Thursday, May 18, 2006

It would be funnier if it wasn't true.

Beedle-beedle-beedle, beedle-beedle-beedle!!

Tiff's cell phone is ringing! Answer it, Tiff! Let's see who's there!

"Tiff, it's the mortgage lady."

"Hi mortgage lady, this is Tiff, what's up?"

"I need written verification that you work where you say you work so we can give you money for your new house."

"OK, but I sent you the pay stub that you asked for, isn't that enough?"

"Well, your company doesn't put their name on the stub, so I can't tell if you work for who you say you work for."

", uh, what do I need to do?"

"You need to get your HR group to fill out a form I'm going to FAX to you, and have them FAX it back to me as soon as possible so we can keep your rate locked at much-too-much percent."

"OK - send it to me and I'll have them step on it."

Tiff receives the FAX and e-mails it off to her local helpful HR rep, who doesn't respond for like a billion hours. Tiff then receives an e-mail from someone who's name she doesn't recognize, which tells her that she needs to go to a WEBSITE to enter some info to give to the mortgage company so that they can go to the WEBSITE to type in the info to get verification that Tiff works where she says she works. This, somehow, is easier than signing the damn paper and sending it back to Tiff.

Tiff goes to the website, sees that it's really EASY to get verification of employment, and happily sends off the information to the mortgage lady in a phone message.

The phone is ringing again. Get it Tiff! It might be the mortgage lady saying "Thanks, you're good to go!"

"Hi, this is Tiff"

"Hi Tiff, this is the mortgage lady. I don't have the right code."

"What? But the WEBSITE said that my company code is 12345, didn't that work?"

"Well yes, that's your COMPANY code, but I need a salary key."

"A what?"

"A 6-digit salary key so I can find out if what your pay stub says you make is what you really make."

"Why do you need to know THAT? Isn't the pay stub enough?"

"Not without your company name on it. I'm going to need the salary key."

"OK, fine, I'll get back to you."

Tiff goes to the WEBSITE, but, sadly, cannot remember the username or password that is required for her to log in to the system to GET the salary key, so after a few failed, yet creative, attempts at logging in she dials up the 800 number to get help.

(A vaguely familiar voice, akin to the filmstrip guy's booming tones that described life on the African savannah when she was in second grade, proclaims):

"Thank you for calling 1-800-bite-me, where we will now begin sifting out your will to live through our winnow of despairingly complicated auto-prompts. Please press 1, then key in your last name, then punch the pound button to try to fool me into sending you to a real person, at which point I will start over from the VERY BEGINNING to heighten your sense of futility. Stay with me here! After spending some quality time going around and around in circles, never getting QUITE to the point of satisfaction, we will finally take mercy on you and shunt you off to a help desk representative who will attempt to answer the question you have that is obviously so unusual that we don't yet have a prompt for it, loser! "

(New, disinterested young female voice comes on the phone)

"This is 1-880-bite-me, what's you company code?"

"it's 12345"

"Your name?"

"Tiff Rumplestiltskin"

"Are you calling to get your information or are you calling to get information about you for a third party?"

(brief pause while trying to decipher question.)

"Uh, I'm calling to get my username and password so I can log into the system."

"What's your company code, your name, your address, and your social security number?"

"12345, I told you my name, my SSN is 123456789, and my address is 123 west 3rd lane, Wake forest"

"That's not the address we have on file for you."

"OK, could you give me a hint as to which address you DO have?"


"Huh. OK. Hmm, what the heck was the address of that apartment I lived in for 4 months while getting settled in down here? It was 1234 SOMETHING Something down in Raleigh, but I can't remember the name of the street."

(Crickets chirp loudly as young female voice ignores Tiff and probably does her nails).

"Oh crap -I'll have to get back to you."


No goodbye, no nothing. Tiff feels sad.

However, with hope in her heart, Tiff goes online to search for the address of the apartment she lived in for a few months, finds it, and calls the help line again, wherein she has to navigate the mocking voice of the automatonic man who resonates disdain with every carefully enunciated syllable before she can talk to a real live human being once more, who is actually very personable and helpful and gets Tiff straight on what her username and password and PIN number are so that she can finally, FINALLY acces the super-secret "salary key" to give to the mortgage lady.

With a deep sigh of satisfaction at realizing that her 90 minutes of bumbling around the internet and byzantine phone tree of the online information service is about to end, Tiff keys in her username and password on the WEBSITE, only to see the message:


At which point Tiff beats her head slowly on the edge of her desk to numb the painfully deep disappointment that threatens to manifest itself in a cussing and phone-slamming session of great report.


Fear not, gentle reader - Tiff finally DID get the super-secret "salary key" at about 8 p.m. EST after letting the computer system "refresh" itself (I suppose it must have felt dirty after giving her the virtual finger), and now the mortgage lady has all she needs to dig deeply into Tiff's personal past life to see if she's the kind of citizen that deserves the loan for which she pre-qualified 3 weeks ago.

One can only hope.
(It still would have been easier just to sign the damn paper.)


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. Dear lord, could they MAKE it any harder to take all your money? Sheesh -- you're willing to give them way more than you can afford for way more years than you'd like -- isn't that enough???

tiff said...

Apparently not. Grrrrr.

kenju said...

That was unbelievable complicated and FUBAR!

tiff said...

kenju - I left some steps OUT of it.....!

rennratt said...

At work, when I call one of my vendors, I get to play keypad hopscotch, too. Every button pushed leads to a condescending voice telling me 'You can go to our website to do this if you prefer not to hold...' I would PREFER to talk to someone who is being PAID to TALK to ME! I don't know how you kept it together!

Chelle said...


Too complicated. Had to do this recently for my new job for their background check. They took my fingerprints too. I am now in some national database. (eyeroll)

I feel for you truly I do.

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