Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Being raised a Catholic, I'm very comfortable with believing in things I cannot see. That's how I am with technology-much of what modern man (and woman) hath wrought remains well beyond both my intellectual reach as well as my understanding grasp. 

I just assume stuff operates on FM with the "M" standing for Magic and the "F" being a given. We haven't bought more paper checks in years. Mostly because we have no money and the judge said calling them 'wish notes' doesn't make them less illegal when there's nothing in the account. So much for that rose by any other name jazz. 

Actually I pay my bills on-line which, as you know, is a little like a magic show. I go to my bank (in my case, credit-union) website and do a secret handshake and a little dance and then am ushered into a back room where dollars are doled out to those folks I tell the bank to pay.

Our son got me into this a couple of years ago and now the post office is hemorrhaging money. You do the math. I have an alibi. 

For a long time, I assumed all the transactions were electronic. The money was zapped from my checking account to the account of whomever I was paying but I've since learned some folks aren't set up that way and in those cases my payer (notice the banking lingo there? I picked that up on YouTube-actually I picked this up which is why I use a credit union, like a Bailey Building and Loan Association but with less Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed)) actually writes and mails them a physical check. 

I'm in the process of repaying Sallie Mae for a parent's loan for college-it's moving right along and by the time I'm seventy-five I should have it repaid especially with the wizard book-keeping they do on their side of the ledger. 

My credit union started this past Monday by transferring to them the previously-agreed upon sum of money. It showed up as a debit in my on-line account and I entered it into the check register, or what I call my Prayer Book (it's really my check book but you get the idea). 

Sallie Mae advised me this past Saturday by email they had received the money. I appreciated the note. What I didn't appreciate was the delay and the lack of understanding where the money had been since Monday. 

I didn't have it and as since the transfer was electronic, unless the servers were powered by Twenty Mule Teem Borax, I didn't get the five day delay. I also didn't really appreciate getting a notice on a Saturday but when I called the customer service numbers, no one was there on weekends. I'm thinking the Keebler Elves have some 'splaining to do.

Spoke with "Sid" earlier this week-am not sure if he answers to "El" or not and decided to NOT push it. By the time I was done on the phone, "El" would not have been what I would have called him anyway. I ran head on into circular logic which often resembled a circular saw. 

As best as I got it from "Sid," the reason why it took five days for my payment to post is because it took five days. Pause. Subject to my questions that concluded his briefing. 

I was unable to overwhelm him with my charm (yeah, I smiled too as I read that; stop laughing now dammit!) or bring him over to the dark side. He was impervious to logic, reason, chocolate or pony rides all of which I offered in varying amounts for the duration of the call. 

That it took Sallie Mae sixteen days to post a payment the previous cycle and only five this time, one of us thought should be considered practically instantaneous. I was NOT the one who thought this way, but did understand the appeal and admired the attempt.

I kept asking for a reason; he kept giving me a history. It sounded like discussions with our dad when I was a kid, 'why? 'because.' Game-Set-Match. 

I chuckled as he reached, by himself, a conclusion we had successfully concluded our discussion on this item as he asked if there was anything else he could help me with. Considering he hadn't helped me at all, I found the use of else touchingly brave and kept smiling as he went through a thirty second farewell in which he wished every single person in my family a pleasant day without knowing how many of us there were or are, and not actually caring, I'm sure. 

As for the Moneygoround, I'm looking forward to the next fourteen years. 
 -bill kenny

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