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Holding a grudge

09/02/2013 @ 8:45am

Some people just can’t take a joke.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column about a very large bank that put $1 million in my savings account. When I called to thank them, they told me it was a mistake and took it all back.

I freely admit I made fun of them. I thought it was hilarious how they could make a $1 million mistake and it didn’t cost them anything, but if I had made a $1 million mistake, it would have cost me - well, it boggles the mind as to what it would have cost me.

It was also pretty funny that the emails they sent explaining their mistake were full of mistakes. But that’s not the end of the story . . .

Last week we headed off on a big trip, and as we walked through the airport, I told my wife, “You know, it’s been so long since I used this card in an ATM. I think we should try it while we’re still able to work out any kinks without it being an international call.”

I slid the card into the machine. It was a type of ATM I hadn’t seen before - you don’t swipe the card, it’s entirely swallowed up. My card disappeared, I punched a few buttons, and then a message came up on the screen.

“Your card has been captured.”

I hadn’t even known we were at war.

I looked up at the name on the machine and sure enough, there it was.  

Something that rhymes with BS Stanks.

I didn’t know they even read my stuff.

As we were standing in the line for security, I finally got them on the phone. They told me that it was their machine, but not their card, so they didn’t know why it had been seized. The person I was talking to, a guy named John, said, “We don’t know what the problem was with your account that made the machine seize your card.”

Coincidently, I had just received the bill for that particular account two days before. It showed a total of $58.12 in charges, and I’d paid it in full, so I said, “John, I will bet you $1,000.00 that there is no problem with that account.”

There may have been a slight edge to my voice.  John certainly seemed offended.

I moved on and asked, “How do I get my card back?”

He said, “If there really is no problem with your account, then when the ATM machine is serviced next week, your card will be found and destroyed, and you can get a replacement card sent to your home.”

“I’m on my way to ARGENTINA,” I said, “and I thought a credit card might be useful!”

To me, it was a reasonable point, but John seemed unimpressed. The conversation went slightly downhill from there.

Now, I’m not accusing a huge banking corporation of entering into a worldwide conspiracy to make me miserable just because I think it’s funny that they can’t keep track of their money.

On the other hand, two hours after we arrived in Buenos Aires, street thieves threw some sort of vile liquid on my wife and me, and then stole all of our camera equipment while we were trying to clean up.  

I’m not completely sure what to do. I’m supposed to be taking pictures of half of Argentina – not to mention Peru - and I just don’t think a camera phone would be quite good enough. I could buy a new one, I suppose.

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