Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Please hold...

It's no wonder alcohol and drug abuse is prevalent within the legal profession. I think it starts in law school where, just to graduate, you have to jump through so many hoops that you resemble a lion at the circus. Then, once you are out of school and have passed the bar, you start dealing with consolidating your student loans and that is where the decline into complete substance abuse takes on speed...pardon the pun.

I was on the phone tonight with the people who handle my private student loans. I suppose I shouldn't say I was on the phone with the "people" who handle it because really, I was on the phone with the automated system. Once I made it through that tangled mess, I got a human on the phone (I know, a total miracle. Tomorrow, I plan to walk on water).

I asked for my payoff balance and she asked if I was going to pay it off today over the phone or if I needed some time to do so. UM...look lady, the loans are in the high five figures and I couldn't afford to spit on myself if I was on fire, so no I will not be paying it off over the phone. I just want the balance so I can give the correct amount to my consolidation company.

She said ok and then put me on hold. I was on hold for 20, yes count them TWO ZERO minutes. I listened to a mix of music from the past four decades, which included Gloria Estefan, Barry White, and a host of groups from the 80s. All good stuff, but I had better things to do with my time. Thank God for a cell phone with a hands-free ear piece. I was able to do some stuff with my computer while I was waiting.

After ABBA came on, I finally concluded that I was never going to get another human being on the phone again so I hung up. You know, it amazes me that if I was ever late with a payment, that company would send a SWAT team to my house the next day, but when I want some information from them, it's as if they've packed up and moved leaving no forwarding address. I can get NO help whatsoever when I need it. I can only hope that the company I am moving my loans to will be more forthcoming. It is possible considering the company that consolidated my federal loans has been nothing short of fantastic. Here's hoping...

In the meantime, I'm just glad that my vices are not alcohol and drugs, but rather chocolate and the treadmill. An odd combo to be sure, but it works for me. I really can't afford to be a drug addict anyway what with all the loans I have to pay.


Dauphyfan said...

You don't know how much I feel for you. There has more than one occasion when I want to reach that tiny phone and grab the script these people are reading from on the other end.

It's apparently so challenging to handle customers that they create the tangled web of automated menus to keep them at bay. Grrrrr.

Cynthia Bostwick said...

I graduated lawschool in 1987. I will never forget that group processing moment where the loan lady handed me the payment book showing 120 coupons of monthly payments.

"120?" I intoned with amazement.

"Yep-per," she said, straightfaced, "That's 10 years."

And that was the good old days compared to what you poor recent grads face.

I'm indebted to the Curmudgeon for finding your blog--good read. Take care--


Smalltown RN said...

Hey thanks for visiting my blog. And yes I had the wonderful privilege of paying for the botched job as well. To this day I can not eat properly on that side of my mouth. Urgh!!

Now student loans. I was fortunate that I never had to take out student loans when I went back to nursing school. But I have heard of all the nightmare stories. And I totally hear you when you talk about if you are late for a payment...oh my god! I was 4 days late on a credit card payment once and them I had committed some federal offense and swear they were wanting to put me in jail if they could. Holy crap!

Great blog! Again thanks for dropping by mine.