Interesting occurrence came to my attention around about this time last week.
When using my credit card in my local supermarket, the lady on the till said ‘That runs out soon love, hope there’s a new one in the post!’
I joined in her laughter but inwardly thought ‘Hmm…aren’t we meant to get them a month in advance?’
So I made a steely effort to stem my screaming paranoia and called Barclaycard.
‘Oh I’m very sorry madam,‘ said some heavily accented lady in Mumbai whom I had to tell my name three times before it registered, ‘did you request a new one?’
‘Um, no, given that you always automatically renew them as part of your service to loyal customers such as myself?’
‘Of course madam, and we like to give most excellent customer service!’
‘Do you bollocks…‘ I think crankily, easing myself and my phone onto the floor in anticipation of a second round of the very same security questions i answered but 20 minutes prior. Or maybe I said it out loud as her tone was a mite less perky, and she interrogated me so thoroughly and mercilessly I think I broke down and gave her all my pin numbers.
But eventually she piped up with ‘I can see your old card is due to expire on 31st so i shall chase this up for you immediately! Is there anything else I can do for you right now?’
‘Go boil you head in a pan of hot fat?’ I suggested sweetly. OK no I didn’t just in case she went out on her lunch break and emptied out all of my bank accounts.
But i was sorely tempted because she, on behalf of Barclaycard, was being judge and jury and finding me guilty of being, erm, jobless and trying to get away with not renewing my card without having the respect and manners to address it with me first.
And it’s hard enough when you’re judging and condemning yourself all day long without others pitching in for no valid reason.
The irony is that I probably don’t need a credit card anymore really. But that’s not the point, and I don’t appreciate being treated like i’m a potential criminal when people like me are the least of their worries.
- People who figured out a long time ago that if you don’t pay your account in full every month, you’ll end up rowing up shit creek without a paddle.
- People who never lend borrow money off anyone unless they absolutely have to.
- People who never spend that which they cannot one day afford to pay back.
- People who haven’t earned a penny in interest for Barclaycard in over 15 years.
- People who know better than to lean on credit cards when times are tough.
- People who only ever used it for the Nectar points in the first place.
See? Sometimes being pessimistic, paranoid, nervous and untrusting sometimes has an upside. 🙂
Re the first point, I did once end up in said pool of excrement sans oars, and no matter how large a sum I paid every month my balance refused to reduce, and it was only when my (then) lovely fiancee helped me to pay it off that I vowed never to be tricked into that situation again.
But if you have no job or money you’re treated as little more than a floater, and it’s so dehumanising.
However, the people they should be worrying about are usually employed, BUT have huge debts, extended overdrafts AND are also in the credit card poo pool scenario, but the greedy banks see them as cash cows and keep extending their credit and reaping the benefits.
Then comes that fateful day when their oh so valuable customer, through no fault of their own, gets laid off, and it’s only then they realise that this poor unfortunate is up to their neck in shitty water and didn’t take out employment insurance (which lets face it, is crap anyway) because they thought they were indispensable, and that’s when they sic the kraken onto him/her whilst simultaneously trying to grab onto the nearest lifejacket themselves.
Anyway, I do need more money coming in ASAP, so, today I wrote to a temp agency, in an effort to find some kind of temporary role that would tide me over and fit in with my fun, ad hoc stuff.
The manager called me.
‘Well, we don’t really do temporary roles’ says she, ‘but we have the odd one and today you’re in luck. It’s part time, you can do 3-4 days a week, as long as you complete the hours, it’s up to you.’
Whoop, whoop! Howsabout that for a stroke of luck?
‘That sounds great!’ I breathe ‘so I can do whatever days I choose the week beforehand?’
‘Oh no!’ she replies, ‘you have to choose now then stick to those days until the end of time. Plus it only pays £2.50 per hour.’
Great. Knew it was too good to be true.
‘We do have some permanent roles that pay £5.50 per hour though, and if you push your nose against the grindstone hard enough, kiss enough ass, roll under the bus every now and then and allow every creative thought you ever had and ever will have to be torn from your grey matter on a daily basis, you can retire at 70!’
I made my excuses, terminated the call and weighed it all up in my tired, traumatised little noggin. The choice is apparently grim, pressurised/boring/both, 9-8pm hell, or an interesting role sitting outside tube stations with an upended cap and sign saying ‘Two starving cats to support’.
And no matter how scared I am of impending doom on the dole, I cannot, will not allow myself to be fenced in that way again.
So whilst I may be a pathetic little shit swirling around in a riptide, at least I’m free to swirl and not being shat on by a bigger shit.
Am I making sense here?!
Oh shit, I give up, will try again tomorrow.
Enjoy the music…