Today started out like your average Tuesday. We got up, had some breakfast, played, watched some Sesame Street and ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things. That's where things went horribly, HORRIBLY awry.
Because I am, like, the LUCKIEST woman alive, my local supermarket just so happens to have a branch of my bank nuzzled gently into the corner of its confines. I didn't plan it that way--it just happened. This means that I get to do my banking and my grocery shopping in one fell swoop, which, with a toddler in tow, is absolute unadulterated heaven on earth. Perhaps the best thing about it, though, is that although there are people on staff who can answer your questions and open accounts for you, all of the actual transactions must take place through the ATM. The joy of this, for me, is that I don't need to have unnecessary human interactions or wait in obnoxious lines. I just whip out my little card, push a couple of buttons, and I'm good to go. Whoever thought of this is a god in my book. I mean, she is just one tiny step below the person who invented the Visa Check Card.
While we're on the subject of the Visa Check Card, let me just mention to you my new mantra: "Cash? Who needs it!" At any given time, I'm lucky if I have $1.12 on me. I use that damn card for everything. I only feel bad for the cute little kids standing outside the grocery store selling candy bars for Cub Scouts. I used to be a sucker for those damn kids, but now I have to blow them off because they don't take plastic (just give that a couple years, though).
OK, back to my horrific story. This morning, in a moment of apparent delirium, I forgot to remove my precious debit card from the ATM when I was finished making my deposit. I didn't realize this until 15 minutes later when I went to purchase my groceries. Thank god there was no one in line behind me because I literally dumped my purse out onto the conveyor belt looking for my baby. But, alas, it was nowhere to be found. For a moment I went into panic mode--how am I going to pay for my groceries! Then I remembered the emergency credit card. With a heavy heart, I broke that bad boy out.
I then went over to the banking area and explained that I had just used the ATM but could no longer find my card. I asked if anybody had turned in a dropped card. No. "Does the ATM keep the card if you forget to take it out?" I ask the girl. She stares at me blankly. Then a guy comes out from the back. She explains what I just told her and the guy says, "Oh, if you forget to take your card, the ATM keeps it." OK, this should be simple--open up the ATM, look in the left behind card compartment, and give me my card back. Apparently they can't do that. WHAT GOOD ARE THESE PEOPLE? DON'T THEY KNOW THAT MY LIVELIHOOD IS AT STAKE?????
The guy then says, "Well, if you're sure you don't have the card, we'll just get you a new one." Oh thank god, now this man is talking some sense. They bring up my account in the system and the guy says, "There are three cards showing up--do you know what the last 4 digits on your card were?" I'm practically hyperventilating--can't you ask me a less important question? "I'm not sure," I say, "Can't you look at the name the card is issued to? And by the way, there should only be two cards on the account." "Well, there are three and they're all issued to you." First of all, WHAT??? Second of all, clearly only one of them has ever been used, so that's the one. We get it all figured out and then he drops the bomb. "Great, you'll get your new card in five to seven business days! Have a good one!"
Excuse me? Have a good one??? Did you not notice the myriad $3 to $5 charges on my account? Do you not know how my life depends on this card? I haven't felt this helpless since I was all but shoved out the door of the hospital with a one-and-a-half-day-old baby in my arms. "Good luck with the kid! We're sorry about that thing where we insisted that you would have to spend the night tonight and then revoked that offer at 7 pm and promptly sent two strapping men to your room to pack your bags and physically remove you from the premises! Have a good one! Oh! Don't forget your stool softener!"
How am I going to survive the next 5-to-7 business days?? Oh no! Am I going to have to go to the actual bank? Please say it isn't so! This is terrible, just terrible! Oh my god--what if I actually had to write a check, IN PUBLIC? How horrifying would that be? What if people saw me? Would they whisper behind my back? "What on earth is that woman doing? Doesn't she know she's holding up the line? Poor thing...she's stuck in the '90s! "
I might as well just crawl into a hole and die. I'm suddenly reminded of one of my favorite movie quotes of all time (from My Girl): "Get outta here! And don't come back for five to seven days!"