Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Lessons I Didn't Learn

A drive to the store today provided me with an extra trip; I got to go touring down memory lane. The ferris wheel towered over the road, reminding me of that night a couple if years ago.

A friend of mine heard that there were a bunch of amusement park-type rides set up in some lot not-too-far from our neighborhood. It was great for us, old maids tied down to our jobs. We rounded up the troops and headed out to the rides.

I was coerced into spending five dollars on a ride which scared the living daylights out of me. Other than that, though, there was really nothing monumental about that particular evening.

Or so I thought.

I was examining my online bank statement, when I came upon a funny looking charge. It was from some entertainment company in Lisbon NH. I panicked, called the bank, and started begging for my $40 back. The very nice lady calmed me down and told me that she would immediately freeze my bank account. If she expected her words to have a calming effect on me, she was sadly mistaken.

"Freeze my bank account? Then how do I get money out?" I asked her, my voice rising to shrill tones.

"Ya don't, hon," the bank lady chirped.

"But," I countered, "what happens if I need money?"

When I realized that there was nothing I could do to get money out, I had second thoughts about freezing the account. Couple that with my doubts about anyone stealing MY debit card, and I told the lady to hold off on the freezers.

It somehow didn't make sense. Which thief steals a debit card for $40? And how did they steal it? On the other hand, I've never even HEARD of Losbon NH, let alone visited and charged my card. And $40? What an odd number!

In a last ditch effort to find out who in Lisbon wad charging my debit card, I googled the name of the company, the city, and everything else that showed up on my bank statement. After a few variations of the info I had, I found a result. Apparently, this company, though based out of NH, is a traveling amusement park that sets up shop in various places in the region.

Sound familiar?

It did to me. And why, you ask, a $40 charge? Well, it seemed so insignificant at the time, so much so that I actually forgot about the entire transaction, but a couple of friends gave me cash, and I charged everyone's ticket on my card. Yep, it totalled $40.

And that's the end of my story. That's the epic saga of the time I almost cancelled my debit card, froze my bank account, and went into a state of panic for absolutely no reason.

In conclusion, there are many lessons to be learned from my story, but I will, instead of learning 'em, go back to that lot and overpay to be terrified. Because everyone knows how boring it is to learn a lesson the first time around.


Bookworm said...

Been there - the panic, the terror, the fear that some crafty, chain smoking con artist is charging his girlfriend's new wardrobe on my card, only to remember the innocent purchase.

That's why I love cash. Don't leave home without it.

Sun Inside Rain said...

Lol, sounds like such fun! I once did it with my friend and felt so stupid afterward for spending $4 to get stuck on this slow-moving ferris wheel that went around two times and just made me nauseous.

But I would so do it again. The view was nice... :-).

itsagift said...

What ride is so scary? I wanna know so I could try it out!

grinfish said...

Hope you had fun!

Soul Comfort said...

That's happened to me a few times, too.

Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

I think the main lesson here is that you shouldn't panic.
Because panic freezes your mind. Like with your bank account, when you can't get your money out of the frozen account, same is with your mind - you can't think straight when your mind is frozen by the panic.

Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

Uh oh and btw, there's a great app - it tracks you bank accounts and all related stuff in the real time and helps you manage your spendings. They have a cool app for the iPhone/iPod Touch. The best thing about Mint is that it's a totally free service.
What you can (and should) do there is login often and update all of these meaningless transactions with real dates (if they go through few days later), store names (because those are often confusing codes) and write notes on what you spent your money on.