Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday morning middle of holiday SITREP

For those who don't know, a SITREP is a SITuation REPort. Ours is as follows;
In honor of Labor Day weekend, we have reduced our traveling about on the roads. More people are killed on Memorial Day/Fourth of July/Labor Day weekends than on "regular" weekends. Something about that 72 hour weekend that causes people to do just a little bit more to expose themselves and others to riskier behaviors.

Like driving eleven hours to go see family, after a hearty night out with the homies. Or cruising down a two lane highway, well rested but getting creamed by the drunk driver trying to make it home after an all-nighter.

Jacksonville is doing its part to keep up with the bigger cities when it comes to body counts.

Saturday morning, She Who Will Be Obeyed saw an advertisement for a bedroom set at a local Furniture store. We drove to Orange Park (Oh, how I hate Blanding Blvd in Orange Park...) and looked at the "lossleader" furniture and purchased another, more expensive set. Only two and a half times the cost of the advertised furniture, so I think we got away lucky; She started admiring a beautiful dining room set so I started walking.

The purchase process is not unlike buying a car. I have no idea why it must take such a long time, especially in this day of rapid computer communications. I think the goal is to make us all dopey and wear us down for the final solution, where we give all the fruits of our labor to the finance companies.

"Do you have an account with us?" Says the nice Sales Associate.

"Why, yes." Says Spousal Unit.

"And it has been dormant for the past two years, since I paid off the last bunch of furniture..." I added unnecessarily.

The Sales Dude does his thing and walks us over to the admin desk, where a surly looking citizen gives us a squinty look, the kind of look a Matron will give a pile of fish, looking for the least rotting example. Maybe we should have dressed more presentably; Boat shoes, khaki shorts and a t-shirt from the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West does not make me look too credit worthy. The nice admin assistant obviously couldn't see the Rolex Datejust hanging on my cat-scarred left wrist, so that must be the reason she isn't thinking "Quick and Easy Sale".

The Lynnester says, "We would like to put this purchase on the 12 months 'Same-As-Cash', since using OPM (other people's money) would be most convenient."

Sales Associate agreed.

Counter Lady agreed.

I jokingly ask Sales Dude if I could be considered for employment, if just to pay for this furniture?

He actually started asking me to come by at eight-thirty tonight, and we could see about a position for me at the furniture store.

(Note: This is how I get most of my job offers. People really do want to help the jobless become productive members of society. God Bless America!)

I nervously replied that I still have a job, but that I would keep them in mind when I get laid off. Gotta keep those options, right?

Back to the nice Admin Lady talking quietly on the phone to Citifinancial, Credit Company to Furniture buyers;

"Yes... they are still at the same address..."

She looks at the Spousal Unit and asks, "Has anything changed on the employment?"

"No. Still working".

I of course chime in, "Yeah, remind them that we pay off our accounts early." Lord, I am such a jerk in public.

A few more moments pass when I hear;

"Oh. I'm sure they don't know about that..."

The phone gets hung up and the lady looks at me and says, "Your account was closed two years ago... Did you know that?"

I almost went straight to freak out mode, "What do you mean closed?"

You see, sometimes, when making a car or furniture purchase, a business may say that "Your credit, while good enough to buy our goods, is not good enough for the great-deal finance plan, and you will have to pay 26 percent annual finance charges".

It is pure Bravo Sierra, then they expect you to meekly take your beating and walk out happy.

This scenario was running through my mind at warp speed when I heard the nice lady reply, "Oh no, not that way. Someone closed your account at your request after you paid off the loan amount. "You can fill out the application and you qualify for the 24 months same-as-cash." As she proffered a folder with a six page credit application.

"Ohhhh... My bad." "I forgot that I closed the account, since I was so happy to have paid it off and wanted to not have dormant accounts lying around in the ether." I sheepishly admitted.

I looked at the length of the application and handed it back and asked to use a credit card. This folder had as much paper as a DD-Form 1966, which was the Enlistment Application to join the Armed Forces, back in 1989. No way am I going to fill this out for twenty six hundred bucks of furniture. It's just not worth twenty minutes of writing down personal information, which will be faxed on an unencrypted line to some minimum wage person in Bhopal, India.

SO I surprised everyone, (Especially the Lovely Bride) when I tossed the card out and quickly signed the slip.

"I'll just pay this card off on Monday. Let's just get going and continue our mission". I just wanted the pain to end.

The bed is back ordered to November. The rest of it will be here on Wednesday, which coincidently, happens to be the day I will endure a dentist visit.

No deed shall go unpunished!

Off to the Target, to buy some cat litter and Naan bread for the Raita dip and a stop for lunch at a local eatery. Then we went home for television and movies until the middle of the night.

Safely tucked away in our home with our loving kittehs.


Buck said...

Dang. You nailed the "buying sh!t in America" process cold. I hate it, I've always hated it, and I'll hate it until I die. It's semi-amazing that credit cards are the way to go, assuming one pays the damned things off every month, of course. NO ONE ever questions that magic piece of plastic, do they?

I hear ya about holiday weekends and driving, too.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

I keep a zero balance on the cards. They are a necessary evil.