Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Bad Situation Turns Out OK...This Time

Dad got a phone call this afternoon. Apparently the "Impeach Obama" group is seeking donations. Since Dad is a devout, died-in the wool, card carrying Republican who has donated to the party and its friends in the past.... he has a target on his back. I wasn't there, but Dad's girl overheard the conversation. The group had Dad's credit card number - I'm not sure how or why, and he agreed to their hitting him up for $175.00. As soon as his girl heard him agree to the donation she read him the riot act. She told Dad that one should never... NEVER... give money over the phone. There is no way to know who is accessing his information, who will actually benefit from the donation and what other uses they might make of the account information. She got on the phone to his credit card institution.

Then, things get interesting. There was no draft on his account in that amount. Actually, there were no charges on his card for the last 4 days. The agency suggested that Dad's card be cancelled, and a new one issued. His girl explained that he had just gotten this card and we have just changed all of his bills over to the new number. She hated the idea of going through all of that again. The clerk from the bank was able to access information from the old credit card number. He noticed that a charge of $175.00 had been charged on the card today.... and denied! Hooray!

I talked with Dad about the dangers of phone solicitations. He sounded surprised when I explained that there were all sorts of scams out there to bilk people out of their money. I told him, in the future, to suggest that the organization send him information to read, and only then might he consider a donation. But, I don't believe this will stop Dad from making a donation to a good sales pitch for a cause he believes in.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Pain was Excruciating

Sometimes I participate in a writing challenge hosted by Jenny Matlock at Off on a Tangent. Jenny provides a prompt and sometimes a style of writing, and we are challenged to use the prompt in a post, generally of no more than 100 words plus the prompt. This week's prompt was:

The pain was excruciating...

I wanted to do something a bit different. I wanted to stay away from writing something about physical pain. Then, I thought about my father. I see my dad suffer when he knows he used to be able to do something, and has lost the capacity to recall how to do it now. The pain must be excruciating!

The old man sat hunched over his desk, swallowed by the worn sweater wrapped around his barrel chest. He stared at the computer screen in front of him, with rheumy eyes, a tear escaping and rolling down the leathery skin of his cheek. The mouse in his gnarled hand felt comforting, but images on the screen brought deep despair. He remembered that he used to work this computer. He used to know how to find things on the computer. He knew much of his life was inside the machine, but he was damned if he could get to it now. The pain was excruciating.

Visit Jenny's blog to read more responses to her Saturday Centus prompt:

Jenny Matlock