Daily Archives: August 17, 2011

“Honey, our credit card’s been filched”

Ever had one of “those” days?

One of those days when everything is a little crazy and nuts and doesn’t quite seem to go right?

Those days when life hands you lemons and the only thing you can do is make lemonade over and over again.

The last twenty-four hours–no make that thirty-six hours–has been like that.  I can’t tell you all the details of this lovely stretch of challenges, but perhaps you’d like to hear a few morsels?

Yesterday morning–preparing for a wonderful trip to Marquette to visit the knee surgeon and pick up our daughter Kiah from the airport–I paused to fill up the car with gas at our local Holiday station.

Tossed the credit card cheerfully on the counter toward the clerk.  She swiped the darling through her machine.  The machine paused.  The machine gasped.  The machine suddenly spewed out a list of instructions.

“What’s that?” I ask, little suspecting.

“Oh, the computer sometimes does that,” she replies breezily.

She now has to enter at least 100 characters and numbers in her computer, attempting to clear the screen.  Nothing works.  She now has to call someone on the telephone and enter 500 more numbers.  She asks for my ID.  Yep, that’s who I am.   Looks like me anyway.

 Then she’s advised to call my credit card company.  Except they put her on hold.  I want to state right now to you readers:  I love my credit card.  It’s dear to this heart.  You know why?  It offers frequent flyer numbers, or whatever they call it these days.  At least three trips have been gifted through this credit card.  It’s our third child.

Finally–the clerk is still on hold–I sigh and say, “Hey, don’t know what this about, but how about I give you another credit card?”  (sigh, grumble, the $34.00 gas charges will not give flyer miles.  errr….)

She smiles in relief, advises me to call the credit card, and I scurry back to the car.  Pull off to the side, dial the credit card number on the back of the card, carefully articulating the digits to the automated system.

The automated system says, “I am sorry.  You will need to talk to a representative.”

The next voice that comes on the line:  Welcome to our Fraud Division.

Fraud division?  What’s happening?  I am suddenly wide awake and the heart is starting to pump more vigorously.  Horror stories threaten to engulf the edges of the brain.  Fraud?  Fraud?  What’s happened?

A nice young lady arrives on the telephone scene.

She wants to know my identification.  Address.  Phone number.  Last four digits of the social security number.  (ummm, darn, what are they?  Quick now!  Phew, got it.)  Zip code.

“Have you been in Texas?” she asks.

“Texas?” I parrot, looking around.  “NO!  I’m in L’Anse.  Michigan.”

“Someone has been charging on your card in Texas,” she says kindly.  “You can’t use your card any more.”

“Will we have to pay for the charges?”  I gasp.  “Since when?  How much?”

(Here the story gets fuzzy because I can’t recall exactly how much was charged.  Not a lot.  Maybe  a few hundred.  Since the previous afternoon.  No, indeed, you will not have to pay for the charges.  You’ll have to sign some paperwork verifying the charges which were not yours.)

Kathy sighs in relief, wants to hug credit card girl. 

“I appreciate you so much!” I gush.  “Thank you, thank you!  You guys are great!  Hey…I’m going downstate…WHEN CAN I GET MY NEW CARD?  You see, I really really need those frequent flyer miles…”

“We’ll try to get the card to you by Thursday,” she said. 

PHEW!

I scurried to Barry’s place of work.

“Honey, our credit card’s been filched!”

(Doesn’t the word “filch” sound so dramatic?)

Off we drive to Marquette.  To summarize part of the rest of our day:  Barry needs arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus. Our trip downstate to visit my parents must now somehow be adjusted, because Nurse Kiah and I must be home to help the invalid for his surgery. (We call her Nurse Kiah because she arrived after my gall bladder surgery in December and assisted admirably.)  Kiah’s plane was late, but she eventually arrived.

How did we make lemonade from lemons, you ask?  We appreciated the fraud division of the credit card company for catching the illegitimate transactions.  We appreciated that Barry’s knee is going to improve.  We’re trying to figure out alternative plans to go downstate.  And we watched a movie–Friends with Benefits–and went out for dinner–for the four additional hours we awaited Kiah’s plane.

When was the last time you had to make lemonade out of a day filled with lemons?

(P.S.  sorry I’m so far behind answering comments and visiting blogs–YIKES!  Too much happening these days…)