Wednesday, March 15

Suck it, March 14

Weekend: Good.

Mom's birthday: Good.

Yesterday: Pure crap.

I call shadenfreude on myself.

The day started beautifully: A trip to the pet store, snickering at the baby ferrets, a walk in the park, a desperate voicemail for my dad — asking him to not cash the hefty car insurance check I'd written him until Thursday when my paycheck would clear (otherwise I'd be a measly $12 in the hole with probably $90 in fees to pay).

But then I get a call from my mom last night at work, and she's freaking out, saying my dad's freaking out because he cashed that check yesterday morning before he got my message. They're worried I'm haggard and starving without enough money to live on, and that I go around bouncing checks all the time and ruining the good credit they help me achieve. No, I'm chubby and fairly financially secure, I'm just too stupid to not lend money to people who won't pay me back in time for me to pay my own goddamn bills. So it's my fault, my effing fault, but I can't get into that on the work phone. I just assure her repeatedly — and erroneously — that my paycheck would go through that night and everything would be hunky dory.

She didn't believe me, of course — "You lied to me this weekend and said you weren't coming! How can I trust you?!?" — but I had to get off the phone and throw myself back at my work. And it was my work that threw me, because working on a Wednesday paper all night sure will convince you that it's Wednesday and not Tuesday, and thinking that it was Wednesday, I was confident my paycheck would clear and things would all work out and kittens would still be fuzzy and Germans would still talk funny and all that. But then I got out into the parking lot and remembered what day it actually was, and kicked my stupid self, and set about scheming to deposit a mere $30 — which I did not have in any fashion — in the account.

But the universe kicked my ass and taught me a lesson.

First I called the person who owes me money. This person was not prepared to help me out.

So I decided it was high time I cashed in my spare change collection. Last time I did that, I got more than $30. I hauled my little treasure chest to the 24-hour Shnucks to hit up the CoinStar. It was out of service. I had no idea where else to find a CoinStar at midnight.

Plan C: I went back home and found my Discover Card checks, wrote myself one for $30 (while cringing at the fees I would have to pay) and drove it out to the nearest Bank of America.

Picture this: It's midnight. I'm leaning out of my car door (my window won't roll down), punching ATM buttons and navigating my way toward the deposit screen, stuffing the check into the envelope, looking around me for bums or people who watch the ATM for dolts to take advantage of. When the ATM beeps at me to tell me it's OK to insert the envelope, I do as I'm told. Usually, you can feel the little wheels inside the slot tug on the envelope and take it out of your hands. The goddamn thing was not tugging. So I pulled it back out and tried again. Still no tug, and the farther I shove it in, the less confident I am that it's going to get where it needs to go. I'm getting angry now. I lean further out of my car for leverage. My phone falls out of my pocket onto the asphalt beneath my car. I scream an obscenity and shove the envelope as far as I can into the slot. It sits there, far enough that I can't pluck it back out, but not far enough to make the machine stop its "please insert envelope" beeping. Because it has no idea I've made a deposit at all. So I hit the cancel button, get my card out, and mutter blasphemous things all the way home.

By this point, I've pretty much accepted the fact that I will just have to try and convince Bank of America to drop any overage charges because I made a deposit ... sort of ... but it just didn't take in time.

So I wake up this morning (OK, an hour ago) and call the bank, explain to them what happened and the lady says, "Yes, that's what jammed up our machine. We have a technician coming out to fix it." She was very cordial and not at all rude, which I was thankful for, because I felt like a total putz. She said the deposit would post tonight.

Which is, I guess, OK. But now I've looked at my account, and that $30 wouldn't keep me from busting my limit anyway, since another check I wrote while in Hardin County has cleared already too (and I only wrote that check because the restaurant where we had my mom's birthday dinner didn't take credit cards and I wasn't about to ask my mother to pay for my dinner on her birthday). I figured I wouldn't see that check come through for a week, so I didn't even factor it in my frantic depositing scheme last night. So now, if my dad's check clears today, I'm $40 in the hole, not $12.

There is no moral to this fucking story; I know how to balance a checkbook, I know you shouldn't write checks you can't cover, I know you shouldn't lend money to people who won't be able to pay you back when you need it, etc. I'm just money-retarded sometimes, and it sucks because I haven't always been. I think it's time I started reading those "Get in control of your finances" books. They give those away for free, right?

2 Comments:

Blogger Cheryl said...

That totally sucks! I hate it when that happens!!!

Thu Mar 16, 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Palm Tree said...

Welcome to my world, my dear. I'm glad to see you. Sometimes I feel as though I'm the only one who lives here. It's nice to have some company, even if you only drop by occasionally.

Thu Mar 16, 10:04:00 AM  

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