Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Juniperus ridiculatus

Was it a credit card, or a marriage?

We did a combination paying off/consolidating balance to another lower rate credit card.  Yes, it's the interminable Debt Blasting effort we are daily engaged in.  Every time we get to cut up one of those cards, it's a reminder that we ARE making progress.

The most recent was my Juniper card.  No, it was not a card specifically designated for purchasing evergreens on credit.  They probably just want paying 27% interest on purchases to seem fresh and bracing and invigorating.  Or something.  But anyhow, the day finally came to call them and let them know it was time to balance means we're done.

Free at last free at last...

I have to make this quick, but here's how the call went:

Me (put on hold, to the repetitive reminder of a computer woman's voice stating that I would soon be connected to a RELATIONSHIP MANAGER)

A relationship manager?  Maybe it takes most folks longer to pay them off than most marriages last, or maybe the psychological impact of paying their nasty interest rates results in their having to hire legions of laid-off family counselors/anger management shrinks...hmmm...but wow, I never realized I was having a relationship with my credit card company.  (I wonder how Jack would feel about that)

When my barely-able-to-speak English "relationship counselor" (I love accents, but like to be able to actually know the language) finally came on the line, I truncated my needs into the simple sentence  "I want to cancel my credit card."

Obviously, in her mind, our relationship was at risk.  She must save it.  She asked why, why, why the magic was gone, and used her cue card to start enumerating possible reasons from which I should choose.

I was tempted to tell her I can  no longer take the toilet seat being left up, the tube of toothpaste being squeezed in the middle, the sitting in front of the TV in only underwear hogging the remote.  But I was nice :)

Nice, but not helpful.  Not accommodating.  Ours became a troubled relationship.  The price had been too high, we were done.  I replied, "I don't want to answer a lot of questions, please.  I want you to cancel my credit card."

She tried to impede the downward spiral.  She asked again for the reason, and the ensuing options list lasted a good full minute or so before she drew breath again.

I decided the "relationship" could last an additional 30 seconds, out of the kindness of my shriveled outsourced-call-center-loathing heart.  I would be patient.  For 29 more seconds.  Tick, tick, tick, tick.  Breaking up is hard to do...well, at least for them it is. 

I said "I'll save you some questions.  I paid off my card, I don't want it any more, I don't want to hear any more offers because I don't want the credit card, and do not want to reconsider."

Then she wanted me to list all my other current credit cards (yeah, for real she really did!) and the interest rates.  You've GOT to be kidding me!

It was at this point I fantasized about asking her for her credit card information and asking her if this was an open relationship and why she had been holding out on me all this much credit, so little time!  Or at least she could give me her SS# and pin number to her ATM...I'm just saying.  It's a RELATIONSHIP, after all...(I was getting used to the idea, hmmm)

Nah, I was just ticked off.
But I waxed beneficent and kind and gentle.  I summoned all the Nancy Reagan era moxy within me and I just said "NO."

Apparently I do not know the Sanskrit or Hindi for "NO," or else she was deaf.

"NO" was not in her relationship managerial vocabulary.  She asked again.  She asked three times.  She offered to send flowers, go on dates more often, give me bajillion fairy-dust-magic-something points, fly me to the moon.  I decided all those things would be on my tab at some inane percentage rate and politely (well...) declined.

Let's just skip the parts of the dialogue where I was sorely tempted to suggest an appropriate resting place for further Relationship Management.

At the end of about seven more attempts on her part to get into my private business, all to which she received strident requests to PLEASE CANCEL THIS CREDIT CARD,  she replied without breaking her stride from her cue card, again.   So I just began talking over her saying CANCEL IT CANCEL IT CANCEL IT CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS CANCEL IT, and at last she sadly transferred me to her manager.

So that would be the Manager of Relationship Managers...a Relationship Supervisor?

She tried it again, but we finally saw daylight and she prepared the divorce papers, er credit card termination.  All from Bombay.

We're through, relationship over, long and fraught though it was.  The thrill is gone, baby.

And so is another credit card....and freedom, FREEDOM!!! is on the horizon.   YAYYYYY!!!!!!


Michelle said...

A very amusing post on a very disturbing reality!

wardhouse said...

Congrats on the payoff - love the post!!