to speak with you.”

Tara opens the door.

“Yes.”

“The vending machines in the breakroom have been busted for two weeks. Get on it.”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Ms. Bull.

“What is the status of my request I put in two weeks ago? I sent you three emails.”

“Can you do it? I am busy, got running around to do.”

Tara storms out.

Mike logs onto the DullerImage web site to order some Craptocoins, Pet Petters and some nonfunctioning trinkets (NFTs), however his credit card is declined.

“NSF, why is that? How can I buy my NFTs if I have NSF?” Mike logs onto his Last Bank of Kankakee account and discovers he was not paid today.

Mike calls up Mr. Mack E. Avelli, CRASS CEO, to complain.

“Yes, hello. I just found out I did not get paid today. It is Friday. Why not?”

“I can pay you but you have to work to get money first. Want to earn money? Do it yourself, Mike.”

Major CRASS Announcement!

Image: a monotone cartoon of a man with dark hair, glasses, wearing a suit. A dollar sign can be seen on his tie.
CRASS Chief Cheese, Mack E. Avelli

1 April 2022

Mack E. Avelli
Chief Executive Officer
CRASS, LLC
7800 Beverly Blvd
Kankakee, IL 60901
(815) 555-MACK

Re: Money Giveaway!

Kankakee, Illinois’ Credit Recovery Associates, (CRASS), LLC is pleased to announce its first annual money giveaway. Its associates will randomly call debtors and give away money instead of asking for them to pay it.

“We here at CRASS would like to give back instead of taking. It makes us feel good to do that.” says CRASS Chief Executive Officer Mack E. Avelli in a statement.

He would also like to wish everyone a Happy April Fool’s Day. Gotcha!

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