Progress Every Day

Slowly but steadily I’m navigating through all the million little details of the cleanup from the last four years.  I feel like me and those poor folks in New Orleans have something in common – a slow, painful, and laborious cleanup.  But, progress every day is my goal, even if just a little.   And I’m making it.  Fortunately, my feet are a little more stable now and I feel stronger every day.  Thankfully, the space I can wander around in without hitting a tender spot is getting bigger.

Chase Bank continues to be a real problem.  They are refusing to give me access to Maggie’s account without a “letter of instruction” from the Texas Bar Association.  I’ve verified that such a letter does not exist nor will it.  The Texas Bar Association has neither interest in nor knowledge of Maggie’s accounts and, thus, would never issue any type of instruction to a bank regarding the account.  Essentially, it looks to me like Chase Bank just made up a rule that I must follow and if I can’t, well, I don’t get to close Maggie’s account.  I feel like a cat toy.

Their last offer of resolution was that they would release the funds to me in the form of a check payable to (and I’m quoting): 

“Jason Weaver, Independent Administrator of the Estate of Maggie Mae Weaver, IN TRUST FOR THE CLIENTS OF MAGGIE MAE WEAVER, ATTORNEY AT LAW (IOLTA ACCOUNT PROCEEDS).”

Wow.  How do I endorse that?  Who is it actually payable to?

Banks take the Payee field very seriously.  If you’ve ever tried to cash or deposit a check made out to two parties, banks require both signatures.  I learned that while trying to deposit our tax refund one year payable to “Jason and Maggie Weaver.”  Without her signature, no workie.  Who the heck needs to sign that check from Chase?  All her clients and me?

Banks also take the word “trust” very seriously.  Now, I’m not knowledgeable enough to explain a trust account but it’s not a word that they throw around lightly.  No doubt that word “trust” thrown in there will cause all kinds of heartache.

So, Chase’s latest little game, making the Payee field that gobbledygook, basically is them giving me the finger.  They’d never accept a check made out like that for a deposit.  No other bank will, either.  This is just ridiculous.  Someone is just having fun at my expense and heartache.  How many other people are they screwing over with this little game, I have to wonder.  I’ll keep fighting.  Blah.  I’m tired of fighting.

Speaking of fighting, Maggie’s phone is finally off.  It took four phone calls.  The call I made to finally turn her phone off left me blisteringly angry.  All I wanted was to disconnect her phone.  Of course, the guy on the other end wanted to talk to “the primary account holder.”  He asked multiple times.  I explained MULTIPLE TIMES.  Finally, he got it.  Then, as a last salvo, he tried to convince me to keep the account and maybe give it to someone else, like a family member or keep it for myself.  I explained, as calmly as I could to the idiot on the other end of the line, “How do you think ANYONE would feel if they got a phone call from this particular phone number?”  He continued his hard sell.  I finally told him, sternly, “You insensitive bastard.  Turn off the phone and do not try to sell me anything else.”  Ah, but he didn’t turn off the phone, as I found out later.

A week or so went by and Maggie’s phone was still on. Finally, I mustered up the courage to make yet another (the fourth) call to AT&T to finish this off.  I was ready to fight.  This time, however, I got Stephanie.  Stephanie was wonderful.  She was kind, sweet, caring, considerate, understanding and genuinely compassionate.  She talked to me way too long (I’m sure her supervisors gave her a talking-to) but she took an interest in helping me and even wrote up my complaint about the previous person I spoke with.  My phone call with her was the best company rep phone call I’ve ever had.  I learned she was in Austin and that she wanted to be a nurse when she graduated school.  I told her if I ever met her I’d buy her flowers.  She even said she was going to read this blog.  She was great.  And she turned off the phone.  Gently.

After our long conversation, I called AT&T back to speak with a manager (on suggestion from a friend.)  I was routed to some Latin country (per the thick accents of the two people I spoke with.)  I told the manager about how great Stephanie was and that she deserved recognition for her efforts.  The manager made me laugh because he seemed genuinely surprised.  He said they don’t get too many phone calls like mine.  He also said that they’d use my conversation with her as a training example.  Good.  Stephanie was shining example of how it should be done.

So the phone is off, one year and one month-ish later.  I’m still pressing forward with the estate issues.  And in my mind I’ve been trying on how it would feel to have her side of the closet empty.  It’s scary and hurts still so it’s not time yet.  But I’ll be dropping her socks off at Safe Place soon.

6 thoughts on “Progress Every Day

  1. I get so tired of customer “NO SERVICE”……….There a few people left like Stephanie. I’m glad she is becoming a nurse. I’m sure she will effect everyone’s life like she did yours.Good choice girl!
    Keep putting one foot ahead of another. That’s all any of use can do! And I do know what we’d like to do w/ the other at times.Stay safe and sane!

  2. Hey Chris…

    Please know that sharing your experience helps. I’m learning about stuff that would not have crossed my mind..

    Hold Fast
    Don MacLeod

    1. Thanks for pointing this out, Don. Posting stuff like this almost goes into the “Complaining” category. And I don’t like to be a complainer.

      Despite all the trouble I’m having, life’s just not that bad. Last year was real bad. Year before, not so fun either. This year, it’s just not that bad. Different, but not bad.

      I appreciate knowing that my chronicles of the challenges I’m facing while trying make things right again are educational to some. Gosh, if I can help out one person avoid the crap that I’m going through, that gives my writing a bit of a higher purpose. I don’t like to be a complainer.


  3. One of the great services your blog has done for people who’ve lost loved ones is showing that there’s no such thing as a “supposed to” way of feeling. You’re facing things as they come, handling them when you are able to, and moving forward day-by-day … sometimes with giant steps, sometimes with baby steps. What a great role model you’ve become … even though I know that was never your intention. Love you very much!

  4. This is more common than not I suppose as my mother in law learned when trying to handle business matters regarding her husband who died last September. It is amazing how insensitive, or ignorant… whatever people like ATT rep #1 is to be described when such very sad circumstances are the reason for the call in the first place.

    This is not what I consider a complaint either. Just another surprise you have come to realize about people in positions of “customer service.” I think he must have been reading from the same sales notes as my dear friend from TMobile when I called to cancel a phone line because after the 9 years of service, one late payment and they cut my service when I was going into what I believed to be LABOR! I was so upset about being without a phone in a hospital waiting to talk to someone in admissions about getting my DR ASAP I made certain to drop the extra line and eat the early disconnect fee once I was home and with baby, and all she could recommend was that I upgrade my service plan? Okay friend! You do not hear what I am saying! That is the epitome of no service customer service.

    But, in the scheme of life, it is just one of those things worth mentioning. If for any other reason, to give the Stephanie’s of the world the praise they deserve. It is amazing how a little bit of human kindness can change us in great ways!


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