Friday, July 10, 2009

I suppose that it's inevitable; things have a way of working, but whether or not they work out well is another matter.

Let me explain.

When I was younger, dumber, and full of piss and vinegar, there was a period where I thought I'd try my hand at being a policy analyst in fisheries management. Why, I have no idea; I am a doer, not a talker. I forsook (is that a word?) my background as a marine scientist, and started playing catch up in such horrible subjects as international law and public policy. This is where I reached the terminal phase of my formal education. I was well into in my mid-20's.
Because I'm a spaz, I audited some classes in grad school. Since I was hanging out with all the policy wonks, and the 'show me' attitude of a scientist doesn't work with the wink wink nudge nudge say no more crowd, I also sat in on a labor relations class. I figured what the hell, it might come in handy when dealing with groups such as fishermen.

I learned a lot, but none of it seemed to apply to my life.

One of the most interesting things I took from that class was the constant reliance on concepts developed in game theory. This is, if you don't know it, the stuff that John Nash (the guy played by Russell Crowe in the movie 'a beautiful mind") worked on. One of the most important concepts in labor relations is the art of compomise. John Nash was the one who proved mathematically that in a compromise, no one wins, but, to maximize gain in a group setting, one must work towards the goal of purely minimizing loss to individual members of the group.

Now, that was cold comfort today, but it did help with some decision-making.

By now, you know about my battle with Bank of America. Today my local branch manager called, and begged me to make this go away. She was authorized to offer me a dollar amount that equates to about 30% of what I lost last week in terms of cash laid out. It didn't account for pain and suffering, or any sort of emotional factor. It didn't even cover the new tickets I had to buy for my family's airfare.

I took their offer, simply because I don't think that I could do more without a protracted fight, and what's the point? Every day I deal with this shit is a day closer to my death. I'm not talking big bucks, and I'm not a man who likes to beat his head against a wall simply because it feels good to stop at the end.

Anyhow, the little bit of money that they offered me is enough to keep my wife and boy comfortable for the duration of their wait in Brazil, with enough left over to pay back most of the money I borrowed to cover my shortfalls in the ticket price. So, all's well, sort of.

Sigh. Anyhow, done is done. I am reminded of the short version of the caution against compromise. In making compromise, no one gets what they really want.

So it goes. I minimized loss, anyhow.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised they did that much for you, but am very glad they did. Sometimes you just have to accept what happens and stop beating your head against that brick wall. Believe me, I have enough dents is this head to prove it doesn't help.


Bill Elms said...

tough call man, but I think you did the right thing. take care bro!

Firehand said...

Probably the best you could get out of the clowns, but not nearly enough.

Flatly, there was no effing excuse for the problem with the card in the first place, and the way they treated you. And damned if I'll ever take a card from them.