I’m Done With PFCU

“It’s good to be back!”

That is what I would say if I were writing the post I originally planned for today. But if this situation I am writing about instead was the flame to get me going, well then, so be it. I might as well make something good out of it. Cue rant!

I am taking recommendations for a new bank, or credit union, or whatever. Because first thing tomorrow, I am canceling my account with the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.

I walked over to my local branch this afternoon to deposit some cash into checking. They recently installed two new ATM machines that both accept deposits, rather than only one with the function previously. I enter my card into the machine, which it keeps instead of a quick swipe, go through all of the menu options, and get my cash ready to insert. It’s more than 50 bills, so I entered half of the stack at a time. It took a while, but save for two rejected bills, the machine counted my money and I was ready to confirm the deposit. I hit “Finish my deposit,” and it first gives me a screen saying it was processing. Then the screen switched to a cancellation screen.

This Screen

A green light flashes over the deposit slot, and my bills peek out of the dispenser. For a second.

As I grab the money, it starts leaving my hand and re-enters the machine. And the door to the deposit slot closes back up. The screen remains the same, and after waiting a few minutes, nothing changed.

I looked up PFCU’s number on my phone, and call, hoping to just ask a representative to step outside and help me. The branch closed at 2pm. It was 2:55pm. I waited in the automated menu for maybe an option for a 24 hour customer service line to be sent to. That wasn’t an option on the line.

As I attract attention in my frustration by other PFCU members waiting for the ATM, one woman asks about what was going on, and pulled out her card to find another customer service number. They do have a 24 hour line, so I thanked her and called them.

The only options given to me were for debit card activation, a lost or stolen card, or a lost or stolen device. Considering the ATM had my card and wouldn’t release it, I pressed “2” for a lost or stolen card.

I was transferred to a representative named Allie, and when I explained to her my situation, she said she couldn’t do anything, and offered to give me the number to the main customer service line.

“Do you have a pen and paper?”

“No, I am outside at an ATM and this was my sole purpose for leaving my house at the moment. I don’t have anything on me now except my phone considering this ATM machine took my card and $98. I would appreciate if you could transfer me to the proper authority to fix this problem.”

She transfers me.

To the same line I had previously called to the direct branch that informed me that customer service hours were over.

I call the 24 hour line again. After going back and forth with the next person in a similar way as Allie, he did actually make some kind of effort. But all he could do was cancel my card, should it ever be ejected from that piece of shit machine.

At this point, three incredibly sweet women from the growing line were tapping on windows and knocking on the doors to see if there were any representatives who had not yet left, because a few lights were still on inside.

Nobody came out, and the associate on the line said nothing could be done about the cash I tried to deposit. The only thing he could do was give me the same bullshit number to call in the morning, and enter “an extensive note” on my account for the next representative I speak with.  I asked him to include in that note that a representative should instead be contacting me for the major incovenience, and if I don’t receive that call, which I’m pretty sure I won’t, I will be back at that branch in person at open to close my account. But honestly, I’m closing my account anyway, because this hasn’t been the first time PFCU has given me issue, and I don’t appreciate anyone messing with my money. But this was certainly the most absurd and most time consuming and infuriating.

As I walk back home, defeated and angry, I hear, “Don’t you let this situation ruin your day!” One of the women who was trying to help called out from her car. There’s something about strangers caring, that will really overwhelm you when you’re having a bad day. So for everyone in line who tried to help or even just sympathized and said sorry this was happening, I appreciate you all. I’m going to take that vibe instead of my frustrated one and finish out my day, thanks. But before I do so,

Screw you, PFCU.

Now for the good vibes for the rest of the weekend.

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When The Plan Becomes The Problem

I have a problem.

I’ve come to recognize that my greatest strength is also my biggest weakness and I am suffocating under its weight.

I think too much.

My excessive thinking is getting in my way, and I need my mind to take several seats so I can grab the wheel and put the damn gear in DRIVE.

I like to plan. I get an idea, and I plan its execution. I think about how it can connect to other ideas and people, and causes greater than itself, and its legacy, and its color scheme, and its location, and its target demographic, etc. I talk about it and get people to rally behind. I make it a binder, with dividers, and sheet protectors, and a cover page to slide in the little transparent front insert and the little side insert. And I plan on top of those plans, and flesh out grander schemes of my initial points.

Nobody is going to tell me that’s my problem. Planning is a good thing, and I’m very thorough. What’s bad is to be impulsive and to act before thinking.

But actually, I don’t know which is worse. I kind of envy the other extreme. At least they’re doing something.

Doing.

That’s the problem with planning, with thinking. When does it turn into action? Will it ever?

It doesn’t have to…

And I have found myself here, at this point, where planning has become paralyzing.

It’s a rut.

I’ve been in a rut.

The sinister thing about this kind of rut is that you’re encouraged to stay there. It’s a mirage of getting your shit together. It’s a mirage of having a good outlook and direction. You have a plan! So you’re clearly going somewhere, right?

…Right?

Planning is a convenient escape from the responsibilities of actually getting to where you want to go. You can justify this escape because you always appear to be doing something. You’re planning. That’s commendable. Psychologists have studied this topic. Just talking about your plan and getting praise for it boosts your self-identity as if you already achieved that goal. So you don’t work towards it anymore. Planning halts momentum.

So this is me saying I’m sick of not doing. I realize that I can’t plan away risk. I accept my planning as fuel for my fears of both failure and success. I’m going to think less and just do. I don’t want to always be on the way. I’m going to reach my goals. I am not SEPTA. I refuse to be SEPTA.

SEPTA slogan
A slogan as pathetic as it is brilliant.

PS, that picture ended up being a thumbnail for a YouTube video of “We’re Getting There (official music video)” by Michal Pearl Waldfogel. You should check it out and have a laugh, because it was a comical find.