Friday, August 14, 2009

the process so far, cont'd

August 3, 2009: Call Sallie Mae, beg for express mailing. Can it be overnighted? Customer Service rep says yes, if you have a FedEx account. Ask if it can be mailed to a local FedEx office. Am told no. Tell rep this is ludicrous, as I'm a student and an independent entity and cannot be expected to have, or have access to a FedEx account like some sort of corporation. At this time, am told that Request has been processed but no letter has been written. Rep says she will send an e-mail to encourage speed on letter writing, but I should allow 3 business days for request to be processed. Point out that 3 days have come and gone. She corrects herself, says "I mean allow 3 to 6 days, then 7-10 days for processing."
-Call temp agent, ask if temp agency has FedEx account. As temp agency's primary product is, in fact, people, who don't particularly like being FedExed, her answer is a sad no. Also tells me not to ask if I can use my primary worksite's account, as the agency considers that tacky.

August 5, 2009: Call Sallie Mae, ask if letter has been written. Am told by different rep that yes, not only has it been written, but it has been processed and shipped and should be in your hands by tomorrow (Thursday), Friday at the latest. Moreover, it was written on the 29th of July. Have doubts, but thank rep.

August 6, 2009: Nothing in mailbox. Friend arrives from China and I decide to have a good time and try not to freak out.

August 7, 2009: Nothing in mailbox.

August 8-9: Weekend. Aug 10: visit DC, get nice and sunburnt.

August 11, 2009, 9:00am: Call Sallie Mae in morning, demand letter. Rep says letter was written August 6, was shipped August 10, and should have been in my hands yesterday. Inform rep that I was told letter was written before August 4, and was to be delivered by the 6th. Ask just why the hell company policy is to lie to me to get me off the phone. Ask where letter is being mailed, as I clearly don't have it. Rep lists off my mother's address in South Carolina. Begin shouting and swearing at rep, as at no point has my mother's address been listed as my correspondance address, do you idiots even read your applicants' information, you should know that. Demand another copy be overnighted to my home at Sallie Mae's expense. Rep corrects himself and says "oh, no, it was sent to your current address, should arrive in 7-10 days." Shout that this is unacceptable. Rep connects me to manager, who asks if I can receive it as an email or fax. Eyes turn purple and nearby phone book begins to smoulder. Tell rep I was specifically told two weeks ago that email and fax were not options. Rep apologises and says she'll email it today, and will call to tell me when it's done. Ask why it can't be sent now, she says she has to find the document first, but it will be in your hands before 5. Thank her, head to diner where friend from China eats first American-style pancakes.

August 11, 2009, 4:30pm: stop into internet cafe to find milkshake for friend, decide to check email while there. No letter. Call Sallie Mae, spend 15 minutes on hold before getting base-level rep. Demand previous supervisor; rep has never heard of said person. Demand another supervisor. Wait on hold for 20 minutes. Get another base-level rep, declare I require document in next 15 minutes, rep opts to connect to supervisor, wait 15 minutes, redundant hold music begins to make me twitch. Get supervisor, demand immediate emailing of letter, supervisor says the letters are written and sent by a separate company and they've all gone home for the day since it's after 5. Inform her that that is irrelevant, as the letter has already been written and must surely be connected to my account in some way. Supervisor says letter has not been written and must be individually constructed by a high-ranking member of separate company. Nearby computer explodes at a touch from my hand. Supervisor apologises profusely and has asked assistant of high-ranking letter writer to write e-mail requesting letter for tomorrow morning. Demand from supervisor recourse to compensation when Sallie Mae's incompetence prevents me from getting visa and starting school on time. Inquire as to what policy is in place to ensure that I'm not completely fucked by their flat mismanagement of this situation from the word go. Supervisor informs me that "this is the first time the British Consulate has required this sort of thing, so it's all new, and you're the first person to have had a problem with it, so we don't have a policy regarding that." Inform her that I believe that statement is flat horse-shit, and explain that after two months of fielding her company's lies I've had enough. If the letter isn't in my hands by 8:00 tomorrow morning I will be reneging on my loan agreements, and if you still want to charge me fees for your disservice you can discuss that with my lawyer. She apologetically reiterates the company's mantra that due to the high volume of letters that need to go out she will try to have it by tomorrow, but allow for Thursday at the latest. State that this is unacceptable, I am done with Thursday at the latest, it needs to be here now, it was late three weeks ago, Godammit what is wrong with you people, if it's not here tomorrow morning expect a call from my lawyer. Supervisor apologises, begs for patience, I hang up and burst into tears. Head to Coney Island to have mohitos with my sister and scream at the ocean.

August 12, 2009, 9:35 am: E-mail with password-protected .doc file arrives in inbox.

August 12, 2009, 10:30am: Print off document at Kinko's, take whole application and passport to post office. $13.50 later it is express mailed 10 blocks to the Consulate's office, here's your tracking number. Skin loses redness, find that fire-starting ability is suddenly absent. Have a beer, visit top of Empire State building.

August 13, 2009, 10:00am: Check mail tracking. Application was signed for at the consulate half an hour ago. Sleep soundly for 6 hours.

August 13, 2009, 4:00pm: continue worrying.


Ben said...

I promise you an avalanche of cake and tea.

Kim said...

Holy balls, this just gets worse and worse. I am glad you got through it without punching any walls or people, and I can't wait to hear about how lovely it is on the other side of the pond...