Picture this...you take your son to the dentist. His dental work is finished. You take out your ever trusty debit card to pay for the work done. The receptionist swipes the card. Then she smiles, hands it back, and says, "I'm sorry, your card has been declined." Ahhhhhhhhh! You have a look of horror on your face, you even throw up a bit in your mouth...you are apologizing profusely for having done nothing wrong, knowing you have money in the account...but still you feel like you have a sign on your forehead that reads, "DEADBEAT!" Then you smile and say, "That's impossible. Will you take a check?"
You know, sometimes when I've written a story I'll have someone ask me if what I wrote really happened or if I made it up. Trust me, if I've written about it, it's happened. Sometimes I might wish it were about "a friend," but alas, it's all true...even about me throwing up a bit in my mouth. I took Eldest to the dentist. I paid (thought I would, anyways) with my debit card. It was declined. I was mortified because even though I knew I had money in my bank account, no matter what I said, I felt like the receptionist didn't believe me. Thank goodness they did take that check - skeptically I figure.
After I left the dentist with my head hanging in shame I went to the ATM to check on my balance, not understanding what was going on. I went through the whole rigamaroll to get the paper to come out with the balance, and instead of that, I got a message on the screen flashing at me that I was unauthorized to use my card. Okay, surely there's been a computer error...so I go through the rigamaroll of putting in my info and pushing buttons to get the balance. Again, I get the message I'm unauthorized to use the card. I swear I felt like the Earth should have swallowed me up then and there. I went to the drive-up teller and asked them what was going on. After I supplied her with my card, identification, and story so far, she telephoned "security" who told her my debit card had been "shut down" because of "illegal card activity in France." Oh my goodness, there I was sitting in the van, and I swear their speaker was on ultimate eardrum blowing out volume, when she said that. The only thing I could do was shake my head in disgust and drive off with my tail between my legs to the main branch and see what was going on.
So, on to the main branch. I must say, they were very helpful and accommodating considering the situation...even though I was told they tried calling me, which they didn't. Caller I.D. and answering machines are wonderful tools we enjoy having use of, neither of which had shown hide nor hair of bank contact. They sent me an email instead, which I received after I got home from all of this. I suppose that's neither here nor there at this point, and I just thank my lucky stars I hadn't eaten at a restaurant after banking hours when this happened or it would have been a very interesting situation - probably one involving me throwing up my meal and law enforcement due to my inability to pay and inability to even access my account information. Thank goodness the dentist didn't want Eldest's filling back.
Okay, so I'm at the main branch.... Eldest and I sit down in nice comfy chairs, I take out my card and I.D., and begin the story. The nice bank woman then made a call to Columbus to find out what's going on, like I didn't already tell her, and reiterated back to me pretty much what I had told her, minus the part about throwing up a little in my mouth, but I did tell her of my humiliation at the dentist and the ATM. Then she got out the paperwork. Holy smokes...the paperwork! I had to look at the woman's computer screen and tell her what charges were credible and what ones weren't. Thank goodness she was a notary because I needed one of those, too, and since she worked for the bank I didn't have to pay her, because I had no idea how I would have done it with the wallop that my account has taken. How I could have been in different countries making purchases at the same time I was in L.A. making purchases, while I was actually in Ohio homeschooling our kids is beyond me, but I suppose I have the internet to thank for that. I sure wish I knew what I bought, but I sure bought a lot of it...from all over the world.
I would like to thank my bank for noticing the crazy charges and putting a halt to all activity on my account. It would have been nice if you actually did make that phone call, but in all honestly things could have been a lot worse than they were. I appreciate the security measures you took to keep me safe from what could have been an even more devastating situation than it already is.
So, there you have it, folks. A total shock to my system - the hacking of my banking account, the waiting for the bank to go over my disputed charges, and waiting impatiently to have my money returned. Having to wait for a new card is also no trip through the tulips either, I must say. I have no idea what I've purchased all over, but whatever it is, I hope it was worth it. May you, you nasty no good horrible bank account hacker, choke on it if it were food. If it was clothing, may the butt of the pants split open on you in public. Basically, I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around, and you had better hold on because you're in for the ride of your life. Oh, and get yourself a real job. One that pays legally. One that both God and your mother won't be ashamed of you for. Now to wait for my new card...and to start changing that banking info everywhere. I figure I'll be getting notices for quite some time about my banking information being declined, which is technically my old information on file, even thought I've got a wait on the new one... Smiling & Waving, Sharon