Saturday, September 26, 2009

A confluence of utter bad news

Before I leave my apartment, I gather up the quarters on my nightstand (a chair) to purchase a beverage with at the bodega. I remember I do not have cash in my wallet, and these quarters will come in handy.

I leave my apartment with two checks.
One for bills from my Orlando apartment
One for my rent for my NYC apartment
I also have the addresses written down to which both checks must be mailed to. Now I have to (a) buy envelopes and (b) buy stamps so I can (c) mail these checks. All of this I can do in the little "town square" beneath the subway tracks.

Walgreens has envelopes, but not stamps. I get $40 "cash back" and the envelopes, and the employee directs to me "any of these bodegas around here" for the stamps.

I go into a bodega. They have stamps. I first pull my wallet out of my pocket to pay for them with one of the two $20 bills, but since the total for the stamps is only three dollars, I choose not to burden the bodega with giving me so much change (I am a saint) and I reach into my pocket to retrieve the quarters.


I am now thinking two thoughts
1. Why does a total of five stamps cost $3 even? They're 44 cents each
2. Counting these quarters and dimes and nickels is hard.
I pay the man and have a new thought: Why did I not receive a receipt? My mind was not where it should have been. Its on the stamps and the envelopes and getting these two checks mailed.

I walk out of the bodega and plop my bag of stuff on a newspaper stand just outside it. Now, here, in the busy, noisy sidewalks of "Bronx" (as it is called when you address a letter. Not "The Bronx." Just "Bronx.") I address the two envelopes, I stamp the two envelopes, put the checks in the two envelopes and mail the two envelopes.

Then it hits me. Did I put the correct check into the matching envelope? I have no idea. I was not paying attention during that part. Ugh, just like me to be so mindless during a task I think I am being so smart about. I walk to the train, then remember what a long trip it is to Brooklyn. I was going to the DUMBO "Art Under the Bridge" Festival. I walk back to the bodega to buy a newspaper. I pick up the newspaper. A $2 New York Times. Ugh, so expensive. I reach for my wallet. No wallet. I ask the employee. They haven't seen it.

My wallet is missing.

I check every pocket 5 times. No wallet. I am dazed. The employee does not care. I left it on the counter and someone took it! And so begins the calls to 911, my bank, my credit card company. Mess. The cops come, I file a report. There are security tapes, but they're in an office not open till Monday.

The cop tells me to have my accounts "flagged." He's a cop. I listen. The first Wachovia employee denies the existance of flagging and sends me to another employee, who I lose contact with when my cell minutes expire. I get on Skype. The third employee begins to take me through the process of closing my accounts, but the call is dropped after 20 minutes. I make a fourth call and it turns out the third employee's department, fraud, is now closed. The best this fourth employee can do is close my accounts, leaving me without funds until Tuesday. I speak with her manager, not believing this news, and she has the same news. I come up with a better idea. Close two of the accounts, leave one open with a bit of money in it so I can EAT!!!

While I am on hold dozens of times it seems, I root around online and figure out how I can pay for new cell minutes without a debit card or credit card. But (a) I see my cell bills on this plan for the past two months have been absurd and (b) my accounts will be closed before I can get the money to the cell company. My plan now is to use Skype and perhaps start using my Google voice number as a voicemail line. I also have to get a new Social Security Card, Drivers License and Subway Card. I write the the people those two checks were for and tell them the whole story and how those checks are now no good. Luckily they are understanding.

And that is how MY Saturday went! I hope yours was better.
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Anonymous said...

So, so sorry. Sending lots of sympathy.

ChristianDamon said...

If it makes you feel any better, my iPhone was destroyed by a freak monsoon.

Mark Baratelli said...

Thank you, Anonymous. And Christian, I just saw on Facebook your phone is now working again. Yay!