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Of the Rocking Things, today's Rockingest was coming home and finding in my mailbox the BEEEYOOOTIFUL necklace that I purchased from the Etsy store of one [livejournal.com profile] mrsronweasley. Oh my god, people, it's just gorgeous, and I will take and post a photo or two at some point soon.

But not this evening, because this evening is dedicated to Intensive Wine Intake, on account of

OK, so, can I just say first of all that TD Ameritrade can BURN IN THE RED-HOT FIERY HELLS OF DEEP DEEP FAILING. TD Ameritrade being the financial outfit which (for reasons far too complicated and tedious to go into) had been the repository for the wad o' cash I'm using as down payment for the house purchase.

Now, I take some responsibility for my own allotment of Fail, here -- due to deep-seated psychotic anxiety on the whole topic of money, I had dragged my feet on launching the series of steps needed to extricate my wad o' cash from Ameritrade's feckless grasp (steps which, in my own defense, I must say were very fucking poorly and confusingly described on Ameritrade's website). But, having been told weeks ago that the closing on my house would be on the 16th, I faxed off to Ameritrade last Friday a request to have my account closed, and the entire amount sent to me in a check VIA OVERNIGHT MAIL. (Why not electronic transfer? I hear you ask, and the reason is -- their website [INACCURATELY] told me that the particular kind of account I had and was closing had to be distributed by check and could not be distributed by electronic transfer.)

Had the check actually been drawn and sent out VIA OVERNIGHT MAIL as I CLEARLY REQUESTED IN THE FORM, it would have arrived on Wednesday, and all would have been well.

Instead of which -- [dim the lights, raise the curtain, and: Welcome to Homebuying Drama!]

ACT I

Scene: Wednesday morning, Kat at computer, opens up e-mail, and finds a form letter from Ameritrade saying "Blah blah lalala your check was sent by US mail blah blah."

Kat: [dialing dialing dialing] [wading through Ameritrade's fucking annoying voice menu (for the first of oh, so many times to come)]

Blase Guy [when finally human voice is reached]: Soooo, what can we do for you?

Me: Hi, I'd asked for my account to be closed and the funds sent to me by overnight mail, but the e-mail I got said it went US mail. Can you check and confirm that it was sent overnight?

B.G. Uhhh . . . yeah, uh, I guess, hang on . . .

[five minute interlude of Light Classics For Anxious People On Hold]

B.G. Hello? Yeah, uh, so, I can't get through to [whoever the hell would actually KNOW something], but it looks like it was probably sent overnight.

Me: Are you SURE?

B.G. Yeah, uh . . . [firming up his voice, almost audibly squaring his chin] I really think so, ma'am.

Me: Ohhhhhhh-kay.

ENTR'ACTE

[Dream-ballet scene in which Kat returns from work, sprints to her mailbox, flings it open, and finds it -- empty, and wholly devoid of overnight-mailed check, upon which Kat spins, twirls, flings stuff, spews curses, drops to ground sobbing]

ACT II, Scene i

Oh, hell, the summary of this one is, Kat calls Ameritrade and is told it's after hours and nobody can tell nothing about no overnight mailing, call back in the morning.

ACT II, Scene ii

[The Next Morning]

Kat: [dialing dialing dialing] [wading through Ameritrade's fucking annoying voice menu]

Chipper-Sounding Guy: Hi ma'am! What can I do for you?

Kat: [explains dilemma] So can you check and see HOW the check was sent out?

C-S.G.: Sure thing, ma'am! Hang on!

[five minute interlude of Light Classics For Anxious People On Hold]

C-S.G. [a trifle less chipper] Yeah, ma'am, well -- that did actually go out Tuesday by, ah, regular mail.

Kat: [after deep breathing, in a modulated tone of voice} Well then. So it should get here -- maybe by Friday? Saturday?

C-S.G: [enthusiastically] Oh yes indeed, ma'am, you could expect it by then.

Kat: Well -- I guess that should work out. See, I've got a closing next Wednesday, and I need the money for that.

C-S.G: [well-nigh quivering with optimism] Oh for sure, ma'am! You should have it in plenty of time!

Kat: [clicks out, with a gnawing sense of foreboding]

INTERMISSION

OK, it's intermission, and -- time for a poll!

[Poll #1456407]

Let me just drop a hint that ANSWER #1 IS WHAT ANY SANE PERSON WOULD EXPECT. Which of course means that Answer #2 is what actually appears to be the case in my own personal closing, as I discovered sometime after my first rounds with Ameritrade.

Had the "closing," with its salient element of the handing over of the big check, actually turned out to be scheduled for Wednesday 9/16 instead of Monday 9/14, I could have coped with the Ameritrade check coming by regular mail.

Instead of which, I chose the always-popular option of FREAK THE FUCK OUT.

So, with intermission over, we turn to:

ACT III, Scene i
[Thursday night, after getting the message that the big-check-handing-over portion of the closing is actually scheduled for MONDAY]

Kat: [dialing dialing dialing] [wading through Ameritrade's fucking annoying voice menu]

Bored-Sounding Guy: Hi, howcanIhelpyou.

Kat: [explains whole goddamned situation, in a quavering voice] And so -- I know you don't usually do this, but is there ANY way I can have the money electronically transferred?

B-S.G.: [slightly incredulous] Well, sure. Of course you can.

Kat: But -- on your website! It says funds from [this type of account] can't be electronically transferred!

B-S.G.: Huh. I dunno why it would say that.

Kat: [given renewed hope] OK! Let's do this! I guess you'd need to put a stop order on the check, and then can I get the wire transfer going right away?

B-S.G.: Uh, nuh, they've all gone home, but I can ... I guess I could ask them to put a rush on this one tomorrow, or something. They need to process the stop order first, though. Call back in the morning.

ACT III Scene ii
[Friday morning. Kat, having determined that the Ameritrade office is in Lincoln, Nebraska, and hence on Central Time, arises at 5:30, caffeinates, and phones in RIGHT the hell at 6 a.m./8 a.m. Ameritrade time]

Kat: [dialing dialing dialing] [wading through Ameritrade's fucking annoying voice menu for what feels like the BAJILLIONTH TIME]

Alert-Sounding Guy: [blah blah whatever welcoming message I wasn't awake]

Kat: [explains the entire bloody scenario AGAIN] So, can you check that the stop order has been DONE, and get the wire transfer going RIGHT AWAY?

A-S.G.: Yeah, hang on.

[today's musical interlude is Bossa Nova for You Hep Cats with No Financial Stress No Siree]

A-S.G.: OK! I can confirm that the stop order is being processed -- now what you need to do is re-fax the disbursement request with the bank info on it for the electronic transfer, because we need that.

Kat: Jeez, WHY didn't the guy I talked to yesterday tell me to do that??

[::crickets::]

Kat: OK, I'll get that faxed right now. Please just tell me one thing -- I really really need this money to be transferred today, because I need to draw a cashier's check on it MONDAY for a closing. Will this transfer happen today?

A-S.G.: Oh, I'm sure it will! Nothing to worry about, ma'am.

Kat: [hangs up with a sense of foreboding that has gone beyond gnawing and into ACID REFLUX]

ACT III Scene iii
[Friday early afternoon. Kat, after several crazed hours of meetings, orientation-schedule revamps, and other things related to WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING BESIDES TALK TO AMERITRADE, gets back to office, checks online bank account, and sees that -- funds have not yet come in.]

Kat: {dialing dialing dialing] [oh you know how this goes]

For Once, Reasonably Clueful-Sounding Guy THANK GOD: Hi, how can I help you?

Kat: [explains the entire sordid tale YET AGAIN] So -- will the electronic transfer actually go through today, AS I WAS PROMISED?

FO,RC-SGTG: Um. [pause for checking stuff] Actually, ma'am, that will be deposited in your bank account on Monday.

Kat: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. [Yeah, I said it. I'm neither proud nor ashamed.] I have GOT to have this in my account so I can draw a cashier's check against it so I can go to the closing at 1:00 on Monday!

FO,RC-SGTG: You know what, we've messed up TWICE on this. I'm really sorry. [FIRST TIME THOSE WORDS HAD BEEN UTTERED BY ANYONE THROUGH THIS ENTIRE SORDID SAGA I MIGHT SAY.] Here's what I'll do, I'm going to put a note on this to have the transfer moved to the top of the queue and expedited first thing Monday morning. And then I'm going to give you my direct line, and you call me at 8:00 Monday and as many times after that as you need to verify that this transfer is going through in time for you, and I'll do whatever needs to be done to make this happen. And I'm really sorry. [ANOTHER ACTUAL APOLOGY OH FO,RC-SGTG I MAY FLY OUT TO LINCOLN, NEBRASKA AND MARRY YOU.] [Although if the transfer DOESN'T come through in time on Monday, I'm sorry, I'll have to kill you and everyone else at Ameritrade. Nothing personal, you understand.]


So -- we'll see how this one sorts out. And in the meantime, I am admiring the HELL out of my beautiful new necklace (and hitting the wine hard, because the alternative is FLYING TO LINCOLN, NEBRASKA AND THROTTLING EVERYONE AT TD AMERITRADE).
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katallison

November 2009

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