RESERVED PRESERVED UNDESERVED UNNERVED AND JUST PLAIN PISSED OFF

This could be a poem. It rhymes, after all. 


I just had one of those mornings where you try to fix something that should be no sweat. Instead of getting it fixed, you are stopped dead in your tracks by robotic phone responders, even more robotic humans, rules designed to make sure no one can really help anyone. Long holds on telephone lines and them telling you every other minute that your business is really important to them. And in the end, you get disconnected  and have to do it again. The hours roll by like a barren wasteland. Eventually, you stop caring. It can’t really be that important, can it?

You can’t reserve a place in the next queue, either. Even though you’ve explained your situation — in this case, explaining to your bank that after those five declines of your bank card shouldn’t have happened, and after which, ALL the declines have been reversed and now the bank is taking those repeated (obviously errors) from your account.  It is their error, not yours but somehow, it’s still your problem.

In the course of this, you discover for reasons unknown, the bank has converted your simple savings account into a money market account and have been charging you $12 a month while paying you a whopping $0.83 in interest every year! What a deal!

Local bank — and no it is NOT better than the bigger bank. Trust me. It might be worse.

Calling your bank, getting transferred, disconnected. Begging for a claim number or any number that will get you live entry into the next queue, from which you will likely be bounced to a yet another department. With and without a disconnection. Knowing you have reached your exhaustion point. You don’t care if you get the money back. All you want is hot coffee and a shot of adrenaline.

But let’s find the good parts.

Aren’t you glad you fixed that ridiculous savings account? You didn’t get done what you came to do, but at least you got done something done. If you hadn’t been hanging around your bank’s software for so many hours, you’d never have realized you had a problem. See? All good.

How many times did I plead for a reservation, a claim number, a person to talk to. A human conversation sans robots. The day vanishes while I hang by the phone. After a while, I wasn’t mad anymore. Too tired to be mad, to weary to whine.

Yet another bank.

This is how they do it. They get you so exhausted dealing with them you give up and crawl off to a quiet corner where you can suck your thumb in peace. It’s a fantastic system and …

It works. You never fix the problem. They get to keep your money for nothing. Life goes on. Dammit … I WANT MY MONEY BACK!

Banks. They are scum. Every last one of them.

SHARING MY WORLD – A NEW YEAR!

And so we close the book and flip the calendar’s page to 2018. I hope this one is better than the last couple of years, but if not, I sure hope I hang on to my sense of humor!

Share Your World – January 1, 2018

What one word describes you best?

Communicative.

As a talker, and a writer, and even as a thinker, I’m always looking for answers and sometimes, looking just as hard for questions.

What is set as the background on your computer?

A man climbing up a huge rock mountain. But I change backgrounds often. I prefer simple backgrounds. I can’t work on a busy surface. I lose my applications widgets in the complexities of pictures.

If you have been to a foreign country, name those to which you have been?

Canada, England, Wales, Ireland and Israel for longer than a day or two. Two weeks in St. Martin (Caribbean) and a couple of days in Nassau. One day in Mexico, two days in Haiti, one glorious day in Jamaica and I have always wanted to go back.

Cong

I was married in England — the guy was English and London was his home town. Garry and I honeymooned in Ireland because he really loved Ireland and had been there a bunch of times on his own.

I spent a fair amount of time in Montreal because my father and his wife lived there. I really liked Montreal. Pity I didn’t like my father. Or his wife.

Somewhere in Ireland

And I lived in Israel for most of the 1980s.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

This week has been so busy I haven’t actually noticed anything except the cold.

It really is very cold. It isn’t unusual for the weather to get extremely cold this time of year, but it rarely lasts this long.

Usually, it’s a couple of days and then the thermometer goes up a bit. Such a deep freeze lasting this long is so rare if it lasts another couple of days, it will break a few weather records.

A LITTLE FICTION – THE CALLIOPE

Oom pah, pah … oom pah pah …

The sound of the calliope is a siren’s call to the little girl. There, in the middle of the big park, the magic ponies go up and down. Up, down, around and then around again.

“Can I ride Mommy? Please?”

Mommy nods yes. There’s no harm in a carousel. It’s just wooden horses, traveling in a circle, going nowhere, eternally and forever around the calliope as it pumps out the same songs. A good place to be on a bright summer day, a happy place to bring a five-year-old girl who loves horses. She can dream of real horses while the park spins past, green and sunny.

Years fly. The girl has grown into a young lady. Sixteen, if you please. “I’m not a child!” she cries to the world, but especially to her parents. “I will do as I please.”

What she pleases is to have a boy friend. To be in love, to make love. She has no future plans, not yet. Just the fresh bloom of love which must be eternal. Because in books, love is always eternal, always fresh and smelling of roses.

Today she is meeting her boy friend. They will be meeting by the carousel in the park. She loves the carousel, has loved it since childhood. It’s a magic place for her, a places that holds only happy memories. The calliope is playing the same songs it played when she was so little. So long ago, or so it seems. When she rode the big wooden horse, pretending she was riding a gallant steed, galloping off to protect the world.

Life goes on. The next time she is able to visit the ponies, she is holding her little boy by the hand. “I rode those ponies when I was your age. Listen, the music is still playing. Just like it did when I was your age.”

“Can I ride Mommy?”

“Of course. That’s why I brought you here. To ride.”

And the painted horses go round and round while the park spins through another summertime. This is our forever summer, she thinks, as she watches her little boy riding the merry-go-round.

The next time she comes, she is holding her granddaughter’s hand. They watch the horses. Her little granddaughter is a tiny thing, with a passion for horses. A dreamer. She rides and rides and finally, it’s time to go. Long shadows lie across the sidewalks and the carousel is about to close for the day. As they take their leave, she wonders if she will ever be here again to hear the calliope play?

The next time she comes to the carousel, her son is with her. Middle-aged now and the tiny granddaughter is a sullen sixteen. Three generations by the carousel and remarkably, the calliope still plays.

This special carousel is still alive, magic intact. It’s good to be alive this summer day in Central Park. The music wakes the teenager into the girl she was. There’s something so … eternal … about the dancing ponies.

Grandma remembers the first time. All those times, even when she came alone because it was just a quick subway ride. One token. To see the boy friend. Whatever became of him?

She would never miss a chance to ride, though it’s not as easy getting up into the seat as it used to be.

No more real horses in her life, but today — briefly — she is young. She feels as if she is looking at herself through a fun house mirror. Are these the same wooden horses she rode as a girl?

It was always summertime in the park. I think it still is.