“I just got a new kill-switch for my bus parts collection” JoAnn “JK” Kibble tells with heartfelt enthusiasm to her daughter Sybil, Lead Debt Collector at Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) in Kankakee. It is Bring Your Parents to Work Day here at CRASS.
“I wonder if she’s single” bill collector Dale Davis thinks about his the mother of his boss Sybil, since Miss Kibble had rejected his many advances in the past. He runs in place and tests his heart repeatedly on his watch, hoping to impress The Kibbles.
“The squirrels are really nuts around here. They are nature’s comedians,” Sybil says to her mom as she crunches on a bunch of dog bones.
“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.
“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.
“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.
After a long week collecting dubious debt for her employer Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS), Kankakee’s most shady debt-collector, Sybil Kibble is feeling stressed and irritated.
“Out of dog-food again! Dang, I just bought some at Schmucks! How did I eat all those Alpo cans so fast? They must be making them smaller now.”
Needing someone with whom to vent, Miss Kibble goes over to the house of her best friend and next-door neighbor, Mrs. Pearl Jo Hulbutt (PJ).
“Ah my boys have not come around lately. They don’t appreciate their mother and all I do for them! Have you seen that Kitty Bee lady? Her hair is pink now!” PJ rambles on complaining about person after another. “Have you talked to your father?”
“I stopped talking to him years ago. You ask me that every time I come over. Why?”
“My father was not so nice. It says in the good book we should forgive people and pray for them to change.”
“He’s dead. His new wife was just as abusive, I hear she has an extra room. Why don’t you call her up? I am sure she would like the company. She’ll probably ask all kinds of questions about me! Go up to Chicago and spend a month or two to see what it’s like. Just call her after I leave.”
“No need to go overboard with your remarks. They are entitled to their beliefs as well. Everyone should be able to practice their faith without fear or judgement. As a person with a demon latched onto her body at the age of two that never leaves me alone, I understand fear and misunderstanding. I’ve been judged for my demeanor and nosey words my entire childhood but I still care and help others. I define me not other people.”
Rightfully livid, Sybil Kibble walks back to her home, and eats her last dog bone; much tastier than the word-salad her neighbor had spit out.
Sybil calls a bunch of friends, hoping to open up about the invalidation and gaslighting she just experienced.
Leona Krabalsky’s phone goes straight to voicemail as does her sister Leona’s. Out of desperation, she calls her hairdresser Lila Croule at her home-based salon, even though she is a week early getting her face-frame cut. She just wants to relax, but sorry; more voicemail jail.
“Why are all these people getting at the bus at once?” PJ Hurlbutt asks aloud to a bus full of strangers, looking around for someone that cares.
An enquiring mind wants to know. PJ repeats her nosey nonsense and adds more crap to her routine. “Look at that lady with the green hair. Does she know those tattoos are permanent?”
“I’ll tell the mayor,” Dorian James deadpans, making a cheeky grin while adoring his boyfriend Ant’s half-sleeve.
Sybil drives her white Chrysler LeBaron to find find out why people are ignoring her calls and texts.
She drives underneath the I-57 underpass to seek Kankakee troll Leona. Nope, she’s not home.
Sybil continues North toward Peotone to find her sharp-tongued stylist Lila Croule, hoping to trade barbs about stupid customers. After she parks her reliable box-mobile, she rings the doorbell at Lila’s front door. No answer. The RRRRRRGH of the lawn tractor stops and Sybil spots Lila trimming the edges of the grass using her $1000.00 hair shears.
As Sybil drives home to Kankakee, she sees her subordinate Dale Davis jogging, beeping his watch repeatedly. Dale waves to Sybil and beckons her to come hither. Her stomach turns. No means no.
Sybil drives to Major’s Supermarket and stocks up on wet and dry dog food, with which she drowns her worries at home, glad to be away from the rest of the Moroniverse. It’s too peoply out there. Can you blame her?
Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Chief of Information Technology, Fernando T. Perez, wants drive to the office here in Kankakee and show off his new vanity plate. Sadly, he shows up late to his job managing the Enigma Machines attached to birdcages. Find out why in this video:
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.
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.”
“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.
“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.”
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!
“Oh man, I want to see the new movie Aim High but the tickets are all sold out. It opens this Friday, you know, the one based on the newest Nora Roberts book?” Dorian James rambles.
“Never heard of it.” Sybil tells Dorian in the CRASS cafeteria as she crunches her dog biscuits.
“I want to see it when it comes out, but the tickets are sold out because it is a Valentine’s Day movie.”
Sybil has a few extra minutes before she logs onto the phones, so she searches OKStupid for potential dates, reacting to herself as she reads through the personal ads.
“41 year old man in Chicago seeks female. Must be 18-25 and love sports.”
“Do you like big trucks? 21 year old guy, loves beer, weed, works hard and plays hard, no games.”
Naw, I like the occasional backgammon.
“Rare frog, last of his species, seeks woman of any age to give him a kiss. Very polite tender-heart. Age 45. Bourbonnais.”
Just a photo of his feet? A bit odd, but I can try I guess.
Before Sybil has a chance to message the stinky feet from Bourbonnais, he emails her.
Sybil and the mystery man email back and forth. They hit it off right away. The divorced man complains a lot about his ex-wife, which Sybil tunes out. Sybil talks about her love of lawnmowers and dog food, which the guy ignores only to interrupt her about his “poop elves” story.
It’s a Valentines Day in Kankakee. The birds are chirping and Sybil is tweeting online about how excited she is about her new man and the mystery gifts he keeps teasing her about.
It is 11:30 and Sybil is on the phone trying to double down on debt. Operations Manager Mike Philips comes by with a delivery.
“Flowers for Sybil!”
Sybil hangs upon the debtor and immediately logs off the telephones. The long, green and cream box, sealed with packing tape, came from New Jersey. Sybil gets out her scissors. She struggles for 20 minutes and finally opens the box. Inside are 12 longstemmed roses individually attached to the box by hard plastic fasteners.
Sybil’s frustration grows as her scissors are not enough to loosen the delicate roses from their restraints, so she grabs a set of pliers from her drawer after five minutes of searching.
Finally, the flowers are out. Thankfully, the potential suitor included a vase. Sybil goes to the ladies’ washroom, fills the vase with water from the sink, and puts the haphazard bouquet on her desk.
Sybil calls her mystery man to thank him.
“You just won Valentine’ Day!” he says to her.
“I did?” Sybil sighs.
“Well, did anyone else get as much as you today?” He asks.
“I do not know. I did not look…and I am not that impressed by gifts. I am more of an acts of service person. I like when people do stuff for me,” Sybil tells the gentleman.
“Look in the box, Sybil.”
She looks in the box. She uncovers a movie ticket.
“You and I can go to the opening of Aim High tonight! I cannot wait to meet you!” he says.
“You sound familiar. What is your name, mine is Sybil.”
Clio Bersola, Human Resources Director of the Kankakee debt collection firm Credit Recovery Associates, LLC (CRASS), decides to make work a little more fun, in response to having received many complaints regarding a stressful work environment. She got permission from CRASS’ big cheese Mack E.. Avelli to open up a classifieds’ section to all employees, since their therapy goat idea did not work.
Leaked from the CRASS intranet, here are some of the ads posted by CRASS staff and their buddies.
CRASS Classifieds: No matter how long you work, an ad in the classifieds never stops working.
001 LOST AND FOUND:
Lost: My mind. Please help! Call Mack at 555-3700.
Wanted: The beast in my dreams…the one that makes them loony! Call Judithann Avelli at 555-FIND if you find him. Don’t tell my husband.
004 FREE CRAP
Free movie tickets for any of m’ladies who would love to adorn this tenderheart on a date to the theater. I tip my fedora to you. Email Damien Hurlbutt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Auction at the corner of Wally and Green Streets. Half-ply toilet paper, finger ale, a date with Wally Green and more.
010 WHOLESALE, RETAIL AND WHATEVER:
Lifetime supply of Sitagin, Just like the energizer bunny commercial from 1991! $40. 555-0000.
Money for sale! $20 bills only $26. Call 1-900-IM-CHEAP. Only $10 a minute.
011 APARTMENTS, UNFURNISHED:
One room apartment with water, 1 3/5 baths, 2 windows, no pets allowed. Call 555-RENT and ask for ext. 3SHACK.
020 FARM ANIMALS:
The perfect animal for all your farm work! Many colors from which to choose and low maintenance too! Call the Parakeet Center for more information at 000-BIRD.
030 INFORMATION FOR SALE:
Underground alien bases! Call Konrad at 000-UFO-RIDE to buy some information.
032 SERVICE FOR SALE
We scratch CDs, records and crush cassettes. Reasonable rates. Call 555-KRUSH
100 VACATION SPACE FOR RENT
Swampland! Free port-a-potty with every stay. Call OUT-HAUS and ask for Bernadette.
BRRRRPPPPPPHPTTMOBILES! All makes and models of these teeny-weeny motorbikes. As low as $500, seats and tires extra. We also have plenty of lifted trucks to lift your ego. Call Brandon’s Imbecile Machines at 815-555-STINK. Free roses for the ladies!