Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thanks to Some Guy Named Maurice, Not Even Credit Thieves Can Stop PrincessFest 2011

Yesterday while I was eating my Nacho Grande from Taco Bell and finishing my articles for the local weekly newspaper, my debit card had somehow cloned itself and was in the hands of a bad, unknown shopper in Manhattan who was having a blast at my expense. Fast forward to that evening, when I was standing in the pasta aisle at the grocery store buying dinner and answering a cell phone call at the same time, oblivious to the fact that my account was now frozen by the bank, whose security agency tracked the unusual activity and blocked me after not being able to reach me at home to verify the purchases. It was my husband calling to tell me I'd been monetarily violated.

Obviously I was upset, who wouldn't be? I found myself mentally rewinding all the purchases I've made this month, wondering if there was a camera over the gas pump, or if someone behind me on a line had watched me swipe my card and memorized the numbers. I'll never know how my debit card number was compromised, which is what's so unsettling about an experience like this. Besides being upset, I had a million things to do in preparation for the next day, which was scheduled to be "The Best Princess Birthday Tea Party Ever."

"Do you realized that in about 16 hours it will be PrincessFest 2011? I have to buy balloons, food, a sparkly hat and glitter for the table," I complained.

"Nevertheless, you have to handle the problem one step at a time," my husband said. So I called my bank as soon as I got out of the store. Someone named Maurice answered the phone and I explained to him that an evil criminal had bought out Macy's with my debit card on pay day. He asked me for my birthday and social security number.

"I'm not going to give that stuff out over the phone to you. I've lost enough personal information today and hundreds of dollars were flying out of my account this afternoon. Next you are going to want to know the color of my underwear and I don't even know your last name, Maurice ..."

"Excuse me MA'AM," the voice on the line interrupted me patiently. "You called the number to your bank and I work here. If you want to clear this up then I need your birthday and your social security number to go forward."

"Well, I'm in public right now. How about I give it to you in Morse code," I offered. It didn't take me more than a second to realize how irrational I was being toward Maurice from my bank, and that I sounded completely stupid. In my own defense, I have to say that he didn't really know me or understand that I get irreversibly irrational when I freak out over something, in part, because I sometimes fall asleep watching very dramatic telenovelas.

Although the voice named Maurice called me "Ma'am," which absolutely does not describe me, after he agreed to give me the phone numbers of his supervisor to verify his employment with the bank and his mother to give reference to his good character, I eventually gave in and shared my precious social security number with him, which he already had in front of him on his computer screen anyway, as I looked around cautiously to be sure no one was listening.

Then my husband and I stayed up half the night cleaning and decorating the house for seven little, fancy girls expecting an elegant, fabulous birthday tea party. The next morning I was at my bank when the doors opened ready to fill out paperwork to settle the mess. I did and was home in time for the "best birthday party ever, Mama."

Phew! I felt like I just lived through an episode of 24 without exploding or getting shot, (and I got the balloons). Thank you Maurice from my bank. :)

This post was printed as a point of view in Suffolk County News and online at the Museum of Motherhood blog.


Putz said...

do you know that things like that just simply do not happen in small town ephraim utah, only in the big easy new yourk could something like that happen or maybe really over the computer to anyone i guess<><<>i have never had a friend{fiend} or relative or anyone i know have this happen to them><><><>what did milkman have to say???????

Loren Christie said...

Milkman was much more relaxed about it than I was. I don't know how it happened and from now on I will only use SpongeBob SquarePants Monopoly Game currency for all of my purchases. Cybercrooks, take note.

rhymeswithplague said...

To whom it may concern:

New York is not the Big Easy. New York is the Big Apple. New Orleans is the Big Easy.

Yours for accuracy in commenting,

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Everything looks so pretty and she looks so happy! I am so sorry my little ballerina had to miss it...she was on the softball field doing arabesques at the time... she doesn't know and thinks next time she sees her is her birthday.

Loren Christie said...

We missed her. Can't wait to see you- it feels like months since we got together.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


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