Saturday, April 6, 2013

I've got a secret

So there is a statistic that one in two marriages in the United States will fail.  ( I did not research this statistic, nor verify it's origins - I simply found it on the internet, and it was nicely skewed in the direction I needed for this post, so take it for what it's worth )

I believe this morning I have discovered the root cause of those failed marriages.  Two words...Privacy Laws. 

My husband and I, like many married couples, have a joint bank account.  We're big fans of online banking, and we share a login for this joint account.  Or so we thought.  You see, I muffed the login this morning and was locked out.  The pop up message gave me a phone number to call.

I dialed the number, and was greeted by the voice of a lovely sounding woman "if you are calling about blabbity blah and it's a thursday in a month starting with J, press 1", "if you are calling about blickity bleck, and you think you deserve to talk to a human being, press 6".

By the way, I know how to get American's back to work.  Hire receptionists !!  You know, people who answer the phone and direct your call in a matter of seconds.  But I digress.  (go figure)

The human being I finally made it to, was nice enough.  I was even fooled into thinking I would be able to have my problem solved, and get back to paying my bills post haste.  (Insert sound of screeching brakes and tires at this very moment.  Throw in a little smoke and the smell of burning brake pads - boom crash - cut to hubcab rolling down the street )

Apparently, the login is my husbands.  "He'll need to call to get this reset."  Privacy laws.  You see, according to the "how may I help you" person on the other end of the line, my husband could have accounts he doesn't want me to know about, and the laws are in place to protect his privacy...from his wife.  "But I'm sure that's not the case in your situation."  This last part was said really fast, a little too fast for me.  If you know what I mean. 

Trying to find a work around, I asked if I could then have a login of my own.  "Absolutely," came the reply.  "But if you have bill pay, you won't be able to see any transactions initiated in bill pay from your husband's login.  So there is a danger you could end up paying bills twice"   "Even if they are on the same joint account?"  I asked.  "Yes, Privacy Laws.  Your husband could be setting up payments from his other (read "secret") accounts that he doesn't want you to see.  Maybe he wants to surprise you with a present."

By the way...I am not making any of this up.  This conversation took place. 

I was defeated.  I'm pretty sure no matter how much I whined, expressed my displeasure, begged, pleaded, or bribed, "How may I help you" was not going to be able to change the privacy laws enacted by the legislative branch of our government.

So I did something I am not proud of and in fact feel really bad about.  I said "ok."  and hung up.  No "thank you", no "goodbye"  Just "click."  I'd call back and apologize, but I didn't write down How May I Help You's name.  On the plus side, I didn't get far enough into the conversation to give my name, so I've got anonymity working for me.  Oh wait, caller ID.

Well, at least I can sleep better at night, knowing my family and I are protected from each other by privacy laws.  Unless...what if my husband really does have a secret account...and is secretly paying bills on line from that account !!!  Man, is he going to get it when he gets home !!! 

And that, my friends, is how privacy laws cause divorces.

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