Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Now I Wish I'd Super Sized It

I just got an automated phone call, the kind where a disembodied voice mangles my last name almost as completely as something with a central nervous system, the kind I usually ignore because they always involve phrases like "overdue" or "legal action".

Today's installment wasn't any better. I pressed the phone to my ear just in time to hear a monotone voice repeat "Hello" three times before soullessly informing me that my bank account was overdrawn.

That final, fateful debit charge, the one that shoved my balance into the red? A $4.25 McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

I'm pretty sure that I heard the robot judging me when she gave the one-sided recount of the purchase that sent my net worth into the negative numbers and it didn't brighten my spirits to shout "YEAH, WELL AT LEAST I HAVE ARMS" before throwing my phone into the sofa cushions. Usually it does.

Let's ignore, for a moment, that I couldn't scrape together enough change to pass through the drive-through window and had to sign a receipt for my square-shaped mistake. You know what really sent that sandwich crawling back up my esophagus? The $35 overdraft charge that BB&T gave me as an after-dinner mint.

I don't recall the last time I paid $39.25 for a meal, if I ever have, but I sure as hell wish it hadn't been served in a cardboard box.

23 comments:

Daniel said...

I should tell you sometime about my $300 Chinese food or $200 pizza. I didn't learn shit in college.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Awesome.

Been there. Ran for the Border for a $35.00 burrito.

christina said...

Crap. I was going to wow you with my 35 dollar cup of coffee from Starbucks, but I can't top the $300 Chinese or $200 pizza.

I used to make sure, when bouncing a check, to bounce it big to make it worthwhile.

Mike said...

As I read the $4.25 I wondered what it really cost you. Then I got to where you punched your own line. Good job.

K.H. said...

I did quite a few of those thirty-forty dollar cups of coffee...

Rambling Rachel said...

Banks have us over a barrel.

*Akilah Sakai* said...

It's where they make all their money - fee'ing us right in the arse with no lube.

Elusive Butterfly said...

Holy mother, what happened to overdraft protection? I better go check my balance.

flynnster said...

... and they have the nerve to call it a "service" charge. Like a ticketmaster "convenience" fee. They should call it what it really is: the "we're going to kick you while you're down and screw you for every last penny" charge.

MonsteRawr said...

Holy shit, that sucks. Betcha if you'd known you would have savored it a little more, too. At least you're able to find the humor in it, and not go bizerk and start shooting up your local McDonalds.

MoxieMamaKC said...

I've had that happen to me a few times since I despise balancing my checkbook and it's ALWAYS been for some little thing that's under $10. Grr! I'm glad I'm not the only one this has happened to.

hautepocket said...

I would buy you a drink as a consolation prize, but, well, I got no money, yo.

Eric (Extra P.) said...

I don't think I've ever overdrawn on something worth more than $10.

I bet the bank employees get to pick what you overdraw on. "1-900-THAI-SEX? We have a winner!"

Anonymous said...

J-Money,

When you come to California, I will round up some of your fans and we will buy you a $39.25 meal. It won't come in a box with a picture of a clown on it. (It may only be four sushi California rolls, though.)

PMJG said...

I think you said it best in one of your previous posts: BB&T stands for "Bend over, Bitch, & Take it!"

Robbie said...

Yikes, thats some pricey meal.
Last month I bought a present for someone, a CD, from the Sale section too, it was only about £5. Got a £70 charge for going in the red.
Thought about sending them a copy of my statement so they can see how much I spent on them.

Analyst Catalyst said...

That happened to me a good number of times too. I was usually able to anticipate when I didn't have enough cash though, and I'd hit the ATM for a couple hundred bucks until my next payday, thus getting only the one overdraft fee.

I agree though that it especially sucks when you don't realize it's coming.

You probably already know this, but I believe most banks will, if you go in and tell them, make stores decline your card if it hit a zero balance as opposed to the $35 overdraft "protection."

J-Money said...

Daniel: Wow. The most expensive Chinese meal I’ve ever had was less than $300, including the co-pay at Primecare after the food poisoning.

Lisa Page Rosenberg: Somehow I may be less upset if it had been a burrito, especially one of the seven-layer ones. Five dollars a layer somehow sounds better, even if a hundred pounds of their Grade Z beef is less than five bucks.

christina: I think you and Daniel and I need to go get a meal together.

Mike: Uh oh... does this mean I’m getting predictable? Crap. I’m off to shave my head and bathe in Soft Scrub and do OTHER ZANY ERRATIC UNPREDICTABLE THINGS.

K.H.: You’re invited to lunch with me, Christina and Daniel.

Rambling Rachel: True that. At least my barrel had a slice of cheese and a liberal coating of tartar sauce.

*Akilah Sakai*: That explains all the blood. I thought it was just a side effect of my Filet-O-Fish.

Elusive Butterfly: I think that’s the cost of overdraft protection. Rather than just get a declined ATM card, you pay for the privilege of, um, paying $35 in fees.

flynnster: Convenience charges gush from the veins of the devil. Especially when they’re on PRINT AT HOME TICKETS. How, exactly, is Ticketmonster being inconvenienced when I’m the one who just inkjetted all over the counter.

MonsteRawr: Oh, it’s not McDonald’s fault. If I’m going to go insane, it will be in the lobby of BB&T. And by “go insane” I mean dump out the carafe of their watered down coffee, steal a handful of logo lollypops and maybe pee in the night depository box.

MoxieMamaKC: Nope. You’ve got four equally overdrafted new friends here in the comments section.

hautepocket: That’s OK, because obviously I don’t either. Maybe we could draw drinks on sheets of construction paper and pass them across the table to each other.

Eric: No, luckily my THAI SEX charge went through on Tuesday.

Anonymous: Don’t order that sushi in advance. Obviously since I’m struggling to afford my life here in Slappytown, moving to California is almost as feasible as moving to one of Saturn’s rings. Hang on while I spend the rest of the day sobbing.

PMJG: No shit. I’m going to suggest that the employees have that embroidered on a t-shirt.

Robbie: Oh, you absolutely should’ve sent them the bank statement. In a tastefully wrapped package, of course.

Analyst Catalyst: I plan on mashing my face against the teller window as soon as they open this morning to see how I can prevent any additional fees... especially since I don’t have any money to put into my account to bring it back above water. COMMENCE PUPPY DOG EYE STATUS.

Mike said...

How has no one said...

GIVE ME BACK THAT FILET O FISH. GIMME THAT FISHHHHH

Phil said...

My most recent overdraft fee was for a bike rental company in San Francisco, who decided to charge me $500 instead of $25.00 like they'd said, and I'd signed in agreement to. And on the phone the only thing I was able to coherently say was "FIX IT DAMMIT! FIX IT!"

p.huong said...

Damn. You should have gotten a happy meal instead so you can keep the toy as a reminder.

Ashley said...

ugh who hasn't been there? I just paid $200 because I made 6 transactions before I knew I had overdrawn. The best part? The most expensive of those transactions was $8.00 worth of drinks and snacks at the gas station.

Maybe we should revert to cash? At least the envelope in my husband's sock drawer never charged us money. Then again, it would be hard to over-borrow from an empty envelope...

joy said...

Ah, I empathize completely. Renting "Definitely, Maybe"? Maybe worth the $1 Red Box fee. Definitely not worth the $33 overdraft fee.