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First, so about my new temp position: I do light customer service for a company handling large-group fuel discount cards.

The large group I work with is people who bought or leased a car & got a fuel discount card as their promotional benefit.

So yesterday this guy calls in. There are some situations where really all you can do is pause and say, "Wow, that guy sure has a lot going on in his life." No single one of the ensuing moments was enough in itself, quite, but the combination...

He calls to ask: since he returned the leased car already, may he still use the fuel card? Actually, yes. When he lets me get a word in edgewise, I advise him that we must send him a new card.

When I can get a word in edgewise, I explain that also the fuel card is linked to a credit card, and the old one we had is expired, we must update. You can often tell when to just ask for the new expiration date. This was not one of those times.

He begins saying, "Gimme your card. Gimme your card. Gimme your card." very brusquely, over and over to someone in the room with him.

Then he asked if it had to be his name on the card. Which it does not, it can also be a partner. "As long as you have permission to use it," I added.

In the middle of the next round of "Gimme.", he got another thought. "Does it have to have money on it?"

I confirm it must have sufficient funds to cover all fuel purchases.

"Oh. (to her) It's the child support card, we can't put money on it."

I agree that another card would be best.

He puts me on "hold" by putting that phone down and calling someone else on another. I can hear his side of the conversation, in which he tells the guy there is this great deal he should get in on by allowing him to use his credit card. See, you can get gas and get paid back for it to the credit card! (Wrong. No refund, just a lower bill 'cause $SPONSOR pays the rest, for X gallons until program end.) And it was NOT A SCAM, JESUS, FINE, WHATEVER, SEE IF I HELP YOU OUT.

He returns & I attempt to clarify his misconceptions. He is doubtful because that is "not how it worked before" but I am firm. He audibly deflates, but rallies in his resolve to go get a prepaid debit card to use. IN HIS OWN NAME.


That is a guy with a lot going on in his life.

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Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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