Citibank

As part of the responsibilities I have had taking care of my aunt following her accident, I have been trying to exercise the power of attorney so I can use her funds to pay her bills.

She banks at Citibank. When we were still in Florida, I took the documentation to her local branch and tried to activate the power of attorney. The person I spoke to acted like he had never seen a POA before and told me he would have to send it to legal; it could take up to 48 hours to receive an answer.

This was Monday afternoon. I informed the bank clerk that I was leaving Florida early Thursday morning. I requested that they try to rush the proceedings so I could get this completed before I left. Late Wednesday, the person from the Florida branch called and said legal had okayed the POA. He then informed me that I had to tell him the name of the nearest Citibank to where I live. It turns that is Bridgeport Ct. which is two hours away.

Once I returned home there were several back-and-forth calls to Citibank. Eventually I spoke to a manager who said she would be sending me checks. I asked if there was anything else I had to do. She advised me to go to a Citibank branch and fill out paperwork, essentially a signature card, so I could be added to the account.

I had to be in New York on Wednesday May 19 for something else so I picked a branch near Grand Central Station and asked if I could go there. She said she would email the manager of that branch all the information.

I arrived at the branch, spoke to someone who asked repeatedly if I had the original document, took my identifying information, and then disappeared. An hour later, I looked for her and she was in the manager’s office. He informed me that they couldn’t do anything without the original document. I told him Citibank’s legal department had already approved the POA and that my aunt’s lawyer had the original.

I got the lawyer on the phone, but the bank manager refused to talk to him, saying “I won’t talk to someone I dont’ know”. I angrily took back my papers and left in a huff.

The next day the lawyer sent a demand letter to the branch in Boca Raton and gave them 10 days to respond. Today, in the mail, I got the checks. The lawyer tells me this means we are all set; there is nothing else to do.

From the beginning of this saga, Citibank has been completely unhelpful, and very incompetent, wasting a lot of my time.  I am going to advise my aunt to change banks. Citibank is too large and  has terrible customer service.

Ideas

One of the assignments for this month from my Pioneer Valley Writer’s Workshop Year Long class, was to read three essays to look at the craft tools used in presenting ideas.

First, I read “The Futurist Manifesto by Flippo Tommaso Marinetti. For the class assignment, we were not supposed to say whether we like a piece or not but rather, look at the craft elements used in the writing and determine if they would be valuable for our own writing.  However, this is is my blog, so I will  say that I hated this essay. The language  was over wrought, hyperbolic and flowery. I would not want to write in that style. The piece felt dated with racist and misogynistic elements and I had a strong suspicion that the author was a fascist. When I Googled him, I found out I was right.

Our teacher implied that Verlyn Klinkenborg’s, “Our Vanishing Light”, had  lyrical tone, and visual and sensory imagery.  The writing was okay but it seemed a fairly standard journalistic article. Written in 2008, it might have been startling then but felt like nothing new thirteen years later.

In “Sick Women Theory”, Johanna Hedva uses her personal story to make her point. I thought that was a good strategy or tool to use. By personalizing her ideas, it made thinking about those ideas more accessible. Hedva weaves her story of chronic illness into a compelling critique of western medicine. She explores how disability interacts with political participation, seeking a redefinition of both public and private.  I found her writing the most compelling of the three essays and I enjoyed reading it.

Overdue Quarterly Report

I had planned to give some updates on how 2021 is going in April, but, if you read my last post, you know life intervened. We have just returned from spending two more weeks in Florida caring for my aunt. She  has been at home for eleven days and is making a lot of progress.

After the initial visit when she had first fallen we were home for six days. I prioritized writing, skating including off-ice work with my coach, Kiara,  and a meeting of my Jane Austen book club. I was able to finish the chapter I had been writing on for almost a year, which felt good. 

Once we  went back to  Florida, I tried to maintain some semblance of my “real” life and continue to have my book on faculty wives as my priority. I attended Nerissa’s writing group twice  and participated in the monthly meeting of the Pioneer Valley Writers’ year long class for  creative non-fiction. Because of this focus, I was able to get some writing done.

I am really glad I signed up for the PVWW class. Each month we get accountability buddies. It has been great to have different people read my work and to read their work as well. I had hoped the structure of the class would be enough to get me writing on a regular basis. So far, despite the disruption to my regular routine, it has worked.

When 2021 started I needed to lose three more pounds to get to my goal of 140 pounds. Last week I achieved it.  It feels like a big accomplishment and I am very grateful to Noom for helping me get to that weight. The program is probably not for everyone but I found it a very constructive experience.

As far as  tweeting and blogging, I obviously had a dip in posts over the last four weeks. So far, I have posted sixteen times in 2021. I hope, beginning with this post, I will now be on a regularly schedule.  I tweeted  twenty-seven times in April and only one time, so far, this month. I plan to resume tweeting daily.

Going forward, I will still need to do things for and with my aunt. We will probably go back to Florida the end of June. Because of that, I need to stay focused and continue to prioritize writing and skating. I am streamlining my life; putting some things on hold so I can make real progress on my book while continuing to care for my aunt.