HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

DISCOVER CARD HELPS ME DISCOVER THAT THE COMPANY LIKES HAVING MY ASS IN DEBT

"IT WON'T HAPPEN TO ME" That's the kind of thinking that gets me into deep doo doo every feckin' time. Now that I really think hard about it, I ain't just spinnin' my wheels to watch the mud fly. "It won't happen to me" is only uttered by one of two kinds of people - the arrogantly retarded or the retardedly arrogant.

Almost all of us are in credit card debt out of our arses and up to our armpits. I, like any "good" American should, looked to my governing body for an example of how I should handle finances and my wealthy elected officials, smarmy, oily, greasy and unctious, by their example, spoke volumes:

Hey! get out there and spend money that you don't have. Look at us. We"ve got you trillions of dollars in debt already with Georgie's war in Iraq, And Obama's continued support of war in Afghanistan. That's just for openers -- appetizers.

Today, any repugnican can tell you exactly how much money is being wasted now that they are no longer in control of Congress and are out of power.

But the Party of NO has an extremely short memory. When they were in charge, all the programs, wars, cast aside restrictions on polluting and on and on and on, were just fine.

Now the party of Beck, Hannady, and that fat, cigar smoking blow hard, fecker, whose name I have involuntarily erased from my memory, is screaming about big government taking over our lives and how we can't afford health care.

Well, guess what, asswipes. The health care money went overseas a long time ago.

So, saddled and addled with debt, I sought out a debt counselor and she set me up on a pay it off now, then pay it back a little at a time, over time, and do what you should have done years ago (would you believe 1994?) and throw those feckin' credit cards in the stove at its hottest.

Ah, but there is one more ugly step in breaking the shackles of the machine. You have to either write a letter or call the credit card company, and cancel the card(s).

If you have any intelligence left you will chose the former.

I, of course, chose the latter, not the letter.

Until this very day, I have had four, count them, $$$$$$4 credit cards - and the one I have had the longest? The Discover Card. A member "in good standing" since 1994. So I call the 866 number and jump through the required number- punching hoops in search of a human or even a subhuman voice. Ten minutes later I finally get to punch zero to talk to (get this) an account specialist.

After playing 20 questions with me tto establish that I am, in fact, me, she asks how she can help today.

"I am closing my account".

- long pause at the other end of the line out in Arizona -

"Oh, sir, do you think that this is a wise decision? You have been a customer of ours for a long time and you have an excellent history."

"Yes", I reply, " I have been a member since 1994. Now I am canceling my account."

"Would you mind telling me why?"

THIS IS WHEN I SHOULD HAVE SAID: "Yes, I mind. It is none of your fucking business - cancel my card."

But I am old school polite and obviously naive. so I tell her that I am well over my head in credit card debt, finally have the opportunity to pay off the accumulated debt, and must cancel all cards, save one, in an attempt to get my life in order.

When she hears the words "save one", it's like sharks smelling blood in the water. It's time to send me over to the Grand Inquisitor, the higher ranking officer of interrogation.

"Just a moment, " she says, "I will connect you with an account specialist." There's a click and in the interim I am thinking what do you mean you'll connect me with an account specialist, what the hell were you?

Now, HE gets on the phone:

"good morning, sir, my name is Sparky and I will be helping you with any questions that you may have with your Discover Card account. May I call you Mr. Heagle, Lawrence, or Larry?"

"I prefer Larry".

"Thank you, Larry. Now how may I help you?"

"I want to cancel my account".

"Oh, Larry, do you think that is a wise decision? You have been a customer of ours for a long time and you have an excellent history."

"Yes, I know. I want to cancel my account."

"Would you mind telling me why?"

"I am well over my head in credit card debt. I have gone through debt counseling and I now have the opportunity to pay off the accumulated debt. I am canceling all my cards in an attempt to get my life in order."

"I understand, Larry. But you have been a customer in good standing since 1994 and have accumulated an excellent credit history."

"I know," I reply, "but I just explained to you why I am canceling my card. Will you cancel my card?"

"Yes, Larry, I will certainly comply with your wishes if that is, in fact, what you want to do. But I am just telling you that you should be aware that you have an excellent credit history with Discover Card and I would like to know why you are canceling your card.

"I just told you why I am canceling my card. I need to get my financial life back into order."

"Yes, Larry, I understand. But it is alarming that you are willing to cast aside an excellent credit history with us. Can you tell me why you would want to lose that good credit history?"

"You are not listening to me, I just told you, at least twice now, that I want to cancel my card and why I need to cancel my card. Now we are just going around in circles!

I now lose my Irish temper.

"Larry, I am listening to you --"

"NO, YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME. I WANT TO CANCEL MY CARD. IF YOU CAN'T HELP ME, CONNECT ME WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN.'

"Larry, I am perfectly willing to cancel your account. I am only trying to get you to understand that you have an excellent credit rating with us and I would like to know why, then, you would want to cancel your account?"

"IS THIS CALL BEING RECORDED?" I reply angrily.

"Yes, Larry, all of our calls are recorded."

"WELL, THEN, I WANT TO TALK TO YOUR SUPERVISOR. CONNECT ME WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR!"

"All right, Larry, I will connect you with my supervisor but I am going to have to put you on hold."

NO, NO, NO! DO NOT PUT ME ON HOLD! if you disconnect me and I have to start all over again, I will personally drive to Arizona, hunt you down, Sparky, and I will cancel this card by ramming it up your ass!"

"Are you, aware, Larry, that canceling your card will affect your credit rating?"

OH, THAT'S SCARY. DO YOU THINK I GIVE A SHIT AT THIS POINT? ARE YOU, OR ARE YOU NOT GOING TO CANCEL MY CREDIT CARD?"

"It is canceled, Larry.

"DID YOU JUST CANCEL IT?"

"yes, Larry, I just canceled it. Are you aware that Discover Card will never issue you a credit card again, ever?"

GOD, I HOPE NOT!"

And BAM, I slammed my receiver back into its cradle. Oh, Holy Mother of God, two more cards to go.

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