Each morning as I register that it is daytime and I start to think about my day, my mind goes to tennis--will Lindsey beat Mauresmo (spelled sort of phonetically). Then I remember, it's been on since 4 am, so I roll over and turn on the tv and Federrer is at Match point against Hewitt. How cool is that. And yes, Lindsey won. Yesterday I finally went on line to find out what was happening because there were rain delays in the morning. There was the big headline about Venus beating Maria, but I really had to search to find out what was going on with Lindsey. Then when I got home, they were re-playing Lindsey's match. I already knew the outcome (that they had to stop in the third set for rain), but it was still very exciting. What a close match. Then, they replayed Venus' match. Wow, Venus rules. She was so dominate. It seemed like the only points she lost were her own errors. Lindsey will have her work cut out for her. I really like the match up in Womens and Mens this year, although I was very sad that Nadel left so early.
In other news, I'm using my ipod and it's like singing in the shower--if no one is around on the street, I do start singing but I keep my eyes pealed for people coming out of their house so that I can quickly stop. I've noticed that I walk faster with music playing and I smile. It's kind of fun to carry around your own sound track. Right now I have Simon and Garfunkle in Central Park which is always like being there, so it's really cool. Next I'm going to pick and choose all my "get up and go" songs--Manic Monday, anything Shania Twain, Soak up the Sun and I'll have to have Adam show me how to buy single songs on the internet--I need a Pink song and I think it's Enya or something like that. I guess I might have to turn on VH1 top twenty sometime this weekend to catch up. Oh boy, I can just see me now belting out Pink, "you're just like a pill, stead of making me better, keep makin me ill" And I'll have to do the head throws--it's just not the same without the head throws. Maybe I better rethink my musical choices for going out in public.
And now, because I haven't blogged all week, for your pleasure I have two compositions this week to share. One, I wrote a speech that Ben Franklin is the greatest american. To order that speech (or any other speech in the Toastmaster KV special) press one and e-mail me to ask me to send you a copy (Erika). Next I had a problem with the bank. The letter that I wrote them was simply too nice to share, because I failed to exude the sarcasm and contempt that I truly felt--the bank after all has loaned me an awful lot of money and it's never a good idea to bit the hand that feeds you.
So I will share with you, my blogging audience, who by tacit agreement promises not to tell the bank in what bottom dwelling low esteem that I hold them in, the story. I have an equity line of credit. My good credit is about the only valuable asset I have anymore and I'm practically living on it. If you miss a payment or your payment is late on credit cards, they can increase your interest astronomically, so I am extremely careful with my credit in all cases. On my equity line, they charge $50 a year for the pleasure of borrowing money. Last year when I got the loan, I had to write a separate check for the $50 and thought that was kind of odd, but again, no arguing with the hand that feeds you.
The payment on the loan is taken automatically from my checking account--I get a notice, but no statement or anything. A few months ago the $50 charge showed up. There was no notice that I had to pay it separately. The next month, the $50 charge was still showing outstanding--it hadn't been taken from my checking, so I called the only phone number on the statement. There was never an option to speak to a real person, so finally, I just held down zero until a recording said "we will connect you with a representative." A handy trick I learned there. The real live person said, oh we don't take that fee automatically--you have to pay it directly at your branch. Oh no. They are idiots at my branch--sanctimonious, bored to death having to talk to customers (the lowest lifeform on the planet in their obvious opinion), idiots. So I try to pay this $50 fee on line. I go to Payments and Transfers, but my blogging audience already knows that all it did was transfer $$ from my checking to my equity line. There was simply no way to make it pay the $50 to the fee.
So yesterday with visions of my interest being increased, my credit record being blemished, the end of civilization as we know it looming in my head, I went to the bank to pay the fee. The customer service people are so awful that I started with the teller (one of only two with a line of 16 people waiting). As I stood in line, I watched mesmorized a guy stand at customer service waiting for the representative to look up and help him. The other rep behind the counter was on the phone and when she got off, the guy said should I go to the other rep and the rep who wouldn't look at him to help him, said, no, no I'll help you and continued to do something on her computer without looking at him. I am never, ever allowed to possess firearms.
The teller said she didn't know how I could pay my fee and that she'd have to get someone else to help me. That's exactly what she said "I'll have to get someone else to help you." So I waited expectantly for a manager or more experienced person to come to her station, but she started to motion for the next customer and so I said, are you getting a manager to help me and she brusquely said, no you have to go to customer service (moron). She didn't actually say moron, but it was so implied. I was slightly, ok extremely mad and grabbed my receipt off the counter and stalked over to customer service where there were now there was a person in front of each rep. and I waited a reasonable distance from the counter "in line."
I had my first piece of luck in that it was a manager in front of the rep who was not the non-responsive rep I had already vowed to kill if I ever met her in a dark alley. The bank manager (who had no name tag, no jacket and a very casual demeanor--I thought he was a slug customer), asked hadn't the teller been able to help me and I tersely said no, so he immediately set about to help me. Along with the very solicitous customer service rep, they very nicely listened to my story and commiserated with me appropriately, sucking me in, making me feel that they really understood and wanted to help, if only, only they had a single brain cell between them. After looking at the computer screen and telling me exactly what I had told them for twenty minutes, and after checking with three other people at desks and calling the customer service line (I had to tell them the trick of simply holding down the zero to talk to a real person, but hey, we're a team at this point), they couldn't help me. There was no solution to the problem. An investigation is underway. WHERE DO I SEND THE CHECK? That's all I want to know. It is not to my branch and they don't know the address, maybe it's on my statement (which I have ridiculously and inexcusably not brought with me to the bank where they have it on the computer.)
The end of civilization (and visions of the War of the World) playing in my head compelled me to once more try the phone. [At this point it is necessary to acknowledge and send out a big round of applause to Adam--if you have never seen my desk, suffice it to say there's about three million pieces of paper strewn all over it--piles upon piles of paper. I called Adam and asked him to find the statement and find the phone number and account number. He climbed the paper mountains diligently and came up with the needed information. Really, lets give it up for Adam--I never could have gotten through this ordeal.] I only had to press zero once--I guess they gave up making it more difficult, since I was on to them anyway. I told my entire story to the real live person (with the Indian accent--why bother hiding the fact that their customer service is in India--we all know it now). It took me about a minute, thirty seconds to get through the whole story--I left nothing out. Her response: you have the wrong number. I thought--I'm being punked. Reality tv is at an all time low, they have nothing better to do than punk me.
"If you'll hold one minute, I'll transfer you to the correct number." Manna--the correct number. The person at the correct number was duly commiserating and jollily told me, yes that is a problem, oh I see you have an investigation going on the account. WHAT IS THE ADDRESS THAT I SEND THE PAYMENT? That's all I want to know, I tell her--I'm going to write a letter. She gets it and gives me the address and I verify that this address is not the address where they won't take correspondence, but a real address with a real person opening the envelope. She truthfully shares that it's the only address offered and makes no further guarantees. She does encourage me to write that letter and of course, to have a nice day.