sunflowery's Diaryland Diary

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An Entry Full of Fretting

Nanny 911 is almost too painful to watch. It was on again last night and the kids were just so nasty and naughty, I had to turn the channel just to keep my sanity. I can't believe that parents don't see the value in boundaries, limits and discipline...especially when their children and their homes are out of control. Of course it's easy for me to say since I'm on THIS side of parenthood.

Speaking of which, Bob has been bringing it up again. He said he wants a baby and he wants to be a daddy. I told him that there is nothing in the world that I want more either, but how would we do it? I have to work in order to support us and to have health insurance. Bob is home and could care for children, but not for a baby or infant. He does not have the muscle strength to lift or hold a baby on his own. I have wanted to have a baby my whole life, but once Bob was diagnosed with MD and then perscribed a wheelchair, I have had to see our lives as different from what we dreamed they could be in the beginning of our marriage. In fact, I have locked up the baby part up tight in a place where I don't need to go and see it or deal with it very often. When Bob brings it up, it hurts me because then I have to take it out and look at it again. I just don't see a way for it to work at this point in our lives though I want nothing more.

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We have no extra money, but we are taking a vacation in January (The 8th-15th). Does this make sense? Well it does when you know that our airfare and accomodations are 100% FREE! Last year Bob went to Florida with his sister and the airline lost his wheelchair and when it was returned, it was broken. So, to compensate him in some way, they gave him 2 free airline tickets to where ever they fly. Since Bob's sister and brother in law have a time share in the Kissimmee/Orlando area that they are willing to give us for a week, we will be going there.* So, we fly for free and stay in the time share for free, but beyond that, we don't know as cash is low and the money tree doesn't seem to be blooming much right now. Still, getting away with Bob is always fun for me and I won't have to be working, so it's a vacation and that's what counts.

* Let me quantify what "FREE" housing means. Though Bob's sister has the timeshare, we are actually paying the annual taxes for them for allowing us to use it in January. But they are generously allowing us to pay them as we can, when we can. So we do not have to budget housing into our vacation. So though it's not free, per se, it's free to us the week we're there since we don't have to pay for a hotel. Understand?

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Today after work I will be attending a baby shower for a gal I work with. She is due December 6th. We sent around an office pool betting on when she would deliver, the date, time, size, length and gender. I put in 2 guesses, but who the heck knows. She's a fun gal though and we have lots in common. Her husband is out of work right now and she has to work. They didn't plan for this little bundle of joy and are kind of stressing over the baby's impending birth. She is stressing BIG TIME over finding good child care. We were talking about that yesterday and I wondered why we didn't have a place in our building. No one knows other than it's quite the liability. But by talking about it, it got me to thinking about opening my own child care center again. But the minute I allow myself to think of the details, I remember that by leaving where I work now to start a child care center, I would lose all my benefits...my health insurance, dental, life, AD&D, Vision, and my 401K and cash matching plan. Also, the steady paycheck thing. But if I did the child care thing and could find a way to do it in our building, that would help out more than just me. There are at least 4 women in my workplace who would use in building childcare. That would also solve the situation Bob and I are in. I could have a baby and bring it to the child care center with me. I'm just thinking and taking other people with me. The gal at work whose baby shower we are having today said she would LOVE a child care center at work. Me too. *sigh* Anyway, the shower tonight should be fun. Even if grown women have to play stupid shower games....well, maybe that won't be so much fun. But socializing after work is always so much fun.

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A Year Ago Today: November 11, 2003:Dear Customer and Banker

Dear Big Bank Annuity Customer,

Hi! My name is Amy and I am the back office support for your banker/agent. I am writing this letter to tell you that you are putting at least $2000 into this product! You better know what the heck you are getting into because I am answering too many stupid questions for your agents on your behalf!

For instance, this is NOT a bank product. It is an insurance product. You signed an agreement saying you were aware of this when you put your money into it. Therefore, when you decide that you need a new car and need to get that money out of your annuity, we cannot just hand you over a check. It takes 3 weeks bare minimum to get those funds. And, should you need this money to buy a house? Maybe check into getting it BEFORE the day before you close. Who closes on a house without the funds in hand anyway? It is not the banker's fault, nor our fault for with holding these funds from you...it is your fault for not reading the fine print and for procrastinating checking into how long it takes to get these funds.

Also, please do what you can to file your paperwork in a safe place. So many of you are putting $10,000 or more into these policies and then losing the paperwork, or better yet, forgetting you even have an annuity! If it were my money, I would keep a better eye on it. You should be sent annual statements as to the value and rate of the policy. Keep an eye on it and know when your surrender date is up. I wish I had the means to forget about $10,000 myself.

Thank you for your patronage.

Amy

Dear Mr. Banker:

It is your responsibility to make sure the customer knows what kind of product they are putting their money into. This is NOT just a sale for you, it is an investment and a chance to build a relationship with a customer. Make darn sure they won't be needing these funds in the next 2 -3 years so they can keep them in for their full surrender period to earn the best yield. Also, tell them how long it will take them to get the funds should an emergency arise and they need them sooner than the surrender period.

Common courtesy is appreciated. When I answer the phone and introduce myself, donít talk over me to tell me what you need. This will not make me move any faster and in fact, will tick me off so that I may, in fact, even slow down a little more. Also, please say who you are and where you are calling from. I donít know you by voice and donít automatically assume Iím talking to a banker.

Please stop being lazy and giving customers our phone number. It is YOUR job to work with the customer. It is our job to work with you. We are trying to build relationships here!

Please use the tools you were given when you became appointed with the company. Itís not my fault that you wrote in the wrong interest rate. You have a websight and phone number and several people to contact for help. Not to mention a whole file of forms to use. Try to ask for help if you are unsure. Then donít get mad at us when we call you to tell you itís wrong.

On the other hand, we are not here to serve your every need. We can fax you a form now and then, but we should not be your sole source for blank forms. Thatís what the web based form order sheet is for.

Also, can someone please tell me why you call us to answer a question when you have already filled out your forms? Itís not our fault that you filled them out wrong and have to redo them. Call before you fill them out and you will have it done right the first time.

Do I sound bitter? Hmmmm. Iím not. Iím just trying to pound some common sense into an otherwise useful business. Sheesh!

Thanks for reading.

6:46 a.m. - Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004
3 comments

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