Going back to the old testament, Moses led the Children of Israel (many of whom were full-grown adults) through the desert for 40 years before finally delivering them to the Promised Land. It was the ultimate example of how a man always refuses to stop and ask for directions.
Look at that desert on the map and you would think that, at some point, someone might have said out loud, “Uh, Moses, that last sand dune looks really familiar.” But he persevered until he got them to the promised land, although he wasn’t able to actually go with them. I believe his actual words found in Exodus 34, verse 27 were, “What a ticker!”
So, even after four decades of effort and trying to do the right thing, it still didn’t work out.
I know that feeling, on a minor scale. You see, 9 days ago, after another successful Lutefisk Eating Contest at Ballard Seafoodfest, my wife and I headed back to our car which was parked in the Ballard Swedish Hospital parking garage. Yes, it cost money, but we felt it was a safe place to leave our car and it was.
As we went to leave said garage, I came to the gate. There was no one there, but I had done this kind of thing before. I put in the parking ticket, with the strip showing like it demonstrated and then the machine asked for payment. I stuffed my VISA card into the same slot (like they do at SeaTac airport) and suddenly, I knew something was wrong. The machine grinded and grinded away. I couldn’t get my card back out. It turns out there was a slot below for the credit card and I had mistakenly stuffed it into the parking ticket slot. OK, my bad. I was an idiot.
I pushed the “Call for help” button and confessed my moronic sin to the voice that answered. She informed me that they didn’t have anyone on duty, took my name and phone number and said someone would call on Monday so that I could get my credit card back. All would be fine.
Monday rolled around. No phone call. I called the phone number for the garage and no answer, just a recording and a beep so I could leave a message. I gave them my name and phone number, recapped the situation and asked them to call me for an update.
On Wednesday, Deja vu. No one had called back, so I left another message, asking for someone to get in touch with me. I would come to you, just let me know where to go.
On Friday, I was pretty ticked. So, around the time when their office was supposed to open, I called. It was the machine again, asking me to leave a message. Oh, and I did. It was a good one. The summary–I’ve called multiple times, you haven’t called me back and I want my VISA card.
That afternoon, I did get a call. I’m theorizing she got the short end of the office stick and had to deal with the cranky customer. She explained that they had no credit card with that name on it and that the person in charge suggested I just get a new one. I explained to our loser of the office pool that if I do that, it’ll come with a new number and I would have to change the card on file for around 15 different accounts. That would be an incredible pain. Can you please check one more time to see if my card is sitting in a box somewhere?
She asked for my phone number and said she would check. That was the last time I heard from here.
Today, Monday, 9 days after their machine ate my credit card, I was informed by the latest voice to call me that they don’t have my card and that I should just get a new one. I’ve been watching my account, to see if it was improperly used and I’ll be doing that for a while, but in the meantime, I’ve ordered a replacement. With the same number, because I don’t feel I should be punished for an inept parking lot system. I believe my card is somewhere in someone’s desk and it’s just too much trouble to track it down.
So, here you go, Swedish Hospital. Let’s make you famous.
Let my VISA go!
PS: And Swedish, this is what the VISA logo looks like, if it helps.
It’s not anywhere I want it to be.