We had a meltdown at the grocery store today, but it was not one of my children. No, it was me that started having a fit and crying in the store. I try not to be overly emotional, but sometimes I just can't help it.
I wanted to run to the store this morning before my husband left for work, but I did not have any money in my bank account. He transferred money from his account to mine, which is something we have done numerous times and the money always goes through immediately. I left for the store with my oldest, planning to drop him off at school after we finished shopping. On the way there, my low fuel light came on, so I knew I had to get gas too.We quickly grabbed a few things and headed to the check out lane. When I went to pay, my card was declined.
I am not sure if you have ever had a card declined, but it seems as if it instantly sets off silent alarms within the store. Suddenly, everyone in line starts staring at you, wondering why you are trying to buy groceries when you don't have any money. The cashier is instantly on alert, snatching back the groceries, demanding you produce another way to pay immediately. Other cashiers come over to see what is going on, and everyone stands guard, making sure you don't make a run for it with that loaf of bread or case of Coke.
I already have social anxiety, so I was not pleased with the growing amount of attention I was attracting. I asked the cashier to try again, and it was declined again. I asked her if I could use the phone for a moment, to call my husband and make sure the funds went through. She looked at the growing line behind me, and then at me, and said I would need to take it up with customer service for now and go over to the desk to settle my payment. She then yelled across the store for a manager, because she needed to void the transaction. All eyes continued to stare at me.
I called my husband and he said the funds were in there, to which I replied in a not so nice way. He was upset that I was blaming him, I wasn't, I was just frustrated with the situation. He mentioned that maybe the transfer wasn't complete yet, so I waited a few minutes. I checked my bank account information and it said the funds were in, so I went to customer service where my groceries were being guarded. I tried to pay again, and yet again it was declined. I wanted to try one more time, because I knew the funds were in the account. The customer service employee then said that I should not keep using my card and putting in my pin, because it could freeze my account. After this, my son became increasingly upset.
"Mommy, we can't try again, if we do we can never come back here." "Mommy she said you can't try to pay more than three times." "Mommy are you taking me to school?" "Mommy why can't you get the groceries?"
I called the bank and spoke with someone, at this point I was really flustered and just wanted to get my stuff and get out of there. The woman said my account was on hold and the funds were being held, then put me on hold while she tried to figure out why. After a while she finally came back on the phone and reported that there was no hold, and the funds were available. I asked if she would stay on the line while I tried again. She said she would.
So back to customer service we go. This time they just glared at me, probably annoyed with me. I tried again, and yes it was again declined. At this point, I just lost it. I slightly raised my voice to the woman on phone, telling her that it did not work and it was declined. She seemed confused, but said she would look into it and call me back later. I told her that was not OK, I remembered my low fuel light and was near tears at this point. I ranted about having no gas in my car and I couldn't even drive my son to school, what was I supposed to do? She replied that she understood and would look into it.
I don't think she really understood. I know she was trying to help, but her repeatedly telling me she understood did not seem genuine at the moment. I don't think she understood that I really was out of gas and could not drive my son to school. I don't think she understood how I felt standing there while everyone glared at me as my card kept being declined. I don't think she understood that the whole point of me going out shopping so early was so I did not have to take all of my younger children out with me, which I was now going to have to do later in the day. I don't think she understood I truly needed that dishwasher soap I was buying, because there was none at home and no clean dishes. I don't think she understood that my husband was now late for work because I had been in the store dealing with this mess for too long. In reality, I don't know this woman and she may very well understand those things. Yet, I was frustrated and had a meltdown on the phone in the middle of the store.
I think the people at customer service gave up on me at this point, as they all walked away, while one still stood guard at the cart. I flew from the store with my son and had another mini tantrum in the car. I apologized to my son for getting so upset, but at this point he was also very upset. He was convinced the people at the store were mad and wouldn't let us back ever, he was also very concerned about getting to school.
I came home, with my son. I could not drive him to school, as there was no gas in the car. I came home without groceries and with no answers. So, here I sit, waiting for someone to call me back and explain why I can't access my money. I stopped by the ATM later in the day and tried to take money out, my card was still declined. Still no phone call back, so I have no idea what is going on.
I do feel bad for getting so upset with the woman on phone, as it was not her fault, yet I am frustrated over this entire situation. I think I am done with banks at this point. Thankfully my wonderful husband had some gas cans in the basement and put gas in my car, so I was able to take my son to school. I was also able to stop by his work later and he gave me cash to go to the store (we did not have cash at home, or I would have just paid cash in the first place). I know the whole situation is not a big deal in the grand picture of things, but I was so frustrated during this time. We have food, a home, and family--we are blessed, so I do my best to not stress. Although, I am still worried about why my account is frozen, and I wonder what is going on.
I guess even mommy's sometimes have meltdowns at the grocery store.