Case Study – Butch and Axe

 

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Butch Mealy is a timeshare salesman in Vegas. He goes into a bar there after work and starts to order a drink.

“What are you drinkin’ tonight”(?), asks the bartender.

Something that goes well with the feeling of misleading an Alzheimer’s patient.

“Captain Morgan on the Rocks it’ll be” said Bud the bartender. Actually, Bud already knew Butch’s drink of choice. It was a little rhetorical thing that they went through every evening. Butch liked the sinister grin of the Captain gracing the label of the bottle. Somehow it made him feel like less of a heel, if only by comparison.

Not that Butch had much of a conscience. In a former life, he had been lawyer – defending criminals, mainly. But as time went by, he ran afoul of a few ethical guidelines. Formal grievances began to add up, and his state Bar association became concerned. The last straw was when he up and disappeared one day without notice. Just dropped off the face of the very earth. The feds caught him not long after, at the Canadian border, with half a million in client trust funds. So Butch didn’t escape. And this didn’t escape the attention of the Nevada Bar.

And then Butch was behind bars.

His rehabilitation counselor was a cell mate in Leavenworth, Jack “the Axe” Savage. The Axe was doing 20 years on racketeering charges. But his appeals team sprung him after they caught his prosecutor suborning perjury. Not that the Axe wasn’t guilty as sin. But that’s another story.

So by about the time Butch had served his ten, they put the Axe on the street, right there next to him. And now there was this little problem of getting employment, for both of them. Even in Vegas, there was an ample labor pool of non-felons, thus Butch and Axe languished for a while in a halfway house. But they both had a natural skill set of exceptional value to prospective employers in the hospitality industry, and in particular its ‘timeshare’ sector, where sociopaths are in high demand.

So that was then, and this is now. After a while, Axe arrived at the bar, looking a little frazzled. He took his usual seat next to Butch, and ordered a boilermaker.

“You look a little down in the mouth, Axe. What’s up?”

“Ah it’s this f’g job. This old hag somehow got my cell phone and keeps trying to call me…”. Axe went on this way for awhile, complaining about some elderly patron who somehow felt taken advantage of.

“Whoa…that kinda’ sucks, huh. Why don’t you just handle it like you did back in the old days?”

“What, and waste her?”

“No, you idiot…” Just then Axe’s phone rang.

“*&%$#, it’s her again!”

Answer it Axe, you can’t just keep avoiding it. Face your problems….let her have it. Give her a good tongue lashingbrow beat her haggard old ass…she’ll think twice before calling you again….isn’t that what you preached to me in Leavenworth…now look at me, I’m a whole new man….!” This is Butch’s version of a Joel O’steen sermon.  But in the meantime Axe has missed the call.

Bud the bartender just shakes his head. He has a kind of fly-on-the-wall perspective of these conversations. Not that most bartenders are saints. But even from Bud’s jaded perspective, these two are really bottom feeders. He decides to play a little trick on our felonious friends: Stepping back into the kitchen, he calls Butch, disguising his voice: “You sold me a timeshare a little while back. I can’t use my points, and I want to sell it back to the resale department you told me about… remember me, Ed Jones?”

“Look, Jones. I don’t know how the bloody hell you got this number, but let me tell you what you can do with those points you bought. You can fold the paper they’re written on several times over, and turn it into a six-point suppository. Don’t ever call this %&*$ number again!” Butch was about to slam down the phone, but suddenly Bud responded:

“Actually, Mr. Mealy, this isn’t Ed Jones at all. It’s Stan Kluber. And you’ve just been busted on Under-Cover Boss.”

“M, m, m, Mister Kluber, sir, I, I, I’m so s, s, sor, sorry…I’ve had a little bit too much to drink, I would n, nev, never ….”

“What are you talking about Mealy, … I’m not really busting you, you’re getting promoted.

Show up in my office first thing in the morning, we’ll talk details.”

And so it was that Bud managed to outwit the sly shyster. Butch did show in Kluber’s penthouse office the next morning. The conversation went something like this:

“Mealy, never heard of you, how’d you get past my secretary anyhow?

“She wasn’t there. Any way, you called me last night, something about a promotion…?”

“Mealy, you’re as delusional as you are officious, just to walk in here like this with some made-up bull%$#*. Whatever job you had, you’re fired! Clean out your desk while Dom here escorts you out.”

Mealy stood there aghast for a second or two, but anger overtook him. It occurred to him right then that he had nothing to lose: “Kluber, you’re as phony as you are officious. You have the gall, the unmitigated temerity to fire me, your top salesman, accusing me of making things up. Have you seen yourself lately on T.V.(?), coming off like the ultimate nice-guy, when everyone around here knows you’re the world’s biggest ass…”

Kluber sat there stunned for a moment. But then, bouncing back quickly, he started to click away at his desktop…”Hmm…our best salesman…., let’s see…”.  Another click or two, checking the numbers…. “You know Mealy, I kinda’ like your style after all….you know it takes a spade to call one….and you’re my kind of spade. Dom, promote this man. Congratulation Butch, you’re our new director of sales!”

And so it was that Butch the felon was fired, promoted, fired, and promoted again all within about a twelve hour timeframe. Now even Dom, Kluber’s right hand, is looking over his shoulder. Imagine Bud’s surprise when he learned how his little ruse had backfired. It just goes to show that, at least in timeshare sector, you can’t keep a bad man down.

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