I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
July 16, 2017 - 10:52 a.m.
Yesterday was not supposed to be exciting. That was fine as the day before was filled with anxiety as my debit card was closed because someone had used it fraudulently and I had no cash and had to scramble to make it to and from therapy before I could get a new card. Today I was supposed to write some sort of reflective or philosophical entry. Things don't always work out the way we plan.
My weekly MetroCard ran out yesterday and because of all the difficulties on Friday I didn't replenish it. All I was going to do yesterday was take the bus to the subway station, refill the card, then go food shopping. I had great timing with the bus. I stopped at the Pelham Bay Station. I went up the stairs to the MetroCard machines. I put in to by a monthly. The debit card was declined.
I immediately called TD and got the message, "All our representatives are busy now, the expected waiting time is over 20 minutes." I grit my teeth and did what I had to do. I stayed on hold and got on the bus to Stop & Shop. I did all my shopping. I even spent extra time so that I'd finish shortly before a bus was due; I bought ice cream and didn't want it to melt. I got on the self-checkout line and because the universe hates me the representative answered just as a register opened. So now I had to check out all my items while talking to the rep. Good thing I had my earbuds in so could talk hands free. I explained what happened. He checked and immediately found the problem, the woman at the TD branch where I got the new card had never activated it. She screwed up. I usually love TD and now they were letting me down. The rep I was talking to told me that he had to transfer me to the activation department. This was as I was finishing my checkout. My hands were busy. When activation answered it wasn't a person, it was a touchtone menu. I was busy trying to not get my backpack on and pick up my bag of groceries and keep the cart from blocking the entire store. In the process, I had to put the phone down. Each time I did numbers on the pad would be hit by accident. There was no option to delete the last character. Finally, it started ringing. Then I heard, "All our representatives are busy, the expected wait is over 20 minutes.
It was Saturday night in the summer and the weather was beautiful that means bumper to bumper traffic heading to City Island. I finished the bag of chips, all 10 oz. I finally get to my stop. I get my backpack on and pick up the bag and as I'm walking to the path to the front gate someone answers. It couldn't happen after I was in and put the melting ice cream in the freezer? Of course not, the universe hates me.
You'll notice that I haven't mentioned my anxiety. I was not anxious, I was angry. It was now 9 PM, I first called the bank at 6:30. The rep asked how I was and I said I was ready to kill somebody. I explained what happened. I told him that my card had never been activated. As I start to put things away he told me that the reason my card was declined was that I had entered the wrong PIN number. I said then why did the other guy tell me that the card was never activated? He said he didn't know but the problem was I had entered the wrong PIN number. This was while I was putting the ice cream in the freezer. It started dripping. I told him that and I said I couldn't have put in the wrong PIN; it was my old PIN. He said it was the PIN number. At this point I was losing it. I said, "It's not PIN number. The N stands for number. It's just PIN! Bruce Banner becomes the Hulk when he gets angry; I become a grammar Nazi. I said it can't be the PIN as you don't use a PIN on Amazon. He said that the code says it was the PIN number. I said, "It's just PIN!" Then I explained; you know that you don't enter a PIN when you buy something on Amazon so you know it's not the PIN. Why do you keep insisting it was the PIN? He said it's what the code says. "But you know that makes no sense! Will you check to see if the card was activated?" He comes back, "The card was never activated." No apology. No acknowledgement that he should have checked that first thing. By now I was 9 feet tall and green. I told him that he should have checked that from the start. He said that he can transfer me to the activation department. I asked if I could speak to a supervisor. He did. I was put on hold again. I went upstairs to my room to sit down and to plug in my phone as I had drained the battery by using it the last two and a half hours. The supervisor answered and was great. I explained what happened and I explained why I was angry. I prefaced it by saying how I always love customer service at TD and this was my first bad experience but that the woman that didn't activate the card and the man that kept saying it was my PIN had screwed up. She let me rant. Then she said that she'd put me on a conference call with activation so if anything went wrong I wouldn't have to start from scratch again. Now that I was home and sitting down I correctly entered the card number and my PIN. She was still there. I said that I would like some compensation for all the trouble they caused me. She refunded some fees I had paid. That's all I wanted. I shrunk back down to 5'8" and was no longer a grammar Nazi. The automated activation menu said, "Enter your PIN number." I didn't even bring that up. If you know somebody that works at TD tell them they should get on that. I expect better of them.
When this was all over I made dinner, just a burger. The 10 oz. of chips counted as my side dish. While I was waiting for it to cook I took out the ice cream, put three scoops in a bowl and added chocolate syrup. That was my therapy food. Ice cream has charms to sooth the savage Hulk. I just realized I bought the wrong flavor. I wanted to get the new dark chocolate espresso caramel. Instead I picked up the peanut butter cup. Oh well, I love peanut butter cup and it did its job. After the ice cream, I had my burger. The best part of being an adult is that you can eat like a child wants to.
I bet very few of you have seen me angry. It happens but hardly ever with my friends. Dealing with incompetent people that won't admit they are wrong is a trigger. I've been told that people can't even imagine me angry. That's good, I like to think of myself as peaceful. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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