Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Kitty Room

I drove across a couple of states on the west coast recently...with my beloved cat.  I usually refer to myself as a crazy or neurotic cat mommy, but I'm not going to today.  Turns out I'm not as overly cautious and careful as I had thought.

I did my homework and looked up "pet friendly" hotels on the internet.  I booked a room at a Holiday Inn Express.  I made them aware of the fact that I would have a cat in the room.  I arranged a late check out and got assurances from the front desk that no one would attempt to enter my room until after I checked out because I was going to let my cat loose in the room, out of her carrier, and did not want her to get spooked or get out.  I wanted her to be secured in my private, locked room.  "You promise?"  "Yes.  Absolutely."

So I got a promise from the front desk.  I left my cat in the room, put her empty carrier right behind the door so that anyone walking in would know there was an animal loose in the room and think twice and I put the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door.  I double-checked the door to make sure it had closed securely and locked properly.  I thought I'd done everything necessary to make sure she'd be left undisturbed.

I returned a couple of hours later and found that my door was open and ajar.  I was immediately alarmed.  I pushed the door wide and saw my beloved cat drinking water from the bowl I'd left for her and breathed a sigh of relief and gave her some head rubs.

I was relieved, irritated and validated.  I did everything I could to secure that situation and someone still opened the door and exposed me to a potentially awful situation with regards to my beloved cat.  No more referring to myself as the crazy cat mommy!  It's not neurosis, it's practicality!

I packed and prepared to leave.  I walked out into the hallway and saw two women from the cleaning staff down the hall.  They saw me too.  "Hey!  It's the kitty room."  Really?  Argh.  I walked past and one of the women said, "Your cat is so pretty."  Argh.  Killin' me.  I just said "thank you" and got the hell out of there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

B of A Hell Zone Part II

I wrote about not being able to access my accounts online back in September of 2011.  I still can't access my account online.  I'm a fairly tech savvy person, savvy enough to manage all my other accounts, but B of A has me stymied.

These days I do my B of A business the old fashioned way.  I walk down to the brick-and-mortar branch and stand in the lobby while waiting the de rigueur 20 minutes for the teller to wrangle the situation for me just so I can post a mortgage payment and get account information.  She's a good sport.  She doesn't even duck when she sees me coming.  Although last time, for reasons unknown to me, she had to use the computer at the drive-thru window.  Since it takes so long to access my account and post a payment and I'm standing right there waiting, she drew the attention and ire of people driving through the drive-thru window.  They saw her, but couldn't have her.  Fortunately she saved her frustration for the drive-thru customers, telling me about it on her return to the computer I was standing next to, and did not blame me for the small slice of hell that is trying to conduct my B of A business.  She's a terrific surrogate.

I decided to have yet another go at logging into my B of A online account.   I put in the correct User ID and the correct passcode.  I answered security questions for the umpteenth time.  I received yet another message telling me the SiteKey could not be processed.  It keeps telling me this is a temporary situation, but it's been temporary for over six months.  That's a helluva long time in the online world.

I tried the 800 number for tech support again.  It asks for your social security number.  I gave it.  Then it wants an account number.  I'm so spoiled by other organizations that let you wait out or press through that prompt to a live person who will look your account up for you that I was surprised when the system told me that if I could not provide my account number it would hang up on me.  And it did.  How rude!

I rummaged through my paperwork, called again, provided all the required information and was then reminded that today is a holiday and that I may call back during regular office hours provided I have all the necessary information at hand.

I'm still the customer, right?

If and when I log into my account, I'll let you know.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

B of A Hell Zone

I want to log in so I can make my monthly mortgage payment.

I plug in my ID and password.  I'm taken to my SiteKey screen where I see the picture I've chosen and the name of the picture, also chosen by me, meant to be a visual representation to show I'm in the right place and not being phished or something.

I validate the Sitekey pic and name and hit "enter."

I'm taken to a screen that says I need to create a Sitekey, which is interesting because I just came from my Sitekey page.  There is no way to opt out or go forward or backwards.  The only choice is creating a Sitekey.  So I create a new one.  Again.  I go through the process and select security questions and answers and "enter" through to the end.  I receive a message that B of A is "temporarily unable to process my request."  The only thing is, B of A has been "temporarily unable to process my request" for about six months now.

I went paperless some time ago, so plan B is logging into another bank where I do my bill paying, and where they are able to process my log in request in a matter of seconds with no problem at all and look to see what the amounts where the last time I paid my mortgage bills and just repeat them.  So that's what I do.

Then I try the contact information on B of A's website.  I start with "online website technical support" and call the 800 number.  I tell the person who answers that I have a mortgage account.  He proceeds to ask me a series of questions, takes all the information and tells me at the end that I have a mortgage account.  I was actually aware of that and thought he was too since I started with that tidbit.  He tells me he cannot help with mortgage accounts and must transfer me to "model platform."  I get transferred to a man who responds in Spanish.  I tell him my Spanish is a bit rusty and I would prefer to do my business in English.  He tells me he covers every part of the United States except the Pacific Northwest, including, naturally, Washington, so he must transfer me to someone who handles Washington.  I get transferred to someone who tells me they do not handle mortgage accounts and that I need to be transferred to online banking.  Yes, that would be the online banking I called first.

Now the call has been disconnected and I had such high hopes for Connor (the last person I spoke to before the call disconnected.)

I'm in the Bermuda Triangle of Bank of America.  The twilight zone of corporate America.  Online mortgage hell.

All I want to do is pay my bill.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Smoking Gun [Stuff Steph Gives Me (September 4, 2011) ]

For any and all of you who think it is just me torturing poor sweet Stephie in some kind of one-way "click-it" game...think again.

Skype (with permission)

[9:49:24 PM] Steph: *family guy* Oh no!
[10:05:48 PM] Steph: I think I just found the most annoying video on youtube... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYJglSVP4IU&feature=related
[10:06:18 PM] Lee: Wow.  What a great lead in.  I'm SO gonna click now.
[10:06:26 PM] Steph: you better!
[10:06:27 PM] Lee: LOL
[10:06:42 PM] Steph: after 30 secs I had to stop it :D
[10:06:59 PM] Lee: Jesus.  I stopped it at 7.
[10:07:04 PM] Steph: LOL
[10:07:08 PM] Steph: OH NO!
[10:08:03 PM] Lee: I'm totally gonna post that you gave me that link.
[10:08:15 PM] Steph: :D :D DEWIT!
[10:08:20 PM] Lee: LOL!!!

And here's the vid.  Enjoy.


Also from Stephie.

And this too.


Leveraged LBD

I loved Sophie's little black dress on "The Boiler Room Job" episode of Leverage.