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Twenty Days to Travel Twenty Miles

November 21, 2010

I’m sure you are tired of the ugly NuVista Credit Union  stories so I won’t bore you with  any more except this one, which is brief and almost humorous , at least in retrospect.

When I phoned their Customer Service Rep/Help Desk to find out why a deposit I had mailed in over  a week before had not been credited to my account, causing my the automatic withdrawal of my medical insurance premium to “bounce” and my last-resort  health insurance to be cancelled,  for which “service” the credit union charged me $40, we had the following helpful exchange:

She: “When did you mail it to us and from where?”

Me: I mailed it at the post office in Delta a week ago Monday,  eight days ago.”

She: “Well, you know mail often takes ten working days to reach the Montrose Post Office from Delta.”

Me: “What? It’s only twenty miles! First class mail is routinely delivered overnight.”

She: “Sometimes more than ten days! Sometimes  it takes twenty working  days to arrive! So  you have to alow for that! You should expect that!”

Me: “That is absurd.   All other mail I send and receive  between those towns arrives in one working day. It’s a  one-hundred mile drive from my house to your office on the far side of Montrose, so sometimes I have to do bank business by mail. Previous deposits I’ve mailed in were promptly posted. Why not this one?”

She: “Well, you can’t rely on the mail. You have to assume mail will always take twenty working  days to arrive! That’s not our fault.! We can’t do anything about it!”

I was so frustrated with this nonsense that I did something I very rarely do with anyone: I hung up on her.

She immediately called back, full of self-righteous indignation.

She: “Sir!  I don’t appreciate you doing that when I’m trying to help you!”

Me: “How are you helping me?  By asserting that mail routinely takes twenty days to travel twenty miles? How is that help? Do you expect me to be grateful?”

She: “Uh,  well….”

Me:  “Help me understand where you are coming from. How does saying that help me?  What is your notion of helping?”

She:  “Well, uh….I mean….uh…”

Me:  “I have three problems with your assertion about mail delivery from Delta. First, it’s not helpful.  Second, I don’t believe it is true. And third, if it were true, your agency would be raising  holy hell with both Postmasters, demanding immediate improvement.”

She: “Well we can’t do anything about it….”

Me:  “If you were the one losing money, you wouldn’t say that!  If you were in my shoes, you’d be saying the reverse. If the credit union’s business was being damaged and delayed and suffering financial losses, you  would not be saying  that there’s nothing you can do.”

She: “Well, you could call the Postmaster…”

He: “The question is why you  don’t!  Why hasn’t  your staff  done that already?  You are the one claiming direct knowledge.  I have no information except your word.”

She: ” Sir! I’m trying to help you!.”

This was where I came in so I told her I would not hang up on her but this obviously was not a productive conversation  that had any chance of going anywhere near sanity , so I was going to say goodbye and end it.

This young woman–early-to-mid twenties, I’d guess from her voice–  would, if you met her, probably impress you as naive . She is no doubt well-groomed, presentable and the sort of person who looks like she works in a business office.  She no doubt thinks of herself as an honest, principled person just doing her job. But the habit of lying comes natural to her as part of her job. Lying is apparently deeply ingrained in the corporate culture of  NuVista Credit Union. So she feels no remorse, no pangs of conscience about lying for a living. That’ what life in corporate America today is all about–lying to make a buck.

It used to be that truth-telling was the norm and liars were called in on the carpet and confronted, asked for an explanation. Now it sometimes seems lying is the norm and the widespread reaction is, “Of course they lied. What did you expect?’ And the truth-teller is called in on the carpet and asked to explain his odd behavior:

“Why did you say that?”

“Because I was asked and I answered truthfully.”

“But….but, what were you hoping to gain by doing that?”

“Gain? I wasn’t thinking of that. I just answered the question….”

“Yes, but what was your agenda? We don’t understand why you felt compelled to tell the truth. This is all very  puzzling. Let’s go over this again. Now  what were your motives again? What were you thinking?”

I know I must sound self-righteous and I don’t like myself when I’m self-righteous It’s not like I’ve never told a lie myself, either.   But I bristle at people who are b*llshitting you at length while pretending to “help” you. They are always angry if you don’t swallow the false information they feed you hook, line and sinker, without blinking, and then  act “grateful” for their pseudo-help. They bury you in an avalanche of falsehood and bullshit, then act hurt and angry that  you aren’t grateful.  It is as if they not only believe they have a right to lie but also a right to demand to be believed when they lie. Strange when you think of it that way, isn’t it?

I hope this young woman gets an honest job sometime, comes to earn a n honest living.  Hopefully she still has time to rehabilitate herself and become a worthwhile, honest person. But she must a make a major change in her life direction to do that.









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