Friday, August 17, 2012

One of THOSE Days

Today must be Friday the 13th.  It isn’t?  Really?  ‘Cause it sure feels like it.

I woke up this morning in a relatively good mood.  I say “relatively” because no matter what time it is, I could always use another hour of sleep and I tend to wake up bleary-eyed and a teeny-tiny bit grumpy.  But it’s Friday – so I figured the day could only get better as it went along – right?

Oh, so not right.

I didn’t have to wash my hair, so that chopped a good 20 minutes off my morning routine and I showed up at the breakfast table early.  That rarely happens.  So Vince and I had a little extra time to chat and discuss our weekend plans and catch up on life.

Catching up on life is not necessarily a good thing when you’re also downing vitamins, munching on Raisin Bran and slurping coffee.  Time, you see, moves at warp speed when you think you have a few extra minutes.

Suddenly I realized I was five minutes late for my morning commute so I jumped up, grabbed my stuff and ran out the door. 

It wasn’t until I was nearly at the entrance to the freeway that I realized I left my cell phone at home.  This was surprising since (a) I never EVER leave home without it, and (b) I could’ve sworn I’d had the thing surgically attached to my body. 

Sure, I could have peeled off the road and done a u-ey and gone back home to retrieve the phone, but since I was already running behind schedule I decided to see if I could manage a whole day without my cell phone.

And, yes, smarty-pants, I did experience some dizziness, a touch of nausea and several heart palpitations at the thought of spending an ENTIRE day without my cell phone!

The first test came when I screeched to a stop behind a long line of stopped traffic as emergency vehicles and tow trucks raced along the berm to come to some motorists’ aid.  Turns out a truck had dropped a load of cement blocks on the freeway and a number of cars were unable to zig-zag around them.  There were half a dozen vehicles on the side of the road with smooshed tires. 

I’m guessing that those people were wondering if it was Friday the 13th, too.

Realizing there was no way I was going to make it to work on time, I reached for – yep, you guessed it – my cell phone.  And it wasn’t there. So now I had no way of alerting the office that I’d be a few minutes late.

Okay, not the end of the world.  I mean, it wasn’t like I was going to be hours late or anything.

Remarkably, the mess on the freeway didn’t hinder traffic too much and I was soon on my way.  I say “remarkably” because usually a single set of brake lights tapped on by a cautious driver is enough to slow down the entire platoon of commuters so that it tacks on an additional ten minutes to the commute. 

(By the way, did’ja like that?  “Platoon of commuters”?  I just made it up.  Hey, if there can be a flock of seagulls or a pride of lions, I figure there can be a platoon of commuters.)

But I digress.  As usual.

Anyway, I finally reached the office without any other delays or mishaps.  And fortunately I was only a few minutes late, so I figured the day was looking up.

That would make me wrong again, Skippy.

Once I’d gotten settled, I did a quick check of our bank accounts – something I do on a routine basis.  Dealing with the banking in our household is not for the faint of heart.  I mean, I was a single woman for a long time and I haven’t been able to give up all control by using just one joint checking and savings account.  So we have individual accounts and we have joint accounts.  My mom thinks I’m nuts, but then she has been married for over 60 years and can barely remember being single. 

Anyway, imagine my, uh, consternation, when I saw a negative balance in my checking account of over $1,000!  This is not possible, I thought.  Only I added a couple additional words for, um, let’s say, color commentary.

Apparently, I paid off a credit card, which was issued from another bank. Only I paid it off twice. So now there was a big credit on our credit card, but not enough money in my checking account.  Aargh!

You might think this was no big deal, wouldn’t you?  All I had to do was transfer funds from one account into the other to cover the deficit.  Well, sure.  And I did this. But the funds were in another bank and it usually takes 24 hours to complete the online transfer.  By then, I would’ve been hit with a $37 NSF fee.

I can’t remember the last time I had insufficient funds in my account and I didn’t want today to be the day I broke that streak, so I spent the next half hour on the phone with both banks.  Neither wanted to be accommodating and suggested that the other bank do thus-and-such to fix the problem. 

This was not helpful.

Now, I could’ve just let the second payment to the credit card bounce back as unpaid due to insufficient funds.  Then the credit card balance would’ve been zero instead of a big credit.  Plus, I would no longer have insufficient funds in my checking account.  Problem solved, right? 

Oh no.  Because I just couldn’t stand the thought of being charged that stinkin’ fee.

By the way, I was conducting all this personal business on my work phone – something I am loathe to do.  But who forgot her cell phone this morning??  Yes.  Plus, with the whole freakin’ banking industry being modernized and all, the automated system did not recognize the phone I was calling from.  So I had to jump through even more hoops to prove I was who I said I was.

Right about then I swear I heard a snarky little voice whispering in my ear, “Not a good day to forget that cell phone, was it?”

Now I could’ve done a number of things at this point.  Take a cash advance on my credit card to cover the funds and deposit it into my checking account. Withdraw cash from the savings account in another bank and deposit it in the checking account.  Go home and hide under the covers until Friday the 13th, er, 17th was over.  I mean, there were a number of options available to me.

So what did I do?  Well, I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I got all teary-eyed.  I just don’t make these sorts of mistakes – and I’m the one who has her checking account balanced to the penny.  So how dorky was it to shed tears over a measly thirty-seven dollar charge?  Because, bottom line, that’s what we’re talkin’ about here.  It’s not like the banking police were going to come and arrest me.  (I hoped, anyway.)  

But after indulging in my momentary pity party, I trotted myself over to the bank and covered the difference.  Tomorrow, of course, the online transfer will kick in and I’ll have twice as much in there.  And, of course, there is still that big credit on the credit card. 

So right about now I’m trying to talk myself out of doing a little retail therapy to get that credit card balance back to “0.”  I could have myself a whole lot of fun. 

But given how this day has gone, I suspect that the following would occur: 1) My purse would develop some inexplicable hole and the credit card would fall out and some nefarious character would swipe it and have a LOT of fun with it, and 2) That same truck that lost its load of cement blocks this morning would somehow find me on the way to the mall (since he missed me the first time) and I’d have four flat tires and no cell phone with which to call a tow truck.

So I’ve decided that my best course of action would be: 3) go home and hide under the covers until Friday the 13th, er, 17th is over.

Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.  But first I’m going to find my cell phone.  This dizziness, nausea and heart palpitations need to go away.  And next time?  Well, next time I’ll make a U-turn and head back home for the phone because I’m banking (ha) on the fact that none of this would have happened if I hadn’t forgotten my cell phone. 

That's my story anyway.  
Have a good weekend.  
But don't forget your cell phone.  
I'm serious.

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