Monday, November 04, 2019

When a name becomes an insult

Imagine this scenario:

Your name is Casey Smith.

One day, you wake up with a piece of paper in your hand which says you've changed your name from "Assclown Smith" to "Casey Smith".

Confused, you check your wallet. Your driver's license says your name is Smith, Assclown, and the photo is you, but in full clown makeup, wearing a dunce cap. All your credit cards bear the name Assclown Smith.

Now you're starting to panic. You check your email. Sure enough, there are dozens of emails in your inbox - from your bank, your pharmacy, your dentist, your insurance agent - all starting with "Dear Assclown," or Hello, Assclown!

Obviously, you feel the need to fix this right away. First - you log onto your bank's website where it greets you with "Welcome, Assclown!" You click on "My Profile", hoping there is a simple way to change it online. No such luck. You search on the bank's site, but there's nothing in their paltry online help about changing the name on your account. So you call them.

ring... ring...

"Thank you for choosing 18th National Bank!" the sickeningly cheery recording slowly announces. "Did you know... you can use our mobile banking app to... transfer money..., pay bills..., or access your balance..., twenty-four hours a day..., seven days a week..., three hundred sixty-five days a year...! Just visit our website at... double-yew... double-yew... double-yew... dot... 18th... national... bank... dot com! Our associates are available to help you from 8:12 AM to 4:47 PM, Eastern Standard Time, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; from 9:07 AM to 5:31 PM on Wednesday, and 7:54 AM to 6:01 PM on Friday. This call may be recorded for training purposes. Please listen carefully to the following options, as they may have changed. If you would like to use our telephone banking system, press 1. If you need directions to one of our branch locations, press 2. If you would like to schedule an appointment to apply for a loan, press 3. If you know your party's extension, you can dial it at any time. To repeat these options, press star. Otherwise, please stay on the line, and an associate will be with you shortly. ring... ring... All of our associates are busy helping other customers. Your estimated hold time is... five... minutes."

You press the mute and speaker buttons and set the phone down. You ponder what is happening as you listen to the crappiest hold music you've ever heard. How many accounts do you have with that name? How many databases are you in? There must be hundreds! It's impossible to remember them all. Even if you could, you have no idea how many third parties your information has been sold to.

"Thank you for calling 18th National Bank, my name is Ashley, how can I help you?"

"Uh... I need to change the name on my account."

"Okay, what is the name currently on the account?"

"Um..." You glance over at your computer, where you are still logged in. "The account number is 64-3151-8030."

"Ok, could you please verify the name and date of birth of the account holder?"

Is she really going to make me say it? "Um... April 1st, 1991... and the name is... assclown Smith."

"Thanks for confirming that, Assclown!" You wince as you hear the name. "Just fax us a copy of your marriage certificate and we can get that last name updated!"

"Actually, it's the first name that's wrong. My name is Casey. Casey Smith. And I don't have a fax machine."

"Oh! I'm sorry. Let me see. Do you have a photo ID with the new name on it?"

"No, not yet."

"Well, once you get it updated, you'll have to come to a branch in person and show your ID and a court order changing your name, then we can start the process to get your account updated. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

sigh "I guess not."

"Thank you again for using 18th National Bank, and have a nice day!" beep!

This isn't going to be easy, you mutter under your breath.

To be continued...

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