Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Vengeance, hot or cold, is delicious!

Have you ever gotten real, true revenge for a situation in which you felt like you were wronged? I don't mean an act of retaliation, which is meant to get even but in reality, usually only escalates the hostility until somebody gets either hurt or bored and calls things off. Sure, that's fun, but it doesn't rate on the satisfaction scale the way that honest-to-goodness vengeance does.

Regular readers might probably recall how I spent the better part of August and September depressed and anxious over my living situation. In particular, how I spent the 27 days between September 3rd and September 30th living in a hotel, seperated from most of my worldly possessions, my two pet cats as well as any semblance of order and stability, and how that was because the whole process seemed to get hung up on one small detail and how I could never get any good, consistent communication from the bank that was issuing the loan. It was gut-wrenching, first-person proof that small details that impact the lives of individual customers are not what the big financial institutions that govern our lives consider worthy of their attention, an ordeal I never want to repeat and wouldn't wish on anyone. Remember all that? I sure do.
Imagine my sheer terror when I received a phone call from the lender's home office in Minnesota on Friday, November 8th:
"Hi Mr. Brooks, this is Michael with Wells-Fargo. I helped close your home loan. How are you today?"
"Um... fine?"
"That's great. Listen, we were reviewing your paperwork and found a form that wasn't completed."
"Yeah, it's literally one small check box. I can fax or email it to you, you just put a check mark in that one box, initial and send it back to me and we'll be all set."
"Oh. That sounds simple."
"Yes. Unfortunately, I need to have that or I can't file your paperwork as completed."
"Is this something you need right away or...?"
"Well, the sooner the better. The company doesn't like it when we have files sitting in 'pending' status, especially when it's something easy like this."
"Am I in danger of losing my house over this?"
"Oh no, not at all. This is strictly a clerical matter."
"So we have this one minor detail that needs to be cleared up and until it is, you can't go forward. I'm the only one who can do that and the sooner I take care of it, the less stressful it will be for you. Do I have all of that correct?"
"Yes, Mr. Brooks. Exactly."
"Oh, you have no idea how much I understand your situation, Michael. And I'm thrilled to be in this position of being able to help you. Thrilled!"
"Oh. Um, okay. Well, that's good. I will send the document over via email right away then."
"Yes, yes, please! The sooner the better!"

The phone call was followed that afternoon by an email, which was followed by another on November 14th, November 18th, November 19th, November 27th. That day, another phone call...
"Hey Mr. Brooks, it's Michael with Wells Fargo."
"Oh hey Michael, how's it going?"
"Fine, fine, but I haven't received that document yet. Any reason I can't have that by the 30th?"
"Not a good one, no."
"Okay. Because it would be really great if I could get this cleared up by end-of-month."
"You got it."

I hung up and immediately did absolutely nothing. There have been a number of phone calls kind of like that. Sometimes I answer them, sometimes I don't. Early on, I claimed to have not received the document. I've also said I received it but accidentally deleted it. I've said I forgot but would do it before the end of the day. Twice, I've sent it back just like I'd received it, with no changes whatsoever. Michael got fed up with me after about ten of these exchanges and handed me off to somebody named Brett who passed me off to someone named Angela after only four. Of course, I apologize every time. I am doing it on purpose, after all. Why wouldn't I take responsibility for it since it's totally my fault? But I'm having the time of my life. To wield this kind of control via something minor over people who made my life miserable over something minor is just so poetic and beautiful that it feels like a gift bestowed upon me from a divine power. It's like having someone beating your ass with a belt stop, hand it to you and say, "Could you hold this for a second while I bend over and tie my shoe please?". They call or email every day now and I'd be lying if I said I don't get sexually aroused when my phone rings with a call from the 612 area code. If this were to go on much longer, I just know I'd eventually pick up the phone laughing. That's okay though. Today is the day I will send them the properly filled-out form, completing the minor-but-necessary steps they need to put this matter to rest exactly 27 days after they asked for it, which is exactly how many days I sat twisting and turning in a cramped hotel room, waiting for them to complete the minor-but-necessary tasks that would allow me to get on with my life or at least a straight answer as to why that wasn't happening.

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