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21 August 2006

Please hold for the next available operator

This actually happened: Today, instead of getting my act together and doing my assignments for work, I decided to get my act together and arrange my financial aid/loans/grants for the coming year to see whether John and I can still afford to buy goat cheese or will have to trade down to Velveeta (shudder.) Part of this year’s payment plan involves cashing in on my Americorps education award, which I received as part of that teaching gig I used to have, and I thought this afternoon would be an excellent time to put that in order. Trouble is, I don’t know quite how to put that in order. I looked on the interweb for a while, and while and all make reference to the existence of Americorps education awards, I couldn’t find a website that actually explained to me how to redeem an Americorps education award I have already received. Since I felt the need to do this RightThisMinute and not wait until I get home to Chicago (where my files in all likelihood contain the exact form I need,) I decided to call the National Education Trust “hotline.” Their automated voice menu suggested that para asistencia en espanol, I could oprima numero uno, to learn about opportunities to volunteer and get education awards I could press two, if I was a financial institution calling to inquire about a particular Americorps student I could press three, and if I had any other questions I could wait for the next available operator. So I waited. And waited. And then made a little game out of inventing lyrics to the asinine hold music. And then made up another little game called OH MY GOD ITS BEEN 26 MINUTES AND I’M STILL ON HOLD AAAAAAACK! (which, go figure, is not really a fun game). Then, after 28 minutes and 24 seconds (yes I put the call on speakerphone so I could continue reading 6th Circuit caselaw the whole time and no I did not waste 28 working minutes doing nothing I can’t believe you would think that about me), the hold music stopped and I got the ringing noise and I almost died from excitement because someone was going to finally answer my questions about my education award and then! Then! After 31 minutes and 14 seconds on the phone MY CALL GOT DISCONNECTED. So yeah, if anyone knows how to redeem an Americorps education award, can you just tell me? Because I’m not ready to give up on the 5 grand I’ve got coming to me but I’m also not every calling that fucking hotline again ever ever ever. Ever.


At 8/21/2006 08:25:00 PM, Blogger TMAO said...

I know! I know!

This is amazing. I can't believe I have knowledge of adult-life-skills-scenarios that you don't. Either I'm stepping it up or you're slipping...

Okay. Sorry. So what you do is fill out the form the Trust gave you. If you don't have the form, you have to order one by going on hold again. Then you fill out part of it with your social and the amount you want released, send the rest to the organization you want the funds released to, and wait. For a really, really long time. Sixty days is the magic number, I think. And if you're trying to get the money to San Jose State, they may get impatient and send your account to collections, and the collections people may call every day during third people, and you may start giving the phone to 13 year old kids who'll say "The check's in the mail" in a different language every day, beacuse you have like eight of them represented in that classroom.

So, you know, good luck with that.

At 8/22/2006 09:37:00 PM, Blogger hazelblackberry said...

Until you get your dough, I will happily fund the purchase of goat's cheese for this law student in desperate need. God help me, I know what it's like to eat Bad Cheese.


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