Progressive Alternative Writing Exercises: Rich Man/Poor Man


“you’re born broke and you die broke! why work?”

I walk into Black Hills Finances and I swear, all eyes gawk at me; the people staring down their pretentious noses at me. Maybe they know why I am there and they feel they are better than me? Maybe it is something else. I take a look down at myself and scoff. Both the patrons and tellers look me over, lips twisting in disapproval over my outfit. It’s early on a Saturday and I am still wearing my pjs. I could not care any less about proper attire when going out in public. And today, I really don’t care.
After walking the dogs this morning at 6a.m. I checked the mail to find a letter from my financial case manager, stating that they will repossess my car due to lack of payment. Seriously? I missed two payments because my job went caput, and I was set up for living assistance because of it. Exactly how do they expect me to pay for a car loan if I have no means of getting to and from interviews in the attempt to gain employment, so that I can pay my bills, like the car loan?
“Hi. I am here to speak with Mr. Kolross,” I tell the front desk receptionist. She doesn’t even look up as she points to the right. Four empty chairs await me apparently.
The chairs are cold hard and asthetically unflattering. These are the chairs for the poor folks I bet. This way they can show the world who is less than without being direct. It’s not too subtle seeing how every other chair in the place at least has coushions. I sit down and immediately feel the many eyes of the bank on me. I allow myself to sink into the chair hoping the piercing glares turn focus elsewhere.
After only thirteen minutes of waiting an unhappy voice calls my name, nothing more, just my name. No mister or sir. I am not even greeted by Mr. Kolross as I enter their office; he simply commands me to close the door. Oh man, they may call the tow company while I am sitting here explaining my poverty. I should run outside, fire up the engine, and be gone!


Wow, the day keeps getting better. I must be royalty or something. Winning the lottery has changed everything for me!
I walk into Black Hills Finances and immediately I am greeted by the receptionist who offered water, tea, or coffee. To make a jest I chuckle and say a fountain soda from the gas station down the road would be perfect. “I’ll get right on that,” she says. “I’ll be right back.”
I stop her and tell her I was kidding. Before she replies I am greeted by the branch manager, who calls me mister and sir. How do you do both without sounding foolish? Wearing an old suit the color of ecru I have no right to speak on foolish.
The bank manager escorts me to their office, almost forcefully with their hand at the center of my back. “Saw you last night on the news,” he says to me, “and I must say I was jealous.” He laughs, a little nervously. I sense trueness in his statement. “We are so happy that you wish to bank with us sir.”
I realize that he has referred to me as sir at least four times since I walked through the door, and only once by name. I doubt he even remembers what it is. I wonder if I should tell him that I am closing my account?


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