Monday, February 02, 2009

january wrap-up

The month flew by. I shoveled snow, swapped soup and snapped photos. 

I worked extra shifts to earn enough to buy a new camera -- that I'm still not sure how to use. It's big and fancy and I need a class to learn more about it. I've read the manual, watched the videos, quizzed friends and slept with it one night in a effort to figure it out. As we all know how well jumping in to bed with someone right away works out. Or so I've read. 

It snowed. A lot. Almost 13 inches in one day. The 10th largest snow in recorded weather history. In my arrogance I drove to work. I believe that I can do anything. In a foot of snow. With my 2001 S-10 pickup. I did make it -- I left early, before all of the snow fell. Getting out of my driveway is a breeze. It's the getting back in that is a challenge. You'd think that for feeling invincible I'd be more confident. 

Soup. I made it, I swapped it and I ate lots of it. No wonder I only lost two pounds last month. The good news: I'm only four pounds away from my goal of losing 30 pounds. 

I'm still dealing with fallout from The Incident.  Mostly from my bank. I have my checking, savings and mortgage accounts at the same bank (don't worry, I'm still a few bucks away from the $250,000 FDIC insured cap). The coffeehouse also used the same bank as does Second Helpings. When I called to cancel my debit card I had to talk them down from closing every account attached to my name. Even though the coffeehouse accounts were long closed I still show up as a signer, so at least a dozen accounts showed up under my name. It took almost two weeks until I could access my account online. 

To top it all off, the day of The Incident I deposited an $80 check that I found from a writing gig. That bounced. The paper switched bank accounts in the four months it took me cash it. So my account had $80 less than I thought. Plus a $39 charge. And that led to bouncing an online payment that I made at $39 a pop PER DAY. And without online access to the account I didn't know about it. The bank said they tried to call me, but it took me a few days to realize that I had to set up the voicemail on the new phone. 

In the meantime, I'd try to log on to check my account and pay my bills and could not. I would call and a patronising person will tell me that I just didn't understand how to log in. And I would believe them (see lack of confidence sentence above) even though I've done my banking online for years and only write checks (sadly) at Marigold and the Red Key. After one call to try to get it straightened out my debit card stopped working. At the gas pump. After dark. In a sketchy neighborhood. And I was still a little fragile. 

I finally had time during banking hours to go to a branch to try to figure it out. The teller looked a little confused as I rattled off the my account number, but he did something magic and I was able to use the card and access my account. I was able to convince the credit card company, the mortgage folks and utilities to drop the service charges that were levied since I couldn't get access to my money. But the bank would not budge on charges. 

My CEO came to me the other day. Someone had charged a $25 donation to the Inauguration Fund to our payroll account. The payroll account is used for just that. We deposit enough money in the account to cover payroll. Since most of the staff uses direct deposit the money is usually in and out within two days. As she was asking how we should handle it, I was thinking about what a coincidence it was that I'd made that same donation to the Inauguration. I looked at the number attached to the donation and realized that it was my debit card number - tied to the payroll account! 

That explained everything - why I couldn't get in to account and why the purchases were denied. And now I have proof of why I couldn't see my that I had a negative balance. I'll get those bounced check charges dropped yet. 

Okay, this turned in to a long boring post about the bank. Sorry. But that might well be the most exciting story of the month. I'm ready for February. 


Cliff said...

I read this nonsense you have to go thru and only hope they have the death penalty for armed robbery in Indiana. Or at least life without parole.
Man do I get steamed. Makes a guy want to carry a bunch of old defunct credit cards for people to steal.

Rachel said...

What a royal pain this all has been for you. No wonder you want to put it all behind you. I hope the bank comes around. That's just not right!

Jerry said...

I always find that threatening to change bank accounts, including the company bank account, usually will make them fall in line.