Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Didn't Know Charlie Brown's Mom Worked at Wells Fargo Bank: How My Banking Adventure, After Twelve Hours at the Hospital, Almost Turned Ugly

Perhaps I am just a little bit tired these days, or maybe it is true that people just get grumpier the older they get. I know I'm still in my 30s, but sometimes I wonder--at what age do I get to start throwing adult temper tantrums "legally" like they did in "Grumpy Old Men"? I'm totally kidding--ok, mostly kidding, anyway.

I felt like throwing one this morning when I opened up my online banking on the computer and found what I like to call my "Wells Fargo Surprise". This is when they take transactions that were posted last week, do nothing with them over the holiday weekend, and then tell you that, even though they are in business TODAY (which is now a TUESDAY), that your transaction is still PENDING and will be posted to your account TOMORROW (which will be WEDNESDAY). Normally this wouldn't be a huge issue--except for the fact that I had a meeting with a property manager at 10:00 this morning, and they were really looking forward to seeing me. I'm suspicious it was because I was bringing them money, but maybe they just really like me--only time will tell.

I had just finished a very busy night at work. It was the 4th of July, and in true 4th of July fashion, babies were shooting out like rockets' red glare. It's not generally a problem, unless you fail to catch them--which didn't happen. However, sleep deprivation, and general disenchantment with the Universe and all its offerings did set in at about 8:00 a.m.. This was right about the time I received my "Wells Fargo Surprise" and decided to call their 1-800 number to say, "Good morning!...now where's some of my money?".

I got my favorite thing in the world upon calling them--the automated voice system that tries to direct my call via "robot woman" voice. Only this morning it was particularly special because it sounded like Marty Moose after Clark Griswold punched him in the face in National Lampoon's, "Vacation". I couldn't understand a single thing "The Voice" was trying to say. It sounded like someone was crumpling paper in my ear, coupled with a little bit of Charlie Brown's mom's voice, "Mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa...". You can only imagine how much fun I was having by this point. I have to admit--I was pretty frustrated, and could totally understand why Clark Griswold did what he did to Marty Moose. If Wells Fargo had a wildebeest mascot I would've been dreaming of doing the same thing to it (oh hush--I wouldn't really punch a plastic wildebeest in the face...besides, I don't think they have a wildebeest as a mascot to begin with. I've never even heard of the Wells Fargo Wildebeest. If they do have one, he's not on any of my bank statements in the upper left corner...).

I'm going to be honest with you--I am an automated voice bypass cheater. I will get on there and listen to "The Voice" only long enough to hit zero so I can get through to a REAL LIVE PERSON immediately. I'm not going to sit there and torture myself by going through 900 voice options, and actually trying to speak to a robot to get the answers that I need about my finances. I liken automated voice systems to the cop-out, cheesy, self-checkout lanes in grocery stores. If I wanted to pack my own groceries I would've gone to the University of City Market and learned how to do it properly so my poultry doesn't end up in the same bag as my Comet cleanser. Absolutely not-gonna-do-it. Those of you who know me know how painful it is for me to go grocery shopping in the first place. I despise grocery shopping. I have to dress in high end fashion and stilettos just to make it tolerable. The last thing I want to do when I get done loading my grocery cart is scroll through a touch screen computer screen that makes me look over 50 kinds of lettuce to see which one I have lying on the scale in front of me in the self-checkout. Not only that, but then they usually call in the grocery police to reset my computer because I set something down too early, or too late in my grocery sack. If I have to have staff assistance in self-checkout, then BY ALL MEANS, just finish the job and pack me up properly yourself.

I digress--I think making people talk to robots is ridiculous. It's a total time suck, and it's frustrating--kind of like self checkout with groceries. In theory it might be faster, but it takes about 4X as long as doing it the old fashioned way (See--I really am getting old. Next I'll be saying, "Back when I was growing up...")

Back to the Wells Fargo fun line: I finally got through to a banker, who still sounded like they were talking to me through a bowl of Rice Krispies, and it was so bad that I had to hang up. This was pretty much after they told me that SNAP**"We can't**CRACKLE**help you*POP**anyway"** Ok, fine then...peace out, homies--I'm going to one-up you again and actually go to my bank  and not only TALK to a real person, but SEE one as well! Imagine that!

I ended up at the bank where a very nice gentleman was able to help me realize what Snap, Crackle, and Pop had already done via the Charlie Brown's Mom phone--he couldn't help me. However, fear not! I was able to finagle a way to overcome my obstacle and make my meeting by 10 a.m. All is well in the universe again...at least for a few minutes.

So what have we learned from all of this? We've learned that transactions posted on Friday will become available in your account on Wednesday--especially if there is a holiday weekend involved. We've learned that punching plastic moose and wildebeests in the face will get you nowhere in this life, other than in National Lampoon's "Vacation", or a one-way ticket into the loony bin. We've learned how to bypass automated banking systems by simply pressing "0", and we've learned that self-checkout lines are for suckers who aren't trained professionals but the store wants you to do all of your own manual labor. We've also learned that blonde, Norwegian chicks should not attempt anything related to banking after working overnight at the hospital--especially if they happen to be named, "Whitney".

The good news is that I'm going to bed now, so you can stop reading this wealth of knowledge and proceed with your day. ;)

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