Ozzie and Harriet

I’ve been very frustrated today by a brick wall I seem to run into a lot. My husband works during the day. I stay home. I raise kids, I take care of the house, I take care of our family, and I also handle our financial stuff. Randy works during the day, I handle the family “business.”

Except that I can’t get information from MidAmerican without special permission. (which we’ve done now.) Same with DirecTV, Qwest, and pretty much every other place that sends us bills.

But the most frustrating? Randy’s 401(k) plan, which doesn’t necessarily need a whole lot of day-to-day management, but does need a tweak now and again. And our Health Savings Plan. Which DOES need day-to-day management because, well, we have lots of medical bills this year. We should be able to handle this stuff online, but I can’t access our online account, and it’s a very long story, but after over a half hour on the phone with them this morning, it boils down to that they cannot help me figure out why I can’t access our online account (even though I have the account number, password, and PIN), and they can’t send me the forms I need to submit a request for reimbursement because Randy has to make that request. It’s just a form!!

And, furthermore, Randy cannot call and give blanket permission for them to talk to me. He has to call every time. Which is not going to work very well since they’re only open during the times Randy’s at work and I don’t have three-way calling.

It just seems that, in so many small ways, the world is set up in a way that is very housewife-unfriendly, you know?

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5 responses to “Ozzie and Harriet

  1. I am in your same boat and sometimes it makes me so mad! Marriage just does not count for much in these situations . . . Half the time my husband has to ask me what he should say when he calls in because I am the one who knows what has been going on! But let your husband default on one of those accounts and THEN they want to talk to you about it I am sure!

  2. My father has never used the Sears card in the 42 years that my parents have been married…EVER. It’s in his name being as my mother hasn’t worked in 41 years….and finally after all this time they suddenly wouldn’t allow her to use the card! The stupid thing is they really can’t confirm if it’s my father calling or not…so she had one of my brothers call instead. Problem solved. I told her when they say they have to talk to Michael say “I AM Michael…” They’re free to come to whatever conclusion they want.

    I’ve started running into the same situation myself. My husband happened to sign the receipt when we dropped off our wedding bands to be worked on…and later they wouldn’t let me pick them up without his permission. I heard the lady on the phone say “there’s a young lady here for your rings…” I could have throttled her! I’m not some kid! That’s my wedding ring you’re holding hostage!

  3. After I reported the whole long story to Randy yesterday, he decided to take a break from checking on his customers in Houston and give the company a call. He asked if they could send us the paperwork. Sure, they said, they needed to know what amount we were requesting to be reimbursed first. “Well, gee,” he said, “my wife has that information, and she’s at home.”

  4. We’re a military family and we have the same problem all the time. I have to know his social security number to get anything done. We’ve had to resort to having a power of attorney in a lot of situations. It’s very frustrating.

  5. You know, I ran into this problem with a different company on Friday and asked them what we’d do if my husband were stationed in Iraq. He’d have to call them from Iraq to take care of getting basic information from them? He’d have to fly home so he could stand in the same room with me to give them verbal permission to talk to me before handing me the phone? (Because they would not even allow Randy to call them and give his permission and then I could call in right after. It had to be the same phone call.) They said they could do it by email.

    Yeah, they won’t give me info on the phone because of their uber tight security, but email is OK? Hm.

    Anyway, I called back about an hour later, got someone in a different call center entirely, and tried to pretend I was Randy. I used to do that all the time with my mom, and had Randy impersonate my dad a lot when my dad was sick and I was handling things. But I’ve never tried to pass myself off as Randy. They totally didn’t buy it, and I wasn’t willing to press it. (Randy thought when they asked about my gender I just say, yes, I’m Randy, I’m a male, what of it? and make them uncomfortable.)

    But I didn’t know when I might be crossing the line into fraud or something bad like that.

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