Sunday, January 20, 2013

Identity Theft and Bank of America's Lies

On the 16th of January, I went to an ATM in Roxboro, NC to make a withdrawal. When I checked the receipt, I noticed that what was left in my account did not equal what should have been there. I immediately went to my office and logged into my Bank of America account to see what transactions went through. I noticed a pending entry from a company called National Safety Council which I did not authorize. I immediately googled the company and got the contact information so that I can contact them regarding such a matter. The customer service representative, Lisa, told me the details of such a transaction and it was revealed that my debit card information was compromised. I asked her to correct the fraudulent transaction and she indicated that she would void it out. I then contacted Bank of America and told them that my debit card was compromised and that someone was making illegal transactions with my card. The card was then cancelled. The customer representative at Bank of America indicated that if the representative at National Safety Council voided the charge, it would fall off the account by midnight.

I checked my account on the 17th of January and the account still indicated that the charge was still pending. I contacted National Safety Council and the representative indicated that she voided the transaction and that there was nothing else that she could do regarding the fraudulent charge. I then contacted Bank of America and informed them that the National Safety Council representative voided the charge and that my account still showed the fraudulent charge as pending. I was informed that it could take 48 hours for the transaction to be removed from my account.

I checked my account on the 18th of January and the charge was still pending. I had National Safety Council fax the information needed to Bank of America as I was informed of a representative on the 17th that if they received the information indicating it was an erroneous charge, they could remove the pending charge within 30 minutes. Later, the representative of Bank of America indicated that the charge was no longer pending and he did not see any pending charges on my account. I was looking at my account online and the charge was still reflected as pending.  He indicated that it should be resolved if I logged back out then logged back in. I did that five times while on the phone with the Bank of America representative. It never reflected what he indicated that he saw on his end. He then said that the web version takes awhile to update, so while on the phone with him, I called the Bank of America to check my account and it still indicated that the charge was pending. He then said that it should reflect what he saw on his end by midnight.  I was then transferred to fraud and it indicated that though the card was cancelled, many other charges were attempted but were denied.

On the 19th, I contacted the Bank of America and informed them that the charge was pending and that I had been lied to by the organization for the last three days. The representative, Tandra Jefferson, was rude and indicated that it could take up to five days to fall off my account, that it was a Visa issue and not Bank of America. I informed them that the information she was giving me was far different than the information I received on the 16th, 17th, and 18th. She then became rude regarding my questioning the information she was giving me and asked her to read back the notes from the previous conversations that I had in Bank of America employees on previous dates. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she became even ruder to me. I informed her that I had a number of pressing issues due to this fraudulent transaction and that National Safety Council did what was required and that the holdup was now with Bank of America. I then asked to speak to her supervisor and she indicated that she was a supervisor. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she transferred the call. Her supervisor, Deon McClinton, reiterated what Tandra said and provided additional information regarding Bank of America’s policies regarding fraudulent charges. I told him that the pending charge reset on two occasions, now indicating a hold date of 1/23. He said that would indicate the 5th business date and that is why it probably reset to that date.  I then informed him of what previous Bank of America representatives said regarding crediting the account a certain amount of money and I then asked him to that for my account. He indicated that the fraud department could not do that and that must be something that the customer service department could implement. I then asked to be transferred to that department and he did so, but it was indicated that they were closed hours earlier. I then called back verbalizing my frustration regarding the run-around I was receiving from Bank of America and they issued an apology but no viable solutions. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's not that "today is the first day of the rest of my life," but that now is all there is of my life.

Today's Quotation:

It's not that "today is the first day of the rest of my life," but that now is all there is of my life.
Hugh Prather

Today's Meditation:

It would appear that Hugh has a problem with the people who focus on the idea that "starting now, I can be a better or different person." Personally, I do not have any problem with the concept, but I can see Hugh's point quite clearly--the more we stay focused on what we are going to do with the rest of our lives, the less we allow ourselves to commit to living the present moment for all that it is worth.

"Now is all there is of my life,"--and Hugh is right. Your next moment, ten minutes from now, two weeks from now--none of these things is guaranteed. And what happens two weeks from Thursday is completely out of our control. What will happen will happen, and we may be able to influence it, but we certainly cannot control it. The present moment, lived fully with enthusiasm, love, attention, and awareness, truly is all there is of our lives. And once it is done, it will be replaced by another present moment.

When all is said and done, life is simply a series of "nows." How we live them depends on us. I do not want to stay focused on the rest of my life because if I do, I am taking away from the potential of this moment. Yes, I prepare for the future, and I prepare for retirement, and I prepare for what may come later, but even that preparation is accomplished in my present moments.

At this moment, you have the entire world full of possibilities at your disposal. If you decide that you want to travel around the world, you have the potential to do so, if you spend your nows preparing for it and raising the money for it. If you want a stronger relationship, then you can spend your nows improving that relationship. If you want a better job, you can spend your nows learning more about your work and improving your performance. But please, do not waste the present moment by putting your focus on some future moment that may or may not get here.

Questions to consider:

What resources are available to you right here, right now?

How might you improve your experience of the now? How might you get more out of each present moment as it arrives?

Why do so few people keep their minds, their hearts, and their attention on right now?

For further thought:

Many people live as if life were a dress rehearsal for some later date. It isn't. In fact, no one has a guarantee that he or she will be here tomorrow. Now is the only time we have, and the only time that we have any control over. When our attention is in the present moment, we push fear from our minds... Practice keeping your attention on the here and now. Your efforts will pay great dividends.
Richard Carlson

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Today's Quotation:

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Today's Meditation:

How much time have I spent feeling inferior to others? What result has this had in my life?

It was not until I grew up a bit that I realized that feeling inferior is a common trait in developing individuals. It has less to do with the superiority of other people than it does with the perceived inferiority of the person who feels inferior. I recall as a child, thinking everyone was better than me at everything--relationships, work, hobbies, school... you name it. And if anyone ever tried to make me feel inferior, they certainly did not have to work too hard to do so.

Fortunately, I have learned in the meantime that things such as inferiority are just a question of perception, and are not to be given as much credence as some people would like. So I may not be as good at baseball as another boy--life goes on, and there are plenty of things that I am much better at than he is.

When we allow others to make us feel inferior, we are giving away much of our power to live our lives fully and happily. We are stripping our own power to control our lives and allowing others to determine how we feel about ourselves, which is something that we simply never should do. As long as we are trying our best at all we do, we should feel fine about ourselves and not worry about how other people perceive us, our efforts, or our results.
I determined long ago not to consent to allow anyone else to belittle me, judge me unfairly, or make me feel inferior. And in the time since I made that decision, I have learned that it truly is my choice--when I do not let it happen, it does not happen. When someone tries to do so, it is very obviously a reflection of their own insecurities and not an indication of who I am or of my value as a person. I like life much more when I do not consent to let others make me feel small and insignificant.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things do you allow people to make you feel? How did you start letting them do so?
In what ways do you consent to let others make you feel inferior?

I have learned to not allow people to have that much influence over me. Now, occasionally, I may fall into the trap of allowing someone's ill treatment of me influence me to feel sad or hurt, but I quickly resolve such feelings so that I can be in good spirits. A person can only do what you allow them to do.

Think of someone who sticks up for themselves in a very genuine and healthy way. What allows them to do so? How do they do so? What can you learn from them?

I can name many people since I do work for a mental health agency and we are taught to model what we "preach".

For further thought:

Don't let the opinions of other people determine the image you have of yourself. There is no need to feel either appreciated or understood. Be even-minded. What you think about yourself is everything. What others think about you has no value at all, unless you choose to give it value.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.

Today's Quotation:

We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.
Virginia Satir

Today's Meditation:

It is hard to believe just how much time I have wasted worrying about how other people have seen me, what they have thought of me, what they have considered me to be, the value they have seen in me. I somehow grew up putting a great deal of value in other people's perceptions of who I am and what I am worth, even when those people really have not known much about me at all.

Because of this tendency, I have made many of my decisions in life based on what I have thought other people would think about me and my decisions actions. I have rejected possible relationships because of what I thought other people would think about me if I went out with a certain girl. I have not pursued certain careers because of the judgments that I was sure other people would pass on my choice of professions. I have not pursued certain passions because I did not want people to think less of me.

I have also lost an amazing number of opportunities in my life. And while I am not going to spend today regretting what I did or did not do yesterday, I know that my life could be much more fulfilling today if I had not worried so much about what others thought earlier in my life. I wanted to be the person that I thought others wanted to see, so that they would accept me more fully. But that acceptance would have been conditional, which is the worst type of acceptance that we can possibly pursue.

I knew a man once who wanted to be a lawyer because that is what his father expected from him. His dad had defined him, defined his likes, his dislikes--his very life. But his dad did not have to live that life.
I need to define myself. My tastes, my preferences, my passions, my likes and dislikes--all need to come from me if I am to live a genuine and authentic life. They need to come from my heart and my spirit, not from what I think others want to see in and from me. If I allow others to define me and who I am, then I am allowing others to do so from a very limited and distorted position, and I am setting myself up for major disappointment in life.

Questions to consider:

Who defines who you are? How is that definition reached? 
I define who I am... my education, experiences, and employment define who I am. I am a man who educates, empowers, and entertains, mostly on daily basis. I had a far reaching radio show called Eclectic Perspectives and hope to get another season started in 2013 with +Anjene Davis , +Ashley Mitchell , +Ayasha Calloway , +Courtney MacDermid , and +Philicia Baugh

Why do we sometimes give others the power to decide who, what, or how we should be or act? 
I feel we sometimes give people such power because we want their approval or we look up to them for guidance and to show us a better way, so we may conform in order to get their blessings. All too often though, we find that it is never enough.

How can we take back the right and ability to define ourselves? What will be some of the positive results if we do so?
We simply must do it, no steps defined, One must simply decide and make it manifest. By defining ourselves we indicate the end goal and what we must do so when accomplished, we know that we have succeeded. 

For further thought:

There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me--or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision. When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad--you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.

Stacey Charter