Saturday, February 02, 2008

Amish? I Wish!

I know I still need to write about other issues, but I've been distracted by what my father-in-law would call,"Luciferian technology."

In truth, I have a variety of subjects running through my mind which I need to expel, but foremost lately is the overwhelming desire to...become Amish.

Admittedly such a transformation would likely negate me writing anything at all here or anywhere else on the Internet, but there are some other obstacles in the way as well.

Anyway, let's deal with the first question likely popping into your head, "Huh?" which I'll translate into," Um...Michael, why would you want to become Amish?"

Hey, it's my blog, my imagination, I can translate your thoughts anyway I wish.

Since the day we stepped off the ship from our Caribbean cruise I have seemingly been fighting technology. We weren't home for a day before our Credit Union called to make sure my VISA card hadn't been hijacked since it was used overseas. I completely understood the reason for this call. I never use that card, but I thought while traveling I wanted protection of a real credit card and not a debit card. I explained to the first person I spoke with that the charges were legitimate, I was not being held hostage by some Rastafarian nor were any members of my family, despite photographic evidence which might indicate the contrary.

Since that first phone call I have spoken with perhaps a dozen different representatives of my credit union's "fraud" department, hoping to convince them that all was well and good in the world. Additionally during this time the entire Dish Network nightmare has been playing out and although my previous post indicated all was resolved, it wasn't until today that our money was actually returned.

I'm skipping over a lot to spare you the agony, but don't despair...there's plenty of agony ahead.

The high points:

1. A "credit fraud expert" at my credit union told me my "card must be damaged."
When I explained that her revelations seemingly would not explain why medications ordered through my health insurance company's on-line pharmacy were being refused, she said,"Well, your card may have a scratch on it." I never could get her to understand that that the "on line" pharmacy has never touched my physical credit card in that they"on line" and she insisted on sending me new card.
2. The DISH network corporate "Media communications office" - although Evelyn B3B did everything she promised,"God bless you "Evelyn B3B" - has bombarded me with reassurances that "all is well" - except when it comes to to my emails asking why my on line billing statement now says I owe them 150 bucks, a number apparently picked out of thin air.
3. After speaking with the "credit card fraud" experts at my credit union and asking flat out, "Is there ANYONE ON EARTH OR ELSEWHERE who could be messing with this card's acceptance?" I was told over and over that "Nope, everything should go through now."
4. The VISA card is still being rejected everywhere except apparently Jamaica.
5. I received a letter from VISA (word for word identical to the letter I received on the SAME DAY from my credit union) saying, "because of unusual activity - i.e. I was using the card - THEY(VISA) had put a hold on it. Never once did anyone at my credit union say, "Oh, you might want to check with VISA."
6. I called VISA, and spoke to a seemingly competent guy who listened to my tale of woe and said, "Gee, I don't know why your credit union didn't tell us you'd spoken to them, but 'everyone who looks up your record' will see now that the card is to accepted."
7. The VISA card is still being denied...I've given up on that card, paid it off, and taken it out of my wallet.
8. I rush out of work to get Amy to a doctor's appointment she says she's certain is at 9:15 a.m.
On my way home, I call Amy and she tells me she's not feeling well enough to go to the doctor and can't get through to their office. I tell her to rest, I turn around since the Doc's office is nearby, and say I'll deal with it.
9. I call the doctor whose office opens at 8:30 a.m....but keep getting their "please call back during office hours recording." It's nearly 9 a.m..
10. After repeated attempts I decide to stay on hold to talk to the doctor's service...maybe he's sick (actually he was) and hear a recording saying, "All our representatives our currently busy, please stay on hold. Your estimated wait time is TWENTY-TWO seconds."
11. Nine minutes later, I hang up...I'm in the parking lot of the doctor's office.
12. I rush up the stairs to see the doctor's receptionist fixing her make-up and mention that I wasn't certain of the appointment time, plus I couldn't get through to her via the phone.
13. She finishes fixing her hair, and responds, "Oh, I never turn off the machine until I've done my make-up." It's now 9:30. She adds, "The appointment is at 10:15 anyway."
14. I step outside to call Amy only to see the doctor running in. He stops to talk telling me he had awoken with a migraine and was running late. I told him not to worry because at least one appointment was being rescheduled. He then apparently has plenty of time to talk and I jokingly mention that I'm giving up technology and becoming Amish. His response? He says, "Did you know you can buy an Amish buggy for 8 to 900 bucks?"
15. I leave, worried about why this doctor would know the price of an Amish buggy.
16. I'm called by another credit union representative wanting to know if my VISA card is being held hostage.
17. I'm called by our on-line pharmacy asking if I have another credit card they might try.
18. I ask the pharmacy if they have "anything on special." I'm only half serious.
20. Out of curiosity I do an Internet search on "Amish buggies" for sale.

The doctor was not only right, but he's apparently been searching prices recently.

21. I buy a tiny item via eBay, only to find the seller "doesn't accept PayPal" but no where in her 15 page "ad" on eBay does she say WHERE to send her a check. I send no fewer than three emails to her and finally one to eBay.
22. One day later, I get a response from the seller saying, "Sorry, here's my address. I've been too busy filling orders to read email." HUH?
23. I look at the Amish buggy again and wonder if I might be bidding against our doctor.
24. The DISH Network corporate media communication's office stops responding to my emails asking why their proclamation of "you'll have your money in 3 business days" hasn't materialized.
25. I realize to become Amish I only really need that buggy, a horse, and a beard.
26. I haven't ever been able to grow a beard.
27. I praise God for the Internet.

28. I realize praising God for the Internet might also toss a wrench into my Amish aspirations.

29. I decide to go to church in the morning and pray about it.