Nov 24, 2010

Playing the Victim

I gotta say, Bank of America seems to be making good use of their bailout money.

This morning, I received a message saying BoA systems detected suspicious access to my checking account via my debit card number. And, by Jove, there had been. This is not the first time I've had my identity stolen, but this has to be the strangest application of ill-gotten booty or -- as Hawkeye Pierce would say -- ill-booten gotty that I've personally experienced.

Someone tried to pay a "TfL/LEZ Congestion Charge" citation (basically, a $295 ticket for driving in a low emissions zone) with my cracked card. I soon found out "TfL" stands for "Transport of London. " Yup, that London.

How mentally irregular does one have to be to pay a government fine with a stolen check card number? I'm guessing to track you down, the bobbies have such personal identifiers as your name, license number, address, etc. They know who you are. Plus, I looked this shit up: in order for the fine to be as high as the amount charged to my account, the ticket had to be seriously past due. According to the TfL website, the penalty amount for this infraction increases over the time the citation remains unpaid. If you are that irresponsible, why even go through the motions? I don't know what the ultimate penalty for avoidance is, but it can't be worse than that of international fraud.

Furthermore, don't be daffy. If you are going to steal my ID, take that shit to Chanel or Harrods. F the ticket, just have your car towed. Take a cab. It's on me, literally. Go berserk!

I suppose all's well that ends well, so I'm not all that bothered by this incident. The account was closed, and I got a new card. Thinking about it, I'm actually a bit struck by the irony of using a BoA account for this madness. Imagine me using a "Bank of England" checking account to pay a Fort Lee parking ticket.

The global village strikes again.

Or, maybe it's just turnabout for my mocking of electric cars.

Nov 19, 2010

Shameless Plug

I'm thinking this announcement indicates we are somewhere between the 5th and 7th signs of The Apocalypse:

Just another way for Americans to continue the bad habit of "charging" useless crap.

Nov 12, 2010

Running the Asylum

Health dot com is a wonderful place. For those who haven’t had the occasion to visit, it’s an online oasis of quizzes, calculators, and other self-diagnostic tools over which to whip yourself into death-obsessed frenzy. It’s the type of place where 15 minutes of reading can lead you into a locked office bathroom where shaking hands triangulate a compact, wall mirror and your shoulder. You know, so you can inspect that mole that is surely going to KILL you yet, strangely, does not worry you enough to get it checked out by a professional.

At least that’s what I imagine happens to some people who read it.


While pokin’ around this hypochondriac’s paradise looking for hot pop-heath topics, I came across an article that caught my preglaucomic eye (hey, I took the quiz): “More Dementia on the Job.”

No shit, Health. Ya don’t say?

A few words into the piece, I realized the article was not some sarcastic dismissal of our Dilbert-like waking lives, but a serious examination of how neurological disease in our “aging workforce” is affecting the workplace dynamic.

Cue the experts for opinion:

"People just can't do their job as well as before," Dr. Morris says. "These changes or declines in mental ability are subtle, so co-workers will cover up at first and make excuses such as 'Well, Fred is getting over the loss of his brother' or 'We just got a new computer system.' Gradually, their level of responsibility has to keep getting reduced so the person is either let go or kept on in a largely ceremonial role."...

"Eventually the diagnosis is made when the impairment is to the point where no one can ignore it anymore," Dr. Lyden says. "People come to me because the forgetfulness has gone beyond names and phone numbers to include meetings, key decisions, and reiterating and rehashing decisions that have already been made."

..and, cut to the peanut gallery for commentary:

Let’s start with that first snippet. The person they are describing is most certainly not affected with dementia. They simply have “seniority” or “tenure.” I mean, who the hell wants to attend computer training when you are just hanging on another year or two until your nest egg fully gestates? It’s those who would willingly sit through a new user workshop and all its hard bagel, PowerPoint madness that need their head checked. As for “Fred” and any other lucky old bastard that can that milk the death of a relative as an excuse to avoid such nonsense...can you say crazy?

Yup, like a silver fox.

And, Dr. Lyden. I think it’s safe to say you have not spent one damn minute in the business world. You see, we have things called meetings, which are LED by people who exhibit the very “impairments” of which you speak. Yes, the “demented” are IN CHARGE!!! I suggest you see the forest for the trees, Doc: if it weren’t for folks forgetting key decisions and/or repeating and rehashing decisions that have already been made, we wouldn’t even have a workforce -- let alone an aging one.

Oh, Health dot com. In all your self-diagnostic wisdom, you should have included an interactive quiz to accompany this article. It could help those in our “aging workforce” determine if they actually have a degenerative brain disease or if they simply no longer give a poo.