Crossposted from A Stick in The Mud. - GH
It’s 6:30 in the morning. I’m at the house of a stranger. The lights are off and I am trying to break in. Ten minutes go by, fifteen. I’m pounding on the door, circling the house, cussing at the door, peaking through the window, pleading with door, but it does not open.
I met Ellen the day before. I also work at Staples and I was helping her lift a box of paper into the trunk of her car. We got into a conversation about the non-profit she is running, The LEAH Advocacy Group (Staples calls this customer communication technique the Selling FunnelTM). Before long, she had hired me on to help support a bill set to hit the floor of the New Hampshire House the very next day.
For those of you who don’t know Ellen, she is a bit disorganized and, that morning, she was still asleep. It took some time, pleading with the door of my employer-to-be, but she finally came downstairs to open the door.
“Would you mind taking off your shoes?” And just as I was about to, she added, as if needing explanation, “I just don’t want you to track in any pesticides into my house.”
Boy, I thought, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
We are on the so-called budget plan for heating oil up in here in the Northeast. That means we spread the payments out over 12 months and have a capped price per gallon, but if the price of oil is lower, we pay that instead.
Part of the reason that this arrangment is attractive to us is that we are contractors, and our monthly cash flow is dicey enough as it is, fluctuating with our project work. Our heating oil tank is 500 gallons. With the cost of heating oil just recently reported at $5.30, a "fill up" would be a $2650.00 hit that could kill us in a month when our receivables are low.
So we do the budget plan and spread it out over 12 months.
Last year: $175.00 a month
This year: $480.00 a month
Increase: $305.00 Make the jump»