May. 23rd, 2014


There seems to be no easy way for me to make phone calls from my apartment. For some reason, some fucked up fateful combination of architecture and magnetic interference, I get no cell reception in here. Nothing. Nada. Sometimes my phone rings- but call is dropped immediately or within seconds. Five steps out my front door? Full bars. Full fucking bars and happy faces and endless phone calls. Well, y'know what, I don't want to have to go outside to order a fucking pizza. Yeah, first world problems, but, fuck that noise.

Oh oh oh hey what about skype?! Everyone uses skype and you can install it on your phone! Right?! RIGHT?!? You can even pay a little bit and use it to call landlines and get a phone number so normal people can call you and everything will just be perfect!!!!

NO. NO NO NO NO. Because, guess what, my bank is BATSHIT INSANE. Yes, I do appreciate fraud protection. It's a great idea in theory. If someone somehow acquires my card # and personal info in, say, Nigeria, or or or Kamchatka for shit's sake, I don't want them ordering 600 pizzas or sex dolls or AK47s or whatever. But. But. But. Is it necessary to shut down my account every time I try to make an international transaction? Did you know that every goddamn vendor seems to run payments through Luxemborg or or or Berne or or or fucking Switzerland for some reason? Does it make them feel suave and debonair to process my debit card payments in Europe? Is there some turtlenecked archvillain expat sipping cappuccino handling my transactions because WHY THE FUCK NOT LET'S INCONVENIENCE EVERYBODY.

So. Yeah.
Every time I've tried to purchase some sort of wifi calling plan it's been denied, and my account gets turned off within seconds. So, call fraud protection, wade through menus, review my past two days of transactions with an agent: Did you purchase gasoline at Mobile Station #digits on street in city at 6:05pm for amount? Yes. Did you purchase food item at Bob's Food Store on date for money in city at time for amount? Yes. Did you pay this bill with this company on this date for this amount? Did you purchase socks at Macy's for this amount on this date? Were they black socks with toe stripes? Are they comfortable? What is the ratio of cotton to polyester? On and on and on and on and on with no way to skip anything and every time I make a joke or go off script even slightly the rep is like: "Sir please answer yes or no so we can verify."

Then on to the bank customer support. Where I, supposedly, can authorize international transactions. But only one at a time, for specific ones. So. Wade through voice menu. Hold. Hold. Hold. Hold. They ask for my account number and oh KEEP IN MIND I'M IN FRONT OF MY BUILDING THIS WHOLE TIME IN THE RAIN BECAUSE DING DING DING DING I CAN'T MAKE CALLS IN MY APARTMENT. "Sir can I have your account number?" "Sorry I don't have it, uh, with me." "No problem! We can verify your identity with just a few(thousand) simple questions. What is your birthday? What is your mothers maiden name? What are the last four digits of your social? How old were you when you first realized most of your life would be spent in a Kafkaesque prison and that the only escape might be death but even then who knows the afterlife could just be an endless succession of hold music alternating with the distant laughter of gray suited bureaucrats...

"Ok sir you should be all set to make that payment!"
"Would you like to try it now while on the line with us?"
"No I'm sure it's fine... uhm. Yeah."

Enter card number.

We're sorry, this payment could not be processed. Please contact your issuing bank.


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