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Calling Dr. Kafka

Posted by Dirck on 5 September, 2012

This is entirely non-pen in nature, but a blog is at its base a pressure valve for the owner’s brain, and mine is in danger of collapse from existential angst.

The background of this little drama is the big rearrangement of  the household finances back in the spring.  At that time, my bank sent on my behalf a sufficiency of money to abolish the American Express card I held at the time… or so we all thought.  They sent, in fact, rather too much.  Amex’s response to this and to the written instruction to close up the account was to stick a credit on the card and go all quiet.  A couple of months later, I compounded the problem by misdirecting a payment to what I thought was my sole extant credit card.  There was a delay during which I couldn’t quite believe the statements coming from Amex; one does not, generally, see a credit card statement reading, “We owe you an amount equal to roughly two months of your paycheque.”  Eventually, though, I brought myself to accept the evidence, and called them.  Situation explained, the chap said I could look for a refund.

Nigh a month passes.  I accept this, since credit companies and banks will cling to money to the last possible instant in pursuit of a scruple of interest.  Yesterday, an envelope in the Amex livery appeared.  It contained not a cheque, but a letter dated August 15th, saying there were important things that could only be discussed over the telephone in need of examination.

I called, and this is what followed, after we got through a similar establishment of background:

AMEX Person: We can refund these payments, but because these are very large sums, we need you to send us proof.

Me: Proof?

AP: Yes.

M: Proof of what, exactly?

AP: Proof that you send us the money.

M: Proof apart from the fact that you have the money?

AP: Yes.

M: What would count as proof, apart from the statements you’ve sent me?

AP: Your bank records.

M: (seeking, by careful restatement and tone of voice, to extract some indication from the poor lost soul at the other end that this is a ludicrous requirement, even if it is one her employer will insist upon; I am aware of how much power the call-taker has in these matters)  So, I have to find a record of having sent from my bank the money you received from me, which you applied to my account, and have since sent several statements indicating the existence of?

AP: (In the same tone of voice as one gives the correct time) Yes.

I am somewhat nonplussed even now.  I feel rather as if I’ve been asked to find sufficient documentation to establish that “down” is an equivalent to “the attractive vector of the local gravitational field.”  Since about 1/6 of my yearly income is in the balance on this matter, I can’t just declare it too much trouble, as I’m sure Amex has written its policies to encourage.  It’s just a good thing that I’ve watched Brazil several times as a sort of inoculation.

It could be worse, I suppose.  I could be trying to work phone and fax with a set of enormous insect legs, or be made to fly combat missions until the thing gets settled.  We take comfort where we can find it.

Today’s pen: Parker 50 Falcon
Today’s ink: Diamine Amazing Amethyst


3 Responses to “Calling Dr. Kafka”

  1. My advice to you: Don’t listen to any priests, don’t spend any time in broom closets, turn down all offers of employment as a land surveyor and keep a close eye on anyone with too many pockets on their coats.

    • In order; only Shinto and those under advisement, I’d never fit regardless of scrabbling with all my dainty hooks, I promise nothing if Ethel the Aardvark is involved, and… damn it. There could be anything in those pockets. Treats! Money! Pens! How could I resist?!

  2. […] discontinuation of another discount at Goulet pens.  There was also the scent of victory over a grasping credit card company in the air, so I felt some mis-placed lightness of […]

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