Not a whole LOT of action, unfortunately, but writing on this thing at least. I have neglected this journal due to being so busy with my move to New Palladian City. More than busy. And just as difficult as the physical move has been all the address changes with banks and credit cards– my bank (WA Mutual) SCREWING ME (more on that later), finding out my health insurance wasn’t good in a different state (even though it’s a HUGE company) (Assurant) and then trouble with the US Mail, on top of everything. Anyway, now I’m going to try to get caught up with taking a look at how much debt I have to deal with, how I’m going to do it, and also, relating some recent warmhearted stories of financial institution stupidity and insensitivity.
But first, what motivated me on this fine March morning in New Palladian City– it would be so nice to go out for a walk and get a paper– but first to pay some credit card bills. I recently had trouble with my Chase accounts, because I couldn’t download my statements, and I like to keep track of all that info each month. (I pay all my credit cards online, did I mention that?) So I called customer service, and I talked to FOUR people– all who were very nice, especially the tech guy. But not one of them could tell me what I later figured out myself, that I needed acrobat reader to view my statements. Maybe they just assumed I had it, I don’t know, but that would have been the simple answer.
Anyway, the worst thing was that TWO of the four people I talked to LAUNCHED INTO a sales pitch for their credit protection program! I know they HAVE to do this, as employees, and I feel sorry for them, and so I’m polite. I calmly explain how, as the program costs so much per dollar of outstanding balance, look at my debt, do that math. That always shuts them up. They know their product is a scam, and they are employed to sell a shit product based on paranoia. Anyway, I guess that’s the price you pay for calling customer service.
Then this morning, I’m going to calmly pay a current credit card payment, and I try to log on the Chase site– and of course the first thing I get is the ad for credit card protection. There is always a little box for “skip this ad.” But today it won’t work! I can’t get past this ad. So you know some genius at Chase said fuck these people, we’ll disable that bypass box and MAKE THEM LOOK AT OUR CREDIT CARD PROTECTION AD.
I considered calling customer service and complaining, but then I knew I’d have to listen to another sales pitch, and I just don’t think I have the patience for it. I’m afraid I’d use the motherfucker word with them. Thank you CHASE! You’ve already ruined my morning!
As of September 2007:
AmEx – 315
Washington Mutual – 361
Bank of America – 2181
Bank of America – 9424
Chase – 9068
Citibank – 3655
Chase – 4118
Chase – 6104
Citibank – 16,013
Capitol One – 8678
Bank of America – 8507
I don’t know if that’s better or worse than the last time I added it all up. There is something about math that’s much less painless if you’re adding up your wealth rather than your debt. But writing it out that way makes it seem not so bad. Am I losing my mind to think that? And if so, how much is THAT going to cost me?
I’ve succussfully paid all my ballances down to zzero!!!
American Express – 69
Bank of America American Express – 2337
Bank of America American Express – 6769
Bank of America Visa – 3952
Bank of America American Express – 9890
Chase Mastercard – 9713
Citibank Mastercard – 3837
Chase Visa – 609
Chase Mastercard -6670
Citibank Visa – 6660
Capital One Mastercard – 9752
Bank of America American Express – 9251
Okay, here it is! Why this list is SPACED the way it is is a grand mystery to me. It’s the same kind of mystery as with word processing, plumbing, car repair, wars, relationships, money, and where this debt came from in the first place. There may be people who have figured this stuff out, and those are the people with money. I sometimes suspect that some sort of slavery is behind it all. And misinformation. I don’t know.
Well, I feel like this represents, for me, hitting bottom. I mean of the debt. Maybe it can go below bottom. What do you call that, when you hit bottom, then go lower? It’s time to ask a poet, I guess.
…last night that I was $100,000 in debt. Do they still make the One Hundred Thousand Dollar” candy bar? I will slap it out of people’s hands! I am well on my way to being the Six Million Dollar Man!
My debt rose before me like the monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey”– except much bigger. It was bigger than the US Bank building that stands in front of me now, and it was black and featureless. But as I approached, it lightened in color, it turned the pale Caucasian hue of a United States bank president. And the smooth surface took on texture, and soon I could make out the faces of OUR CHILDREN. The monolith did not discriminate. There were the faces of the children of bank and insurance company presidents and drug company CEO’s who were attending Ivy League schools. And there were the faces of the children whose bodies were mashed and steamrolled into blacktop highways driven upon by Lincoln Navigators and Cadillac Escalades. I woke up screaming. And laughing. Screaming and laughing! Screaming and laughing! And I had a headache.
How many bottles of PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur at the CVS does it take to go too far in debt to ever get out?
Read about my life at the Plaza de Oro here:
Not from the beginning, that’s for sure. Maybe just from the present day, and take if from there. How did I get into the debt that I’m in? Gradually, over time, not making enough money to keep up. Some medical stuff, but nothing too dramatic there. Let’s just say it was 30 years of not making enough money to cover expenses. The main thing I want to make clear is that I don’t spend money extravagantly. I don’t buy a lot of things, or have any expensive habits. So there is nothing much for me to give up, and nothing at all to sell.