You might be an entrepreneur if…you start hoping that you become a victim of identify theft because maybe everyone who is after you to pay your bills will go after the thief.
To introduce this subject let me tell you a bit about my car, which I may have mentioned before, but to which I desire to bring renewed focus for the purpose of illustrating this point. My car is a ’98 Audi A4 and, much like Eric Snider’s beloved Pedro, is possessed by the devil and while indestructible forever taunts me by refusing to allow less than 7 parts of the car malfunction at once.
For the past few summers I’ve gone mostly without air conditioning. It’s not a problem with the AC, it’s a problem with the thermostat. The car’s thermostat goes up and down like the price of gas and nobody knows where it will stop. It goes as low as negative 50 degrees and as high as the actual temperature. It can go all the way to either extreme several times within 20 minutes. When the temperature hits positive 30 degrees then the AC will work. When it goes lower the air still comes out, but it is room temperature, and room temperature in a car on a 100+ degree day is fairly warm. You would think the car would be built in such a way that if you have the AC turned to “low” you would get cold air coming out no matter what, but such is not the case. I watch, sweating, as the thermostat dips below 30 degrees and I can only imagine my car saying to me “Why Josh, it’s below freezing outside, why would you want the AC turned on? Let me help you with that so you don’t catch cold.” The AC turns off and I seem to hear a cackle of wicked laughter coming from somewhere under the hood as the car’s temperature rises to precisely the level at which I’m sure Satan’s thermostat in Hell is also set.
Other miscellaneous problems with my Audi include the sunroof sounding like it’s breaking if I open it, the cruise control working intermittently, the windows repeatedly breaking such that they can’t be opened or closed, the vents to the heater getting stuck shut so that I can’t get warm in the winter, much like the aforementioned problem of not being able to get cool in the summer, although the two problems are due to completely unrelated malfunctioning parts, and most recently, the front right speaker has started producing an annoying buzzing noise rather than music or the sounds of talk radio as it used to. I’ve spent several thousand dollars repairing this car over the past 18 months, and I still have a list of 20 other things to be fixed, but I’ve chosen to focus on those items that would kill me if left unrepaired. Being able to roll down the driver’s window, use cruise control, AC, or heater, or listen to the radio are simply luxuries I can’t afford. Meanwhile I’ve got a car most people seem to think of as “nice” and they seem to think it represents my stable financial standing and general success in life, when in fact the car is causing my ruin.
Many times I’ve thought “If only I could get in a bad wreck and get this thing totalled, that would fix everything.” But I’m afraid of causing an accident, since that could result in myself or another being injured or killed, and then there’s the whole honesty issue that goes out the window when you commit insurance fraud. All I can do is hope that someone will leave the parking break off on their semi truck, which will roll down the hill and run over my empty vehicle. But I’m afraid that like Job, God has seen fit to torment and test me by allowing the devil to inhabit this automobile. By the way, the car is a burgundy color, not unlike what the devil himself might choose to wear.
And so as I see a horrible accident as being the solution to the first accident, which is that of buying the car, I also imagine sometimes that if someone were to steal my identity, that might solve some of my other problems. But it wouldn’t do for someone to go halfway in stealing my identity, no, that wouldn’t do at all. To only take my cards and charge them up would, of course, simply make matters worse. What I’m looking for is someone who will steal my entire identity and keep it. Then all my creditors would go after him instead of myself, and I could have some peace. When I think about this possibilty I grin as I think of the criminal being led away in handcuffs saying “But I didn’t rack up all that debt, I just meant to charge his cards a bit! I had no idea he had all that other baggage attached to his identity or I never would have stolen it!” and the policeman saying “Yeah right, c’mon, we know you’re Joshua Steimle, we’ve already found all the documentation in your house saying you are.”
So, if someone would like to have my identity, just let me know and we can make the necessary arrangements. I’ve also got a nice car I’ll throw into the deal.