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The Inconvenience Of Convenience
Mommy Musings
Teresa Hammond mug 3

Simple things sometimes get the best of me. Simple in the way of in the big scheme of things, they really aren’t that big or it’s a good problem to have.

One of my girlfriends simplifies these things pretty brilliantly by offering her two cents of, “First World Problems.” This is what I recognize about my most recent inconvenience, yet it became frustrating all the same.

A couple weeks ago (on a Saturday), I received a call from my bank. My debit card had been comprised and was questioned as purchases were being made in Pittsburg, California as I was using it in Oakdale.

My debit card had not been lost, so I’m still not quite sure how it was being used in debit form at McDonald’s, as well as a gas station 90 miles away. This would also be the place where I share if criminals just used half of their smarts toward something good, we would find ourselves in a much better place as a society.

Yet I digress.

Upon speaking to the call center I learned that my card would be shut down and I should call my bank Monday to order a new one. Upon making the phone call Monday, I was given the customary seven to 10 days pitch for when I could expect another and be up and running.

This did not seem problematic in the slightest at the time. One trip into the bank to get some cash and I should be good to go. Silly me.

I quickly learned how often and how much I rely on the convenience of a debit card to: get gas, buy groceries, as well as pay my bills. Suddenly all those pre-set payments weren’t working and of all weeks, I seemed to be burning through $3.39 per gallon gas at a record rate. So, back to the bank.

In truth, I’m a people person and honestly enjoyed seeing my teller a bit more than usual. I’m also a busy working mom of two active kids, so the inconvenience of going into the bank each time began to weigh on me.

It seemed I would no sooner get into the bank, take out a set amount that should last a week easy and nope, gotta buy a gift, pick up some lawn chairs or snacks for a swim meet. In the words of my girlfriend … true First World Problems.

The novelty of visiting with my favorite teller wore off at the 14-day mark, when the card had arrived yet I still had not received the pin and was unable to activate the card by phone. Back to the bank I went, finding a new teller to greet me this time and my mood much less chipper, I mean I simply wanted access to my money – any time of day.

Upon leaving I recognized how spoiled I’d become. I recognized how the simple glitch of this convenience had truly become inconvenient. This simple card, a debit card, pretty much holds equal space of importance to my smart phone. Then I thought back to the days when we did not have such convenience. Truth be told, I was not adulting during that era, but I did think of it and then I reassessed.

In short, what I came to recognize is it, this First World Problem, was a good problem to have.

I’m not wealthy, far from it but there was money in the bank. That’s fortunate. When those instances arose where I needed to use my cash, I could. Upon returning to the bank I was able to access more for necessities.

The inconvenience still remains, but that was truly the fault of the crook who lifted and used my numbers – no one else. Of course I’ve also re-evaluated how my card is used, when I’ll allow it to leave my sight and all the other things you ponder when this sort of thing happens.

In the end however, I simply remain grateful for the ability to see my good fortune in finding my way through the inconvenience.

 

Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at thammond@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.