Everything’s a chore
Computers and technology were supposed to make life easier. Computers and technology were supposed to give us more free time. Granted, most of us aren’t churning our own butter anymore, so there are certainly benefits to our modem lifestyle in the information age, but it’s not all a cakewalk, either. Now, the following examples aren’t life threatening, they aren’t going to bring you to your knees, and they most certainly aren’t the most important thing you will deal with. But they are annoying, frustrating, high blood pressure inducing… and they are most certainly unnecessary time stealers, and they’re all a byproduct of computers and technology. Here’s just a few of them…
Getting a new debit card
I am the Treasurer for a local Toastmasters club. The old debit card had expired and I got a new card in the mail. Called and activated it and set the PIN. So far, so good. Then kept getting declined when I went to pay people’s dues, so I called the bank. Turns out I have to use it at an ATM as a second step, then it would work fine. *sigh* Ok, thank you, I cheerily said.
So, I had to get in the car, drive to a bank, check my balance, and drive back home. Then it worked fine. *smh*
“For your protection…”
Last Saturday I had a photo shoot and on my way out of town stopped at a convenience store for some drinks for the ride. My debit card (from a small local credit union) got declined. Hmmm, that’s weird, I know there’s plenty of money in the account. I try four times, declined every time, so I pull out a credit card and pay.
I then go to the ATM at said credit union which happened to be right next door. The ATM looks suspicious like when I computer has been reset. Had to go to the photo shoot, so I can’t call the credit union until Monday… which is another pet peeve of mine… you want people to abandon big banks and go local, then have someone to answer phones and deal with people during off hours. But I digress.
Monday morning and I try the card again. No go. Good thing I had cash on me, which I normally don’t anymore. I decide to visit said credit union branch in person.
To cut to the chase, through three visits to their ATM, and two visits inside to talk to a person, it turns out there was a “scheduled maintenance” (skeptical, there is no email evidence of such in my email) of the system on Saturday morning and my card usage was bad timing. Then, because I tried four times, which is one more than the maximum of three allowed, my card was locked.
I’m sorry, but if it’s YOUR down time, then shouldn’t YOU be aware enough to make sure these things don’t happen? Plus, back to the big bank vs credit union thing, big banks don’t have down times for “scheduled maintenance”, yet small banks and credit unions do. It’s the 21st century, get with the program.
How do you do your passwords for internet sites? Do you have one for everything? Do you mix them up? Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what you want to do, you can’t do that.
You can’t have a single password for everything (which they say is a bad idea). All require letters, but some require at least one capital letter, some require at least one number, some require at least one “special character” (i.e.: !@#$%, etc., and not all allow the same special characters), and none all have the same requirements, it’s a mix-and-match, so even if you wanted to have one password you can’t.
So, you have many different passwords. Ok. How do you remember them all? Do you write them down on a piece of paper or a computer file? They say you’re not supposed to do that either, btw.
How about one of those password organization sites? I would think the chances of that getting hacked is greater than little ol’ me getting hacked.
There is no perfect answer. And don’t even get me started on requirements to change my password every so often.
Money and ATMs
One of the great things where small banks and credit unions shine over the big banks is doing the small things to make life easier for the customer. (That’s you and me, btw.) One of these things is allowing ATM withdrawals in $5 increments. This is so handy. Sometimes I just need $5 or $10 for something small, and there is no need to force me to drain my account more than necessary.
Within the last year two of my credit unions have changed their policy and now only allow $20 increments. This does not serve me well, and removes one of the key points for being with a credit union. If I’m going to be treated like I’m at a big bank I might as well do business with a big bank and gain the added benefits, like the ability to call on a Saturday evening and talk to someone and get my issues solved. (See what I did there?)
This turned out wordy. 😛