Friday, July 09, 2004

Damn, dude died

Occasionally Sarah's kindness suprises me. I have a client in his late 90’s, a widower. He does nothing all day except watch CNN and Fox News, then call me in a panic if something he owns is mentioned. Every day at the close he calls Sarah and asks her for the closing values of 17 different stocks he’s holding in his IRA. Oftentimes he’ll call during the day and get the Hi/Lo and the current trading volume. The man hasn’t made a transaction since right before the Bull ended over 4 years ago. He’s high maintenance with no real payoff other than simply having management of the assets.

Monday he drove Sarah nuts, calling every few hours for quotes and to preach. These last few years have been particularly tough for him, watching his account decrease. Every day he calls for the balance of his account, to the penny, then calculates the closing prices vs. shares to be sure I’m not stealing from him. On top of that, he’s hard of hearing. “HI, MR. BLEVINS! YES, SIR, I CAN GIVE YOU THAT QUOTE. VRTS WAS UP 5% TO CLOSE AT $17.80. NO, $17.80. NO, 80, 8-0. YES, SIR, $17.80. WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STOCK?”

Tuesday he didn’t call. Sarah was elated. She had a pile on her desk waiting to be processed from some Schwab accounts I brought in, mostly joint and individual accounts but also a few 529’s which Sarah tells me are a pain in the ass. I always feel bad when I ask her to bring in 529’s.

Well, Wednesday rolled around and still Mr. Blevins had not called. That was odd. I selfishly appreciated the opportunity to get my work done without the lengthy, long-winded interruptions. You see, Mr. Blevins is a PhD in Theology with a wealth of knowledge and nobody to share it with. Anything and everything occurring in the Middle East is of interest to him. Once, just to be ornery, I told him I was atheist. Didn’t matter. He kept right on about the “Godless murderers who blow themselves up” and then he started in with the scriptures.

Reluctantly, after a two day hiatus, I became worried and called his home. No answer. I looked at Sarah and I knew she wasn’t going to let me give up.

I called his CPA who then called a friend who then called the next door neighbor. I found out an hour later that the next door neighbor went in to find Mr. Blevins dead in his recliner, mouth open, half empty Coke can on the TV tray, and CNN blaring loud enough to be hear out at the street. They think he died Monday after he talked with Sarah.

He was worth over $11 mil with me. The old fart probably had millions with Merrill, too, since I was never able to get him to bring it all over. He had no family. Obviously no friends who called him regularly. And no will.

I thanked Sarah for her persistence and told her she was the only person to notice him missing. She went home crying.