If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone mention that they have the hook up on this or that I wouldn't be rich, but let's just say I'd be a little more financially stable than I presently am. I mean I like anyone else, enjoy a deal as opposed to paying the full price. However, if you've ever experienced a "hook up" why does it seem like the savings you're getting are never quite worth the hassle?
While some people live and die by them, honestly I personally don't look for hook-ups. Now every so often they may get presented to me and at that time I weigh out the worth of what I'm saving as far as time/money vs. how much I want what the hook up is. For instance, over a year ago I'm walking home from work and minding my own business. I walked past an Indian market and saw 2 black guys in there. Okay at that point I was no longer minding my own business I was being nosey and also making sure nothing was about to go down. LoL. I mean why were these black guys in this Indian store? So I slowed down and saw they were trying to sell something, which I figured from the start. My eye spied a box that looked like a Playstation 3. So I slowed my walk down to a halt. I waited around for them to come out of the store. As they came out I asked what they were selling. They confirmed it was a brand new PS3 and that the Indian dude wouldn't bite. So, I inquired as to how much they wanted if I could check out the merchandise. They showed it and gave me a price which was substantially below retail value. The box was brand new and they proceeded to open it in front of me.
See this lesson I learned a long time ago from my Uncle Michael. I was maybe 7 or 8 could have been younger. However, all I remember was my father clowning my uncle because the fool bought a VCR from someone on the street. And when he went home and opened it well it was a box of bricks. LMAO.
So, I first inspected the goods and could see they were inside Styrofoam and all. This was legit. I didn't ask where they acquired said merchandise nor did I want to know or care. I made a quick call to my brother and confirmed that the asking price was well below the actual and completed the transaction. My Ps3 worked and has worked fine ever since I purchased it. Now that is a great hook up if you ask me.
Now it is very rare that I take advantage of hook ups because I am probably the biggest skeptic in the world. Think of the saying "believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." Well even if I see it right in front of me and can touch and feel that it's real I'm probably going to still question it. So anyways, over this Christmas season I won't front some situations had me just a bit strapped for cash. A few weeks ago my best friend informed me of a hook up one of her co-workers knew about. Without disclosing exactly what the hook up was, basically you could pay this particular bill to the hook up man and they would double what you pay them on your bill. So if your bill was $80 you pay them $40, they most likely pocket the $40, but somehow the $80 on your bill is paid.
When I was told this I didn't think anything of it and told my BFF that I'm good I'll just continue to pay that bill the regular way. Well that was until an unexpected charge appeared on that bill. I was then faced with a tough decision. Pay the bill entirely and be dead broke over the Holidays or try out this hook up. Damn! Although, I had met my BFF's co-worker once before, I didn't know this 3rd Party person or how this hook up worked. However, I was desperate and went against my better judgement (which I rarely do). So, the co-worker makes the call and I'm to meet up with the 3rd Party at where they work. Now the bill I was getting taken care of was not like a $50-$100 bill. It was a lot more than that or else I would not have even considered this avenue and would have just paid it.
So I meet with the 3rd party at the location and the individual turned out to be Arab (Clue #1-I don't trust Arabs for some reason. No offense to any of them but they just seem shady to me and this one was slick talking as hell). Now for some reason I was expecting this 3rd party to be a brotha name Tyrone, but it just wasn't the case. So I walk up to him confirm he's the guy I'm looking for, but he acts like he doesn't know what I'm talking about (Clue #2-I hate secrets and secretive actions. I don't like code names and code words if I can't speak openly about it then I don't like to deal with it). But he quickly says "oh [co-worker's name] sent you right?" I'm like yeah she did. He then rips the corner piece of paper off of a larger sheet and hands it to me. He explains for me to write down my name and account information and give him the money. I proceed to do as I'm told.
He then says "okay give it 24-48 hours and the payment will be posted to your account. I then ask a dumb question, but excuse me I'm just too used to dealing with legit establishments. "Can I get a receipt or something showing this transaction?" The guy laughs (Clue #3 - I know I can often be funny and make others laugh, but don't laugh at me when I'm being serious about something, I hate that) and says "there is no receipt. Your girl [co-worker's name] is your receipt. She knows how this works and if you have any problems just come back and see me." Again the skeptic in me wanted to tell this fool to give me my damn money back and get the hell out of here. Unfortunately, the desperation in me talked me into saying alright give it a chance because if it's a legit hook up you are golden and can continue to come back to utilize it. So I studied this guys face very closely before I left. I figured just in case things went bad I could make sure I was whoopin the right person's ass over my money.
Alright, so this original transaction took place on Monday December 15th. So I'm expecting my bill to be paid by Wednesday evening. But Wednesday comes and when I checked online guess what? It wasn't paid! So I ask my best friend to holla at her girl [co-worker] and see what's the deal. She tells me she texted and called the 3rd Party and he didn't respond. So come Thursday I again ask my best friend to see what's the deal with her girl. Well this time her girl's response is almost on some well I'm not in it type fashion and that's between them. Not to mention she wouldn't give up the 3rd party's phone number. So my skepticism leads me to believe that maybe this chick [the co-worker] is in on this shit and they just stuck me for my paper like Biggie said? Well I knew that the following day was going to be my best friend's graduation; therefore, I didn't want to keep burdening her about this especially given she had other stuff to deal with. So, I let it alone and figured I would just go back up there over the weekend.
All day Friday I had been checking online to see if the payment was posted, but nothing. Same thing Saturday and nothing. So Sunday evening I popped up on the 3rd Party. Now the first time I was more in business mode. This time I was more in "wish a nigga would mode" and it showed. He tries to play as if he didn't know who I was and asked "can I help you?" I tell my man's "look you already helped me on Monday and said 48 hours it's been 5 days why you bullshitting me?" So, he proceeds to thumb through a pile of about 20-30 of these scraps of paper with peoples names and account info written on them (Clue #4 - Not sure if this was a good or bad clue on one hand I'm like he obviously does this all the time if he has all these sheets, but then I'm like it's a scrap of paper this shit can get lost at any point then what?). He gets about midway through the pile and pulls out my name/account info. He then picks up the phone and calls someone and begins speaking his native tongue (Clue #5 - Anyone can pick up a phone and speak something in a different language especially if the other person doesn't understand them). This tactic didn't move me, he could have been calling his girl having phone sex at that moment and I still wouldn't have known what he was saying.
So he gets off the phone and tells me it'll be posted in another 24-48 hours. Now by this time I'm cursing (remember "wish a nigga would mode") "that's the same shit you told me on Monday either make this happen or run my cash back." He says "I assure you it will be posted some times it can take up to a week ask your girl." I say "she ain't tellin me shit so I don't know what the procedure is all I know is my shit ain't paid." He asks "what do you think I'm taking your money?" and proceeds to pull out a wad of cash. Off eyes, glance it was maybe $600 or so. He says "I have money thanks to God (Clue #6 - don't they worship Allah? Could be an ignorant assumption but still suspect all in all) I'm not trying to take your money I'm just trying to help people out get them half of their bill." I tell him "first off if you subtract what I gave you, your pockets ain't all that laced, second of all I don't give a fuck about other people or all that madness you talkin I just want my bill paid." He then says "here take my number if there is any problem you call me, no better yet text me and I'll respond right away." Now I won't front this made me feel a little more at ease, because now I wouldn't have to have my best friend bothering her co-worker on the daily about this. Now I could simply go directly to the source. Also, I figured if shit got any worse I know exactly how to track this cat via his phone number.
So I take his number and dial it and make sure his phone rings. It does and I lock the number in my phone. So I started my vacation the Friday of my best friend's graduation and was going to be off all week. Well guess what? Another 48 hours passes and still no payment posted. Now this shit is messing up my vacation. I'm supposed to be on relax mode and the company I owe this bill for is calling me every hour on the hour. So I call up 3rd party and of course get a voice mail. I was about to text him then I get a text from him saying "what's up?" I'm thinking I know he don't think we just cool like that. So I text him back saying "it's been 48 hours still nothing and they keep calling and probably about to disconnect my services. If you can't make it happen then give my money back." He replies "I'll be there after 5." So, after 5 comes and mind you it's snowing in the Chi on this day. We had a few snow storms back to back and the roads are terrible. Now this drive is probably about a 30 minute drive on the street on a regular day, but over an hour in snow traffic. I hate the snow!
So I get there and walk up and guess what? He's not there! (Clue #7 - This MF out Christmas shopping with my money and had no plans of coming in). At this point I'm fuming, if I was a cartoon you could see the fumes rising from my forehead. I walk up to the guy that was manning his station and ask where 3rd party is. He said "oh he didn't come in, he lives far away and it's snowing so he couldn't make it here." I'm thinking I just traveled in this damn snow and made it but he decides to call off, ain't that some convenient bullshit. So I tell the guy the story and he then hands me a small piece of paper and tells me to write down my info again. He gets on the phone and also begins talking in his native tongue. Of course he gets off the phone and says what? "It's done just give it 48-72 hours." I'm like "the other guy said the same shit it's been over a week." He says he knows but I guess whatever blather he just said in his language some how insured it would be done this time. He promises and gives his word that within 72 hours this would be done. Unfortunately, at this point I can't do shit but take his word, but if it was the other guy I'd demand my cash. Although I can't lie I eyeballed the laptop the guy was on and appraised it to be worth about the same amount as I gave the 3rd party. But I then thought that snatching the laptop and running to my car could get me a felony charge and I didn't want to be in jail on Christmas. So I walk out hoping that his word is bond.
Another 48 hours (Damn I feel like Eddie Murphy) passes and nothing. But well it's Christmas and nothing happens on Christmas right? Plus it's been a good one so I try not to worry about it and proceed to enjoy my day. Next day still nothing. It's been 72 hours. My phone still blowing up, at least they took a break from calling on Christmas though. I'm probably the most patient person there is but everyone has a boiling point. I had my son for the weekend and was enjoying his company so I didn't even bother going up there. I figured I'd make the trek on Sunday. But guess what happens Sunday morning at like 3am? Yep my services are disconnected. WTF? Are you serious? So Sunday I already knew what the mission was going to be. I didn't go up there first thing in the morning I figured the later it got the better chance I catch the 3rd party up there. I didn't text him, I didn't call him.
But as I'm getting ready to go up there my son's first tooth came out! So that made my mood better and I was extremely happy and excited. So after taking some pics and him asking me about the tooth fairy I got ready to go. Prior to leaving I was on the phone with my brother and made the comment to my son "whatever you get from the tooth fairy hold it down because your dad may need bail money." He didn't get what I was saying but my brother laughed.
I actually decided to bring my son with me thinking that if he's there it will lessen the chance of me choking this dude out. Also, it crossed my mind that if nothing else he may be able to collect some more teeth for the tooth fairy and raise this bail money quicker. LoL. So we walk in and I see the 3rd party and also the other guy who promised me. Great! I had to wait in a bit of a line. Now I don't know if it was time for the other guy to leave, but when he spotted me he grabbed his coat and left (Clue #8 - If looks could kill, he caught my stare and dodged a bullet and wasn't sticking around for the next to enter the chamber). So, I walk up to the 3rd party and don't even have to say anything. He grabs the paper with my name on it and gets on the phone immediately. As he's on the phone I tell him "hey don't even worry about it just run my cash." He says "hold on one minute I'm just finishing up with this customer if you wanna have a seat I'll be right with you." I immediately notice that the distance from the seating area would give him enough time to escape like his boy did, and say "naw I'm waiting right here."
So, as he's on the phone I notice him reach in his pocket and count his money. Funny some how his cash flow had mysteriously decreased greatly from the previous time he was flaunting and thanking God. Next, I watch him go into the cash register and start counting money. My eyes are that of an eagle ready to swoop on their prey. I count right along with him, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, etc. Yep that's enough to cover what I'm owed so I don't wanna hear no BS. So, he finishes with the customer and goes back to the register and takes out the money owed to me and says "here you go, but if you can give me 5 minutes. I can take care of this right away for you." I tell him "man don't even waste your time because if you were gonna do it it would have been done it's been 2 weeks and now my services are disconnected. Just run my change and I'll just go pay the stuff (notice the edit version, my son was with me) like I should have from the beginning messing with y'all and this bull." So I took my cash and left. I went and paid the bill and got my services back on and no one got hurt.
But of course there is a lesson learned from this one for me at least. First, don't trust anyone and they damn hook ups no matter how desperate you are or how great they seem. Next, If it's too good to be true it most likely is. Third, If it's not a tangible product that you can touch, smell and or taste don't even play yourself out. Lastly, always follow your first instinct. In this case mines was telling me to not even try doing this dumb shit. But honestly even if in the end the 3rd party had gotten the bill taken care of, the hassle and headache was not even equal. He would have had to do that plus throw me $50-100 to make it even. So next time I hear those famous words "I got the hook up" you can miss me. Don't holla ya hear me?