Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Circling the Drain

Friday morning I turned on the computer as usual and watched as email streamed into my Inbox, looking for mail from "real" people. Normally I might have ignored something from American Express, since it's usually "Your January Statement is Ready," as it was today, or "Your Payment is Due Soon," or "Account Alert: A Payment was Received."  After all, I have the account set for automatic payment so don't worry about those deadlines, but I do monitor the account closely on the website.
 I read a couple of emails and sent a few that had escaped the spam filter to Junk. The American Express one came up and I read the title, "Fraud Protection Alert."  In today's jargon, WTF!?!  It asked me to review an attempted charge made moments before the email had been sent: £199 for EUROTUNNEL!  It gave me pause; I have been charging upcoming trip costs, but nothing in pounds, and I don't use AmExp for overseas travel.
Wanna drive to London?

Sigh . . .  I got on the phone with the fraud department and the agent closed account. A new card was supposed to be delivered today, but haven't seen it yet and it's too late for delivery service tonight. On the plus side, this card isn't tied to a bunch of payments I make, except . . . , oh, oh, just ran into another glitch.  But that's tonight's glitch. I'm not through with yesterday's glitches.

Just by way of set up for last night's final straws, I had to buy Quicken anew for the new computer, since an update I'd done last year wasn't portable. Of course they change things around enough so there's a new learning curve in finding the same old same old. I set up a new Am Exp account in Q and downloaded recent transactions from the Am Exp website, which had already assigned me a new (hidden) account number. Quicken's offer to add the account to automatic updates didn't work ... used the wrong password or key to the vault or ??? but by then I was in a hurry to head down the hill for some serious grocery shopping and French class in the evening. I was too late to take recycles as intended. I can barely walk around the car in the garage.

I haven't visited the prepared frozen food aisle in ages. Wow! It's so much more than Hungry Man and Swanson's now. After piling my car full of cat food and groceries, I stopped at a fast food joint for a quick dinner: the regular good hamburger, without cheese, and the chocolate shake with no whipped cream (caloric enough without). They arrived, hamburger with cheese, shake with whipped cream, and as a bonus prize, a long black hair wrapped in the hamburger wrapping. Thankfully not around the hamburger itself.  Do I complain? No. You're hearing it first. It seemed right in keeping with how the day was going.

Maureen saw the French keyboard in last night's blog. She guesses she won't be wanting to send very many messages with one of those.

Once I got home I got into a Quicken morass. I did manage to link Am Exp with my new account and set it up for download. But Quicken noticed I hadn't linked it to another account I opened for the new computer. (Twelve months, same as cash, no interest.) I tried and Q insisted the name I wanted to link it to was already used. Duh! That's the account. Eventually I made it work and it ran a download, and . . . $600 had disappeared from my checking account. I thought it had just entered duplicate payments beside the one's I'd entered manually, but not. I decided reconciling a recent bank statement might give me some leads, which led to discovering some register errors, which . . . well, you see where this is going.

It's all okay enough, as long as I remember there is one $10 something that must never be checked as cleared.

It was late when I started last night's short blog and I tried to get the photo of the French keyboard a little larger, so the letters could be seen. I finally suggested double clicking to show it full size, but when I tried that myself, the Back button in my browser didn't work to take me back to regular size. As I said earlier, WTF!?! Waddaya do when your back button won't work? I thought I must be the only one in the world this had happened to, but then I Googled it. For me, Alt + back arrow button broke the logjam and it started operating as normal.

See you tomorrow.


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