Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sarah's Whining.

I have had a really good experience with this whole transgender thing compared to many, so I really have no reason to complain, but here I go.
I have three credit cards, and as you know I have changed my name. That meant I had to call each credit card issuer to change my name on their files. In each case it was the same: I call, tell them some portion of my card number, answer a series of security questions and then we are on to the business of the call. In all cases I was given instructions of what documents they required and where to send it. Then when the card arrived I just had to activate it through the same process as before - tell them some part of the number and answer some questions.
My best experience was with MBNA mastercard when I called to find out how to change my name. The woman was very understanding and respectful. My worst experience was also with MBNA mastercard when I called to activate that replacement card. I typed in part of the number as requested, I answered the security questions, I even called from my home phone number that they have on file, yet the woman did not want to activate my card for me.
"Sir, you do not sound like a 'Sarah'. Is that a woman's name?"
I actually totally understand her dilemma. I don't sound like a Sarah. I wasn't even trying to sound feminine at all, so I definitely sounded male, and on top of that I had a bad cold and so overall I sounded like a male frog, not a 'Sarah'. I said "I know, it's weird. It is a woman's name, but it is my legal name - I just changed it, I am male to female transgendered."
Well this is where it went bad in my opinion. The above part is fine with me, she was just being safe. The next part is where I feel like she let her own opinions govern the direction of the call. I think this because if I said my name was Jacques she wouldn't say "I am sorry sir, you don't sound French." or if I said I was Timmy she wouldn't say "I am sorry sir, you sound too old to be named Timmy." what she said to me was
"I am sorry sir, that may be, but you just do not sound like a 'Sarah' I cannot process this activation."
"Why does the sound of my voice matter? My name IS Sarah, I just said I changed it. That is why you guys sent me a replacement card."
"Sir, I am sorry. Do you have any documentation you can send us to verify the name change?"
"I had to send it before you guys would issue a replacement card... are you not looking at my account information? AND STOP CALLING ME SIR!"
"...uh... I don't know what else to call you sir."
"Try ma'am or Sarah. I answered the security questions, so can you please just activate the card?"
Well she made me answer all the questions over again and added a couple more (amking a point of calling me 'sir' with every question). As it turned out I not only still knew my card number, birthdate and mother's maiden name from when she asked a few minutes before, but I also knew my address and phone number. When we were all done she said "Your card is now activated sir. Have a nice day."

I write this story down because I am frustrated, but then I take a step back and feel guilty. I feel guilty because I have it so good and I can only imagine the treatment other mtf's have had to endure. So to all you transwomen out there before me I apologize to you for being upset over something so minor. I should actually be writing a thank you to you all because it was you who started educating the world about us, it was you who by living your lives as the women you are that have made it so that my only problems so far amount to a petty woman calling me sir.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you got such an ignorant response, but I am happy to hear that you took it the right way and understand thatone bad experience is not the be all end all. Sure hope the rest of the road continues to be smooth.

Sarah J M said...

I know, I thought I should call her manager too. Then I remembered when I had originally called MBNA Mastercard in order to change my name in the first place. That woman was wonderful to me, yet I didn't call the manager then to put in a good word. So I am not going to start calling managers with putting in bad words.

Sarah J M said...

And Burt! I am glad you are back!