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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why I Miss Japan

In yet another adventurous day of what can possibly go wrong, today my car died with my six-year-old in the backseat. Alternator.
Yesterday at work one of the IT guys died while on vacation after the car he was working on fell on top of him.
In the past week, we had friends Gary, Charlie and Andrew pass away.
Two weeks ago the air-conditioner in the house blew - that's a thousand dollars... no sweat, or rather a lot of sweat as I don't have the beans for that to be fixed.
Hours later when a nasty thunderstorm blew through lovely Toronto, my roof began leaking. The guy we called on Monday said he'd be around on Wednesday or Thursday to fix it, which was some solace when the next ferocious thunderstorm blew by on Tuesday turning the small leak into a torrential downpour into our dining room and traveling further down through the former drywall walls into the basement to cause a small tsunami of clay from the cat litter box to to wash all over the floor.
I spent an hour in discussion making arrangements about a loan I have to pay off my line of credit, as the CIBC screwed up royally causing further delays in my debt relief, while informing me that since I missed the last payment (that was supposed to have been taken out of my account several days ago by the bank), my NEW monthly payment would reflect that 'mistake' of mine and now go up... and I spent an hour in discussion telling them that they were idiots. What ticked me off were several things:
1) Because  the money was supposed to have come out days earlier... and my bank balance showed I had more money in my account than I thought, I used money from my bank account rather than my credit card to purchase gas and some much needed medicine so that I don't die of high cholesterold, which in hind sight seems like an easy way out of debt.
2) The idiots of the bank never ever suggested I simply pay the payment I 'missed' because of their screw-up so that my monthly payments remain the same.  If I make the payment, my loan amount remains the same as the previous contract I agreed to with them. What sort of customer service is that? They screw up and I get an apology and the royal runaround. BFD!
3) Since they figured I screwed up by not paying the 'missed' payment owing to their OWN screw-up, they canceled my agreed upon loan and wrote a new one for me, meaning that my debt relief is delayed another month.
4) I argued that they screwed up on a contract, so they should make good on it. They said they would go back to the original numbers on the contract if I paid that missed payment. Of course, by paying for a full tank of gas and the medicine that will make me live longer (why, of god why do I want that?!), I no longer have the amount left anywhere to pay for it.
5) By taking money from my son's piggy bank, I can make the payment. Don't I feel like a real man...
6) On the way to the bank today, my car died.
7) Credit card payment for the tow... somehow a credit card payment for the car's alternator... and I should be okay.
8) Oh yeah... CIBC... because they got rid of my original loan contract because of their own self-admitted screw up, and created a new contract, and then agreed to go back to the terms of the first contract... my debt relief is still delayed. I was told I had to go to the bank to sign the papers - or wait until the new ones arrived in the mail... really? The first loan I agreed to was done over the phone, with me agreeing where required... now, to speed things up after the CIBC Screwed Up, I have to go out of my way to the bank, sign some papers, and have them faxed back to the bank.
9) Yes... they could have faxed the papers I needed to now sign (why do I need to sign papers for THIS Loan, but not the FIRST loan??!!), but who has a fax? Sure everyone in Japan has one - but this is Canada? Can you send me a PDF of the contract? No... mail or fax? What a joke. Apparently it's not secure to send documents like that over the Internet... but you can do all your banking on-line. They asked if they could fax the documents to my work? Really... so I can have everyone at work check out the details of my loan? Get real. Totally idiotic. 
10) I was really on the way to the bank to make the payment I 'missed' but that was ONLY because of the CIBC's screw up.
11) In my first call to the CIBC on Friday, I was told they had tried to call on July 29 and August 1, leaving messages both times, and another time on August 1, but that the mailbox was full. Fair enough... they did and it was... My wife did not tell me anyone called. Later that evening, I received a telephone call from 'Unavailable', but I picked up anyways. It was the CIBC again. LOOK, if you, the bank, want people to pick up a bloody phone call, stop hiding who you are when you are calling! No one will check out a message left by UNAVAILABLE! Idiots. Anyhow, this person tells me that they had left three messages and had one full mailbox, saying NOW that they know I talked to the bank YESTERDAY (It was earlier that morning).. but adding that they first tried to call me on July 25 - the day after I made the first loan arrangement.
12) So... CIBC... what is it? Three left messages or two? You talked to me on August 3 or was it August 4?  You screwed up the initial bank loan by forgetting to calculate daily interest and forgetting to state that the loan couldn't take effect for 30 days AFTER it was processed by the bank - NOT necessarily WHEN it was approved (which was done over the phone on July 22 or 21st... ). Yes, you can fast-track things now... but only after I now longer have enough money in my account to pay the missed payment YOU said you were taking out on August 1 UNLESS I steal money from my 6-year-old son - Mission Accomplished, by the way. Fax? Really? To fast-track things?

Oh yeah.... Payday in 11 more days. 

On the plus side, readership on this blog holds steady at around 1100 a day, How To Survive Women has jumped from 200 a day to 700-900 a day... peaking at 2,400 two Saturdays that's something.

And... Kelly, at Kelly's Garage at the corner of Burnhamthorpe and Martingrove in Toronto - he gave me his OWN pick-up truck to drive, saying he could drive one of the old clunkers he was working on... and that I could keep it until my own care was fixed on Tuesday (Monday being a holiday). Now that's nice. That's customer service above and beyond the call of duty... something CIBC seems to have forgotten from the time the loan was initially agreed upon to, well, now. 

So... I sit here in a puddle of my own sweat as the humidity makes it around 42C, praying that the guy comes to fix my roof today (after getting my dad to yell at the guy he hired), I hope he does so before another summer thunderstorm comes, rains on my parade again and causes some new sort of super spore mold to grow in the walls that will kill my self, wife and kid.

(He didn't and it did rain... not torrential, but there's still hope for tomrorrow.)

And... I dream of being back in Japan, 20 years ago where my biggest concern was not if  Iwas going to get laid tonight but rather how many times I was going to get laid tonight.

I still feel screwed in 2012, but it's not the same as being the one doing the screwing.

My life in 2012... she's a cruel bitch.

Andrew Joseph