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Actually this is an unusual interview. Let me tell you the background. I happen to be sitting in the food court at the local mall waiting for my wife to finish with her appointment at the Apple store. A few minutes ago I walked up to McDonald’s and ordered a breakfast sandwich and the lady behind the counter told me it was buy one get one free.
I knew I could not eat two but I took her up on the offer anyway. I thought maybe Pam might want one.
Hoping to record a telephone interview this morning with a court appointed receiver in the Hess Kennedy case I just happened to have my recorder out and making sure all was well with it.
Up walks Christie and she asked me for a dollar so she could buy some food. Instead I asked her if she wanted my second breakfast sandwich. Let’s just say, she graciously accepted. We chatted as she ate and she told me that she had filed for bankruptcy because of medical problems and she agreed to share her bankruptcy story with us.
Listen to Christie’s Advice
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Interviewer: All right, so I’m sitting here at the mall with Christie and she just walked up. I happen to have the recorder with me, and what did you ask me, Christie?
Christie: Well, if you had a dollar you could spare because I don’t have any money, and I’d certainly like some food.
Interviewer: But we managed to find a resolution to that.
Christie: Yes. He’s a good man.
Interviewer: So you said that you’ve been struggling because you’ve actually been having some financial problems. Do you mind sharing what’s been going on?
Christie: Yeah, actually I had a brain injury encephalitis, swelling of the brain, but I had some friends that messed me up financially and I had to declare bankruptcy. I used to have a lot of money, but just because you had it one time doesn’t mean that you’ll have it forever.
Interviewer: What was it like to go through bankruptcy?
Christie: Well, I had the help of my parents. Thank you, God. I have – excuse me. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life a lot more. Money can’t buy you happiness, but let me tell you; do onto others as you would have done onto you. Me helping others in every way I can, they end up helping me, like this stranger here, Steve, has helped me. I’ve learned to appreciate little things, like I said. Any time you can get some free food, I’d take advantage of it.
Interviewer: No problem, Christie. I’m happy to help. For those people out there right now who are struggling and feel like they’re alone and they’re afraid with their financial problems. They feel like losers and rejects, they just feel really depressed, what advice do you have for those people?
Christie: Take life with a grain of salt. It could be worse. You have both arms and both legs is how I look at it. Thank you, God. God’s got a plan for us.
Just keep your head high. Do what you can, and just have God help you and lead you. Just do what you can. I can’t get in any more detail. I just appreciate the things that have happened and grow from them. I don’t know how to say you can’t guarantee – you could be a millionaire one day or anything, but just take each day.
Interviewer: So what’s your plan moving forward?
Christie: Well, I’m gonna be getting some help with a job. I’m gonna have someone work with me, and that made me very happy. Of course, be careful when you go into a job too. I actually got fired from a job for being too nice, actually, for volunteering, being too nice, so be careful how you are, being too nice or too mean, but don’t hesitate to go out and look because there are places that can help you.
Interviewer: Did you have to pay to file bankruptcy or did somebody help you?
Christie: I had my parents help me. Like I say, they’ve done a lot for me.
Interviewer: What kind of debt did you have, if you don’t mind sharing?
Christie: Well, before my encephalitis, I had a lot of money. I calculated out, I was making over $100,000.00. This is pretty much just after getting my master’s. I heard my law firm had to hire three and a half people to replace me, but I had bought a lot of things that I couldn’t afford, like $13,000.00 for four pieces of furniture. I think it’s a little outrageous. I needed reality to hit. Be careful where you spend your money because you can lose it in a split second.
Interviewer: All right, Christie, any parting words before we say goodbye?
Christie: Don’t be afraid of the little things and just thank God you’re alive. Money can’t buy you happiness.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.
Christie: You’re welcome.
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