4.13.2006

It's official: The world has gone mad (and you need to fix it)

So I was called for copyediting work yesterday, a few hours before our vegetarian Sephardic seder was to begin. Despite that I loathed making a huge fuss over a seder, I did not want to run to midtown to slave over some self-important ad company. See the irony here? Slavery. Does. Not. Make. Sense. On. Freedom. From. Egypt. Day. But I need to pay my bills, and I agreed to do the job as long as I'd be out by sundown. Not for religiosity's sake, oh, no no NO: I just want to eat dinner with A at a reasonable hour before we zonk off to sleep.

The advertising client got billed $120 for my one hour's work. I had four or five such jobs to do. My turnaround time was quick and efficient. As I left, I checked what my pay rate would be. I figured as each client was billed $120, equalling $600 for the copyediting agency, I'd be paid around $120 for four hours' work. Which for Big City pay, was quite lousy, actually. But lo, LaMai was totally and utterly wrong.

Agency: "Your rate for today will be fifteen dollars an hour."
Me: I beg your pardon?
Agency: Fifteen. An hour.
Me: Fifteen AMERICAN DOLLARS?

I followed-up with a snippy e-mail to the recruiter. HELLO? I AM NOT FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE HERE. CAN YOU NOT READ MY TWO-PAGE CURRICULUM VITAE? YES, THAT IS RIGHT. CURRICULUM VITAE. I KNOW YOU DON'T NEED A CURRICULUM VITAE, AND MOST OF YOUR SORRY WORKER BEES DON'T HAVE ONE. BUT I HAVE ONE. FIFTEEN DOLLARS? WHAT IN THE F%$# ARE YOU PEOPLE THINKING?

Okay, that is not what I actually wrote. But whatever I wrote, prompted the agency to call me right away and "fix" it.

******

Last week I found out my bank account was closed because a check was deposited to my account and subsequently bounced. "You've been placed on our fraud alert and we will NOT be opening your account again." I beg your pardon? Fraud alert? I didn't even write that stupid check. I was the recipient of it. Do you get it? "Ma'am, you need to talk to your bank. We will NOT re-open your bank account. It's part of the new terrorist/fraud tracking blah de blah."

After many phone calls and a return-receipt letter typed and signed with my expensive blue-ink pen, threatening legal action on the very last line before "Very truly yours," I got a call from the bank branch manager. "We're so sorry. We don't know why this happened. Your bank account has been re-instated." I mentioned that my cell phone payment got caught up in their terrorist/fraud tracking blah de blah. "We're sorry. We'll take care of that, too." And they did.

*******

Let's turn things up a notch and get political.

There is a place called The All-American Carpet Company near where we live. Dorky name, I know. Stupid name, actually, considering that most of the employees who walk through the doors and painted windows (yes, painted windows, so that you cannot see inside) are Middle Eastern-looking. In white garb. Some people notice that there is the flicker of a t.v. set from the inside. People go in, after a few hours, people go out. In white garb, different garb, but nobody leaves with a carpet. The name on the store is still The All-American Carpet Company. This activity goes on for months until the next door commercial owner's clients have complained so much, she does not know what to do. Seeing Middle-Eastern folks religious garb in these parts is the norm, not uncommon at all. But something is not right. She is told to call the New York City anti-terrorism unit. When the cops finally appear to investigate, nobody works at The All-American Carpet Company anymore. "They just vanished. Cleared out," said one cop.

1 comment:

Calletta said...

I guess what happens at the All-American Carpet Company stays at the All-American Carpet Company?. . .