Well, someone out there in Cyberworld decided to wreak havoc in Funkytown by compromising our credit/debit card. I think the word "compromise" is too nice. You can put yourself into a compromising position and actually enjoy it - if you know what I mean! This was flat-out, blatant thievery. Funny, our bank branch had just been robbed a few days before. Having my bank account DRAINED of every last dime was akin to said bank robber walking in, handing the teller a note that said, "Give me ALL of Kathy's money" and running off with it. EXCEPT if that had been the case, the bank WOULD HAVE BELIEVED ME.
After the shock of watching all of our money (hard lesson learned - "Don't put all your eggs in one basket") drained in a matter of less than an hour, came the shock of trying to convince the bank that no, I didn't clone myself, drive to California and go on a shopping spree with a cloned card since the husband was also using it at the same time. Besides, I NEVER shop at Walmart. If I must, it's only under duress. And if I was going to drain my checking account I would pick a much better place than Walmart or cellular stores or a friggin' flashlight store. No, it would be more like Macy's and Barnes and Noble! There would definitely be a Nook Tablet tucked away in my stocking in the hopes that I would forget about it until Christmas and be really shocked when I opened it (trust me, that could very well happen!) Here comes the pimping myself out: I really want/need to win this contest so here goes and then we will resume the sad tale of financial woes: http://the-cheap.net/2011/11/06/win-a-100-barnes-and-noble-e-gift-card-in-our-thanksgiving-thank-you-giveaway/
The bank put me under scrutiny with security questions -- questions that were not easy to answer. In fact, I failed the first set and was sent to the Exasperations Department (that's what I truly believe the agent said with a deep, heavy sigh like I was the biggest idiot on earth). I actually failed a question on a former place of employment. She said XYZ Company of L.A. I said no. Then I retracted said answer and said I had worked for XYZ Company of Lansing. But by that time, I could hear her sighing and dialing up the Exasperations Department and probably wondering how in the world some idiot couldn't remember where they worked. Trust me, I still have nightmares about working there so I will never forget. If it had been in L.A., it might have been more tolerable.
Next, the Exasperations Department hit me with questions about what model of car I drove in 2002 (a used red Saab). Model unknown to me. It was red, that's what mattered. And I loved that car. I fully believed it loved me back because it saved me from great bodily injury in an accident. I just never bothered to learn the model number. I took a shot in the dark and got that one right!
After spending hours on the phone testifying that no, I didn't use my card and just decided I didn't want to pay for my flashlight, I was informed it would take 10 days for all this mess to shake out. Luckily the bank (this could only happen on a banking holiday) did allow me to take out money to see us through (Oh, did I mention the furnace that went out at the same time? Or how about the bum breaker that needed to be replaced? Because when things go wrong in Funkytown, it's just a matter of time before the locusts arrive.)
So, we wait. And I pimp myself out on my blog in a sad attempt to win a gift card that I will put to good use (I promise there will be no evil involved!). Hopefully by Thanksgiving we will have the mess sorted out.
But in the meantime, we count our blessings. Really, having the bank account drained is just a small road bump. I can't laugh about it but I can reflect on all the good things in our lives and give thanks: our good health, a happy teenager (most of the time), "us" in general, our families and friends, and the fact that we have jobs in this lousy economy that makes people steal from others via cyberthievery.
While I wait for this all to shake out, I'm going to volunteer at the local soup kitchen because there but for the grace of God go I (and this has not been an easy time). Once it has, I will also shop for my little Angel off the Giving Tree at Church. My little guy wants cars and trucks. Well, he'll get that plus some books on cars and trucks, too (told you I would use the Barnes and Noble gift card for good!) because I really believe that books make the world a better place. Who knows, my little Angel in need might end up being the next great car designer! Maybe a little red Saab with the model name of "Angel."