Tuesday, December 8, 2020

In Which I Lose Patience

I think that I'm a pretty patient person, really. I am not perfect, and like anybody else, I do from time to time lose my patience. 

Today was an exasperating day. 

I had to get groceries, and at the checkout line, my card rejected for insufficient funds. That's embarrassing enough. I knew exactly why though. I got scammed last spring, just before Easter. A fake ad for Legos. It was a Chinese company. The fact that they did not accept paypal should have been the tipoff for me. As a precaution, when we alerted the bank that we had been scammed, we paid for a new debit card. 

The gentleman at the bank is, for lack of a better word, not technical. He fumbled around quite a bit, and it took quite a while, but I walked out of there with my new debit card. Unfortunately, he had attached it to our business account instead of our main account. 

The business account is rarely used for business anymore. It was one of those things that if Tim needed to pay for something (or someone) he simply transferred the money to that account and wrote the check out from that account. It made it easier, in his mind to keep the business stuff separate from our personal stuff. As we became more adept at handling these things, the account was rarely used. Most of our banking is done on line and when we do write out checks, almost always they are business expenses. So...no need for a separate account, not really, but it had never occurred to either of us that it needed to be closed. 

When my card declined the first time, I was a little shocked. I knew that it shouldn't have happened, Luckily, Tim was there with his card and took care of it. When we got home we went online. It was then that Tim realized what the man had done when he issued the new debit card. 

We tried to straighten it out later, but the man couldn't even seem to understand what he'd done wrong. He believed that he'd done things exactly as they had been done before. Except that he hadn't, because our two cards were attached to the same account up to the day that he made me a new debit card. 

Tired of trying to explain it to the man, Tim said, "Oh forget it. We'll just transfer what you need when you need it." That worked pretty well.

Over the months, we've had a few occasions to need to speak with someone at the bank. It's a small bank, and every single time we wound up speaking with him. At one point, I found myself explaining why he was having a problem with his computer. Let's be real. When I'M giving tech advice, we've got real problems.

Now it is Christmas. I'm doing a lot of shopping. I had transferred 'x-funds' and had spent 'x-amount' and had 'x' left over. Except that I forgot about a quick stop that I'd made to pick up something else, and I was standing at the front of a long line of people with a rejected bank card. 

I said, "Don't put these groceries away. I'm going to the bank."

I headed straight to the bank. And dammit, wouldn't you know, there was that same friendly gentleman at the window. I took a deep breath and explained the problem. I told him that I wanted the problem resolved for once and for all. "My debit card needs to be attached to our main account," I said very firmly. "This is embarrassing." 

And he said, "Oh, I can fix this," and it started once again. "Hmmm," he said. "Now...why won't this..." 

After a few minutes, I said, "Listen, I've got a cart full of groceries at the store. Just go ahead and transfer the money from the main account to this account, but I really am going to need you to figure out what we need to do to get this straightened out." It seemed fair enough, since it was his mistake that set this series of unfortunate events into action, and I've dealing patiently with this for months. 

He took down my name and number, we got a transfer done, and I headed for my groceries. 

He called tonight and in a no-nonsense voice explained that he didn't understand why he couldn't attach the card to our 'virtual wallet.' 

I gasped. The virtual wallet is not ours. It belongs to one of the kids and Tim's name is on that account just so that another person has access to it in case of emergency. I said, "That's not our joint account. I don't want my card connected to that. My name isn't even on that." 

And he responded that I was incorrect. 


I repeated myself. 

He assured me that it was our account. I assured him that we did not have a 'virtual wallet'. I went online, and pulled up our account. I gave him our three accounts, to include balances. 

He said, "Hmmmmmm..." 

I said, "You cannot connect my debit card to that other account because my name is not on the account. I don't want it to be on that account, and we certainly don't want to be taking money from that account, because it belongs to one of our kids. We do not want it linked to our accounts." I was trying to be patient. 

He said that account had to be linked to ours so that funds could be drawn from our accounts to cover any overdrafts on it. I started getting upset. "Listen, we don't WANT our accounts tied to that account. That's not our account! If the account is overdrawn, that's their responsibility, not ours. DO NOT LINK THESE ACCOUNTS!" 

How hard can this be to understand? Honestly?! But he didn't. I gave him the names and numbers of our accounts, one by one and he saw those accounts. But he kept insisting that the Virtual Wallet account had to be linked to ours. 

My patience was gone.

"Listen," I said, "Do not do anything at all to our accounts. I need an appointment with your supervisor. I want to sit down face to face with her. and I want to make sure that this is done correctly." By then, I was plain mad.

I've got an appointment tomorrow at three, it's NOT with him. Tim walked in from hunting. "What's up?" he asked cheerfully.


He looked at me blankly. He had no idea why I was so fired up. "Nooooo," he finally said. 

"I'm closing it tomorrow. It's just confusing things, and I'm tired of this," I slammed a cupboard door just for emphasis. 

"Go ahead," he said mildly, and then said, "I saw two doe, but they were too far away..."


  1. Oh crikey. I would have lost my rag long before this Debby!

  2. I guess you'll get it sorted, but meanwhile, would it not have been easier to use a credit card and then pay your monthly bill from whatever account you wanted to use?

  3. You'd be lucky to get anything linked to anything in the UK without providing a lifetime's list of addresses, passport, driving licence, proof of income and so on.

  4. Sometimes you wonder how some people keep their jobs!
    Really hope you get it sorted

  5. One cashier emptied my bank account into someone else's. It was sorted eventually.

  6. Well, one of the perks of having a husband is that you get to yell at them once in a blue moon. It's a good stress-reliever, and they just wait for the I'm-sorry hugs and kisses that are sure to come.

  7. Oh, Lord. Maybe your conversation with the supervisor will result in some additional training for that bonehead at the counter! It's FRIGHTENING to think he wanted to link your card to someone else's account. (And you'd think it would be in the bank's best interest to get someone more capable in customer service, but then they'd have to pay them more, and they don't want that -- because the CEOs and execs are walking away with massive compensation packages for keeping costs down!)

  8. I stopped using debit cards for anything other than occasionally getting money from an ATM many many years ago. I just don't like the security risk of having my bank account vulnerable every time the debit card number gets hacked.

    We pay for nearly everything we can with a credit card which gives us an automatic 2% discount on all purchases. When it gets hacked, (has happened twice over the years), we just cancel it and use a backup credit card until the new one arrives in the mail. Credit cards also refund any money lost due to the hack automatically. I've heard that banks are not nearly so generous.

    But I understand your frustrations. That is a universal feeling.

  9. As you know I’ve worked in banking a long time. This is ridiculous and it’s also inexcusable. It might be time to change banks.

  10. AC - we have one Discover card with a very low limit, which is linked to the paypal account. That card is never carried, and it is not used for anything but on-line purchases. The scam did not accept paypal or the debit card, and I stupidly used a debit card for an online purchase. We've lived debt free for probably ten years now.

    Tasker, my daughter is learning this very thing the hard way.

    We have addressed this issue with the manager before. She's a very professional person who says that the job comes with a learning curve. This is an older man, probably close to retirement. I'm really going to just start refusing to deal with him. It sounds very rude, and I feel badly about it, but we have never gotten anything handled by him. He always needs to ask someone, and it always takes longer, and I always feel as if we are speaking two different languages.

    Frugal: I would have had a heart attack.

    Bob: It is something we're considering. The problem is that they've closed the branch that we always used (for years) with no problems at all. So now we use this branch. This man is probably from another branch, someone who has been with the bank for years. I think he would be perfectly fine for basic transactions at the teller window, but for whatever reason, they have him doing more complicated things at a desk in the back.

  11. * the scam did not accept paypal or the discover credit card. I should have known better. Don't buy from advertisements on facebook. If you see a company you're interested in, type the name of it in your search. You should be able to get the same deal there. If you can't, it probably was a scam.

  12. I would be SO frustrated and would have a difficult time holding on to my temper. After my husband died, I needed to deal with his accounts, so I went to the bank. A young teller told me that I couldn't because I wasn't on those accounts. I came home, found a recent statement that listed me on the account and went right back there. I'm sure that teller needed a stiff drink after work that day.

  13. Many years ago we used to foster many children. Mostly babies, besides having our own 3 kids. There was a man from the neighborhood who would stop in to see my husband. He always said, "Barbara, you've got the patience of Job!" (From the Old Testament!) I would say that applies to you about now! Debbie- you have the patience of Job!

  14. Oh no. I try very hard to be a patient person, but I fail regularly. It seems though that it is the small things that I struggle with the most. The big things? I am pretty clear headed.


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