Hungover, I checked my morning emails. My bank informed me that $500 had been withdrawn from my account at an ATM yesterday in Des Plaines, Illinois at 5:47pm. Also, my friends Sad On Vacation are having a showcase for Comedy Central- Wait. What?
Des Plaines, Illinois?
Home of the McDonald's Museum?
I was home yesterday at 5:47pm eating leftover pasta with Lauren. Nowhere near the McDonald's Museum. Or the Burger King Castle Of Burgeria. Or the Wendy's Hall Of Homophobia.
The call to my bank was like talking to a washing machine. I sat and soaked in stress until I could talk to a human. The human eventually spoke. She wore a headset that might have been purchased from the Radio Shack outlet store.
I told her that $500 had been withdrawn from my account, and that I wasn't the one who did this. She repeated the information back to me with no concern, and transferred me to the claims department. HOWEVER, before transferring me, she recited a repetitive 60-second commercial for overdraft protection and asked me if I would like to add this service.
After ten minutes of overmodulated air conditioned lite jazz, a man from the claims department took my call. He seemed slightly more understanding. Either that or his headset was the next Radio Shack upgrade. He told I would get my money back in 1-2 business days, but would have to issue me a new ATM card, which would take 5-10 business days.
I called work to say I would be late and waited for the bank to open so I could get a temporary bank card.
At the bank, they were much nicer. An aspiring actress from Utah helped me with my situation. I asked her how this could have happened.
"They probably used a skimming device."
Apparently, modern thieves attach a thing to the card swipe of an ATM that pulls its information. Then they affix a camera over the keypad to catch your PIN. They do it on a Friday and wait until Monday, review the information and then hit the town.
I was impressed, with a healthy dash of icky.
Cool. So from now on I'm going to be one of those people that hovers over their PIN number because they can no longer trust the entire planet. I'm turning into my mom.
Work was work. I ran on sailboat fuel out to Elmhurst, and stopped at a gas station. My temporary debit card wouldn't work at the pumps, so I went in to use the ATM. I covered my PIN with my entire body, then waited in line to prepay with cash. The woman in front of me was spending her entire afternoon selecting scratch-off lottery tickets.
The moment she finished, a man walked in and laid his money in front of the cashier, cutting in front of me. I spoke up, and another cashier popped out of nowhere.
"I can help you. Are you paying for gas?"
"We don't prepay for gas here."
I gestured incredulously. Then she added, "I think you knew that."
What the fuck is going on?
"So let me get this straight. I come in here, use the ATM, go back outside, pump the gas, then come back in here to pay?"
They said that was their policy.
"What is wrong with you?!" I yelled and stormed out.
Shortly thereafter I stormed back in to pay for the gas.
I needed a nap probably. So I took one in the back of the van. For two hours.
The chill of winter woke me up at 4:18pm. Groggy, I warmed up the car for the ride home.
Then I got a call for a pick up in Tinley Park going to Western Springs, a 75 mile round trip in rush hour traffic.
It would pay well I was told. A double time. That's $33.
So I did it.
I ate Arby's while driving and arrived at Second City within minutes of my call time for Rush.
Later, I would learn that I only got paid $13 for three hours of driving in stop and start traffic because my dispatcher had made a mistake.