As I routinely do in planning my budget for the week, I checked my checking account balance via phone. Much to my surprise, the automated female attendant said:
AVAILABLE BALANCE: negative $334._2
The bottom dropped out of my stomach. I know I didn't just hear what I thought I heard.
I quickly hung up and called back. Again:
Negative! What the f*ck? My auto insurance was due in a week, as it is every 6 months. Was it possible that, back in October, I had unwittingly set up an automated draft that sent my account tumbling into cash collapse?
I'm essentially no-go when it comes to automated drafts - especially when it comes to something as substantial as auto insurance, for fear that something just like this might happen. Perhaps someone had written me a bounced check. Or could it be the long arm of the IRS? What else could I be overlooking?
As the automated phone system couldn't yet give me details on the vendor associated with the offending charge, I tried to check on-line. But neither was the line item for the charge yet posted there.
These were facts: 1) The offending charge had happened over the weekend, 2) My Visa Check card had never left my possession, and 3) The only two purchases I'd made that weekend were a #6 (Baja w/ chicken) at Taco Bell and a Big Zax Snack at Zaxby's.
Naturally, no live person was available in my bank's customer service on Sunday to help me further investigate. So, I had to wait until Monday morning to get to the bottom of things. And you can best believe that I did...