Your call is important to us…

…please continue to wait until you resemble this guy.

OK, here’s the thing:

My beef is not specifically about the notorious wait times involved with calling customer service numbers. I make every effort I can to avoid entanglement with the enormous and labyrinthine machinery of large corporations and their customer -ahem – service departments. Since I have begun transition, my desire to avoid entanglement has become even stronger, as phone calls inevitably result in this exchange:

ME: “Hi, this is Claire J-, my account number is xxx-xxx-xxx, and I…”

CUSTOMER SERVICE IMP: “Wait – what’s the name on the account?”

ME: “Well, actually, that’s what I’m calling about, because I need to get the name cha-”

CSI: “Can you please verify the account number again for me?”

ME: “Sure, it’s xxx-xxx-xxx. Now, the reason I’m…”

CSI: “Ma’am, can you please tell me the social security number associated with this account?”

ME: “Sigh. I guess so. It’s XXX-XX-XXXX.”

CSI: “Hmm…okay. Just to ensure you’re not a crazy lady stealing Mr. J’s account, can you please recite the grades received on all projects in Ms. Krepner’s Spanish III class in 1992?”

ME: “Never mind, I will keep my money under the mattress from now on.”

The specific institution with which I am currently struggling is a popular bank, which I will refer to by the code name of “US Bank.”

I was never one for code names.

At any rate, some time ago, just after I changed my legal name and obtained my new driver’s license, I went to the local branch of the bank to change the name on my account. While a bit frosty and impatient, the clerk who helped me did answer all my questions, changed the name on my account, and even assured me that my new CheckCard would be on its way to me in a week or two.

Fast forward several months to Wednesday last, when I, fed up with hearing “OK, so is this your husband’s card, or…?” whenever I paid with my card (which is, it must be said, EVERY TIME) I called the toll-free number on the bank’s web site and spoke with Heather, who was positively mortified that I had not received my card. She apologized sincerely and profusely, and told me she would put a rush on my card, so that it would arrive in three business days (plus mailing time). I must stress here that Heather is an angel, and should be promoted to VP of Sweetness (Telephone Division). So, imagine my glee when I saw the envelope with the bank’s logo poking out of my mailbox as I checked the mail yesterday…

And, here is where neither my desire for simplicity nor Heather’s heartfelt altruism did a damn bit of good.

The envelope was addressed to my old name, but I figured, “what the heck? It’s probably just a paperwork error,” especially since the name on my statements, bills and everything else has been my new one since the changeover months ago. However, upon opening the envelope, I discovered a clone of my current card, right down to the name and secret code.

Perhaps understandably, I was quite wroth.


So today I am calling the bank back, for round three of All Claire Wants is a Card Bearing Her Current Name So as to Avoid Social Awkwardness and Confusion, You Pillocks. Stay tuned for updates as events warrant!

2 Responses

  1. Ahh… the joys of a new life. You would think that with the hassle and the fees you paid to have your name changed, that notification of various government agencies would be part of the package. All of this should have been done on your behalf, since you padded Uncle Sam’s wallet for the privilege.

    I should think the next call to “US Bank” will involve some wonderful verbiage of the four-letter variety, possibly alluding to the connection of your defective check cards with several of their bodily orifices, should the need arise. Gotta take the hard line sometimes.

  2. Good grief, I thought I got the runaround (different bank, but they’re all the same) when I got married and slapped an extra last name onto my existing name.

    Hmm, maybe you should just add yourself to the account. You could be your own spouse!


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