Saturday, November 03, 2007

If Things Really Do Happen In Threes...

Then I don't even want to think about what will be next up in this set. Being a stay at home mommy with three very little kids, I don't get out much. I do as much as possible on my unchilded outings, delegate quite a bit to Joshua, and utilize every internet service I possibly can.

Recently, in my quest to better 'utilize the internet', I changed banks. Why? Because the one I was with, while advertising a great online bill pay system, was useless. It never showed me as having any money in the account to pay the bills with. The bill pay page is different from the account overview page, as I am sure it is with most banks. The main page showed funds, the bill pay page showed, well, no funds. After much frustration back and forth with Bank A, I threw up my hands and applied to Bank B. Online. My criteria for a bank with which to place my personal account were simply this: Free checking, Free ATM's, Free Online Billpay Services, local branches with real people working in them in each of the three towns I am in the most, and anything else FREE they would throw in with the deal. Now, understand, this is my personal account, not our household account, and let's just not even get into the discussion of how many accounts does one couple need. So, I applied. I was approved. I authorized a wire transfer from Bank A to Bank B. I got all the paperwork in the mail, signed it, sent it off, got the handy-dandy check card, went through with my brand spanking new account number and set up all the online bill pay stuff and was ready to do business.

Except that Bank B was not showing where the transfer went through. Because Bank A never sent it. So I couldn't pay the bills. Still. Grrrrrrrrr. Hang on to this scenario. Let's just jump over to Thing 2, mmm-kay?

As several of you who know me in real life are aware, I lost my phone a couple months back. It was found twenty four hours after I called in for an insurance claim to replace my lost phone. Found at Lora's house. Good thing I called in the claim, too. It had made it outside and gotten itself rained on. Didn't work anymore anyway. Go figure. All that aside, I got the new phone and got it activated all from the comfort of my own home. No problems.

Until earlier this week when everyone that called me complained that they could not hear me. Oh, I could hear them just fine. Better than fine, because people think that if they can't hear you, then you can't hear them and they tend to talk LOUDER. But truly, I could hear them just fine. I have aggravated several fine folks with my phone problem, including myself. Yesterday, I had had enough.

High on the list of Stupid Mommy Tricks, I loaded up all three kids at noon-ish and hauled them off to AT&T to talk to someone about my phone. Since I obviously couldn't call them. They would hang up on me. Others have. Soanyway, (yes, that is officially one word, soanyway) I take all three children into the store and sit the older two down on the floor with a couple of books to keep them occupied. The sweet lady at the store took my complaint (I told her that this was an insurance replacement phone, not the original, so it's not as old as the contract says it is) and my phone and did all that I had already done. Take out the battery, the SIM card, and then reassemble the contraption. She then proceeded to call people that did not answer their phones. Finally, she called one of her coworkers, who was standing about three feet away.

'Can you hear me?' asked the lady with my phone.

'Yes,' replied the kind coworker.

DUH! They were standing in the same room, just inches away from each other. FOR THE LOVE!

'Um, maybe if you went over there,' I said, trying to maintain my composure. I mean, part of me wanted to laugh at the situation and part of me wanted to shake these ladies.

Kind Co-worker crosses the room, and the Verizon commercial continues.

'Can you hear me now?', asked my case-worker.

'What? I can barely hear you.' said Kind Co-Worker.

Oh, good, I thought. It never fails that when I say something is wrong with something to the technician, then the something that was supposed to be wrong with the something magically fixes itself. Know what I mean?

Now we can officially put it the call to the fine folks off in 1-800 land and we all wait on hold. (My children are being SO good, charming even.) After many minutes of really nice music, Brenda comes on the line and speaks to my case-worker. Once the preliminaries on the problem at hand have been covered, it is decided that this is not a warranty issue. And besides that, my warranty was out.

Okay, who ever said anything about warranty? Not me. I told her that it was a new phone issued to me after an insurance claim. However, we finally got that straightened out and the powers that be decided to send me a new phone. But this was not under warranty. Sigh. Do they really hear me, or maybe it's not the phone after all, but in fact, I am mute. I say the words, hear them in my head, but no one around me seems to notice these utterances.

So, my new phone is on it's way. Would I like to pay some exorbitant amount to have it overnighted? Um, no. Thank you, though.

And we leave the lovely folks at the AT&T store and I drive us to Bank B. (Remember, from Thing 1?) Where I simply want to deposit into the new account. Which I can't do through the drive thru because they do not provide deposit slips. So in we go, the troops and I. Bank B thoughtfully provides chairs that are separated by tables so that my children don't have to sit either on the floor or beside each other. Oh, glory be! I direct Thomas and Sarah Grace to their chairs then continue on over to the little table that houses deposit and withdrawel slips and pens and the funky little thing that tells you what the date is. Not a calender, but one of those block things that says Friday, November 2, 2007. I wonder if they have to change that manually or if it is somehow electronic. Soanyway, I get the deposit slip filled out and present it and the money to one of the kind tellers.

'I would like to deposit this into my account, please. It is a new account,' says I.

'Certainly.' *pause* 'Ma'am, this account has not been activated.'

'What do I need to do to activate it?' I asked, wondering if maybe all my online finesse had been for naught if I had to sit down and do still more paperwork.

'You will need to make a deposit.'

Okay. This is not happening. Didn't I just say that? I-would-like-to-make-a-deposit. Did Elizabeth hit my mute button as she was grabbing for one of my earrings? Did I mention that throughout the entire AT&T store visit and Bank B visit she was making swipes at my earrings, my eyes, my nose, trying to grab my tongue, and various other annoyances that a seven month old will carry out if you prop them up on your hip while you try to conduct business???

'Well, is this deposit large enough?' I asked. Maybe you had to start out with more money than I was offering this time around. I didn't see anything to that effect online, but I have been known to overlook more important issues than that.

'Oh, of course.' She carries out the transaction and hands me a receipt. 'Here you go.'

'I would like to order checks, too.' Free ones were supposed to come with the account.

'Okay. Would you like the standard free ones?'

'Yes, please.'

I will give her that one. Some folks want fancy-schmancy checks with their free checking accounts. Not me. While she was pulling the information, I glanced over my shoulder to see if the kids had been kidnapped yet. No. The scene I was greeted with was Sarah Grace standing in her chair (note that it was the same one I assigned her to earlier) mashing her face up against the glass cubicle inspecting the bank worker on the other side. Thomas was slouching in his chair LICKING the arm of the wanna-be leather. I briefly had images of one of those Lysol commercials where you see the cartoon germs covering every square inch of the doorknob/telephone/keyboard/etc. I knew in my head that there had to be some not-so-cartoon germs yucking around on that chair arm. Ew.

'Okay, you should get those checks in the mail in a few days, ma'am.'

No 'thank you', no 'Can I help you with anything else?', no 'Have a good day.' I am sure she is glad to see us go and not have my children and their body fluids in her place of work. Not that I blame her on that point. Not that she should care all that much. I am sure there is a janitor who gets to do all that cleaning. I was appalled at the fact that Thomas and Sarah Grace were being so gross, but at the same time, I was interfering with their nap time and I was just glad they were being nice and sweet and not lying on the floor squalling.

Yeah, I was proud of the little chair lickers. I took them out for a milk shake to celebrate their goodness on my insane errands.

There you have it. Thing 1. Thing 2. I am waiting to see what Thing 3 is. I mean, I really need another unbelievably unreal conversation in my life. One where Captain Obvious doesn't get a role.


Stories Of Our Lives said...

I am sorry you had a rough day....week....month....however long it is now. But at least your kids keep you entertained!!! They are great, ya know?! I hope everything gets better...and by the way...when I talked to you last week, I could hear you just fine on the phone. So, Lizzie Beth didn't hit your mute button after all! I love you all!

Aunt Kim

Anonymous said...


The Bouldins said...

hee! (and I say that fully aware that my time is coming and I will soon be posting stories like that on my own blog!)

Bethney said...

Ha! The chair licker part is the best part of the story. Good luck on Thing #3, hopefully it will be next to nothing!!