Sorry, Wrong Number

January 5, 2013

Do you think there is a reverse “do not call list” ? You know, a list for the telemarketers and pollsters and surveyors warning them about me?  Since we moved last year and changed phone numbers, we mostly get wrong numbers, or someone wanting to sell me something, take a survey, or make a donation. Ring ring. “Hello, may I speak to the person who pays the electric bill,” the person on the end of the line says. “Well, that would be me,” I tell them, “That is, when I can pay it, when my ex-husband actually pays the child support, which is like never. Except when I take him to court and he’s about to go to jail.”  Click. Ring ring. “Hello, I’m calling from the ASPCA to thank you for your donation and was wondering if you would be able to participate in our monthly donation program,” says the woman on the phone. “Well, I would love to,” I reply, “if I had any money. My dog has cancer, I just found out and, (sob) I’m sorry, but you caught me at a bad time, and I (sob). ” “No worries,” says the woman on the phone, “Have a nice evening. And I’m sorry about your dog.” Click. do-not-call This evening I got a call from TD Ameritrade, asking if I would participate in a customer satisfaction survey. Given my bad feelings toward TD Ameritrade, which I will get into later, I was about to say “No,” but then the man on the other end of the line said it would take just a few minutes and for my trouble, I would get a $25 gift card to Amazon and so I agreed to do it.  It started out innocently enough. I started out innocently enough. A few questions about my account, how I had used their services, and if I was satisfied. Yes, 15 months, a house, Citibank, no, yes, not really, … ummm, can I just tell you something, I asked the survey man. Survey man, I really hate TD Ameritrade. They gave my ex-husband a margin loan. A big margin loan. And then they gave him an even bigger one. My ex-husband was not a sane man, Mr. Survey Man. My ex-husband drank, all the time. He bragged about how he was the biggest client at TD’s Waldorf Astoria branch. He bragged how everyone there thought he was Mr. Big (he is NOT). Waldorf people, did you not see how he could not walk straight? Did you not smell him? He perspired vodka! Survey Man, TD Ameritrade gave my husband a $#% million dollar margin loan, allowing him to lose all of our family’s assets. All of them. Survey Man, I’m really mad at TD Ameritrade. Survey Man asked me, “Is there anything that TD Ameritrade can do to win back your trust?” I will not repeat what I told him, but he asked, “Are you sure you want me to write that down?”  I laughed, a little madly, and said, “Survey Man, you can have the head of TD call me. I would like to tell him how his company hurt my family. I would like to tell him that my kids have almost no college fund.” I let out a little whimper. Survey Man, who must have been trained in IMAGO therapy, mirrored back to me, “So, you’d feel better if the head of TD called you? Is there anything else TD Ameritrade can do to win back your trust?” “Well, Mr. Survey Man, they can give me back my money.” So then Mr. Survey Man says, “So if TD Ameritrade gives you back your money, you will feel better about TD Ameritrade?” Yes, Mr. Survey Man, that would do it. I’m still waiting for them to call me back.

Rubani Safar

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