Monday, May 18, 2009

The time I rented a tv for the people down the hall.

Back when I lived with Cindy, I was about as innocent as they come. Even though I broke the word of wisdom in more ways than one before I sat down in my first class for the day, I still didn't really know the ways of the world. Which is why I thought it a great idea to rent a TV for the grown men who lived down the hall.

I guess I should back up.

The apartment I lived in had a hot tub and pool that was open year-round. Cindy came home from a tour of Italy and promptly moved into my apartment. One night while I was away visiting my parents, she met some construction workers from South Carolina. Being Cindy, she got friendly with them (not THAT kind of friendly, just bum-a-smoke-off-the-old-guys kind of friendly). She discovered that they were here in Utah to remodel the local Marriott Hotel.

In her Cindy-way, she discovered that the men needed some young hands to do a few odd jobs around the hotel. Stuff like vacuuming and scraping leftover wall paper plaster off of freshly wall papered walls. Stuff that 4 old guys named Terry, Jerry, Brian and Glenn would be happy to pay some young girl to do for them. You know, out of the kindness of their hearts, I'm sure.

I soon found myself driving Cindy to these odd jobs at the Marriott. She came home with cash, and since I hated my current telemarketing job, I decided to make friends with TJB & G and see if some cash could come my way. After all, what DON'T 18 year-old girls have in common with 30 and 40 something construction workers? (Remember I said I was innocent?).

Before long, our pursuit of cash led us to clean the disgustingly dirty apartment that housed dear TJB & G. For $50 we dumped out days-old cups filled with cigarette butts, cleaned bathrooms, did dishes, and made the apartment down the hall somewhat habitable. We even found ourselves cleaning for other friends of TJB & G. Hey, $50 in the early 90's for an hour of work (however disgusting) seemed like a good deal.

So, we thought we were in with these guys. After all, we'd been in their "space." They'd aired their dirty laundry right in front of us, hadn't they? We'd dumped their beer bottles and spit cups. So when the request that one of us rent a TV for them from the local rent-a-center came along and I was the only one with good credit between Cindy and I, I signed along the dotted line. The "boys" agreed to give us the $15 per week it would cost for the borrowed TV and we would pay the rent-a-center. Easy, cheesy. It seemed a little strange to me that the grown men who could have an apartment and buy beer and pay young girls in cash couldn't get a TV, but whatever. They were good for it, right?

(You know where this is going, right?)

Fast forward a few months. TJB & G are leaving town, and leave us keys to their apartment. The plan was that they would leave the TV and other random furniture in the apartment for us. We could pick up the TV and have our pick of the couches, chairs and whatnot that were left over.

Cindy and I walked down to collect our goods. The key opened the door, and there stood the apartment just as we had seen countless times before. Random furniture, left over empty bottles, mattress on the floor, empty table...wait, empty table? Wasn't that? Um, didn't the table formerly house the TV that was rented in my name?

What happened to the TV? asks my stupid 18 year-old brain and my equally stupid 19 year-old friend. Sure it was a mistake, we rush over TJB & G's boss's apartment across the complex. He claims no knowledge of a TV. We wander back to TJB & G's place and search the closets, the cupboards, anywhere that might house the TV.

You know where it was. On its way maiden voyage to South Carolina with our good buddies.

I called the rent-a-center. They were very kind and polite and a little confused at why I had allowed the TV that was rented in my name to be used by someone else. I had to work out a deal with them to pay them each week for the TV until it was completely paid off (I think it was around $150; lucky me it wasn't more.)

So, my dear friends, somewhere out there I own a TV. It is old. It has lived with other people for many, many years. But it is mine. I paid for it. And learned a valuable lesson.

Next time your friend wants you to rent someone else a TV, let her risk her credit, not yours. Cause TGB & G will always find some sweet young thing to clean up their crap, and will always make off with the TV.


What stupid things did you do as a college student? Tell me I wasn't the only dumb one out there.


Apryl said...

Wow, this is a great story. And you're right, total b*stards!!! At least it was only a crappy TV & not a car loan!

Anonymous said...

That is funny... and sad.

I didn't do anything of note in college. Poor boring me.

Amy Sorensen said...




This is totally hilarious. In a you'll-laugh-about-it-one-day way, of course. I have never heard this story.

When I was in college, my husband was way too worried about things like credit to let me do anything stupid. But now that we are All Grown Up, we have made several Very Stupid Investments. Here, let me give you my hard-earned money so you can swindle me and continue living your wealthy lifestyle! Thanks so much! ;)

WAY more that $150 bucks, unfortunately.

Ginger said...

So sad yet so funny. I was naive, too.

Lucy said... not your very brightest moment in the sun, but you were young so it's understandable. I rented a TV my sophomore year from one of those places and ended up buying it. It was not as cheap as yours. I think by the time the payments were done, I had spent like $500 on it. What a rip off. Young and dumb, right?