It has come to my attention that certain people think I whine and complain too much. Well, if my voice sometimes sounds like nails on a chalkboard it’s actually because I have a physical condition, Lateral Inverted Epiglottis (L.I.E.) that tricks people into thinking I may be complaining, because it sounds like I’m complaining. But really, I’m not.
It’s just a misconception that everybody and their brother have about me and I’d like to set the record straight. There’s a big difference (Craig) between asking for a reasonable explanation and going on about the crummy weather or the incompetence of wait staff at a certain restaurant. Anyone can complain (Mother), but it takes a special someone with advanced verbal skills to be able to get the bottom of a problematic issue in a way that is articulate and productive.
I, of course, will explain.
I have to do all the dirty work
Last week I called a certain company called Sallie Mae (smelling trouble already?) to discuss an ongoing issue that we have. Because my husband’s name is on the account and mine is not, Brett would not divulge any information.
“But, Brett,” I said very diplomatically, “I have all of my husband’s information.”
“Yeah, but I need to get his permission.”
“You need his permission for me to give Sallie Mae some money? Even at Chase Bank you can deposit money into someone’s account without their permission.” I banged my head repeatedly on the desk. “I can get him on the phone in a flash, but how do you know it’s my husband?”
“Well, he’ll have to give me his social security number.”
“I have that.”
“Yeah, but I need it from him.”
Am I crazy?
At this point my voice gets a little agitated. “Brett, would you agree that anyone with a deep voice that identified himself as Craig and had his information could access his files. I could grab my mailman and he could read off his social security number. How would you know it’s Craig?”
“Well that’s fraud.”
And Sallie Mae shies away from that, I know. “I’m just saying, Brett, that as a security measure, it seems weak. What if my husband’s name was Pat or Terry and I had the correct information? Would you talk to me then? How would you know it wasn’t him? ”
I heard Brett mutter quietly, “Jesus, lady.” Then louder he said. “Do you want to file a complaint?”
“I’m not complaining!” I said exhaustedly. I wondered briefly if Ashton Kutcher was punking me. “I’m pointing out the ridiculousness of your ‘security’ policy. It makes no sense at all. Any ‘man’ could theoretically give you our information. Your security is a ‘deep voice’.”
Throw me a bone, Brett!
I just wanted to hear from him that he understood my point. It wasn’t a complaint, it was a . . . a something, but not a complaint.
“Well, irregardless, I can’t give you any information without your husband’s consent,” Brett said with authority.
The fact that he used the non-word irregardless burst my bubble and I knew I’d lost. “Hold on, I’ll get him on a three-way,” I said as I surrendered and put a call through to Craig.
Craig verified to Brett that I was allowed to write Sallie Mae a check towards his account and that was a small victory, but although I’d won the battle, I’d lost the war.
“Brett,” I said sweetly, “the next time you have a staff meeting, would you at least bring up the lack of security with your security policy?”
I swear I could hear him snort. “Sure. I’m writing it down in my notes right now. Is there anything else I can do for you Mrs. Arnson?”
“Uh, no, and actually, it’s Marinelli not Arnson. My husband and I have different last names.”
“I’m sure you do,” he said and this time there was no mistaking the sarcasm in his voice. “Anything else, Mrs. Marinelli?”
I knew he wouldn’t appreciate me pointing out it was Ms. not Mrs. so I bit my tongue. “No thank you, Brett. I think I’m all set.”
As I hung up, I’m pretty sure I heard a derogatory comment from the other end, but I couldn’t be sure it was directed at me. After all, Sallie Mae probably gets a lot of complaints.