So You Want To Be A Repo Man?
"He's the repo man," the father said to his son.
"But why is he taking our car, daddy?" the little boy asked. His mother was digging out the last of the clothing that was frozen to the floor of the trunk.
"Well son, we didn't make the payments, and when you can't pay for it, you don't get to keep it," he patiently explained. I took the keys from him. I took the car instead of hooking it up, and my brother, Jason (who owned the towing business) drove his tow truck, so it would be ready for the next repossession. The little boy stood in the yard and watched as the repo man drove away in the family car.
I don't remember exactly, but they probably owed less than a thousand on the car. It was worth even less than what they owed. I had to stop occasionally to use snow to clean the windshield - the wipers were broken. I wish all our repossessions went this smoothly.
A Scarier Repo Man Story
Later that month we were in a small town to take some Pontiac. We cruised behind a couple of the bars in town - generally a good place to look. At the second bar, we found our car, and checked the VIN (vehicle identification number) to be sure. We didn't have keys for this one, so we would have to tow it.
Unfortunately, the wheels were turned slightly, and Jason decided it would likely hit the brick wall if we tried to pull it out. He decided we had to go inside and ask the owner for the keys. We found the man at the bar, and he pretended not to hear a word we said. He just stared at his drink. Everyone else heard us, though, and they were all his friends.
A crowd began to form as Jason hooked up to the car. They made rude comments and watched us, but then, as the car was pulled out, it did hit the wall, and the turn-signal light cover was broken. The crowd went wild, yelling and threatening us. Unfortunately, we had to stop right there to hook the car up properly.
I grabbed my baseball bat and ran into the bar to call the police. Afterwards, I ran back out, waving the bat around. By this time, Jason was on top of the tow truck, with the angry mob circling below him. Someone had thrown a beer bottle, and we would later discover that in the chaos my brother lost a toolbox full of expensive tools.
The police arrived quickly, and added threw their own insults our way (nobody likes a repo man), but they kept the mob at bay while we hooked up. At least there was no fist fight, and nobody pulled a gun on us, or fired shots over our heads. These three things would happen on later jobs.
Jason never was paid enough for the work, and he gave me just per car retrieved (this was almost 20 years ago). I think in our best night we repossessed four cars. Moral of the story? There are better ways to make a living than being a repo man.
About the Author: Copyright Steve Gillman. To learn more unusual ways to make and save money, and how you can get free e-courses and e-books, visit his website: Unusual Ways To Make Money