Thursday, April 18, 2013

If it wasn't such a soul-sucking corporation, I might actually like Wal-mart.

I never thought I'd say this, but thank GOD for Wal-mart. This week has been trying, for multiple reasons, and ugh, today? TODAY.
I'm actually thinking of doing this just to ease some stress.
As some of you know, our debit card information was stolen so some idiot or idiots in Canada could order liquor, and honestly, that's just about shitty enough. But of course, as soon as you say, "OMG THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER*" the world just laughs and hands you a big Pile O' Crap.

Just a rundown of the events as they were. Three called up our bank to report fraud and they closed the credit card, which is standard procedure and everything, and when Three asked for a new card, the CSR - possibly the dumbest, most incompetent person in existence - ordered it through regular delivery. The problem here? That's the only card we had, and our bank is online only, soooooo ... how in the hell are we supposed to get access to anything resembling money so we can, you know, buy gas to get Three to work?

Checks. Because those aren't going down the path of cassette tapes or anything. I was hopeful, though, as we drove around town, trying to find someone to cash a personal check**, although even Kroger was like, "Nope, can't help you." And everything down here closes at 4P because of course it does, so even if any banks in our town would have accepted our check, they weren't fucking open. I was trying to remain even-keel about the whole thing, but even I was getting to the point of just wanting to scream.
No desks or Alan Rickmans were harmed in this gif.
No one would let us write checks for more than was due, either, which I guess makes a sort of sense if you are used to people fraudulently writing checks, but dear God, it was getting ridiculous.

And what sucks is, the only reason that we had one card in the first place was because our bank had sent my replacement debit card (for my expired one from oh November of last year) to some random place and had yet to get me a new one. Because why not. I had basically decided there was no use in trying to get them to send me another one, but I just got so fucking mad today that I called the bank up again.

Our exchange went something along these lines.

Me: Um, hi, remember how you guys never sent me another card last year? You record everything (and tell me so every time I call you), so you have it somewhere in your data files about all the times you had to hear from me. Yeah, anyway, I really need that card like yesterday.
Bank: Oh! Well, your card is showing as active.
Me: Have any purchases been made by this card in, oh, ever?
Bank: ... No. Actually, no.
Me: That's because I never got it.
Bank: Oh. Well, we'll expedite you a card. Should be there by Monday.
Me: What about my husband's card?
Bank: We're showing it was sent out ... Monday?
Me: Yeah ...
Bank: Hahahahaha it won't be there until next Friday.
Me: Well, I'm sure he'll be happy to know that his CSR was a dumbass who didn't believe him when he said that we only had the one card.
Bank: I hate banks***.
Me: Me, too.

Now, even though this has been somewhat resolved - and by somewhat, I mean not really because we still have no card - we're still in a pickle. Three has only twenty dollars in his pocket to pay for gas. We're running out of groceries, and eating is kind of important.

But then, like a shining star of opportunistic capitalism, Wal-mart appeared over the horizon, and both Three and I were like, "Seriously, we have nothing else to lose."
I think this is the first ever Matt Smith gif I've used. 
This plucky little thing behind the counter was super sweet and let me bitch (after I told her that I really just wanted to bitch at something) for about five minutes, and although we couldn't use a personal check to get one of those prepaid cards (again, we had to use cash or a card), we wrote a check for a gas card plus some extra cash so we could buy food. And then, as if she was an angel from some type of asshole-free heaven, she let us know that we could do the same thing inside the store if we needed more cash. We left that store with our hearts a little lighter.

Now, I'm not saying that Wal-mart is this great bastion of what good's left in the world. It's still kind of a shitty company that treats its employees horribly and completely abuses foreign workers for its own benefit. But their policies helped us out, which is more than I can say for the many banks and the Kroger. It's almost like they understand that a lot of their consumer base isn't necessarily the wealthiest set, who also work during the day and probably can't make it to their money center by four. And I kind of like the gas card thing, too; we get ten cents off every time we get gas from them, and since we're in a small town, gas is about thirty cents cheaper than in the city. Win/win.

I will tell you this, though. If this entire experience hasn't given me a reason to never, ever use any kind of card that has access to my bank account, I don't know what could. I know that there are all these credit bureaus and everything, but I'm kind of with Dave Ramsey on this one (mark today on the calendar, Mom): if I have the cash up front and you still won't work with me? Well, then you don't get my money. If I have to put more money down on a house instead of being some sort of weird slave to banks and their credit ratings, then okay, I'll rent for a bit longer. I just hate that our current bank - who also decided that we no longer could have full access to our account, only the mobile version because it's somehow different or something, after we filed for bankruptcy - is holding us hostage after someone stole our information.

If this is what technology can do, then fuck it. I'd like bartering to make a comeback in a big way.

* Which I totally didn't do because, um, I understand not to coax the universe into proving me wrong.
** I kept thinking about that episode of Miami Vice with Suzy Amis (you know, James Cameron's wife? I couldn't pinpoint where I'd seen her before when she played Rose's granddaughter in Titanic, but I kept thinking, "I've seen her personality-less acting before, but where???" And then I rewatched the second episode ever of Miami Vice and was like THERE YOU ARE! See also: Al Bundy.) where she was playing a role in a porno and they guy who's there to "fix her furnace" is like, "Oh, I don't take personal checks but I'll totally check your person winkwink."
*** Direct fucking quote.
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