Despite what many people think of me, I like to think I have a moral compass that points fairly straight. I think the reason that most people don't see this is because my ethical dilemmas seem to conveniently present themselves when no one is watching. You may be wondering what the hell this has to with Bank of America, and I say fear not anxious reader, you will see.

I woke up early this morning due to the unfortunate fact that I would be driving to Hartford, CT for work. It suffices to say that I was already in a bad mood. I digress. I hop onto the Mass. Pike and the surrounding landscape is a motional blur of granite, pine trees, and accumulated snowfall. Oh shit, not it's not. The weather outside is freezing rain and sleet(ing?), and the charcoal pavement is littered with black ice. I hear on the radio the speed limit has been reduced to 40 MPH, and as I glance down at my speedometer, I realize 40 would be a godsend. The first rest station approaches, and I pull off to get gas and some debilitating Mc D's breakfast.I fill my tank, and order food. As I'm paying at the counter, I realize I only have a single dollar bill remaining, and need more money for the toll. Not a problem, I think, there's a Bank of America (my bank) ATM mere footsteps away, I love America, I love Banks, how could this go wrong? I insert my card in the slot and remove rapidly (as per the machine's suggestion), and get an error message saying my card could not be read. That's odd I think to myself, my card just worked at the gas pump. After a few more unsuccessful attempts, I eat my breakfast, and hit the bathroom. With neither of these things helping my situation regarding the toll, I decided to have a go at it again. This time there is a well-dressed fellow already using the ATM, so I fall into line behind him. As he pulls away, I read on the screen in big, beautiful, brightly colored text "Would you like another transaction?" At this point, the guy is already out the door, and halfway back in his car. He looked like he was well off. I could really use an Iphone. This is where my veiled ethical values come into play. I shrug off my illusions of petty theft, and hit exit. After swiping my card again, the same aggravating error message pops up. "F it" I say to myself, I might have change in my car. After a nondescript period of time spend rummaging the depths of my car, I managed to scrounge up enough coins to make the toll.

An eventful period of time passes which is completely unrelated to this story, and will be skipped (Perhaps the topic of another note?) I'm on the Pike again heading back home. All traces of ice and snow have vanished from the road's surface. It's still raining. Life is good however, as I'm cruising at a reasonable speed. The one thing weighing me down is the knowledge that although I managed to pass the first toll unscathed, the second one would be an issue. There is no possible way of scrounging toll fare up a second time, I've only had this car for a month. I'm feeling a bit squirrely, so I decided to pull off at the next rest-stop and give it the ole' college try again. I stroll up to the ATM (Bank of America again, this is important), and it is being used by some douche. I wait my turn. As the guy peels away from the machine a thought crosses my mind "Wouldn't it be funny if… you've got to be fucking kidding me". As my gaze focuses on the machine, I see illuminated on the brilliant liquid crystal display "Would you like another transaction?" Twice??? Fucking twice? Yes twice. And not even in the same day, in a span of mere hours. I don't even think about it this time as I hit the exit button. I insert my card and remove rapidly, and again I see that ill-fated alert on the screen telling me my card can not be read. Adequately miffed at this point, I decide to call my bank and see if someone was trying to take on my mountain of debt. After suffering through what seemed like 10 minutes of touch-tone instructions, a person answers the phone, and in the broken-est of English I have the following conversation:

Outsourced call center employee: "Hello, thank you for calling my name is Heidi, may I have your name please?".

Me: "Yes, Hi. I'm trying to take money out of an ATM, and it won't take my card".

OCCE: "Hello, Sir? May I have your name please?

Me: "Chris, my name is Chris, about my card…."

OCCE: "What is your password?"

Me: "Password? You mean my PIN?"

OCCE: "No, your password Sir"

Me: "Hmmm, try ^%&#*#$"

OCCE: "What is your address?"

Me: "512 Plymouth st."

OCCE: "That's not the address we have on file for you."

Me: "Oh, try 902 Orchard St"

OCCE: "No, the address we have is 62 Union St"

Me: "Wow, that takes me back a few"

OCCE: "What city was the account opened in?"

Me: "Well, I guess that depends on which account, it could be New Bedford, or Dartmouth, or even Lynn"

OCCE: "Can you please give us your current address so we can update our file"

Me: "Well that's a bit curt. I'd rather not right now, I'm in a rush, and I just need some help with…"

OCCE: "Sir! The first question we asked about you, you got wrong, the second one you got wrong, and the third one you guessed! We can't identify you, so we need to up…."

Me: "What is this Jeopardy? I could've stolen thousands of dollars from this bank today!"


So there I was, near the end of the Pike with no toll money, and a possible federal investigation pending, when I suddenly remembered that the booth operators can take down your information, and you can just mail in the toll fare. Still boiling, but relieved that I could at least make it home, I got back into my car and back on the highway.Take it from me when I say that yes, you can in fact have the boothee take down your information in lieue of paying the toll. But, only if you can stomach the condescension from the toll troll, and the threats made on your life from patrons behind you.

I digress. Did I mention I had to punch in my date of birth and social security number before speaking with the customer service rep? Tallying up the damage, that makes FIVE personal questions I had to answer before speaking with a person. And after all that, I STILL never ended getting an answer to the ONE question I had. I take serious issue with a company who boasts a level 5 phone security system, but doesn't have anything in place to discourage the scumbag behind you from poaching your money. Screw Bank of America! I'm never going to them for ANYTHING ever AGAIN!

…..after I get that money order to mail in the $1.75 toll fare. Suckbags.

PS: If anyone needs me, I'll be hanging out on the Pike waiting to steal your money.