Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Parking Hell and Random Acts

Yesterday, when the Girl and I went to her new doctor, we had to park in a lot underneath the building. The asshats that built this parking garage thought it would be a great idea to require you to not only pay top dollar for the privilege of using their garage, but would collect that money all by machine, negating the probability of problems this might cause their users.

Now, I had an issue even before I put the car in the lot, but at that time it was unbeknownst to me. The Boy had "borrowed" my debit card, which I knew and gave permission for, but had "forgotten" to return it. My credit card is, not surprising considering this time of year, maxed. My second debit card, which I did have with me, is very scratched but clean, having done a recent tour of my laundry facilities. I had no cash with me at all, which is not unusual. I rarely carry cash.

Off we went to the doctor, and on the way back to the garage, we were required to pay for parking by putting the ticket, which they do not validate, into a machine along with a credit/debit card or dollar bills. I owed $10 for parking for the short time we were there. Fine. Put in the scratched debit card, but it would not work. I put it in again and again, with no luck. Searched through my wallet, my backpack, my pockets and could not find other debit card. Realized that the Boy had not returned it from the night before. Damn! This was turning out to be a sucky morning.

A guy told me that there was a Bank of American in the building lobby. I go in, tell the teller that I've got an account but do not have my debit card with me, do not have my checkbook with me, and do not know my account number. She looks at me like I'm from Mars. I give her the scratched debit card and ask her to run it thru the machine punching in the numbers, and give me $10 to pay for parking. Evidentally this was too much for her pea-brain to handle, because she handed me off to the manager. He didn't want to even try to help me, but I was getting ticked. The debit card I had was not my BoA card, but heck, I've been a BofA customer since 1998. You would think they might make an effort. You would think wrong. He refused to help me. No proof of account, no help.

I say to him, it's ten freaking dollars. From MY money. It's not a credit card, it's ten freaking dollars off MY debit card from another banking institution. What is your problem? I could use the ATM machine and it would give me the money IF the magnetic strip wasn't damaged, so why will you not run it thru your machine where you punch in the numbers? Nope, nothing doing. I was getting loud and really upset. How was I supposed to pay for parking if they wouldn't even bother to help me?

Then I had a tap on my shoulder and a woman in the queue behind me handed me two $5 bills. I looked at her in shock and she just said, "Happy Holidays". I asked her if I could mail it back to her, and she wouldn't let me. I thanked her profusely and gave the bank manager a filthy look and marched off to pay my parking fee. I'll never park in that freaking lot again.

I've been in that woman's position many times. I've handed money over in supermarket lines, at the drug store, and even at a tollbooth. But nobody has ever done that to me. Now I need to pay it forward to someone else in the same position. You can bet I'll be on the lookout, too.

As for the garage owners at 300 Longwood Ave., you totally suck. You need a person taking the parking fees that can handle problems, and you need to charge less for parking. Plus, what kind of multi-storied parking garage for a large public hospital does not have ANY handicapped spaces? "Splain that one, Lucy." As for the Bank of America employees at 300 Longwood, you are all stupid asswipes. You are working at a bank for a reason, and that reason is not because you're the cream of the crop. Maybe if you were actually nice to your customers and tried to help them, you might get further ahead in your career path. Jerks.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the card was not from that bank, then how can they have access to the account in any way? They'd be manually punching in numbers that had no meaning to their system. The computers at a teller's station inside the bank are not like ATMs that can communicate with other banking institutions, that's an entirely different system. If bank personnel had the ability to get money from OTHER banks by pushing a few buttons... what would keep them from robbing the other banks blind on a daily basis?? Banks only have access to their OWN accounts for security purposes.

However, even if your account at that bank had no money in it, they STILL should have been able to help you as a valued customer. Assuming... 1) You had proper identification, and 2) The debit card from that other bank was also able to be used as a credit card. Because then all they needed to do was run a credit card charge on the debit card and give you the cash. I've done this several times while traveling (before ATMs were widespread), and it was never a problem (though I was often charged a fee). In fact, I had to do this once to pay for parking at Universal Studios in California!

So you're right... assuming your debit card from that other bank COULD be used as a credit card AND you had identification... they were pretty stupid for not finding a way to help you.

And, when it comes to automated parking machines... I couldn't agree more. I once wrote this about the parking for the Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls, Canada: "When I am elected president of the United States, I fully intend to end my stance against nuclear weapons, declare war on Canada, then nuke the parking garage at the Niagara Casino/Hotel complex until nothing remains but a radiation-soaked crater. I will then hunt down the person who created the automated parking payment machine there and beat him... severely!"

Anyway, hopefully things have gotten better so you can enjoy the last day of Hanukkah and the rest of the holiday season. :-)

23/12/06 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noticed any extra traffic? Those nasty trainwreckers are talking about you. The Heaven Nose team and many other bloggers have begun a crusade to get these meanies to finally shut up. Please join us. Turning the other cheek and ignoring the trainwrecks just isn't working so let's try something new. Happy Holidays.



23/12/06 10:37 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

Hi Goldilocks,

Nobody is gonna stop trainwrecks. I appreciate that you find them annoying, but honestly, they're just a bunch of people trying to find fault with every blogger on the planet, no matter what. One doesn't like my stylehive...am I supposed to be crushed because I've got good taste and like beautiful things? Or supposed to feel that because I'm now disabled, my taste is supposed to change to trailer trash chic to suit their pathetic idea of who and what disabled people are about.

Another one finds fault with my wishlist, noting that I've put a purse on there that I NEVER expect anyone would buy me, but that's why it is a WISH list, not a "must have" list. I can wish for things. And of course they pick out the one expensive item and not the T'shirt and socks that are also on the list.

Because that's what they do...concentrate on the minutae and try and find *anything* they can to make fun of. It's what they do because, after all, they're above it all. You know, the perfect people who have no faults. Oh, except their hobby is picking apart other people's lives for fun. But that's not a *fault*, is it? Nah, I don't think so (dripping sarcasm here).

My favorite is that they find fault with my disability. Now that's REAL humor, isn't it? Nothing funnier than a congenitial heart defect and congestive heart failure. It's a real laugh riot.

So fuck them. Let them trainwreck me and Tertia and Julia and whomever else they want to. I'm not closing up shop anytime in the near future, nor am I going to change who I am and what I write about in the hopes of getting them off my back. "I yam who I yam", to misquote Popeye and I ain't changing because of a few trainwreck fans.

23/12/06 4:38 PM  

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