Friday, December 23, 2005

Pet Hates #3,688

People who are unable to understand the concept of my having no money—not on credit cards, not in a secret Swiss bank account or any other account, not on an overdraft, not in a drawer of my desk and not stuck up my arsehole—nor any hope of getting any in the immediate future.

A typical conversation might go like this:

Call-centre monkey: "Do you know that you haven't paid such and such a bill, sir?"

Me: "Yes. This is because I am effectively self-employed and I haven't been able to pay myself. I am afraid that I don't have any money right now, but I will pay it as soon as I do have."

Call-centre monkey: "Can you make a payment by Debit Card today?"

Me: "No. I have told you, I don't have any money."

Call-centre monkey: "Do you have a Credit Card, or can you transfer money from another account, sir?"

Me: [Gritting teeth because I know it's not their fault] "No. I don't have any money."

Call-centre monkey: "Shall I call back for a payment tomorrow, sir?"

Me: "You can if you like, but it will be pointless because I don't have any money."

Call-centre monkey: "You do realise that if you don't pay tomorrow, a £35 late payment fee will be charged to your account?"

Me: [Doubled over with hunger cramps having eaten nothing but one Gregg's steak bake in five days] "Yes, I do, but there is nothing that I can do about it because I don't have any money."

Call-centre monkey: "Do you know when you will be able to make a payment, sir?"

Me: "Well, not until one of my clients pays me, which should hopefully be in the next week or so."

Call-centre monkey: "Will you be able to pay next Tuesday, sir?"

Me: "Well, it's unlikely since no one's due to pay me until next Wednesday, and it can take up to 6 days* for the cheque to clear, or three days for BACS. And that's if they pay on time. Look, can I call you when I can make a payment?"

Call-centre monkey: "Do you know when that'll be, sir?"

Me: "Not exactly, but hopefully before the end of the month."

Call-centre monkey: "I'll make a note on the account, sir."

Me: "Thank you. Have a good day."

[Replaces 'phone]

Freelancer: "So, will we get paid tomorrow?"

Me: "No. You heard me, I don't have any money."

Freelancer: "Well, do you know when we'll get paid?"

Me: "You heard me; when someone pays us."

Freelancer: "Well, I'm running out of money."

Me: "Well, you've been paid precisely four times more than me in the last two months so, really, I can sympathise."

Freelancer: "Right. So do you know when are we going to get paid?"

[Reaches for gun, unsure whether to shoot freelancer or self...]

Why is this concept of no money so difficult for people to understand?

The irony is, of course, is that if I had some credit, then I would be able to pay my bills on time. However, unfortunately, I can't get any credit because I can't pay my bills on time...

* Up to six working days for a cheque to clear? What the fuck? To add insult to injury, I happen to know that my bank routinely take 90 days to pay their suppliers. Who often bank with that same bank! And yet the bank's payment still takes 3 days to clear into an account in that bank. Or six days if it is a cheque...

8 comments:

MatGB said...

Yup, know that feeling. Applied for a loan last week, fromt eh credit card company, the intent was to pay off the bill into the loan. They won't give me the loan, because I'm over my credit limit. I know that, that's why I need the loan, which you wrote me a letter offering. Payday tomorrow, first thing I do is pay the bailiffs for a fine I couldn't afford to pay, so now I pay the fine and the bailiff's fees.

Isn't being utterly skint great?

Martin said...

No, it's not.

Particulalry when you're a call-centre monkey.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Ironic in itself, eh?

I assume that the call-centre monkey has a script that they have to follow, which is why I'm always polite to them.

DK

Martin said...

DK,

Assume nothing of the sort.

Many such drones of my acquaintance have difficulty in speaking English unassisted; and that's the Glaswegian ones.

Anonymous said...

Call centre staff should be treated with respect and, simultaneously, no expectation of common sense or knowledge. I always find that asking for the manager (and then telling the so-called 'senior clerk' that I'm passed to that they're not a manager), works a treat.

Martin said...

GA

Really?

Hope you don't have an account with my call-centre.

You might have another thing coming if you try that one on with me, matey...

And most of us possess at least enough sense not to be Tory candidates...

Anonymous said...

Apropos of banks taking ages to clear cheques and hanging on to suppliers' money for three months...

A friend of mine was once called in by his Bank Manager and subjected to a tirade because he was over his overdraft limit. He explained that, as so often with small businesses, the problem was unpaid invoices.

"Oh?" said the BM, clearly not believing him, "let's see a few of those, then." My friend had brought them with him, and duly handed them over.

They were ALL invoices to the very bank in whose offices he was sitting, who had employed him for several months and never paid up.

For once, collapse of stout party.

It was a nice moment, I am told; but you don't win very often.

Anonymous said...

Gavin Aylings attitude is just the kind that makes your so called "call centre monkeys" be even less helpful to him, he only has himself to blame!

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