Funny Things About Stress

The other day I decided to finally take the reigns in my life and take care of my finances. So I asked my financial advisor to sort my problems out (Literally, implored him to do what he felt best for myself).

And there were lots of problems. Like being billed $75 monthly from a gym I no longer went to. Two years had gone by since I had frozen my membership and 4 months ago I renewed my credit card without notifying them. I forgot I had any ties to the gym.

Up until yesterday, I decided it’s time I stop chucking my bank statements as if the envelope were about to catch fire the longer I held onto it.

Today, as advised, I marched into that gym and told them I needed to cancel my membership. I told them my situation, how I had been charged in the last 4 months without realizing and how I didn’t have the means to pay for the membership.

I took my chances asking if there was any way to have the money refunded back to me, it was an honest mistake, but the best they were able to do was offer credit back to me. I told the sales rep sitting across from myself that I was adamant about ending my membership. He reluctantly says okay and tells me in order to proceed with the cancellation I had to pay $20.60 upfront.  

“You guys are killing me.” I muttered under my breath. I recognized that voice – it was my dad’s coming right out of my mouth.

“Okay. I’m going to go to the bank from across the street and I’ll be right back. You’re not going anywhere are you?” I ask in a sharp tone. As if to say, I know you guys have a habit of disappearing when people try to cancel.

“I’m not going anywhere” he assures me, the crazy lady who doesn’t want to fork $20.00 and who doesn’t check her bank statements.

I quickly rush over to the bank and approach the teller. In a haste, I tell him I need to take “twenty sixty” out from my checking account. He types on his keyboard looks at the monitor, looks back at me and there seems to be a problem. Surely, I have $20.00 in my checking account, I’m staring back at him feeling aghast.

“I’m looking at your checking account right now… and…” he swivels the monitor for me to see the problem.

I stare at him blankly. “Yeah. I need twenty-sixty from that (I point) account”.

“Do you mean…twenty dollars and sixty cents?” he asks hesitantly.

I must have looked stupefied. It didn’t cross my mind that it would even be a possibility to have $2160 sitting in my checking account and I almost want to laugh. I lean in with my elbow propped on the counter, hand to my cheek, and in a hushed tone I tell the guy:

“I meant twenty dollars and sixty cents.”

I can tell both of us are stifling our laughter for two different reasons.

“I’m sorry it’s just that we don’t usually get people asking to withdraw that little.” Okay! I get it! I want to snap. Jesus, teller guy.

He hands the cash and calls out to me “Have a nice day!”

I’m back at the gym and sure enough, the sales rep is waiting for me. I’ve abandoned my urge to throw a temper tantrum from earlier, and am ready to get this all over and done with.

“Okay,” he says cautiously, looking down at my cash. “Here’s what I can do. I can give you a free membership for a year and you don’t have to pay the $26.50.”

GOD DAMMIT! What I want to tell this nice gentleman is if he can give me a free membership for an entire year he most definitely can waive my cancellation fee AND cancel my membership. What is it with gym sales reps trying to convince you that having no money is only a minor setback to pay for a membership??

I muster all the maturity left in me to say: “Look I  obviously can’t handle a membership if I can’t even remember to update my credit card or recall that it’s been two years since I’ve frozen my account. If in the next year or whenever I decide I want to join I will be coming back here because I do like it here (keeping in mind that they don’t want to lose a relationship or tarnish their reputation.)”

He seems satisfied with my response, takes my cash and bids me adieu. I walk back to my car and all of a sudden I feel like laughing at the hilarity of the situation. I think I’ll be okay. 

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