By Wayne William Cipriano
I got a new credit card the other day. Rosalie was against it but I was seduced by the promise to give me a $100 cash bonus if I charged $500 during the next 90 days. The card also gives us 1½% of our total purchases back in cash.
We always pay off the entire balance on all our cards monthly (we’re going to pay it all eventually, aren’t we?) so the usurious interest rates these card companies charge do not effect us.
This card’s 1½% is ½% more than any other card we have and that extra ½% cash back really adds up over a year. We certainly don’t buy anything we do not really need with credit cards, so it was pretty easy to convince Rosalie that this new card was a good idea. She dislikes having many credit cards so we will be retiring a card with a 1% return in favor of this new 1½% deal. And, it goes without saying that should another card come along with a better bonus arrangement, we will trade this new card for an even newer one.
I did run into a small problem when I called this new card company to limit as much as possible the sharing of our information in the way all financial companies are required to offer us.
I got transferred over and over, kept on hold for extended times, and finally got the limits on information sharing completed after speaking with four different people at four different locations. It was very easy for me to recognize that the people with whom I was speaking were Americans, and it was most disheartening to me to be so incompetently shuffled from location to location, each person expressing their heartfelt apologies for the long hold times and for having been sent to the wrong location.
Recall that this was not a very complicated request on my part. You have seen these folders about limiting the sharing of our information. They are so uniform in appearance and so regularly received by us that they must be Federally mandated. And since so many of us call to limit that information sharing, these telephone representatives must receive these calls all day long, right?
These folks weren’t picking on me. These long wait times and misdirection are no doubt standard, and that is why I am so disheartened. Where will all these American telephone reps work when all these business calls are handled by people in the Philippines or in India / Pakistan? At what will our citizens work when they are so poorly educated and pitifully trained that they cannot process a routine telephone request appropriately?
Maybe it is a global economy and all my telephone requirements can be handled by people living thousands of miles away in foreign countries. Maybe all the goods and services I desire can be imported from outside the United States of America. And maybe all that can be provided to me at less cost when it comes from “over there” instead of “over here.”
But what is going to happen to our kids when they go looking for employment as poorly prepared as they are? And what is going to happen to their kids? It isn’t getting any better, is it? And, tick…tock, time is going by.
This is the Unites States of America. We CAN pretty much do anything we put our minds to. What SHOULD we do?