Vigorous Anonymity

Archive for September 2009

Dear Bank::

We have loved our time with you.  It’s hard to say that about a bank, but I say it proudly.  I have even converted a few non-believers in my time as one of your customers.  You have, without question, been the most convenient of all the banks I’ve ever known.  You’re open on Sundays!  You clear all checks within 24 hours.  You’ll even cash a check for more than I have in my account…sometimes…if I get the right teller.

And then the unthinkable happened.  You merged with a “less convenient bank”.  And my world has tilted on its axis.

Gone are the quick clearing checks!  Now you hold them forever – even when they’re government checks.  Gone are the friendly tellers who just want to please and in place of them are the robots who stamp NO MONEY FOR YOU on their foreheads and decline every request.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, though, it did.  Your on-line banking system changed, and while I used to be able to see the name of every vendor presented via my debit card, now it takes you 4 days to input that info.  4 days???  Do you know the damage that can be done to someone’s checking account in 4 DAYS??

But today was the kicker.  Today is the 30th.  Today is payday.  Today is “direct deposit day”.  And yet, when I checked my balance on-line today, no direct deposit was listed.  I called your 800 number, but continuously received a “Your call cannot be completed at this time.” message.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one dismayed!

Finally, I got through!  To the bitchiest bitch I have ever had to deal with at the bank.

Her:  “Your direct deposit will be available after 4pm.”

Me:  “But that’s unacceptable.  That’s an entire business day.  You can’t just hold onto a direct deposit for a full day.”

Her:  “You’ll have your direct deposit after 4pm.”

Me:  “4PM is too late in the day for most of the on-line bills I pay.  If I don’t pay them by 3pm they post on the next day, hence they are late!  This isn’t right!”

Her:  “Look, ma’am, we upgraded our computer systems over the weekend.  Your direct deposit will be available after 4pm.”

Me:  “Are you telling me this is a one-time thing?  Next time, it will be back to normal?”

Her:  (heaving great sigh) “Yes.”

Me:  “Well you might have told me that in the first place, instead of giving me attitude.  Can I have your name please?”

Her:  (click)

So, convenient bank, we are at a crossroads.  Either things improve or I must leave you.  I am saddened to the core.

Sincerely,

She who doesn’t like change when it’s not for the better.

I’m getting a little tired of being thrown under the bus because I have breasts.

Case in point.

About 6 months ago, we had decided that it might be time to look for a new car for Jackass.  The van he’s been driving has 118,000 miles on it and is starting to feel every one.  The engine is fine, but nothing else works.  The door locks don’t work, the intermittent windshield wipers don’t work, the rear doors don’t close properly…I could go on indefinitely.  It’s a big electrical nightmare.

Now the problem with car shopping is twofold.  First, our credit isn’t great, so we need to find a dealership that will work with us on that.  Second, Jackass doesn’t shop.  He expects me to do that, and somehow drive two cars home at once.  Because I’m magic.

So I had the idea that we might get another Hyundai.  I love my Sonata, and there’s a dealership not too far from where we both work.  I called them on my lunchhour one day and explained our situation – including the credit issues.  (Big mistake, as it turns out, but I like to be upfront.)  The salesman asked me to come in the next day on my lunch hour.  And so I did.

Now, I’m pretty sure a lot of people say, “Yeah I’ll come in tomorrow.”  And I’m pretty sure a lot of people don’t show up tomorrow.  It’s the nature of sales and car sales in particular.  But I showed up.  Just when I said I would.  And the salesman let me drive a Santa Fe and I loved it, and I asked him if we could look at the numbers, including what he could give us for the trade-in.

They offered me $500 for the van.  The Blue Book value is $5,000, so yeah.  Strike #1.  I thought to myself, we can sell it ourselves, so I let that go.  And then set down to talking about the financing.

And then he lowered the boom.  In order to work up the financing, go to the banks, etc., he wanted a $2,000 deposit.  Totally refundable, he said in his defense, but they couldn’t do that much work on my behalf if I wasn’t serious about buying the car, and my deposit would ensure I was.

I just blinked at him.  And then I said, “Let me get this straight.  You want me to pay you for doing your job?”

He responded with, “Candy, you’re not thinking about this the right way.  You’ll get your money back if we can’t help you.”

And I just laughed and said “One of is definitely not thinking about this the right way.  But since I’m leaving here with my $2,000 intact, I think it might be you.”  And I walked out.  And he let me.

Fast forward to last week.  Jackass’ van is even worse now, and the need for a replacement is imminent.  But instead of financing it, Jackass thought we should take a loan from his pension (at 3.9% interest, which we would never get from a dealer) and pay cash.  I jumped on board.  And did the research and came up with a list of cars we could choose from.  Last Friday night, Jackass and I were going to go to 3 dealers, and drive some cars.  We were going to look at the Hyundai Santa Fe (again!), the Subaru Forester, and the Mitsubishi Outlander.

There are several Hyundai dealers in the area, but the closest one was the jerk I dealt with before.  All we were planning to do was see the car, let Jackass drive it, and move along.  So we went there.

And Jackass declared himself in love and he wanted THAT car, and didn’t want to look at any OTHER cars.  Have I mentioned he’s a lousy shopper?

And then we sat down to negotiate.  I had done all the research, so I asked all the pertinent questions while Jackass just sat there looking ominous.  I asked about the warranty, and the dealership specials that were going on, and the difference in price between the trim options, etc.

And then the salesman and Jackass started negotiating the price.

They offered Jackass $2,000 more for the van than they offered me.  When we told them we were paying cash for the vehicle, they offered us a financing deal at the same rate as the pension loan WITHOUT RUNNING OUR CREDIT!!!

While I was thrilled that it all came together for us, in the end I was actually livid.  I would have bought the damned car 6 months earlier – in the height of the auto industry collapse – if they had just dealt with me the way they dealt with Jackass.

I am sickened that we ended up buying it there, but I suppose since the deal was good for us, I need to get over that.  But I swear, it’s days like this I wish I was a hermaphrodite.

What an interesting evening.

Jackass and I left directly from work, and for the first time ever, we took the ferry from Weehawken to Manhattan.  Everyone always raves about them, but we’ve never done it, and it’s really silly not to.  Still, we got stuck in traffic getting to the ferry, but the ride across the Hudson is delightful and picturesque and everyone should do it.  One of the things it is not however, is cheap.  It costs just as much as driving in and parking, but it’s less filling.  Or tastes great.  Either way, it’s a win.

While standing in line to buy our ferry tickets, a 40ish year old man got in line behind me, and started chewing some sweet, sickening smelling chewing wad like a cow chews its cud.  It was absolutely disgusting on so many sensory levels:  it smelled horrible, it looked nasty and the sound was making me nauseous.  If he’d been 15 I’d have given him the benefit of the doubt, but come on, seriously?  Oral fixation, much?

After the ferry ride, we hopped on a free shuttle bus to mid-town as if we were commuters and knew what we were doing.  We were awesome.

Guess who sat in the aisle across from us.  Go ‘head.  Yup, Gumby.  And you know how I knew it was him.  By the enormous snapping bubble he blew with his disgusting pink bubblegum cud-wad.  I had to restrain Jackass, who was just itching to punch him in the face everytime he blew a bubble.

We were meeting some friends at a restaurant near the theater, which happened to be right next door to The David Letterman Show.  I’m not kidding, it’s so right next door I almost walked into the theater instead of the restaurant.  People were milling about outside taking their pictures with the marquis in the background like tourists.  I refrained.  I wish I hadn’t.  By the way, Angelo’s in mid-town NY?  Best.Fettucine.Carbonara.Ever.

So far, it’s a nice evening right?

We got to the theater – where, sidebar, we knew one of the performers and the costumer is one of Jackass’ best friend’s son.  We found our seats…middle section, 20 rows back, middle of the aisle!  AWESOME!  We sat down.  There was a man two rows in front of me who was kind of tall, and of course, his head was smack in the middle of the stage for me, but I could crane around him and it was ok.  Then the occupants of the two seats directly in front of us showed up.

He was 6’6″.  Had to be.  And equally as broad.  I have never seen so big a man.  His head took up the entire right side of the stage (KJ, if the set design was the same as when you saw it, I had no view of the stairs that the actors kept going up and down.)  So coupled with the guy two rows in front whose head blocked the center of the stage, and the guy in front of us who blocked the entire right, I couldn’t see shit.  In fact, at the end of the show, during the standing ovation, some actor let out an amazing note and I have no idea who it was cause I couldn’t see anything.  Just the red checked shirt of the guy in front of me.

Seated directly to my left, however, was a friendly looking man, who I assumed was with the people to HIS left.  He was not.  As it turned out, he was alone.  We had a lovely chat.  He’s from Canada – Edmonton, Alberta to be exact, and it was his first visit to NY, and he’d been to see Wicked, In The Heights, and two others I can’t remember, and Jersey Boys was his fifth play in 5 days.  His partner couldn’t make the trip so he was alone.

We talked a little about health care (it’s what I do) and about the theater, and about Canada and about the fact that he’s a barrister and I work for a lawyer, and 20 minutes into it, I thought, this is silly, and I held out my hand and introduced myself.

“So, hi!  My name is Candy!”

…..

::blink::

…..

A timid, “Seriously?”  And his eyes filled with a look I didn’t recognize.  I still don’t know what it was…a cross between incredulity and fear I guess.

“Yes, seriously,” I laughed.

He hesitantly took my hand, shook it and said, “Rod.”

“Nice to meet you, Rod from Alberta,” I said.  And then the lights went down and the show started and that was that.

At intermission, I leaned over to Rod from Alberta, and asked him what he thought of the show.  “Super!” he said.  And then he excused himself to go do whatever you do in the lobby of a NY theater.

We didn’t leave, we just stayed put…the crush is unbearable at those things and I for once didn’t have to pee.  But I was sitting forward in my seat because I knew Rod from Alberta would be back and I’d have to stand to let him through.

And then the lights lowered for Act II.  And 15 minutes went by, and then 30, and then I realized…

ROD FROM ALBERTA WAS NEVER COMING BACK.

I’m trying not to take this personally.  Trying and failing.  Rod from Alberta, what did I dooooo???

p.s.  Show was awesome, even with understudies..  I highly recommend.

And this one is no exception.  Thanks to my lover, Ree, for this one.

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size…needs to be measured vertically.

2. I’ve come to realize that my job … is absolutely ridiculous.

3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving … it better be light out, because I can no longer see well enough to drive at night.

4. I’ve come to realize that I need…to spend time with MY friends, and not always Jackass’ friends.

5. I’ve come to realize that I have lost … my sex drive.  And I mourn its passing.

6. I’ve come to realize that I hate it when … Jackass chuckles when reading emails, because I know that means he wants to share, even if I don’t feel like it.

7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk … I’m usually with Damn Girl.

8. I’ve come to realize that money … is nice, when you have it.

9. I’ve come to realize that certain people … are like slinkies.  They don’t have a purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

10. I’ve come to realize that I’ll always … enjoy a good romance novel.

11. I’ve come to realize that my siblings … and I are never going to be close.

12. I’ve come to realize that my mom … was very funny and very warm.

13. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone … is like a third hand, and I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

14. I’ve come to realize that when I woke up this morning … I said a little thank you to whoever created Vicodin.

15. I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep … I wasn’t ready to go to sleep and ended up staring at the ceiling for an hour.

16. I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking … how good this soup I’m eating is.

17. I’ve come to realize that my dad … who died of esophageal cancer, probably had gastric reflux and SO DO I.

18. I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook … I am always disappointed and bored.

19. I’ve come to realize that today … I have to figure out the ferry schedule into NYC because President Obama is there and it will be impossible to drive in.

20. I’ve come to realize that tonight … I need to know about the ferry because we’re going to see Jersey Boys.

21. I’ve come to realize that tomorrow … I’m going to be very very tired.

22. I’ve come to realize that I really want to … go shopping.

23. I’ve come to realize that the person who is most likely to repost this is … no one since there are only a few people left reading my sad little blog.

24. I’ve come to realize that life…is shorter than I realized 10 years ago.

25. I’ve come to realize that this weekend … could be fun, but will most likely be a source of annoyance (but a really good blog post).

26. I’ve come to realize that marriage … should come with directions.

27. I’ve come to realize that my friends … tolerate me in ways for which they should be given medals.

28. I’ve come to realize that this year … my youngest child will get his driver’s license.

29. I’ve come to realize that my ex is … nonexistent.

30. I’ve come to realize that maybe I should … go to the dentist.

31. I’ve come to realize that I love … Rock Band parties (more for the people I go to them with than the actual Rock Band, you see).

32. I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand … the appeal of grandchildren.

33. I’ve come to realize my past … is something no one else in my life knows anything about.

34. I’ve come to realize that parties … with the right people, are more fun than should be legal.

35. I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified … going to the dentist!

That was one long damned meme.  If you leave a comment, I want you to tell me how far you actually read.  I will not be mad if you stopped at 2.  I swear.

Morris has been under the weather.  A bit of a sore throat, a bit of a fever, a bit of a cough, a bit of a sniffle.  Annoying, to say the least.  I hate when kids are sick like that – can’t they just get on with it and have the flu or strep throat?  Something I can CURE!?

After 5 days of the swollen glands and sore throat, I told him this morning to go back to bed, and I would make him an appointment to see the doctor.  I knew it was going to be for nothing, but…you know how it goes.  I’d always rather err on the side of caution with this.

We went to the doctor, and she declared that he was having allergies (which he’s never had before) due to the change in the seasons, and he should take some Claritin.  So that was fun.  (She also gave him some low dose steroids for the swollen glands, and a prescription for antibiotics IF it hasn’t all stopped in 10 days.  Don’t send her hate mail, she’s really very awesome.)

While we were there, though, she said, “Hey, how about a flu shot!”  And I said, “YES!”

While she was out mixing the plague she would soon introduce to my baby’s body, Morris was sitting on the exam table.  Our GP’s office is tragically outdated, and I only go there for this sort of thing, and to get referrals to specialists.  So the exam table was a little older than what he’s used to, and since it’s a GP, its used for all kinds of things.  Including ob/gyn exams.

At the end, where Morris was sitting, were these handy little metal rings, and he was merrily playing with them while the doctor was talking to him, and then after she left to prepare the shot, he turns to me and asks:

“What are these rings for?”

“Do you really want to know?”

He shrugs.  “Sure.”

“They’re called stirrups.  There for women…for when they are having female type examinations.”

He dropped those metal things out of his hands like they were on fire, and wiped his hands on his jeans like he was infected by something.  I just laughed, and said, “It’s just where your feet would go.”

He just moaned and said “Oh god, that’s even worse!”

Last week, I bought this very adorable (I thought) jacket at my new favorite store.  I have never shopped there before because their sizing was intimidating.  How do I know if I’m a 2.5 or a 3?  It’s hard enough admitting what size I really am, let alone having it converted to the metric system.

But I used to walk by this store and think how purty their stuff was (and how pricey!) so one night, when I was really desperate for a couple of pairs of slacks that actually fit me, I went in and gave myself up to the salespeople.  Turns out I’m a 2.5, and they carry “short” slacks.  I am now officially in love.

Back to the story, I bought a jacket.  And I frankly think it’s smashing.  It’s got a 3/4 sleeve, and it’s sort of a metallic looking thing, but it’s actually made of linen – with some sort of coating on it to give it the metallic look and to make it sort of…um…coated?  Here, I’ll show you:

Jacket 001

There’s a reason for the face.

I wore it to work last Friday, because I was planning to go to that pseudo-reunion and it looks really cute with a nice pair of jeans (also bought from Chico’s.  They call them “Skinny Jeans”.  What’s not to love??)

The jacket was a little much for the office, I admit.  But I wore it with an awesome pair of brown twill slacks and a nice little turtleneck shell under it and I thought it was great.  And then the men in the office saw it.  Let me share with you the comments:

“Where did you get that, from the set of Miami Vice?”

“Hey, look, it’s Erik Estrada.”

“Nice raincoat.”

“Do you have a walk-on with the Giants this weekend?”

and my favorite…

“I didn’t know you were a volunteer fireman.”

It went on all day.  ALL. FUCKING. DAY.  And then one of them whispered, soto voce, to the other, “That jacket is going to the back of the closet.  We’ll never see it again.”

And damn them.  They’re so right.

We are in the process of buying a new car.  I’m pretty excited about this one – I’ve bought a lot of cars because that’s all we could get, and while we’re still on a budget, we think we’ll be able to do a little comparison shopping this weekend and get something we actually like.  Very cool.

Jackass was looking around through our Important Papers last night and he asked me where the title was to the car we’re planning to trade in.  And I, of course, told him it’s in there with the Important Papers (comma asshole).  He looked again, and then eventually brought me the drawer housing all the Important Papers, which after I carefully combed through it did in fact NOT contain the title to that car, thus rendering me a liar!

So this morning, I called the bank through which that car was originally financed and asked them what the hell…?

This is where it gets confusing.

Two years ago, we refinanced our mortgage (yes we were one of those people responsible for the crumble of our economy), and part of the deal was that we would be required to mortgage the house up to the maximum, and pay off every other outstanding debt we had.  It sounded grand at the time!  We would only be paying the mortgage, we could do that!  And then the mortgage adjusted, and well that’s another story, never mind.

Anyway…one of the outstanding debts was the car loan for that car.  The way this works is the mortgage bank actually contacts the car bank and ask for the pay-off figure, and they then send a check directly out of the proceeds of the mortgage to the bank, thus closing that account.  That should have triggered a title being sent to us, but it didn’t.

Because the mortgage bank didn’t send them enough money.  They were $400 +/- short and so the car company paid up the loan as far as it would go, and now it’s just sitting there waiting to send us a bill at some future point when that last final month comes due.  Awesome right?

I never received a bill for it.  I never received confirmation or any correspondence saying, “Hey dopes, we have all this money but it’s NOT ENOUGH!”  And with all the other nonsense going on in my life, I completely forgot about it.

So today, they tell me the balance and I’m all OK I’ll pay! and they say, OK send us a check, and in TWO MONTHS we’ll send you the title.

Two months??  We’re buying this car in 2 DAYS!  Seriously, dudes?

I ask them how about if I put it on a credit card.  “Oh you can do that,” says Ursula the customer service rep (yes, that’s her real name).  “That will bring the time down to 45 days before we can send you the title.”

Excellent.

So I explain my predicament and she informs me if I Western Union her the money today, and they receive it immediately (which they should) she can get it in the mail to me Monday.  OK.  Monday I can live with.  Monday works.

Now, I don’t know about where you live, but around here, the only place to do a Western Union is the grocery store.  I have some experience with this, as I have had to send Western Unions to keep things from being taken away from me, such as houses, credit cards, cars…things like that.  And I hate, with every ounce of my being, sending Western Unions.

This is the scenario, as it happened today.  I had to go to the Courtesy Counter at the grocery store, where the Important Clerk works.  You know the one, she makes a little bit more than the Less Important Clerks who do the real work of actually checking out your groceries and putting them in bags, and so Important Clerk feels like she’s…well…important.  And she doesn’t like doing Western Unions.  Trust me on this.

She looks me up and down and determines my worth.  I was dressed nicely, in my work clothes, because I was on my lunchhour, but still, Important Clerk in her green smock judged me and found me lacking.

I told her I needed to do a Western Union Quick Collect, at which point she sighed audibly and held out her hand for the form and the cash.   She spoke not a single word to me and she frowned violently the entire time.

She finally handed me back the paperwork and again, not a word.  I very cheerfully and loudly said “Thanks!  Have a great day!”

And then I felt the need to take a shower.  I suppose anyone doing one of those Western Unions is doing it because they didn’t pay some bill and now it’s critical.  I get it.  But bitch you work in a grocery store!  Don’t judge me.



  • None
  • TheQueen: Yeah, perhaps next year suggest you ALL just skip the adult gifts and focus on the little ones. I'm sure you won't miss it!
  • kristabella: Yay! You're back!
  • Shania Ring: Out of all of that, the only thing in my head is 20?!? Twenty? I remember a little boy in middle school when I first started reading you. Are you SURE