Monday, October 3, 2011

How NOT to win against the federal government

My week has started off with a bang.  First of all I have a fruit fly infestation.  After bleaching every square inch of my kitchen, I still have fruit flies.  I feel disgusting.  I now have a trap on the counter quickly filling up with their little dead bodies.  Lovely.

Last night I had a dinner/movie date.  We were going to get together around 7pm.  I got in touch with him around 4pm just to confirm our plans.  That's when I got "well, um, see, something came up yesterday and I kinda forgot to tell you but....".  Good thing I asked otherwise I would have been stood up. What a gentleman.

Today we tragically lost a well loved family member.  Enough said about that.

Then to top all of this off, I received a letter from the United States Department of Education.  In this letter they informed me that my small student loan that I had been paying back was now delinquent and that they expected my first born child by Wednesday.  Since I do not have a first born nor am I currently pregnant, this was going to be difficult to accomplish.

I called the number on the two page letter threatening to ruin me and everyone had gone home.  Of course, I am also trying to reach someone in the federal government after 3:30 pm when we all know they are stuck on I-495.  I left a very friendly message that was in no way rude or a little yelly (you believe that, right?).   

I rushed to the computer to pull up my account in order to prove (at least to myself) that the letter was a mistake.  Instead of the loan services website coming up I get a message that their website had been disabled while they created a brand new one.  This better than ever website would not be functional until October 10th (well past my deadline of two days from now).  But, there was a number listed so I called.

I started off nice with only a slight panic in my voice.  I calmly explained that there was no way I could produce offspring by Wednesday in order to pay a loan that was in good standing.

"I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do.  Our site is down and won't be back until the 10th."

"Right, I got that...which is why I am calling.  Now help me problem solve this."

"I'm sorry.  I don't think you understand.  Our website is down and I can't access your records until the 10th.  Please call back then."

"Um, I don't think you understand how a calendar works.  My first born is due on Wednesday, but you can't help me until next Monday?"

"Ma'am, I am staring at a blue screen. If you would call back on the 10th, we can access your account.  Please call back then."

"Really?  You mean to tell me that you don't have file cabinets somewhere?  With paper records in them?  Why would you completely take the site offline while you improved it?  No one else does that.  Not for weeks anyway.  Are these my tax dollars at work here?  Because I am not impressed.  No wonder the federal government can't get anything done."

"I'm not going to discuss governmental opinions with you.  You can call back after the 10th."

"Can you at least point me in the right direction to get this rectified?  This whole issue is YOUR MISTAKE."

"I'm done discussing this with you.  You can call back on the 10th"

At this point a string of not very nice words erupted from me.

Annnnnd, he hung up on me.  I didn't even get to inform him that at least I had furthered my education so that I wasn't stuck answering phones in a call center.  I'm sure that would have gotten me somewhere (as long as I call back on the 10th).

Now I seem to be a lunatic at the gym because my pent up anger was unleashed on some poor guy as I yelled "TWO DOORS!  THERE ARE TWO FUNCTIONING DOORS!  USE THE OTHER ONE!" as he blocked my entrance trying to squeeze out the door I had opened. 

I hope the US Dept. of Ed is ready for me tomorrow...because I am calling again....


  1. Oh yeah, my issue with them isn't nearly as ridiculous as this but I've hit a road block with them too. I put in a loan consolidation application in July and hadn't heard anything weeks later. I asked what was up and they said that one of my lenders hadn't given them a payoff amount. I called the lender and a very polite rep said they sent the info in August but they (Dept of Ed) aren't doing applications now and I probably shouldn't bother to call and tell them they have the info until after the 7th.

    My question is why have the rep there in front of a blue screen? If they have other work to do put on a recorded message and let them work!

  2. I have no idea why they were paying someone to sit there and repeat "Call on the 10th" like a parrot. I think that since my tax dollars were paying his salary that I had the authority to fire him. Gotta love the streamlined efficiency of federal departments!!!