Honestly, when I wrote Part One I didn’t think it was going to take this long to write the second half of my story and you would think that three months later, I wouldn’t have anything to write about! Afterall, five months is long enough to get things straightened out, right? Well no, welcome to France!
Let me start at the beginning. Back in December I got a job with an American company that I’m not at liberty to talk about (it’s in my contract) but everyone would know who I’m talking about if I did. I’m paid as a Freelance worker and they wire money to my bank here in Paris. No, I’m not going to say anything bad about the company, just the opposite, I get paid very well (double normal wages) I set my own hours, no one looks over my shoulders and I can work at home. What more can I ask for, right?
My bank is the BNP and I have no complaints there either, except that when you’re wired money from the States they take out a big chunk. So, like any normal person, I went shopping around for another bank that charged less. The Banque Postale was the cheapest, taking only 20 euros (almost $30) of my hard earned pay just to receive my money into their bank, so Patrick and I opened up a second account with them.
So far, so good. The guy was nice and everything went smoothly. This was suppose to be mainly my account where the money that I was making was wired from the States into this account. We signed papers, deposited some money into our account, left and waited for our debit cards, check books, etc. to arrive. Around 3 or 4 days later, Patrick came into the apartment carrying several envelopes:
“Hey, we got our stuff from the Banque Postale.”
“Great! That was fast for France.”
Patrick opened up the first envelope. “Look, I got my debit card.” he said, turning the card around in his hand. “It’s really nice.”
“Where’s mine?” I wanted to see my own, not his.
Patrick began looking at the other envelopes. “Hmm, they’re all addressed to me.”
“What do you mean?”
“Yours’ll probably come in the mail tomorrow.” Patrick said, ever the optimist opening up the letters. All of them were welcoming him to La Banque Postale. “Wait!” He handed me an envelope, “Here’s one for you.
I opened it expecting to see my debit card, but instead it was a letter saying that I was refused a card because I didn’t have a pay stub that showed where I was working. The letter had the name and phone number of a Ms. Royer who told me if I had any questions, to give her a call.
I called her all right! I picked up the phone right then and there and dialed. “I want to speak to Mme. Royer.” I said. But of course, Mme. Royer was busy so the person who answered the phone took my number
so she could throw it away, ah, so she could call me back. Like that was going to happen! Believe me, I didn’t hold my breath!
She didn’t call me that afternoon, so the next day I called again, this time she was in a meeting all day. The following day I called again and was told that this wasn’t Mme. Royer’s number.
“What do you mean? I received a letter from her telling me that if I had any quesstions or concerns, not to hesitate to call her.”
“No, I’m sorry this is not Mme. Royer’s department.”
“Okaayy.” I just knew this was not going to go my way.
“Maybe I can help you, what did you want to talk to Mme. Royer about?” a nice young man asked.
“I wanted to know why I’m not authorized to have a debit card or a check book in my name, afterall the money that is going into this account at your bank is money that I am being paid for for working.”
“Uh, maybe there’s not enough money in your account.”
“No, there’s several thousand euros in there.”
He took my information and looked up my account.
“Well, I see there’s a checkbook and a debit card made out to your husband.”
“That’s the whole point, why am I not entitled to have the same when it’s my money that is going into that account.”
“Because you haven’t given us a pay stub from your employer.”
“I’m an independent worker. I don’t get paid stubs.”
“Well, then your husband is the only one who is entitled to have a card and ……”
“Ahh, wait a minute!” I interrupted. “Wait a minute! What country are we in?”
“Excuse me?” he asked confused.
“I said, what country are we in?”
“I don’t understand.”
“I want you to tell me what country we’re in.” My Latin temper was going up a few degrees.
“Okay!” I said. “For a minute there I thought maybe I woke up and found myself in some Arab country! So you mean to tell me that I’m working and getting that money sent to me for work that I do and you’re gladly receiving that money, but I’m not entitled to it, only my husband is?”
“Uh, maybe you should come in and talk to the manager to straighten this out.”
“I will! Thank you very much.”
Maya Muses: That was 5 months ago and after several meeting with the manager who doesn’t even know how to work his computer and is a shoe-in intellectually for Stan Laurel (for the younger generation, Google “Laurel and Hardy“) do I have a debit card or a check book in my name? Of course not!!! Were in France!!!
My solution: When the money comes in, I take it out and put it in the BNP where I do have a debit card and a check book! All I can say is - it’s their loss!