Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Life Isn't As Funny As It Used To Be....

Well just as I head off on my new found adventure blogging has become passe.  Now everyone wants to "twit" or update their status or something.  I just want to be able to get something done without having to listen to a recorded voice tell me to push #1 for English.  Is that too much to ask? 

For example, for the last two months I have been trying to access my bank account statement online.  It shouldn't be that hard.  I know how to send e-mails, I can create spreadsheets, and although I've never Twitted I do have a Facebox page. I even know how to upload pictures and use photopail.  For some reason this online banking thing has turned into an exercise in patience the likes of which may even have driven Ghandi to violence.

It was easy enough to find the number to contact "online support".  After that, things just fell apart.  The first torturer (ummm support person) asked me all the basic questions--you are who you say you are? Are you sure? Proove it? Proove it again for security reasons.... Fortunately for me, I know who I am--I have a plastic card in my wallet that tells me.  It even has a picture so I can compare it with the person I see in the mirror. So, HAH! Got through the torturer's 1st line of defense relatively unscathed.  

After we established who I am, in triplicate, rubber stamped, and color coded.  We went on the true issue.  "Yes ma'am I can certainly help you with that!" Turns out Satan's minion has a perky bleach blonde voice.  Then it's down to brass tacks.  We navigate together to the banks home page.  Thereby establishing that I am NOT a moron.  She describes the page to me and asks me to enter my user name.  AHA! Again I have thwarted their defenses.  I KNOW my user name.  Take that!  Then she askes me to enter my password.  I know that too.  Boy this is going better than I thought, maybe I have judged these folks all wrong.

Arrrghh spoke too soon.  "Um, it says 'Error you have entered an incorrect password or user name.  You have three more tries before you will be locked out.'"   The perky blonde imp takes this in stride.  "Did you enter your correct user name?" "Yes." "And the correct password?"  "Yes."  "Are you sure you didn't make a keystroke error?"   In the sweet syrupy (yes folks that is the correct spelling) tones of a little blonde hell's apprentice she asks, "Will you try that again just in case?"  "OK."  "Same error message." I report.  "Caps lock off? Number lock on?" "Yes."  "Hmmmm...are you sure you entered the correct user name and password?"  "Of course I'm sure; I have it taped right here on my computer monitor!"  Beelzebub's demon spawn, sniffs.  That's right the little b!tch, sniffed me.  "Can you please hold I need to do a little research?" I reluctantly agree to "Hold."  Whereupon, she clicks over and then Satan's music comes on.

Satan's music is "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow on loop.   Imagine being on hold for 25 minutes listening to "Copacabana" over and over again.  Yeah, I know, it's hell redefined.  Just as I catch myself drooling on my keyboard in a half sleep the minidemon returns with a chipper, "Please forgive me for leaving you on hold so long."  I mumble, "Her name was Lola...." "I'm sorry, excuse me...?"  "Ahem, oh nothing." I reply, while hastily mopping up the drool on my keyboard.   She says that perhaps I really don't know my password (even though it is taped right in front of me??) and that we should try to have a new password reissued.  I agree to try it.  I mean what else do I have to do?  It's not like I am at work.  Not like I have real work to do.  "Let's give it a shot."  I say.

I will spare you with the close the browser, open a new window, try to logon shenanigans.  Just re-read the paragraph above and you will get the gist of it.  Finally, she says,  "Click on the hyperlink that says, 'forgot password?'." I click on it.  "Okay enter your maiden name, the name of your first pet, the date that you had sex for the first time, what color your underwear is, and the last 8 digits of your debit card."  The last eight digits of my debit card?!  What does that have to do with anything?  "I don't have my debit card with me." I inform her.  "You don't have your debit card?" Her squeeky Satan's minion voice is really starting to annoy me now.  "No, I don't have my debit card.  Why would I need to have my debit card to view my online statement?!"  "I am sorry ma'am I can't help you until you input the last eight digits of your debit card."  "Well, I don't have it right now."  "I am sorry to hear that.  Please call back at another time and we will be glad to help you."  HUH??  I said, "Wait a minute, I thought you said that you could 'certainly help you with that'.  I remember you said it.  Are you telling me that you CAN'T help me." Ahhhh Satan has been backed into a corner now.  How will the wily ol devil respond to this?  "I'm sorry ma'am until you provide me with the last eight digits of your debit card we cannot continue.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  Good-bye."  Click. 

I guess I won't get to view my online statement today.

I know that it doesn't really seem that bad.  Just get my debit card call back and Et Voila!  Nope, didn't work.  I have called back TWELVE times in the last two months.  I have spoken to many varieties of Satan's Imps and I have gone through the navigate to the home page, type in your user name, and now your password, and are you sure you are using the right user name, password, maybe we should try to reissue a password, enter the last eight digits of your debit card so many times that it has driven me to BLOG about it for God's Sake!

Today was the last straw.  You know the drill. Got to the part after I had entered the last eight digits of my debit card AND IT STILL DIDN'T WORK!  Finally, the torturer admitted that she could not certainly help you and she agreed to connect me to the "Supervisor of Online Tech Support"  the GREAT AND POWERFUL SOTP.  "Please hold while I connect you."  "Ahhhhhhh, her name was Lola she was a showgirl....."  I am singing at the top of my lungs in my office.  Mandy (my super Program Director Extraordinaire--more about her later) gives me the 'are you crazy?' look.  "Come on sing along you know the words I yell/sing at her."  She gives me her best disapproving look and closes the door quietly. 

I am into my seventh minute of bellowing, "Copacabanaaaaaa she fell in looooove..." when Satan's minion says, "Here we are. I will connect you now."  CLICK.  Dialtone. 

For a second, I feel the universe tip and slide and imagine that I have wandered into another dimension where Barry Manilow is God and I will never, ever, get to access my online bank statment.  I take a deep breath and immediately call back.  Low and behold generic minion #1 answers.  I explain the whole story, again.  And she says, wait... for... it....."I can certainly help you with that."  "Oh no," I say.  "Not this time.  I want the GREAT AND POWERFUL SOTP.  I have already gone through this long enough.  The last support person I spoke to (insert devilish minion name here) said that they were connecting me.  I want the SOTP!!!!!" I practically scream into the phone.  "Please hold while I connect you." She simpers barely muffling giggles. Then... 

"...She would Merenge and do the Cha-Cha and while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar..."  I have the air conditioning on and I am sing-sashaying (yes boys and girl again spelled correctly) with my imaginary hot pink sparkled boa, around the room when  the SOTP says, "Ahem, hello I am (insert devilish minion #2 name in here) I have been informed of your concerns.  Can I help you?"  I am so excited that I have actually been put in contact with the all powerful SOTP and I am so winded by my sing-sashaying that for a few seconds all I can do is pant heavily into the phone.  "Oh my God!" the minion says, "Who would go to all this work to be a prank caller?!" 

Nooooooooooooo......"Wait, wait, I say. I was just, well, Barry Manilow you know, and well, show girls...." I drift off lamely.  "No please" I plead,  "I just need to be able to access my online bank statement."  Hurridly, I explain all the weeks and months of entering passwords, and last eight digits of debit cards, and verifying my identity etc... etc...  "Weeeellllll...." she drawls.  "The problem is that you have to wait six hours after you change your password before you try to enter a new one."  I am stunned.  Pole-axed.  Dumb-fuc/ed.  I cannot believe it.  "I have to wait six hours after I change my password to enter a new one?" I barely whisper. "Yes."  "Oh. Okay." I say. "Um... Thank... you?"  "Your welcome, have a fabulous day!" 

I swear she was humming Copacabana when she hung up. 


  1. Sooooooooooo glad this has happened to others. Your detailed description is right on! Then there was the day I could not remember the password I'd had for 2 years with my bank. I had to go through it all AGAIN.
    In the end I think it's worth it to be able to bank online and transfer funds.
    I am a little concerned about what we have to face when we get too old to go through the hoops though ---------from a friend of your Mom