The Wednesday Post – 6/24/20


            I am sitting in my new “office at home”, not totally unpacked, but getting there.  For us, especially this time, moving was not so easy.  We ended up needing to move material from our parsonage, our “church” home into our retirement home.  Unfortunately, the retirement home was pretty full on its own.  So we are now in the process of the inevitable “downsizing” that truly needs to happen.

            As part of the move, things change, and can become a challenge.  Today I took my wife over to Bethlehem, PA for an eye-doctor appointment.  It is only about 20 minutes away from where we live now, but over 3 hours from where we used to live.  While waiting (of course, because of COVID-19 I couldn’t go in with her) I went to a grocery store called Wegmans.  I purchased some beer (yes, even United Methodists occasionally imbibe) and groceries.  Wegmans is a bit odd, you have to pay for the beer separately from the groceries.

            I arrived home to an e-mail from my credit card company notifying me of potential fraud involving the purchases at Wegmans.   Even though I submitted a change of address to the credit card company, it turns out they don’t account for it until a government database affirms it.  So, to them, two purchases 3 hours away might seem like fraud. 

            I tried calling and, unfortunately for me, dialed 800 instead of 888, and got a very strange site trying to sell me all kinds of garbage.  I got upset, and it took a while for me to recognize my dumb mistake.  I wasted a few minutes of a supervisor’s time at the bank because of it.

            But then I got the correct number and called.  I just wanted to let them know that the purchases were not fraudulent.  They insisted on all kinds of security measures.  Maybe you have had to go through the same kind of thing.  They wanted to send me a text with a code to verify my identity.  I gave them my cell number, which has been my cell for over 20 years.  They said they couldn’t use that number for identity verification.  Was there another phone number?  I said no.  this is my only phone number.  I ended up spending over ½ an hour without ever succeeding in getting anywhere.  It was one of those days.

            Probably the hardest thing for me to do was to admit my own dumb mistake.  I had expressed annoyance and surprise that any credit card company would force people to listen to 5 or 6 offers for things I could never use just to talk to someone.  After the mistake was recognized, I had to readily admit it was ME!

            I ended up with over an hour of my time dedicated to trying to straighten out an issue that never got straightened out. 

            Sometimes we just have to let go.  I don’t plan on using the card as much as I have in the past.  I can adjust.  But, maybe a note to the CEO of the company pointing out the problems encountered with their security measures for someone who has just moved might just enable them to tweak their system to avoid this kind of thing again.

            Who knows?  Maybe he will listen!!

Blessings Pastor Peter

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