Thursday, October 20, 2011

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Remember this book?  Yeah?  This kid thought he had problems.  I'd take his day any day.  Except for the part where they didn't have his choice of shoes.  That would never do.

Anyway... Monday was literally quite possibly the worst day of my life. 


OK fine, that was an exaggeration.

But it was pretty rough!

Allow me to commiserate.

My roommate has been late every day this week, and I think she was even late last week too.  She is supposed to be at work at 8am, which would mean she needs to leave our apartment at 7:30 each morning.  Well she apparently doesn't care much about getting to work on time because she just gets herself into the shower at 7:30, which is about the time I need to be getting in to leave at 8:15 or so.  So on Monday, I was of course running late.  No big deal, it's only 5 minutes (because I was a speed demon and I don't like to think about what I probably missed in the shower due to the rushing).  I'll grab the bus and save 10 minutes of walking and I should be good to go. 

So I wait a minute to board the bus, only to find out that my unlimited monthly pass is expired.

Now, I've seen this happen to a hundred people.  And each time, the driver is usually just like "it's expired.  Go ahead, it's fine." and lets them on the bus.  Does this happen to me?

Have you ever read my blog before?

Of COURSE it doesn't happen to me!  So now I'm running about 7 minutes behind schedule, and can't catch the bus to make up that time.  Awesome.

I finally get to the subway, and since my card is expired, I get to wait in the FOREVER long line to get up to the machine.  I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  I finally get to the machine.  I punch all the buttons as fast as I can and wait for it to "process payment".



"We're sorry, we cannot process your payment at this time.  Try again?"

HELL YEAH TRY AGAIN!  I have to get to work!

"We're sorry, we cannot process your payment at this time.  Try again?"


No.  I'll take a $5 card, which goes through.  On the same credit card I was using for the monthly unlimited pass.  Ugh.

Then I try to get through the FOREVER long line to get to the gates to get to the train to make it to work only DECADES late.  I say excuse me (because I get violently angry when people shove through the line, or push past me.  So rude.) 4 times and this girl just sort of stands there, or looks at me like "what?"  so I yell in her face "EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!!"  "You don't have to be rude."  "I SAID EXCUSE ME 4 TIMES, WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS IN NICE MODE?!"

I will, from now on, be simply pushing through the line.  Forget this crap.

I get to the train, I get to work, I get into the office.  I take a deep breath, and dial the 1-800 number on the back of my Bank of America Debit card.

Now.  This whole declining payment thing has happened in the past.  I don't get it.  It's not over the daily limit, it's not a large dollar amount, it's not a strange charge, it's not out of my area of regular use.  Every month this happens, I get a call asking to verify that it was me that had tried to make these declined charges.  Nothing ever changes.  When I call this time, it dumps me directly into this automated system.  I foolishly thought that it would give me the option to talk to a customer service rep at the end of this crap.  I was so very wrong.  So I call back, and it tells me that it is "unable to transfer my call.  Good bye." 


So I call again, and lie to the automated lady, saying that I want to add some sort of service to my banking...

... And got a real person!

SUCKAS!  Connie 1, automated lady.. like 409309842.  But still.  I'll take the victory.

She answers the phone all jolly, and I say very slowly and calmly:

"Every single month, on approximately the exact same date, and approximately the same time, at the exact same machine, for the exact same amount, I make a purchase.  And every single month, you decline my charge, and every single month you call me and have me go through the automated steps, and every single month I tell you that yes it was me making the charge, yes it is a valid charge.  And still, every single month, you block my card.  And this not only makes me EXTREMELY upset, but it also slows myself and everyone in line behind me at rush hour down."  So she takes a look and can't figure it out.  Because it's not over the daily limit.  And it's not a large dollar amount.  And it's not a strange charge.  And it's not out of my regular area of use.


So she transfers me to some other group of people that... I don't know... handles all subway card purchase issues or something.

The guy says "OK, I've made a note in your file that this is an acceptable monthly charge, and shouldn't be blocked." And I ask "Can you tell me why it was blocked in the first place?"

This is his explanation.

"Sometimes when people use their cards at vending machines, like Coke machines, we block the charge because we aren't sure that it is the actual cardholder making the purchase."



"So you're telling me that if I am dying of thirst one day, and I try to use my card to buy myself a coke, that you might block my transaction because you aren't sure if this $2.00 charge is valid?"


"Sir, please.  Don't block these on my card.  If someone steals my card to purchase a Coke because they are dying of thirst, I will eat that charge.  Really.  It's fine."

This was all before 10am.

Work was a total madhouse.  My accounts payable team just despises me, apparently.  Also?  Nobody on my team can seem to keep track of receipts.  And although I tell them repeatedly to just give me their receipts after they charge something to their card and I can keep them filed for them, they refuse.  And then I'm left dealing with crap when receipts are missing.  So ridiculous.  So that was my day at work, summed up very quickly.  Because that's not something I wish to re-live.  Although Tuesday and today have been the same way. 

Moving on.

So I leave work.  Terri couldn't walk to the "new" Trader Joe's with me anymore, and I decide to make it a highly productive night.  I will go to Trader Joe's, make it home by 8 at the latest.  Then I'll do laundry (because I was down to my last pair of underwear, and only a couple pairs of mis-matched socks left.), and make some dinner intermittently.  Then I'll snuggle into the couch for an hour or two before bed.


Here's how that went.

I got to the 123 train, and tried to purchase my monthly unlimited card.  Because I had been ASSURED by Bank of America a solid 8 hour prior that this had been noted as an acceptable charge.  Guess what declined my card again? 


I use another $2.25 off the card I bought that morning, which will, in fact, get me to Trader Joe's, but not home.  So I get to Trader Joe's on 72nd and Broadway.  By the way?  Super nice store!  Completely packed, but I got everything I needed and it felt like they had a LOT more selection than the one in Union Square.  I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.  I think there's also supposed to be a wine store there that I didn't see yet.  I'll scope it out next time.  Anyway, I get so much stuff that it turns out needing 3 bags.  3 bags to carry all the way to the East Side is a lot, in case you were wondering.  But I need all this stuff,  so I follow Tim Gunn's advice and make it work.

Knowing that my stupid Bank of America card wouldn't be working (I am switching to Chase next week, just btw.) I stopped by the ATM and got $120, because ATMs only dispense $20 increments.  I get to the third Subway Card machine of the day, and remember they only give cold coins for change.  Ugh.  Nobody has change for a $20, so I say Eff This and just go for it.  I'm doing laundry that night, so it's not like I'll have to hold on to the gold coins for long.  I put in the $120.


Hold on.

People feed this machine money all day long, and the most change it can give me is $6?  Awesome. 

So.  I pick up my 3 heavy bags.  Walk back across the street to the Hallal truck and flirt it up with whoever that guy is to give me 4 $5s for my $20.  He does, and he is friendly, and was the one ray of sunshine in my shit storm of a day.

I pick up my 3 heavy bags, and go back across the street.  I get my freaking subway card FINALLY, and get onto the subway, struggling the whole way to carry the bags through the tiny gates, or down the tiny stairs.  Apparently you must be tiny to live or work at 72nd and Broadway.  But I get on the train.  I get to 86th and Broadway, which is where I will exit the train and catch the bus across town to 1st Ave.  I get off the train, and set my giant bags down on the bench to readjust.  I pick the bags back up and...

... I bet you called this from the beginning...

... no shocker here...

One of the bag's handle breaks. 

Well that makes it easier.  Thanks for that.

I somehow try to hold the two ends of the now broken handle together in my hand with 3 other handles, while also balancing out weight, and getting through gates and up two flights of stairs..... just in time to see the bus pull up to the bus stop half of a block away from me.  If I don't make this bus, there won't be another one for at least 15 minutes.  It's cold, it's rainy, I'm exhausted. 

I knew I wasn't going to make it.

There's no way.

Yet somehow, a line formed for the bus, giving me JUST enough time to rush (as fast as I could what with all the hobbling) up to the door just as it was closing and get on the bus.  Apparently, God had seen enough funny for one day and decided to smile on this one thing.

I get settled, and am rubbing my aching shoulders and back as we make our way across town.

Then a girl gets on the bus, and her card buzzes to say it's expired. 

Can you guess what happens?


Bus Driver: "It's expired, hun.  Go ahead, it's fine."

GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  (me: Shakes fists in the air)

We get to 1st Avenue.  I get off the bus, and have to set the bags down for a rest no less than 5 times on the way home.  I carry them up, 1 at a time, from my front door into my apartment on the 2nd floor.  I unpack them, and start to separate laundry.  It's about 8:30.  And I realize that I am completely out of detergent.

I sort of want to cry.

Instead, I change into sweats, grab my wallet and keys, and head back to Duane Reade to pick up some detergent (which is ungodly expensive, by the way.  When did that happen?!).  I walk home, pick up my load of darks, and head over to the laundromat.  I dump my clothes into a machine, add detergent, and take my new $5 bills over to the change machine.  Now.  The machine costs $6.50, and the dryers cost $.25 for 6 minutes of use.  Connie, if you only put in a $5 bill for change, YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH.  So I had to go back to the change machine.

I go to put quarters in the washer and.... what's this?  Oh.  It's TAPE OVER THE COIN DROP BECAUSE THE MACHINE DOESN'T WORK.

well that's just dandy.  Really.  So I put all of my clothes in the next machine, and try to forget about the two caps of detergent I just wasted in the first machine.

At this point, I'm horrified to go home and attempt to make dinner.  I mean, my God.  The way my day was going?  It's entirely possible that I might burn the house down!  Maybe even the block!  But I was starving and felt like I had spent plenty of money that day.  I think I can heat something on the stove successfully.  Thankfully, this went well, and I had some gnocchi and meatballs for dinner.  Thank you, Trader Joe's.  Jebus!

I go back to the laundromat, and pull out my clothes.  I separate them by what I want to hang dry and what I want to throw in the dryer.  After I have my clothes in the dryer and am about to start putting coins in it, a guy comes around the corner to check on his clothes and says "That machine's broken!  We already tried it!" 

Do you realize that this means in one night, I put my clothes in the only two broken machines in the entire laundromat?  What are the ODDS?!? 

Anyway.  When laundry was done, I put myself to bed.  That is ENOUGH!  I am sort of proud that I didn't give up half way through and just say Eff it.  Maybe I should have.  But whatever... thank GOD Monday is over.  I'd really like to know why Monday has it out for me!  I'm skipping them from here on out.  Next Monday you can find me in bed.

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