In which Connor doesn’t ruin everything for everyone forever

It’s been a while since I posted about my financial woes, hasn’t it?

Last Sunday, there were €40 left in my account. I took out €100, which was as much as the bank would allow me, leaving me €60 overdrawn.

This should have been plenty to last the week. However, I had arranged a hectic social schedule for myself before I knew I’d be so skint, which saw me going to the theatre to see Little Women on Tuesday (€25) and the Pirates of Penzance (€35) on Thursday.

That left me with a measly €40 to last the week. Much of this went on beer on Wednesday night, a little more on food I should be eating. And a little more on food I shouldn’t.

I also bought some scratchcards which netted me €11, but enough of my gambling problems.

This left me broke. And with two main problems. (Since I gave up smoking, not having cash isn’t anything as big a problem as it used to be).

Firstly, I’m due to drive to Cork tonight, to see my aged parents. I have no petrol. And am missing a headlamp. These things cost money.

I could, of course, borrow from one of the girls in my shiny new PhD office. But I’ve promised myself not to do that. I was famous in both the last schools I worked in for borrowing excessively from colleagues. And I don’t want to be that Connor any more. Also, they’re broke students too, so it wouldn’t be fair.

The other problem was much more serious. It is the one that would ruin everything for everyone forever.

Some friends of mine, friends from the dawn of time (when I was an undergraduate) are organising a human rights event in a theatre. It’s a very big deal, professionally done, required a lot of work; it’s interesting, creative and important. Important to friends of mine and important because it’s actually important too.

It’s being funded through a website. Being, in my own estimation, a “good person”, I went online and contributed a fiver with my O2 debit card. I guessed there was about ten euros on the card. When I entered the details on the website the card was accepted and I got that smug glow you get from giving to charity.

But then, terror struck. The website informed me that my card would be debited when the project reached its target. I checked the balance on my card. €3.41. I was €1.59 short of the amount I’d pledged. And I didn’t have the funds to top up my card.

The theatre tickets had already been bought. My current account was already overdrawn.

When I contributed to the project, they had only reached about half of their funding target. I had time. But everytime I went on Facebook or Twitter, I saw a huge gang of people pushing for funding.

And it was working! I woke up this morning in a blind panic. They were 96% funded! Any minute they would reach their target. I prayed that people wouldn’t contribute yet.

My inner catastrophist was having a field day.

Here’s how I saw things panning out. They would reach their funding goal. The internet would try to take the money from my card. It would fail. The whole process would stop. The website would crash. The project would be left unfunded. They would be refused facilities. They would be publicly shamed. And then no one would ever speak to me again. Ever. All because I was €1.59 short.

Thankfully, when I tremulously checked my bank balance this morning (something I generally do about six times a day) I discovered, wonder of wonders, that my scholarship payment had gone in 48 hours early.

I went and topped up my card.

Phew! I have not broken the internet. Nor have I ruined charity forever. I haven’t ended seven friendships in one go. Nor have I made a fool of some of the most competent people I know.

Instead, I have successfully given €5 to charity.

Also, I will have the money to get petrol to go home.

It’s all good.

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