200th Post! Lottery’s Biggest Loser and Credit Card Makeover: Friday’s “What the frak?” Moments

Before I begin, I would like to thank all of my faithful readers who take the time to read, comment, rate my writing, tweet it, and give me other encouragement. I began this blog for my family and for me, but having people-not-related-to-me follow along gives the insecure writer in me a huge ego boost, and hope that one day, writing will no longer be “just a hobby.” Thank you. In honor of this 200th post, if you have the time, maybe you can let me know below how you found me and why you stayed. Or not. Because I know what the “barely have time to read a blog” life is like. You can also let me know what I could improve upon (shorter blogs, perhaps?). Thanks everyone!

And now, without further ado and sentimental babbling….

My 200th blog post and Friday’s “What the frak…?” moments (WTFM) are brought to you by………..

Lotteries and Credit Card Companies: They both suck.

The Lottery’s Biggest Loser

It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking of Powerball, your state lottery, or one held in a church with fifty people trying to enroll their children into a Mother’s Day Out program before the slots filled up: I am cursed.

I generally avoid the first two as it’s akin to giving packs of $100 bills to my seventeen month old – they will just eat my money and crap it out.

The third lottery, however, I had little choice in – not if I wanted both kids to spend the 2011/2012 school year enjoying two days a week away from their cranky, overtired mother who has five million and fourteen things I need to accomplish – most of which are impossible with both kids underfoot.

This is why I found myself and my two children waiting in a hall with fifty other parents and their kids at 10 AM last week. I was given a blue raffle ticket which would be drawn from a basket to determine priority, and after my number was called I could fill out the appropriate paperwork to enroll my children.

Now imagine these are blue raffle-style tickets...

Or we would go on a wait list if the time slot I wanted was already taken.

I was ill-prepared, having rushed out of the house under the mistaken impression that we would be called “in the order of our number” instead of lottery style – forced to change a Diva Diaper Bomb before leaving.

Slowly, the first number was called, as the lucky winner actually received applause.

It went downhill from there, as number after number was pulled, read aloud, and The Chosen One walked to the front.

And I sat. And sat. And chased Lil Diva. And sat. And grabbed more books from a now-empty table. I separated Lil Diva from a phone book. And sat. And paced.

Forty-five minutes in, and I knew, I knew when my number would be called, the premonition smacking into me with a clarity only seen by Twilight vampires and Charmed.

I was going to be dead last.

Lil Diva was cranky bored full of vigor and ran amok while the “helpers” volunteering there tried to distract her. She stole snacks unsuspecting parents left on the edges of their table, typically dumping them on the floor and then eating them if they passed the gravity test. She tried to steal the forms so I could at least pre-fill something out. She almost dumped a basket of mini-sized candy onto the floor from the main registration table – all of it within her reach.

The Tackler, by comparison, was a paragon of virtue (this would not be the case at our next stop, his patience completely spent). He read from the piles of books that littered all of the tables. He had a snack. He was so good after the first hour, I caved and let him borrow my iPod for game playing.

Yes, I said the first hour.

Then the second hour approached.

I not-so-discretely hovered near the person calling the numbers, peeking into the basket: only five left.

Four.

Three.

Two.

One.

Two hours after our arrival, ninety minutes after the first number was spoken, my number was called.

Dead last.

Sometimes, I hated being right.

In a true twist of fortunate fate – I was able to sign up for the time slots I wanted – thanks to a smaller number of kids enrolling in their age groups.

But I was mad.

If they had spent the first thirty minutes having everyone write on a sign up sheet our children’s ages and preferred class slot, they would have seen this very fact, negating the need for a lottery-first-come-first-pick styled sign up. Anyone without an issue could have just filled out their paperwork and left, leaving the lottery battle between the overcapacity classes.

Why the frak did someone not think of that???

It would have eliminated two very stressful and boring hours with my children – who still had to wait for another fifteen minutes while I raced through two sets of paperwork (one for each child) since they wouldn’t give you any until your number was called.

I was the last person to leave.

Next time there’s a lottery I’m forced into, I’m sending CG. His luck can’t be worse than mine.

When Your Credit Card Needs a Makeover

I received a recorded message while on vacation from my credit card company, but I never heard it. It was via recording, so when I dared answer the long distance unknown call, I waited my typical three seconds after “hello” for a response, and promptly hung up. All I heard was “this is you citib-” before it cut off abruptly as I stabbed the “end call” button on my phone. By then it was too late. The call was disconnected.

My mommy brain then completely forgot about it.

Fast forward to last week, when I attempted to go online to pay my bill and found myself mostly locked out of my account.

I couldn’t pay online. Then I was rejected by phone.

Why?

Because my credit card required a makeover.

Our card was flagged as “in danger of fraud” thanks to a security issue somewhere along the way. I’m not sure why that necessitates denying someone from paying their bill. If you want to steal my card and pay my bill, I certainly don’t want to stop you from doing the latter.

They sent us new cards to activate while we were on vacation.

We never received them.

Flash forward to bill paying time – where I finally found out what the heck was going on.

“So my old credit card will work until I activate the new ones, right?” I asked.

“Yes. Blah blah blah some date…  deadline,” someone with a heavy accent replied. Only replace the “blah’s” with Lil Diva screeching in the background.

I hung up, reassured the credit cards were hiding in the junk mail pile.

Two days later, on the Tackler’s birthday, I still hadn’t found the replacement credit cards. I decided I would call them that evening to send out some new ones on Monday.

I lugged both kids and my mother-in-law to the grocery store – we had cupcakes to bake and the cupboards were bare.

You see where this is going, right?

My overflowing grocery cart was unloaded, rung up, and I swiped my credit card.

I really should carry a back up card...

NOT APPROVED.

I still hadn’t activated a different card and my bill was paid in full – per the idiot I talked to two days prior – so it should have worked.

Luckily, knowing that day was “what the frak?” Friday, I’d come mostly prepared – my checkbook was out in the car. I escorted my mother-in-law and the kids out to the car – their grocery cart riding patience at an end – while my unpaid groceries waited for my return.

The transaction was completed – thank god I actually had enough money in that account – with only an additional seven minutes of my time wasted.

Still, the thought of not having the ability to pay – had I not been over prepared that day – after shopping with two young children and checking out a full cart of groceries, including supplies required for cupcake baking for my birthday boy….

It pissed me off.

The credit card company heard from me later that day.

My new credit cards arrived before noon on Saturday.

To credit card companies: If you have “deemed an account insecure” don’t send someone an automated message: TALK TO THEM. Or leave them a voice mail in a non-recorded voice way, so they don’t think you’re one of the million telemarketers sucking up their mobile minutes.

Heaven forbid real customer service takes place… or am I wrong in this?

It had a happy ending – this time – for which I’m thankful, but it still made me go, “what the frak…?!?!”

What in your life made you go “what the frak…?” this week???

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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30 Responses to 200th Post! Lottery’s Biggest Loser and Credit Card Makeover: Friday’s “What the frak?” Moments

  1. Katie says:

    I don’t know how your MDO program does it, but our parents day our program that we take Jake to does give priority to currently-enrolled families, meaning that we get to sign up the day before the new-family sign up. If yours does the same, maybe next year’s sign up will be less stressful!

  2. mypajamadays says:

    What kind of f’d up lottery system is that? If people make the effort to get there early it should definitely be first come first serve. Morons. And we’ve had the same pleasant banking experiment. We were sent a LETTER letting us know a large some of money may have been fraudulently taken from our account. A LETTER! Thank goodness I caught it right ways and filed a fraud reports BEFORE the letter ever got to us so that nothing bounced. Sheesh.

  3. Debra Gawne says:

    My credit card company regularly starts refusing my charges when I go out of town and start using it – they assume it’s been stolen every time! They insist that I call them and tell them I’m going out of town to keep this from happening. STUPID credit card company – I HAVE cc’s so I CAN use them when I go out of town!

  4. Kim Woehl says:

    I have two children now taller than me. One just turned 18 and the other 15. I have been a child care provider for 17+ years and so I totally enjoy your humor. I have had groups as large as 12 with just me! I can relate to so much of your stories. I have also learned to keep chaos at bay. I now have a very small group that I just can’t give up and so I enjoy a smile as I read your blog when I can get a moment to sit down in front of my screen. Keep it up!

  5. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    Yay for 200! Love your stuff, Kelly. It’s funny and it’s real. Keep it up.
    BTW, that lottery thing is seriously whacked. (And we all know credit card companies are whacked too.) 🙂

    • In theory, the lottery should work nicely: if there is a very high demand for few slots.

      When the opposite is the case, and there are plenty of slots (for the most part) to go around – it’s ridiculous to do one…

      I love your stuff too, Trish. My sci-fi sistah.

  6. Oh geez! Both posts made me cringe!

    First of all, if someone shows up EARLY they should totally get the spot over someone else! I thought this was common sense! CRAZYS! And, second of all, I just hate credit card companies!

    I loved how you said lil Diva will only eat snacks if it has passed the gravity test! It reminded me of my son! What is with kids and ONLY wanting to eat snacks that come off the floor?!?!

    GREAT POST!

    • It was my own Mommy Brain fault for failing to recall it was a lottery – or I would’ve shown up at the last possible minute instead of early. I’m certain they do this to avoid The Campers: the parenting version of movie goers who will camp out for days to get tickets for the first showing.

      In this case, they had enough slots, they only needed a lottery for two classes out of about 12 options.

      I do not understand The Gravity Test or Floor Flavoring – I only know my daughter is a firm believer in testing her food… and me..

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Alicia says:

    Who came up with this lottery system? Why isnt it first come first served? I am sorry you were called dead last. That just suxs. And it is a crazy cruel system.
    Great post!

    • I’m pretty sure it’s to avoid battles and camp-outs. They have a Wait List – I think some ages in this year had more openings that usual.

      It would have been relaxing – if I hadn’t had to drag two cranky children to a non-childproof room.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  8. Heidi M says:

    I had a very similar situation with my DEBIT card two weeks ago… and I was in NY at the time, trying to enjoy myself. So frustrating… thank goodness for my AmEx or I’d have been all washed up for the weekend.

  9. Cori says:

    HAPPY 200th POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Brooke says:

    I am almost always DEAD last too. I won something in a raffle once, and I was completely shocked. It’s just not the way my luck works. With that said, I did buy a Powerball ticket yesterday. I pretend it’s for a good cause 🙂

    • The luck has followed me all of my life. Even in elementary playing games, like the cakewalk (walk in circle to music, stop on number, draw number of winner of delicious baked goods), I never won.

      How did that Powerball donation go? 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting Brooke!

  11. Mandyland says:

    First…the lottery? Worst. Nightmare. Also? Highly disorganized.

    Second…the credit card? Worst. Nightmare. Wait. I already said that. But seriously…WTH?

    • The lottery was actually very well organized. I could see why they did what they did. The problem was, they didn’t really NEED to do a lottery this year – at least for my children’s ages (three year olds did have some conflicts).

      Yup, it was a total WTH two days. I makes me wonder what is in store for me tomorrow…

      Welcome to my mommy blog – where really – truth can be stranger than fiction. 🙂

  12. happy 200! found you on Twitter, love your humor. Luv the whole WTF concept and have considered stealing it! My kids are older now so it’s more like “I remember those days” but I enjoy your blog because it’s real and not all o-look-at-my-perfect-precious children 🙂 The shorter ones are the best of course because, yea, I don’t have time to read enough blogs either! Keep it up!

    • Is that were you found me, on Twitter? Very cool. I always wondered.

      Feel free to “borrow” my WTF concept. I wouldn’t mind a courtesy link back with it….. (shameless hint). I’m certain your teens give you those moments too.

      I’ll try to keep it under 1000 words, but sometimes, I just need to rant…. 🙂

      I let the photos speak for the o-look-at-my-perfect-precious-children part: the adorable ones, and the aftermath ones alike. I swear, the cuter they are, the more they think they can get away with….

      Thanks for being such a loyal reader!

  13. I just found you today. Right now. Through Zemanta. Not sure if I am going to use that service, but it looks interesting.

  14. Tonya says:

    I have never ever bought a lottery ticket for this very reason.

    Lotteries and credit card do suck!

    Congratulations on 200 posts! Yay you.

    Stopping by from Robin’s Fledgling Fridays. My blog is Letters For Lucas, if you are interested. 🙂

    • Tonya – Thank you for popping by. I love Robin’s Fledgling Fridays – I have a huge list of blogs to read, and yours is one of them. 🙂 Trying to survive organizing chaos from this week…

      I think I’ve bought two lottery tickets in my entire life – both with an insanely high jackpots.

      Yeah. Didn’t win. Shocker.

      I thought the odds of this one would’ve been better… but no.

      Thanks for blog hopping to me!

  15. MamaRobinJ says:

    Oy. That’s craziness!

    But happy 200th post 🙂

  16. Kimberly says:

    Had the clarity only seen on twilight and charmed…best…line…ever!
    Sorry for the card woes. If it makes you feel any better, I went shopping and used not one but three different cards. 2 had been locked bc they had upgraded the card with a PIN bit I refused to activate them bc I don’t care to retain another useless piece of info in my noggen and the other had a PIN that I couldn’t remember. Gah…it’s a no win.

  17. Ilana says:

    That lottery thing sounds horrible, and although I can’t think of a specific instance at the moment, I know that I have been there too with that same premonition unfortunately coming true. I bet everybody thinks it and SOMEBODY has got to be right. Right?

  18. Pingback: Top 10 Things A Parent Should Know Before the First Day of (Pre)School | Dances with Chaos

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