Posts Tagged ‘banks’

Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness

Posted in General on July 5th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

It is Jesse Helms’ first day in Hell. I hope that he was forced to watch Venus and Serena Williams compete at Wimbleton. Better yet, I hope that Helms’s head was transmuted into the tennis ball.

Yesterday, one television network honored our Independence Day by broadcasting a “Law and Order” marathon. Well, the series did premiere in 1776. The first season’s cast had David Garrick, Sarah Siddons, Colley Cibber and–of course–Steven Hill.

I just survived another encounter with corporate reality. Despite my refusal to run up any debts to enrich its usurious soul, my bank has extended my Visa card for another few years. However, in order to activate my new card, I first had to call “customer service.” The voice answering my call identified himself as “Hubert.” R…E…A…L…L…Y! He certainly didn’t sound like a Hubert; of course, he could have been named for someone his great-great-grandfather killed in the Sepoy Rebellion. Unlike him, I had some credibility in my identity and was able to prove that I was Eugene.

Yet, before my card could be activated, Hubert first had to tell me about all sorts of wonderful programs and benefits that the bank wanted me to have. Furthermore, none of these proffered gifts would cost me a cent….except for a minor details that were equally unintelligible in English and Hindi. But Hubert was going to sign me up unless I repeatedly said, “No.” Which I did, insistently–because he did not choose to believe me the first few times. Whether surprised or offended by my refusal, Hubert ventured, “May I ask why?”

Of course, I did not have to give him my reason–but when have I ever been reticent? I told him, “The bank is not a philanthropy. It is simply looking for any opportunity to charge me fees and interest. Well, I am not a philanthropy either, and I will not give away my money for bank services that I don’t want.”

I think that Hubert finally accepted my answer. But I will carefully check my next bank statement.