Dear Reader,

As 2015 winds down it gives me time to reflect on the year in all its credit and collections glory. This means it is time again for the annual recounting of top excuses for non-payment.

I have been making a list and and been checking it twice (beause I surely do not want to leave out any of the more entertaining parts). So, without further delay, here they are:

  •  “If you don't stop calling me, I will file for bankruptcy.” (Well go ahead, smarty, and do it before I spend any more time and money on you.)
  •  “Mom took all the money and gambled it away.”
  • “Dad takes too large of a year-end draw, so we can't cover our bills right now.”
  • “I am just trying to help you out and get some money to you, you don't have to get all aggressive with the payments.”
  • “You can't get blood out of a turnip, I am doing the best I can.”
  • “The owner has been busy planning his son’s bar mitzvah so he hasn't been in much.”
  • “The product was in a storage shed on the job site and got stolen so we don't think we owe you for it.”
  • “I know I am behind. I contracted an infectious disease in my gut and have been real sick.”
  • “I am having trouble finding workers so I can't finish the job to pay you.”
  • “We are working on getting a loan. It is going to be another four weeks or so.” (This gem was heard numerous times from multiple companies. Thanks for waiting until the eleventh hour to start the process, THEN ask for my patience).
  •  “A cat bit me and tore the ligaments in my arm.” (Geez, what kind of cat do you have?)
  • “On my way to pick up a check to pay you, I got I to an accident and had to have my thumb amputated.”
  • “My mom died suddenly, so I can't get checks out this week.”
  • "I gave the company to my son in law and he ran the it into the ground. So the way I see it, I don't owe you any money.” (Well you signed the personal guarantee there, Slick, so this debt is all yours).

And my personal favorite of the year, drumroll please!
"General denial."

That was the response I got to a lawsuit I filed against a company. Not unusual, you say. However, it was for a bounced check for insufficient funds. I would find this laughable if it didn't tick me off so much. How can you make a general denial?! After all, I am holding the aforementioned worthless check.  Classic.

So there you have it, my seasonal gift to you. May it make you smile. If the spirit of the season moves you and you want to share a few of your "treasures" from this past year, send them to me, I would love to hear them. We might be able to kick off the New Year with a follow up list.

In an unrelated but in the same end-of-year spirit, I have this story: I was at an industry event and was asked if I would like to have dinner with Dave Mathews. Holy cow, YES. Would the whole band be there or just Dave? No matter, count me in.

I arrived at the table to find no Dave in sight. Looking around, I found an empty chair occupied by a lovely gentlemen (who I might add put down a meal that would have choked a pig) and waited.  As the meal went on, no Dave.  I turned to the man asked if he knew when Dave and the rest of the band would be arriving.

He looked at me with a mischievous smile and said " I am Dave Mathews." Wait, what?! Dude, no offense, but you are not the Dave I was expecting. I attempted hide my soul-sucking disappointment.

He told me not to feel too bad, it happens all the time—and provides him with a lot of free meals.

OK, I thought, could you at least sing a little "Crash" for me since I am picking up the check? Nothing.

Well, you know what they say about assumptions. It was almost as humbling as the time I stormed out of a negotiation, head held high and walked right into the men's restroom. But that dear reader, is a tale for another time.

Happy holidays!