Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lunch Break: Part 2


So I'm on the way to the county tax office to get my car title transferred...

7. I'm about a block away from the tax office when I remember that I never got the form notarized. So I call my personal on-call public notary Keith, but no answer.

8. I do a Uey and pull into a Bank of something or other. I go inside and ask the first bank employee I see "Excuse me, is there is a public notary here?" She laughs out loud in my face and says " Honey there are notaries all over this place!!! haha, giggle, giggle" but with a tone of voice that says, "I love to laugh, hahahaha, loud and long and clear, I love to laugh, hahahaha, its getting worse every year!" So I then ask her if she is a notary and she gets very serious and says "No, maybe one of them over there is" and points to the desks on the other side of the bank. I confusedly walk to the other side, inquire about my form, and am abruptly and snobbishly informed that "the bank only notarizes documents for our banking customers". I briefly consider asking to open an account, but decide against it.
9. I leave the bank and drive to the nearest Randalls, which has a Wells Fargo, of which I am a proud card-carrying member. I know for sure that they will take care of me. I go inside and the teller informs me that I may have to wait 5 minutes for the manager to get back. See then comes back out and says that he is not coming back and just stares at me. So I say "so you can't notarize this for me?" and she says, "hes not coming back". She then says, as if I am stupid "you can go to any bank and get it notarized." I look up at their sign above her head and back at her and say "I've been to like 30 (yes, I'm a liar) places and they all tell me that they'll only notarize things for their customers so I came to my bank and you guys can't do it either." She then says "well we notarize for anyone that walks in" but "hes not coming back". I am too exhausted (its getting close to my bewitching hour 4pm) to wonder who "he" is or why he isn't coming back or why only managers in banks are the public notaries as if stamping and signing something requires a professional degree. So I hang my head in defeat and walk outside. I then look up and realize that this parking lot has been put here my God. In the same parking lot there is also a freestanding Amegy (or maybe Chase) and Wamu (or maybe a Wachovia, whats the difference).

10. I walk to the Chase first and some lady almost tackles me "welcome to Chase, we are so glad you are here, what can we do to make sure you have an excellent experience today, please tell me, by the way my name is Susan, and I'll be your personal banking gui...." I interrupt, "I just need this form notarized." She dejectedly replies "Oh, ok. Well let me find out." She then asks a guy behind the counter who looks the manager and he stares at me across the room as if I have somehow offended the banking establishment by asking for a public notary. I hear him say "Well, that would either be Raul (he points at a guy behind a desk or his helping some disgruntled lady) or, myself , " (he sneers this last part out with this quality of complete and total snobby smugness as if a public notary is in line behind speaker of the house in the chain of command) "but I am busy." He goes on glaring at me while explaining the merits of 0's with slashes to avoid confusion with o's to his tellers. I don't know if that is really what he was saying, but it was probably some stupid banking stuff like that. So I take a seat in the lobby and wait.
11. And wait.

12. Finally crazy disgruntled lady gets done complaining to banker notary man about the delay of her check getting cashed and leaves. I then notice that there has been an older man (not feel sorry for him old man, old man like in the prime of his creepiness probably has a record old man) wondering around the lobby and who is apparently in line in front of me!!!!!!! Dammit, where is Susan my personal banking guide when I need her! So this guy sits down and I can overhear the whole thing. First order of business is ordering checks. I would like to point out that this can be done by phone, mail, or over the internet but this guy has opted for the walk into a branch and waste people's time option. I put this on par with someone writing a check at the grocery store instead of using their debit card. This takes a while. They finally get the details straight and I'm getting excited. The guy stretches, stands up, and the bank rep. says "well is there anything else I can help you with today sir?" NO, NO, NO. And the guy says "well yes, actually there is. Do you know how to set up my account to be used over the computer on the internet." I want to rip what hair I have left our of my skull. There is no way this guy 1. uses a computer and 2. knows how to get past AOL's homepage. So they (we) painfully go through the online account access setup, which I might add, can be done online. I think there should be 1 prereq. to having online access to your bank account, if you can set it up online then you can use it online. If you can't figure out how to set it up then why the hell do you think you are going to need to access it? But this was nothing compared to my breaking point... The bank rep turns the keyboard towards the man and says "ok sir, I just need you to type in an 8 digit password made of numbers and letters." The man stretches again and says "oh man, whewhhh, oh man. think, just think. you're going to have to give me a second to think about." I want to scream "ahole334, lets just get on with it!" They then enter into their own starring match and the bank notary guy says "you can always change it later" and the guy says "would I have to come back here to do that?" "No sir, you can do it once you access your account." and old man replies "well if I don't know the password how can I get access to change it later".....it went back and forth like this for a while. At one point, I may or may not have laughed out loud in utter frustration. When old man asked bank rep notary man what he thought a good password would be, I finally just got up and left. That's right, and I didn't even tell my personal banking guide Susan goodbye.

13. I walk straight to the next bank, Wamuchovia of America stick my head in the lobby and say "is there a public notary here? " young, long haired, hippie in a suit teller says "oh yes sir". So I walk into the lobby and he then informs me "but shes on the phone and isn't going to be off for a really long time." I say "how long?". He says "really long." I leave.

14. As I am walking back to my car I look up and see the UPS' gang's store across the street and it hits men, they probably have a damn notary there. I drive across the street, go inside, and turns out the old lady is a notary. She gets her book and stamp out and is writing down my information. As she works I think to myself "maybe I was too hard on this place, they mailed my packages, and now they are helping me out with this notary thi...." "that will be $6.00". $6.00!!!! $6.00 to stamp my paper saying that my name matches my ID!!!? I'm definitely going to replace Keith for this one, what an a-clown. I swear that the guy is laughing at me as he is ringing me up....man do I hate this gang and this place.

15. So its finally off to the county tax office...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lunch Break: Part 1


I needed to run some errands today...it wasn't easy, this is how it began...

1. I left work on my lunch break to go mail some packages and take care of transferring the title on my 4Runner. (Yes, I understand that my whole day is like a lunch break because I work for myself. And yes, I also know that 2pm is a little late for a lunch break. And yes, I also think its funny that I don't roll into work until 10 and then break for lunch at 2, and then check out at 4 because I'm exhausted.

2. So I go to this UPS store near my work so I can ship a few packages. I walk in and there is a 70 year old women (but not the nice kind of old woman, the know-it-all rude kind of old woman) sorting mail and making all kinds of grunting noises while there are 3 younger guy employees just sitting there talking and staring at me as I walk in. I stand there awkwardly for a second before asking if they can mail some stuff for me. They all sigh in unison and then one guy who obviously hates his life and chosen line of work trudges over to me and tries to help me.

3. He asks if I want to send it UPS or USPS, I ask which is cheaper, he says he has no idea, and we stare at each other for a while, and then he gives in and goes to check. Then another guy asks me if what I'm sending in the first package has any value. I say no, they're just drawings and he says "ok...", but with the tone of voice that says he doesn't believe me that they don't have any value and that I should rethink my answer.

While I'm second guessing on whether or not these things that I can easily reprint and have no value, have value, the old lady, who apparently only overhears part of the conversation tells me "you can't insure paper, " and we then to proceed to have a stare down. I then say "ok..." but with the tone of voice that says "I don't care, because I already said that I didn't need to insure them and it was your a-clown employee that suggested otherwise with his question and condescending follow-up response" (and yes I know its age-discriminatory to assume that the younger guys in the story work for the old lady, especially since they were the ones sitting around while she was working). So I say "I already told him that they don't have any value", but right after I say it I start feeling really bad, not because I'm talking back to some old lady who can't hear good no more, but because I just said that these drawings that I've spent months on have no value. She then says "ok, well, umphfg, bbbrrrhhhu..." but with the tone of voice that says "you don't have to be so rude sonny - back in my day, had a youngin' spoken to an elder like that, they would have gotten a cane across their backside and been taught a lesson"

4. The guy then comes back with the pricing difference and it turns out UPS is more expensive, but only by a little so I do it anyway. Just my little way of sticking it to the Post Office, aka wasteful government program. Go free market capitalism! But the guy looks pissed because he is thinking, then "why the hell did you ask which was cheaper if you were going to go with UPS either way?"

I hand the guy my list of names and addresses for where to send the packages to, and he tells me that I have to use their UPS form so I have to rewrite every single name and address. Once I give it to him, he enters it into the computer (only after conducting a thorough interrogation with me about each and every letter and number on the form) and then throws the form away, I was pissed. I guess my original list wasn't good enough for him (I use words like "list" as if I showed up with a detailed spreadsheet of these items - I really handed him 1 yelllow sticky note, 1 half-folded small note pad sheet (the kind with lines on it) which may or may not have had gum folded and wrapped in the third bottom quarter, and was going to read the third address off a card I had to mail - so maybe the UPS form was a good idea after all).

5. He then prints out the adhesive mailing tags and I notice the address is wrong on one of them (he should have used my original list). While he is reprinting a new tag, one of the other guys (who may have been staring at me this whole time, not sure) asks what is in the other two packages. Not knowing whether he is asking so they can maintain compliance with their no hazardous blah blah blah or because he is going to follow me home later and make me his lady, I fall back to my stare down plan. The truth is that I blanked on what was in them, Cindy had already pre-wrapped both of them, so I thought staring him down would buy me time until I remembered the contents. The others must have noticed this delay because they stopped what they were doing (sorting mail, reprinting new form (should have used my list), and nothing) and stared at me with looks like they might be on the brink of discovering a terrorist plot. I then reach inside the packages and feel them, and remember one, "oh its a GPS" and the lady says "is it in a box?" and I stammer a response "uhhh, yeah. Oh yeah, definitely, of course, haha, hehe, hmm." And then one of the others says "Well how much is it worth?" but in a tone that said, "we don't believe you so we are going to continue asking you questions until you trip up on one of them" or maybe his tone said "sweet, a GPS, I'm going to steal that out of his package later and then use it to find his house and make him my lady". I was scared, somehow they had turned the tables and had gotten the upper hand. I was quickly realizing that I was no match for this UPS gang. I should have been asking questions like "What the hell, what if it wasn't in a box? Are you not allowed to buy insurance on paper or GPS' not in boxes? And you over there, why do you keep grunting? And why are there so many of you here? Who are you people!" Then one of the others said "Well what about the other one?" and the other guy said "Yeah, what about that one!". I reached inside, felt the softness through the package and said "Its a shirt!" (Oh god I hope its a shirt, what if they check and discover I'm a liar and am trying to ship unauthorized socks or underwear??!!)

6. I finished my business and got the hell out of that place as fast as I could. I then headed for the county tax office to get the title transferred on my car...