I hate America

Today, Kelis’s song ‘I hate you so much right now’ really spoke to me. Spoke to me on a deep personal level.

You see, the lyrics, ‘I hate you so much right now! I hate you so much right now! AHHHHHHHH!! I hate you so much right now!’ perfectly encapsulated my inner monologue from about the hour of 5pm to 6:30pm.*

Over a month ago, I went through a whole song and dance with my student loan companies regarding how I was going to pay them with my GBP. They were baffled. GBP? What’s that? The world doesn’t EXIST OUTSIDE OF AMERICA! Ultimately, I was told that I could send in a cheque in GBP, that they would cash it at the current rate and that all would be fine with the world(/America).

Well, the first month, my cheque must have got lost in the mail.** They had some girl who couldn’t have been over the age of 23 call me to harass me about late payments. I belittled her and made her transfer me to her manager, who later waived my payment requirement that month and said he would at least reconcile my due dates (of which I had two, bafflingly).

He didn’t.

And so this month, my £400 cheque to Fedloan Servicing was cashed over a week ago, yet I’ve received a threatening email today about non-payment.

Shocking.

But that’s not what incited me to rage, oh no.

My other student loan company cashed a £100 cheque I sent them and, get this, only recorded a payment of $100 to my account.

So when I tried to call them about this, I spent 30 MINUTES trying to get out of their continuous call system. I didn’t.

I called another number that asked me to press ‘1’ for English, which I pressed.

And pressed.

And pressed.

But the automated voice (on five separate calls) just kept telling me, ‘I’m sorry, but I did not understand what you said.’

What I said? I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING! I PRESSED ‘1’ LIKE YOU TOLD ME TO!

I pressed lots of other numbers in rapid succession due to intense frustration after screaming for about 15 seconds.

This seemed to work, because I got through to an operator.

Go figure.

Well, the operator couldn’t help me; she only said that my account was overdue and asked me how I was ‘going to take care of this today’. Fuck. Right. Off. My account isn’t overdue; one of your accounting monkeys cashed a cheque and received the equivalent of 100GBP in USD yet wasnt clever enough to realise that £100 on the little slip of paper isn’t the same as $100 cold hard cash in your bank account. No, it’s £100 out of mine and about $144 into yours.

The operator’s manager, Jameson, who was in charge of finance or some shit, couldn’t help me either. Basically, I was told that he’d have to look into the issue and that I could call him back in a week.

Now, before you go making any judgments, I’m particularly frustrated about this whole ordeal, because before I sent any cheques with my funny British money in the mail, I called both of my student loan companies to verify that this was all right. And it was. Supposedly.

So, yeah.

Everyone with whom I spoke today was completely baffled at my issues. None of them had ever encountered someone like me, you know, someone living in another country, a country in which she went to school with the money that the US Government Loan Machine gave her to study in said country.

‘You can make payments online with a US bank account’.

Thanks for the tip, hot shot.

In a move of sweeping generalisation, I hate America today. Fucking insular twats, the whole lot of ’em.***

______________

*no, Red did not cheat on me with a woman of questionable character, who wears a red coat.
**misplaced in the Fedloan Serving accounting offices out of gross incompetence
***joking (sort of)

Addendum: I don’t REALLY hate America. This statement was supposed to be read as quite tongue-in-cheek.

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5 comments

  1. Cindy · May 26, 2010

    I realize you’re mostly joking, but the US isn’t strictly insular. I’m fairly confident most Americans could name the currency of Mexico, for example. There is the much trotted out statistic of Americans with passports, but up until about 2 years ago, Americans did not need passports to travel to their two closest countries. I imagine that the number of Brits with passports would drop drastically if they did not need passports to enter France and Spain.

    You must realize that this is a class issue. It’s the same bullshit I’ve had to deal with when speaking to someone in customer service in the UK. The people who work for Barclays customer service, for example, are fucking morons. As are the people who work for my old US cable company. It’s class above nationality. Not to say that all people of lower class origins are morons, but those who aren’t tend to rise above customer call centers.

    Also, people don’t listen. No matter how many times you explain shit to them. They think they’re listening, but they’re not.

    Finally, as the resident American at the bookshop, I take pride in being the one that coworkers turn to for help in the travel section. I had a coworker Google PUERTO RICO the other day. She literally had no clue it was a country. *facepalm*

    • Larissa · May 27, 2010

      Yes, I was mostly joking. I know there are very clever Americans. Like us.

      It’s just that it would seem every time I’m forced to interact with one back un the States, barring people from my own family, they’re said stupid call centre monkeys who are beyond stupid.

      Incredibly frustrating.

      • Cindy · May 27, 2010

        I don’t think you had that photo up when I read this…or it didn’t load. Amazing.

        Did you know you can’t transfer money to international bank accounts via Barclays’ website? Though I’m sure this has more to do with “fraud protection” than lacking the technology.

        I hate Barclays.

  2. tanycoed · May 29, 2010

    Ugh, you are more than entitled to hate America after such an exchange. On behalf of dumbasses worldwide, I’m sorry you have to go through so much bull.

    How have you been doing otherwise? I withdrew 😦 and now I’m back in FL and I plan to start a Masters in international education. yep, my time in Wales inspired me if nothing else. I hope you’re still enjoying the job, and that all is well!

    Dani x

  3. Lonestar · September 5, 2010

    Having just moved here, I am having the same reoccurring conversation in England re: utilities, moving companies, estate agents, bank accounts.

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