January 28, 2010

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.--Thomas Jefferson

Today was my day to pack up our bags for the return to Baja. But instead it turned out to be another day of total useless frustration.

First I went to my physical therapy appointment, with plans to go from there to get AT&T to figure out why my cell phone hadn’t worked for the last 3 days. Right in the middle of physical therapy session my cell phone rang. I was astounded that it rang since it hadn’t been working. It was my sister who wanted me to go to the bank and sign some papers on my mother’s account.

My siblings are all co-signers on my mother’s account. After my oldest brother’s recent passing, my sister went to bring the account up to date with just the remaining three of us as co-signers on her account. In order for that to happen, each sibling has to sign a piece of paper for the bank agreeing the deceased sibling should be removed from the account. So although my sister has given the bank my brother’s death certificate, it is not enough. I have to agree to have him removed even though he is no longer living. When I went to the bank they could not contact the account manager in New Mexico to get the papers as the New Mexico bank’s phone was not working. They called and called, but no luck. So I had to leave without accomplishing my small task. My banker told me she would be in the office until 3:45 pm.

Then I went to the AT&T cellular store to see if they could do something about my wacky cell phone. They replaced the SIM card and it is seemed to work ok there, but when I got home it didn’t work again. I called them back on a land line to ask them what was going on and they told me that my area was having issues with cell phone reception from some recent repairs. They would file a complaint. I said you’ve got to be kidding, that’s all you can do? You can’t look at my phone and see if that’s the problem. Well no, I had to go somewhere else half way across town to do that.

I got on the internet and sent my sister an email about my failed bank experience. I called my sister on Skype and left her a message on her cell phone. Then my internet service went down too. My home phone has no long distance carrier since we have it on a minimal service contract. So now I am without my cell phone to make long distance calls, my internet to make calls through Skype or any other way to make contact with my sister and explain stuff. She finally called and it turned out she did get my phone message from Skype. She could call me on my home phone, even though I cannot call out. The banker in New Mexico wouldn’t fax the form to Denver as the bank wanted to mail it so it remained an original document. I leave for Mexico on Friday I told her. I know she said, I am working on the banker. She finally persuaded the banker to agree to fax the form to my Denver banker. But it now was 3:30 and I knew my banker would be gone before could get there. At 4:45 my banker called and said the papers were ready for me to sign but she was leaving—why was she still there???? I could have done it if I had gone when my sister told me to go.

In the meantime I decided my sister needs a Limited Power Of Attorney to represent me on my portion of my mother’s account so she doesn’t have to jump through 15 hoops when I am down in Mexico and can’t sign and send documents readily. I paid $20 to get an online power of attorney which I spent the next two hours modifying. Our bank account has a benefit of free notary service. I called the bank to see if I could get a notary there to sign the Limited Power of Attorney at the bank when I go to sign the checking account form. Oh yes of course, they said, however if it is a Power Of Attorney then the legal department must review it first which will take about 30 minutes. Aaaaargh! This morning, a day later, Esperando was home and called his banker to see about the Power of Attorney. It turns out that my sister could not sign for me in absencia EVEN with a Power of Attorney. How did life get so ridiculously complicated? Cell phones and computers run our lives. And all banks want is to see if you can squeeze blood out of a turnip or sign over your newborn before they will help you. I never did get the bags packed. I cannot believe how complicated things are any more. I’m not saying I would want to go back to the days of mimeograph machines—oh well, maybe I would.

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