Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bramble's Case Of The Mondays

Things must have been really bad at that meeting with the Deseret News' Editorial Board Monday.

Because, surely, a guy like Curtis Bramble couldn't possibly get his garments in a bunch over a check, could he?

Cartoon Brick Wall, with my usually expected snarkyness:

Work tonight was uneventful as usual, until my second delivery of the night.

I show up at this pretty house with a 3 car garage and lots of expensive camping equipment airing out on the front porch. A boy, maybe 12 years old, answers the door, asks the amount, and yells it to his parents who are in the kitchen. I pull the pizzas out of the bag as the father walks out to me.

"Can you take a check?"

"I can't take a personal check. We accept business checks, but not personal checks. Sorry."

He gets huffy. "Well, then you can take your pizzas back."

Because my family will starve if you can't take a check!

I'm thrown off a little. At worst people are a little annoyed that they can't pay with a check, but no one has ever told me to take their pizza back. I don't really want to go back to the store with $30 worth of pizza wasted. (It wouldn't have been entirely wasted--the employees would have eaten it for dinner, but Nick wouldn't have charged us for it, so it would have been a loss to him.) I'm deciding what to say, but he doesn't wait for me.

"Look, I'm the majority leader of the state senate, I've lived in this house for 30 years, and I've never bounced a check." He's gruff. I am uncomfortable, my eyes pleading, but I say nothing. "Do you know what that means? I'm a public figure. If I bounced a check, it would be all over the papers. I'd lose my reputation!"

Like living there for 30 years makes a difference.

Oh, and you see that object flowing down the street? You'd better wave, cause that's your "reputation."

My jaw drops as though I will say something, but I can't figure out what words are supposed to come out. He starts to walk away. "If you don't have cash, you can call the store and pay with a debit or credit card, and you can still have the pizza," I manage.

"What's the number?" He sounds angry enough to become abusive at any moment. Even taking my anxiety disorder into account, I believe this is a rational fear. "Who should I talk to?"

"Whoever answers the phone will be able to help you," I say, assuming he is just going to pay the bill. I give him the number.

The phone call: "I'd like to speak to the manager...Good. What's your name, ma'am?...Oh. What's your name, sir?...My name is _____. There's a nice young lady here who says she can't take my check."

From the tone he's been using, I'd never have guessed he thought I was a "nice young lady" or even a human being with feelings.

Um, this is a Utah Republican Legislator we're talking about, remember?

"Look, I'm the majority leader in the state senate..." etc., everything he told me.

"No one told my wife you don't take checks when she made the order."

I was not about to step in and tell him I took the order and had given her the option of cash or credit, saying nothing either way about checks. Luckily, the wife spoke up and said what I was thinking. She and her daughters were clearly embarrassed.

Yeah, cause he can hear phone conversations when he isn't on either end of the line....

"Look, I'm a CPA, so I know a check is the same as cash."

Yeah, if it's a cashier's check.

Where did he go to school to be a CPA? What's that? BYU? Oh, OK.... he's excused then, everything's explained.

"Where are you from? I'm from Chicago. You're probably from New York, right?"

How is this relevant?

"You're from Massachusetts? We're both Easterners."

Since when is Chicago considered the East?

"Then you must understand that a check is the same thing as cash. I'm from an old school of thought and I'm a CPA, so I understand that a check is as good as cash...Yes, I understand--trying to build a business and everything, but it's all money in the bank...Yes, you can talk to her."

What kind of John McCain/Mitt Romney guy is this that doesn't know that most places don't accept checks anymore. And surely, even at BYU, they learned the concept of having to track down bad checks.

Mr. Logical Fallacy hands me the phone, and I'd like to say, "Nick, I'm sorry I sicked this long-winded bastard on you," but I just say, "Hi, Nick." He tells me I can take the check as long as the man shows me his driver's license and I write the license number on the check. I hang up the phone and tell the Mr. Impressive Title what Nick said.

Taking the phone back, "What's that number again?"

Why is he still pissed? He's getting his way. I really hope the restaurant's not busy right now because Mr. Doesn't Know When to Stop has been keeping Nick from making pizza or doing anything else for several minutes, and who knows how long he'll talk this time.

The second phone call: "Nick? This is ____ again. I'm going to give you my American Express number, and pay for it that way."

Huh? Why have I been standing in this guy's front hall for the past 10 minutes?

"Look, why should I give my credit card number and the security number on the back when some unscrupulous business owner could make fraudulent charges on it?...A check is the same as cash--"

First, give the guy an idea why don't you? And, you also insulted a local business owner by calling him unscrupulous. And apparently, he's never heard of check cashing. Or PayPal.

"--but with a check you get the amount I give you. Don't you know what someone could do with the account number for a card with no credit limit?"

1) Is he accusing Nick of being a corrupt business owner? I thought people were supposed to distrust politicians, not the other way around. 2) Is he bragging about his credit?

An embarrassed daughter emerges from the kitchen and tells me I can put the pizzas down if they're getting heavy. I thank her, but hold on to the pizza. Somehow, having the boxes in my hands is giving me a sense of security. Without them, I would feel naked and vulnerable.

Mr. Ridiculously Pissed Off gives Nick the credit card number and angrily reiterates everything he has already said in both phone calls. After he hangs up, he takes the pizza from me. "This isn't your fault. You've been very professional about this."

Since when is staring uneasily at the pizza boxes I'm holding considered professional? Whatever.

"I'm sorry about this," he continues, but he still sounds like he's stifling profanity with great difficulty.

"Oh, no. I'm sorry for the confusion and inconvenience." Let's end this amicably. I turn to the door.

"Hold on just a second."

Ah! I just want to get out!

"Does anyone have any cash? I don't have any. Someone have a couple bucks?"

One of his daughters comes up with $2. Crappy tip, especially after making me suffer through that ordeal.

Didn't even pay for the gas to get her to your house, bucko. Next time, carry some cash on you like real people do.

And now, for my favorite part:

Aren't politicians supposed to be charismatic and stuff? I guess it doesn't matter what they're like in their private life. Maybe it should matter. Needless to say, now that I am registered to vote in Utah, I will not be supporting ____, current Majority Leader in the Utah State Senate. If you live in Utah, I hope you won't support him either. He is obnoxious and prideful. He argues illogically, citing irrelevant details as some sort of proof. I suspect his overly aggressive and defensive behavior masks some insecurity. And anyone who can be that rude to a complete stranger for no reason, could easily be pushed to become abusive in other situations. Not saying he is abusive, just saying it wouldn't surprise me. But what do I know?

I wonder how the rest of the Bramble's Family Night went....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With kids going back to school and my pay check not coming in until next friday, I took out a Payday Loan for two weeks. Payday Loans great becuase I didn't have to use my credit card and bought everything I need to get my kids back to school.