April 14th 11:56pm - Bank/Me Conversation

The conversation with my bank concerning my desperate diñero-desire was gratifying.
If the definition of gratifying constituted my seven-year-old elation when my best friend pushed me down a hill while I was wearing my new Roller Blades for the first time.

Bank: ¨Good morning, this is Lisa. How may I help you?¨

Me: ¨Hi Bank. I have a problem. I´m in Peru and my purse got stolen Saturday night on an overnight bus that was hell. I´ve never smelled such smells. Anyway, in my purse was all my money and my ATM card. That ATM card was the only access to money I had. So now I have no money. And I need money.¨

Bank: ¨You had all your money together?¨

Me: ¨Yes, I know. I´m an idiot. You´d think I hadn´t traveled before, right? Well, I have. My passport wasn´t in there, so that´s good. But my sunglasses were. And my friend´s camera. But, ya, money. I need money.¨

Bank: ¨And the bus smelled bad?¨

Me: ¨Yep. Vomit and explosive diarrhea.¨

Bank: ¨That´s disgusting.¨

Me: ¨I know, right? So gross. Okay, wait, this is costing me a dollar a minute. So. Money. How do I get my money?¨

Bank: ¨All I can do is cancel your card.¨

Me: ¨Well, that´s nice. I´m thinking more along the lines of wiring me my money, though.¨

Bank: ¨We can´t do that.¨

Me: ¨What? Why not? It´s my money! I have no money, I need money, and you have it.¨

Bank: ¨Actually, because you´re in another country, we can´t verify your identification.¨

Me: ¨What? You know me though! Please put Mabel on the phone.¨

Mabel: ¨Hi Kara. I hear you´re in Peru and in trouble.¨

Me: ¨Yes, trouble. I need money.¨

Mabel: ¨Ya, your mom was in here the other day telling me how worried she is about you. You´re traveling alone?¨

Me: ¨Well, I was with a friend. Then he left. So I was traveling alone for a few weeks, but right now I´m traveling with another friend, so that´s good. His nickname is Rojo Gringo.¨

Mabel: ¨Oh, good! I´m glad you´re with someone. Your mom won´t have to worry so much.¨

Me: ¨Right. Well, the thing is, this phone call is costing me a fortune. And I have no money to pay for it. So can you wire me some of my money please? So I can pay to talk to you?¨

Mabel: ¨Actually, I can´t. I´m sorry. We aren´t authorized to wire money unless the person who has the account goes in to a bank branch in person.¨

Me: ¨That makes no sense. Why would I need to have money wired to me if I was in a bank branch?¨

Mabel: ¨For example, if you wanted to wire money to your sister if she was overseas and in a similar situation.¨

Me: ¨Ok, whatever. So, fine, can my mom go in, withdraw money from my account, and then wire it to me?¨

Mabel: ¨Is your mom on your account?¨

Me: ¨What? No. You know she´s not. She has her own account.¨

Mabel: ¨Then she can´t take money out of your account because we don´t have your authorization.¨

Me: ¨Well, I´m giving you my authorization right now. What do you need? My fingerprint? I´ll fax that to you right now with a statement giving my mom permission to withdraw money from my account.¨

Mabel: ¨Actually, Kara, because you´re not here in person, we can´t verify it´s you.¨

Me: ¨Ask me anything. You want to know what kind of car my mom drives? My social security number? Should I call me mom and have her bring you in a sandwich for lunch? Or a steak? Would that verify who I am?¨

Mabel: ¨I´m very sorry. but unless you´re actually here in person we can´t authorize any kind of transaction.¨

Me: ¨But I´m not there. I´m in Peru. And I need money. My money. How do I do that?¨

Mabel: ¨The best we can do is cancel your card and send you a new one. The new card will take 8-10 business days to arrive and will be sent to the address you have listed with your bank account.¨

Me: ¨Ok. Number 1. I´M IN PERU. Without money. I don´t even have money to pay for this phone call. Number 2. If I was to get my card sent anywhere it would have to be sent to me here. In Peru. Today, preferally.¨

Mabel: ¨We actually go through another company for the cards. It will take 8-10 business days to be sent to your address in California. Let me see if I can get it sent to South America instead.¨

Me: ¨What? No. I need money today. Not eight to ten days from now. I don´t even know where I´ll be in three days. I might be back in Bolivia. Say hi to those border guards I paid off last time I was there. I don´t know.¨

Mabel: ¨You paid off border guards?¨

Me: ¨Ya. Long story. Anyway, this phone call is currently at $15. Which I don´t have. Because you won´t let me access my own money. What can I do about that?¨

Mabel: ¨I can cancel your card and send you a new one. Without you here that´s the best I can do.¨

Me: ¨Goddamnit. Can I speak to your manager? ¨

Mabel: ¨I am the manager.¨

Me: ¨Right. I knew that. Goddamnit.¨

Click.



Me: ¨Mom! The bank is a bastard. You´re going to have to get one of my checks and forge it. Make it out to yourself for $2,000. Cash it and then wire me the money.¨

1 comment:

Erica said...

Please get some one fired for me when you return to the states! I hate banks like that! How frustrating!!