Change at the bottom of a fountain in a mall
Photo taken by me, July 2011
Most days, I try and refrain from using my blog as a bitching station. However, there are some days and some situations where that can't be avoided.
This just so happens to be one such day and one such situation. And this just so happens to be my blog, so I feel entitled to use it as a bitching pulpit, should I feel so inclined. Which I do.
So, there's this bank/credit card company you may have heard of. We call it Shittibank in our house, which rhymes with its proper name.
(I'll give you a second to figure it out. Got it? Good.)
I rarely use this credit card, which I have had since 1989 when the fine folks at Shittibank set up a table outside the cafeteria at my college, where I was dining (and living and studying and other things) back in that era. Knowing of the evils of credit cards, this card is one that is in my name, that I keep to maintain my stellar (heh) credit rating and which is used in emergency situations.
The settlement of the Delaware house, which coincided with my not being paid for the past month (because of the new job) has left us with the equivalent of a couple of coins jangling around in our bank account. If I had money to bet with, I'd wager that the loose change on the floor of my car was more than what was in our checking account. Food and gas happen to be necessities of late, so I broke out the Shittibank card for the first time in maybe a year or so.
I wanted a cash advance from the fine folks at Shittibank. No, scratch that: what I wanted was to link up my checking account with my Shittibank account because the website seemed to indicate that such a thing was possible. My thinking was that said cash advance could perhaps just be dumped into my checking account.
No can do.
This, you see, required a pin number. Which, since it had been an eternity since I'd needed a cash advance, I did not have. I went online to try and set up a pin number, only to be instructed to call customer service.
Which I did.
And was told that I could, absolutely, get a new pin number.
In 7-10 days.
IN THE MAIL.
Now, let me get this straight. You're a fucking major corporation, handling gazillions of dollars every second, and the procedure for getting a new pin number is to wait 7-10 days so a piece of paper can arrive in the mail?
THAT is the best we can do in this technological day and age?
I mean, did I just step back in time to where I was signing up for my Shittibank card in my college's cafeteria, in the glory days of 1989?
Until the pin number shows up in my mailbox, however, I could use said credit card to continue charging whatever my heart (and refrigerator, and gas tank) required.
Gee, thanks for that.
Earlier this week, like on Monday or something, a letter arrives from Shittibank bearing the golden four-digit pin number. It's dated September 8, so it has apparently taken like a week for said correspondance to arrive at my door.
On Tuesday, I go to my bank's ATM, plunk in my brand-spankin' new pin number and ... get denied.
I call Shittibank, ask what the hell is up with this shit, and am told that what I have is a Thank You Card. This doesn't make me feel any more loved or appreciated by Shittibank. The pin number should work, but since it's not, why don't I just go into the teller and they can give me the money.
I do that. Shittibank denies the teller's request for the money. Teller advises me to call Shittibank, and would I be interested in talking to a loan representative? Or a mortgage officer?
I've had enough for one day.
On Wednesday morning, The Husband - whom I have added to my account, just to make things easier in case of my demise via spontaneous combustion - goes online in the morning and unbeknownst to me, tries to change his pin number to something more memorable.
This attracts the attention of Shittibank's Fraud Department.
Who takes immediate action. NOT, mind you, in the form of a phone call to me, the primary cardholder.
In the form of CHANGING THE PIN NUMBER. The same one which I have JUST RECEIVED after waiting not very patiently to arrive in the MAIL - for 10 DAYS.
But see, I don't know that Shittibank did me the favor of protecting me from my fraudulent husband because I am driving all over the boondocks of western Pennsylvania for my new (and absolutely wonderful, I should add) job.
I go to an ATM and try once again to get the cash advance I kind of, sort of, really need.
The pin number gets declined.
I check my Pennsylvania map to see how close I am to Punxatawney, because now I'm starting to feel like I'm in freakin' "Groundhog Day."
I call Shittibank from the parking lot of the ATM. Jerry from Montana or someplace beginning with an M introduces himself and asks how he can assist me.
"Let me just start off by saying, Jerry, that I know that this situation is not your personal fault. " I begin. (Just how every customer service rep wants to start a conversation.) "You sound like a nice guy and I am truly sorry you have to deal with me, because I'm a little upset here."
I explain the situation to Jerry, who is "so very sorry" but unfortunately, he is powerless to do anything about the PIN number. It falls to poor Jerry to inform me about the "fraud."
"What fucking fraud?!"
The fraud apparently perpetrated by The Husband. When he went online this morning as the co-holder of the account.
Following a few more f-blasts on my end and hearing my opinions on how this is insane, Jerry offers up an Account Manager. I wait on hold. And wait.
Now I'm on the verge of being late to my next presentation, an hour away. I hang up.
During dinner, my cell phone announces two messages, one of which is from my friends at Shittibank's Fraud Department. They would like me to call at my earliest convenience.
I dial the phone.
"The fraud seems to be because of the online transaction this morning," says the Shittibank representative.
I answer that I am aware of such. Do we have any other fraud? I inquire.
Then why was my husband - who I have personally designated as someone who has access to my account - flagged as being a fraud?
"Because, you see, it is because he talked to someone offseas."
"He spoke with an offseas representative."
I ask The Husband if he spoke to anyone offseas. He assures me he was not hearing voices from his computer.
"He spoke with someone in a country that ... well, let me see here ... has the initials C.I."
"Would that be the CAYMAN FUCKING ISLANDS?" I screech, creating a new province of the Caymans with my expletive.
"Oh, my ... yes, it very well might be. The Cayman Islands! Absolutely! That's what it is!" she says, in the same tone of voice as one would use if I had won an all-expense trip to the Cayman Fucking Islands.
I go off on my diatribe about how all this is because of a fucking pin number that nobody in the Cayman Islands or Montana or anywhere in creation has the power to give to me. That in this day and age with COMPUTERS and whatnot, I have to wait for the equivalent of the fucking Pony Express to show up and deliver unto me a four digit pin number. Like Jerry in Montana, this woman is also "very sorry" but there is nothing that anybody can do.
"Is there anything else I can do for you today?" she says, probably hoping I will say "hell, no" so she can get me off the phone.
"Yes," I answer. "There really has NOT been any fraud, correct?"
"So we're good?" I press on.
"Yep, we're all good."
Sounds like fraud to me.
copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.