Monday, August 16, 2004

Time & Temperment

I discovered today that half the stores in the world turn over their credit card stuff to one bank in Georgia. I got through to a woman this afternoon about some obscure bill. I opted to find a human to talk to, no easy trick, because the automated voice designed to save me so much time said, "your total balance is 20 dollars and 50 cents....your minimum payment is 50 dollars".

The woman I spoke with took a while even for her to figure it out, but she finally determined the automated voice had a southern was trying to say 15 dollars. In any case I learned during our talk that this same bank handles credit cards for all sorts of stores and I asked - admittedly gun-shy about customer service - but still game enough for some abuse - if she could simply look up every store that had my name or address listed as having account which used their bank. She said, "Sure!"

Yes, I was amazed. mine. She rattled them off...most I knew about, the others I knew were long gone. No outstanding balances on any of them. That was a relief.

I also discovered today that Exxon Mobil is a weird outfit. Amy is convinced we owe them more money than I can find any record of, and I spoke with a human being there too. I said I have a bill in one hand with one number on it and a credit card in the other hand with another account number on it. She said, "There's only one Exxon Mobil"...part of me was grateful for that as visions of Joseph Hazelwood danced in my head. I had to take her at her word. She said we owed 22 I then noticed the bottom of their bill which reads: "The finance charge on this statement is a minimum charge permitted by state law which results in an ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE of 86.59% on this billing."


What state allows that? Oh....Georgia. I have a feeling all our hard to find debts are going to lead me there.

There's no real point to this stuff today... I'm rambling. I realized this afternoon I'm letting this take up too much of my time. I barely get to see Amy in the mornings, come home to this, and then....well, I start to whine.

So I'm going to go walk it off.... thank God for giving me a modicum of patience and perhaps pray for a bit more.

I'm also going to remember that one day, when we're out of this mess - and we will be - I'm going to put my money in bank stocks in Georgia.

FYI - Amy is improving a little but will remain hospitalized until next week, hopefully then I'll get to spring her.

I'd pay anything for that....with interest.