Friday, February 05, 2010

Swearing at Machines

When the robots leave me a message, I always get annoyed.

They usually say something like this "This is the Citicard early warning system. Did you make a charge for $4.95 to ..."

I get crazy-irritated, because, duh, that's just me printing out postage.

So when I was running late for work this morning (I know, I don't work Fridays, but I had some stuff to do and was going to meet a friend for lunch) and a robot called me, I swore at it.

"Did you ... charge ... $65.20 ... for ... general mershandy?"

"*&^%$ that's general merchandise you piece of T^%)) machine!"

But the machine did not understand what I was trying to ask it, which was for more details. My memory doesn't work as well as it used to and while I didn't take my card out of my wallet yesterday, I also wasn't sure it wasn't just something taking a few days to post. When was the last time I used my credit card? Couldn't tell you. No idea. But I'm sure I used a virtual account number so I wasn't too worried.

The robot hung up on me after a while, so I called the bank.

A nice fellow in India went through the charges with me. Apparently they were all online and the number-snatcher had been entering the wrong expiration dates. Had I charaged at, some kind of executive gift place, or at a kids toy site? No, no, no.

I was glad at least I was nicer to the bank guy this time. Usually, I'm pretty obnoxious.

How the hell does this happen? My ATM card was compromised once too. I didn't use these in Mexico or and certainly not in other destinations over the holidays. I don't send the numbers flying over unsecured networks or public wifi, and anyway, I use virtual numbers online.

It's all kind of a mystery, but maybe I'll be a little nicer to the robots in the future.

Meanwhile, guess it's cash only for a while.

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